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Visit Beloit Blog | February 21, 2018

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Historic Auto Attractions- More than its Name

Historic Auto Attractions: More than it’s Name Andy Griffith's car JFK Auto Johnny Cash Auto Batmobile

Not Just Cars!

Historic Auto Attractions is situated right off of Rockton Road in Roscoe, Illinois. From the outside, this is a seemingly unassuming building. Inside however, you’ll find an incredible collection of historic artifacts, including autographs, memorabilia, wax figures, and of course, cars!  These remnants of the past cover a wide range of stages in America’s history. I had the opportunity to spend a Thursday morning there last week with my fellow intern, Nate. Check out the interview he did with Historic Auto manager, Cathy Ellis!

So Much to See, So Little Time!

Historic Auto Attractions has organized their massive collection into 12 sections, each one with amazing treasures just waiting to be rediscovered. One of my favorite sections was Gangsterland, which features various memorabilia from Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone and John Dillinger. The most memorable piece here was a car that was actually used by John Dillinger as a getaway car! But Bonnie and Clyde’s movie car (pictured below) was pretty impressive too, with all those bullet holes!

Bonnie and -Clyde's movie car


Barney Fife, anyone?

Another great exhibit is Movieland.  Aspiring superheroes and movie goers alike can check out 3 different Batmobiles; one from the TV show and two from Batman Returns! This section also features a couple superhero costumes, as well as a few other famed vehicles. The TV Land exhibit has a similar wow factor. TV Land features set replicas and actual props from family favorite TV shows such as The Andy Griffith Show and M*A*S*H, among others. Barney Fife’s cop car is pictured here, surrounded by wax figures of the Andy Griffith cast.


Andy Griffith

JFK’s Secret Service

One more fascinating exhibit could be part of the Presidential exhibit, except it seems to have taken on a life of its own. This large section is dedicated to the life and death of John F. Kennedy. This area includes the secret service car that was directly behind the president when he was assassinated, as well as the flag that was draped over his casket during his funeral. The exhibit also features artifacts from his life and family. No JFK exhibit would be complete without a tribute to Jackie Kennedy’s fashion; this exhibit does not disappoint. My favorite piece in the entire museum, hands-down, is a particular part of the JFK section. I don’t want to ruin everything for you but I will tell you that you’re in for a “sweet treat” when you find this item!


JFK Auto


Back in Time

This museum is definitely a place I intend to take my family and friends when they visit! It’s easy to spend hours wandering through the various exhibits and reading the signs that give significance to each and every item displayed. Even after my extensive examination of the exhibits, I am quite certain that there are quite a few treasures that escaped my notice. Be warned that when you leave Historic Auto Attractions, you may feel a bit lost! While inside, these exhibits come to life and you will feel as if you’ve been transported to a different place and time!


Johnny Cash Auto


Check out Historic Auto Attractions’ website where you can preview the exhibits and find information on hours and ticket prices!



I am a Public Relations and Politics double major out in Iowa. Fresh off my first year in college, and consequently my first year away from Beloit, I am excited to be home! I am looking forward to experiencing all that Beloit and the surrounding areas have to offer and documenting my adventures here. I think Beloit is a beautiful city with its own distinct culture; there really is nowhere else like it!

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