National Automobile Museum, Reno, Nevada, USA
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
1937 Airomobile - National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury ExperienceThe National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection) is the home to an amazing collection of 200 prestigious motor cars and race cars, as well as a fashionable collection of ball gowns and weddings worn by the Harrah Family to provide a glimpse into the past into the heyday of the motor cars and the era. If cars or vintage fashion are your passion, the National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection) should be on your "must-visit" when in Reno, Nevada list.

 

National Automobile Museum - Collection of Cars - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience

A little about the Museum

"William "Bill" Fisk Harrah (1911-1978) founded the former Harrah's Automobile Collection and Harrah's Hotels and Casinos. His passion was to collect automobiles, but along the way he collected American memorabilia, including the clothing, the hatpins, jewelry and textiles seen in the Museum, many of which belonged to his ancestors. After Mr. Harrah's death in in 1978, his collections were disbursed, however the majority of artifacts in this Museum are from his world-famous holdings."

Memorable Motorcars

With 200 automobilesin the collection there were many highlights. Here are a few of the highlights:

1913 Stutz Bearcat - National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
1913 Stutz Bearcat, Series B

1913: Fire engine red with black trim, this 1913 Stutz Bearcat, Series B, was built by the Stutz Motor Car Company, in Indianapolis, Indiana. It has a 4-cylinder engine, 60 hp, 4 ¾" bore, 5 ½" stroke, and 389.9 cubic inch displacement. It had a price tag of $2,000.

1937 Airmobile - National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
1937 Airomobile

1937: Talk about exclusive! There was only 1 of the 1937 Airomobile made by Lewis American Airways Inc. in Rochester, New York. This experimental model had a sedan body, a Dorman-Marks, air-cooled overhead valve (OHV), horizontally opposed, 4-cylinder, 60 hp, a 3 7/16" bore, 3 1/2 " stroke, and 129.9 cubic inch displacement. It could reach a top speed of up to 80 miles and averaged 43.6mph of fuel! It was driven across the United States in an attempt to raise money to build what was to be a mass-produced, low cost automobile with a projected price of $550. Unfortunately, this is the only model that was made. 

1937 Airmobile - National Automobile Museum  - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
1937 Airomobile

1941: The 1941 "Lana Turner Chrysler" Newport model is a stunning motorcar built by Chrysler Corporation in Detroit, Michigan. The Dual Cowl Phaeton, with body by LeBaron, has an 8-cyllinder engine, 137 hp, 3 ¼" bore, 4 7/8" stroke, and a 323.5 cubic-inch displacement. Only 6 of these concept cars were made, and only 4 are known to still exist. The purchase price in 1941 was: $4,725. 

1941 Lana Turner Chysler Newport - National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
1941 "Lana Turner Chrysler" Newport

The car was originally owned by movie-star Lana Turner's former husband, millionaire playboy Henry J. "Bob" Topping. Interesting to note is that Mr. Topping had the car customized with a Cadillac engine and transmission and personalized it by having his name "Topping" cast into the hubcaps and engine valve covers, and had his initials added to the grille.

 

VIDEO- The 1941 "Lana Turner Chrysler" Newport - https://youtu.be/e1wHoBdgSI4

 

1958: Cadillac made a costly error when they made the Eldorado Brougham. Built by Cadillac Motor Car Division and General Motors Corporation in Detroit, Michigan, the 1958 Eldorado Brougham was the most expensive American made car with a hefty price tag of $15,000. As a point of comparison, the cost of a lower priced Cadillac in 1957 cost around $4,677, while the Eldorado Brougham came in around $13,074. Between 1957 and 1958 they only made a little over 700 of the Eldorado Brougham and Cadillac figured they lost about $10,000 per car made. The stunning blue body with stainless steel top features suicide doors, an 8-cylinder engine, 365-cubic inch, 335 hp, with 4" bore, and 3 5/8/" stroke.

 

VIDEO- The 1958 Eldorado Brougham - https://youtu.be/BGdOuzPie0w

 

Edward F. Nesta at National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
Edward F. Nesta on Pit Alley

Ladies andGentlemen, Get Ready to Start Your Engines

We took a stroll through "Pit Alley" where we looked at sleek and streamlined early race cars, which were fun to compare with the modern-day wide body Formula One models. 

Debra C. Argen at National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience

Debra C. Argen at National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
Debra C. Argen measuring up her race car 

The Fashionable Harrah Women 

This 1878 ivory and honey-gold moiré taffeta wedding gown worn by William Harrah's grandmother Cornelia Meyer for her marriage to Frank Fisk Harrah on June 19, 1878. Special details include the accordion pleated gold taffeta ruching neck with ruffle, three-quarter sleeve cuff ruffles, fitted princess waist with a bustle backgored shirt and train. 

1878 Wedding Gown - National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
1878 Ivory and Honey-Gold Moiré Taffeta Wedding Gown

This two-piece white wool challis and satin 1881 wedding gown has Spanish lace detail, high stand-upcollar, beaded detail and fitted hip length satin bodice was worn by William Harrah's grandmother, Anna Garrett Harrah on October 19, 1881.  

1881 Wedding Gown - National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
1881 Weding Gown

1903 white silk georgette ballgown with lace trim and white satin banding was worn by Mrs. Frederick Russell Burnham to court functions, during the reign of King Edward VII of London, England. The gown has elbow length sleeves puffed at the shoulders, scoop neck, dip waist, applied georgette and satin rosettes on the front opening, a full skirt and train.  

1903 White Silk Georgette Ball Gown - National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
1903 White Silk Georgette Ball Gown

This 1910 wedding gown was worn by Mildred Harrah Douglas, aunt of William Harrah. The white silk satin and chiffon wedding gown features tiny beads, bugle beads, and cut steel and rhinestone banding on the collar. The bottom of the dress is hemmed with marabou feathers.  

1910 Wedding Gown - National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
1910 Wedding Gown

The museum has much to experience, so allow yourself a minimum of 2-hours to fully appreciate all that it has to offer.  

National Automobile Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am until 5:30 pm, and Sunday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. There is free parking in their lot.

Debra C. Argen at National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
Debra C. Argen - Road Trip To Reno, Nevada

Admission: Adults: $12, Seniors (62+): $10, Juniors (6 - 18): $6, Children (5 and under): free 

National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada

National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection)
10 Lake Street (at the corner of Lake and Mill Streets in downtown Reno)
Reno, Nevada 89501
United States
Telephone:        +1-775-333-9300
Email:                This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  
Website:            www.automuseum.org
Instagram:        @nationalautomobilemuseum
Twitter:             @natlautomuseum
 

Read more about the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in the Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, and Spas sections.

Read more about Reno and Tahoe in the Destinations, Arts, Adventures, and Performances sections.

Edward F. Nesta - National Automobile Museum - Reno, Nevada - photo by Luxury Experience
Edward F. Nesta
Cruising Reno, Nevada

Important Travel Information:

When is the best time to visit Reno and Tahoe? Anytime! There is always something exciting happening throughout the year! From special events and festivals or just taking it easy, the area offers a rich diversity of possibilities.  

A Few Festival Ideas for Inspiration -Month-By-Month

January

Reno Latin Dance Fest

February

SnowFest!

March

Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry

April

Reno Jazz Festival

May

Reno River Festival

June

Reno Rodeo  

July

Artown

July - August

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

August

Hot August Nights

September

The Great Reno Balloon Race

October

Lake Tahoe Marathon

November

Reno Pop Culture Con

December

Northern Lights Festival

 

Need more inspiration to plan your trip Reno, Nevada, visit the website: https://www.visitrenotahoe.com/plan-your-trip/special-events/  

Flight Information 

Reno, Nevais accessible with non-stop flights from many US cities making it an easy destination for visitors. 

Direct Flights to Reno from: 

Airport

Airport Code

Boise

BOI

Chicago

MDW/ORD

Dallas

Dal/DFW

Denver

DEN

Houston

HOU

Las Vegas

LAS

Los Angeles

LAX

Minneapolis

MSP

New York

JFK/LGA/EWR

Phoenix

PHX

Portland

PDX/PWN  

Salt Lake City

SLC

San Diego

SAN

San Francisco

SFO

San Jose

SJC

Seattle

SEA

For more information on direct flights to Reno, please visit the website: https://www.atlantiscasino.com/activities/direct-flights-to-reno/  

For more information on the Reno and Lake Tahoe area please visit the website: www.VisitRenoTahoe.com 

Follow Visit Reno Tahoe on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/renotahoe 

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