After 13 years of operation, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum on the Chrysler campus in Auburn Hills is closing its doors today for good. Waning attendance meant the 55,000-square-foot museum couldn’t meet its own costs, seemingly leaving the facility’s 67 vintage vehicles and slew of displays without a home. The museum had been curated by the Chrysler Museum Foundation, a public entity.
Fortunately, Chrysler itself has stepped in to save the vast majority of the cars and trucks housed in the collection, and the newest additions to the automaker’s stable will be curated by the Chrysler Foundation, the automaker’s charitable arm. While ancient iron like a 1902 Rambler and a 1917 Willys-Knight 88-8 Touring are certainly worthy of a long look, the museum also housed some impressive pieces of the automaker’s technological history.
Those include a 30-cylinder tank engine designed and manufactured in World War II. The 25-liter behemoth was comprised of five inline sixes mashed together and generated a modest 450 horsepower. The collection also includes plenty of muscle cars and a few gems from defunct brands like DeSoto, Plymouth and AMC.
While it is ceasing normal public visiting hours, the museum apparently won’t be shuttering completely – it will be used for Chrysler functions and potentially open to the public in limited fashion for special exhibits.