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classic cars at the Auburn Chord Duessenburg Museum

Finding ways to bond with your son can sometimes be a challenge. A visit to a car museum, though, opens up a world of educational opportunities. As I walked through a combo of the National Automotive and Truck Museum and the Auburn Cord Duesenburg Museum last week, it struck me that while simply wandering through rows and rows of cars and talking about interesting things that you come across is a great father and son getaway idea, the reality is there are TONS of leaning opportunities that can be had if you look just below the surface. For instance, I didn't realize that Indiana was such a prolific state when it came to producing cars. Everyone things about Michigan ... and in particular Detroit as the center of American auto manufacturing but it wasn't always that way. The factors that led Indiana to be an early leaderin this industry is a fascinating story that you can relate to other topics in life as well. That's just one example of what you can learn at auto museums. This article will guide you through how such an outing can enrich both of you in the realms of math, science, art, and history while having a fabulous experience that will help shape your son's passion for learning.

Key Takeaways

  • Fathers and sons can learn about the blend of technology, design, and business in cars. They see how each car is made with math, science, art, and smart strategies.
  • Visiting a car museum shows how car designs reflect our history and creativity over time. People can see changes in materials used and why some designs are timeless.
  • Differences between American cars and those from other countries tell stories about culture's impact on design. Big engines in American cars versus efficiency in foreign models spark interesting talks.
  • Museums offer examples of leadership through the innovation stories behind cars. Fathers can inspire their sons by sharing these stories.
  • The cyclical nature of innovation seen at a car museum encourages curiosity. It shows that learning never stops and everyone can contribute to new ideas.

Why Indiana Was An Early Leader In Automotive Innovation

So let's just start things out by sharing one of the biggest learnings that I took away from the hours I spent exploring these two museums. The untold origins of the American auto industry. 

I'd always looked at Detroit personalities like Ford and the Dodge Brothers as the founders of this industry ... and rightfully so. Without a doubt they shaped the modern global auto industry in profound ways. However, what I had never considered is how early automakers evolved from carriage companies and horse drawn coach builders. Indiana with it's central location, excelent railroads and access to navigable rivers was a logical manufacturing spot to bring various components together, and then send them back out around the country. Additionally, not only were cars made here but pickup trucks, commercial trucks, and farm equipment also evolved here as well. 

Over the past 120+ years more than 150 different cars have been manufactrered here and Indiana is still the RV manufacturing capital of the world.

The state's lead in terms of companies that dominate the industry may have faded over time, but even today the state is one of the top producers of cars from various brands including Honda, Subaru, Toyota, and GM as well as many parts companies producing various components that are used in other auto factories around the world.

Exploring the history of how things came to be ... and where things may go in the future is one of the most important things that a dad can help his son understand. A strong man is a leader and successful leaders need to be able to navigate complex situations to achieve scucess in life, love, and business.

The Interconnectedness Of Technology, Design and Business

Exploring a car museum offers an exceptional chance to see how technology, design, and business weave together. Fathers can show their sons that every car on display is a result of brilliant minds combining math, science, art, and visionary business strategies.

It's about solving puzzles—how to make cars faster, safer, more appealing. Each model tells a story of challenges faced and innovations born from those challenges.

Cars are not just machines; they embody the dreams and hard work of the people who create them.

This interconnectedness highlights how progress in one area fuels advancements in others. For instance, sleek designs often require new technologies to make them possible, which in turn opens up fresh business opportunities.

Conversations like these can start at any exhibit but will likely extend far beyond it—encouraging children to explore and discover the fascinating blend of disciplines that shape our world.

The Evolution Of Art and Design

Cars are like rolling pieces of art, showing off design trends from the times they were built. Fathers and sons can see how car designs have changed over the years, reflecting changes in technology, society's values, and what people thought was cool or beautiful at different times.

This journey through automotive history is not just about engines and horsepower; it's a window into human creativity and innovation.

Every car has a story that goes beyond its shiny exterior. Looking at cars from different decades helps us understand how materials like steel and aluminum evolved, leading to sleeker and safer vehicles.

It also shows us why some designs became classics while others faded away. Visiting a car museum offers a unique chance for fathers to teach their sons about the importance of art in our everyday lives — using something as relatable as cars to connect historical dots with present-day advancements in design.

Differences Between American Cars and Foreign Cars

Exploring a car museum opens up discussions about the unique features of American cars and those made abroad. American cars often boast powerful engines and are designed with comfort in mind, think roomy interiors.

On the other hand, foreign cars—especially European and Japanese models—tend to focus on efficiency, precision engineering, and sleek designs. This difference highlights how culture influences automobile design.

A father-son trip to a car museum can spark conversations about why these differences exist. For instance, the wide-open spaces of America led to the love for big engines and large cars, while high fuel prices in Europe inspired more fuel-efficient designs. Similarly in Japan they have very dense cities and this is why you find microvans produced by the Japanese automaker industry that are so unique compared to the massive trucks and SUVs found on America roads.

Talking about this can inspire sons to see how problem-solving leads to innovation in automotive history – turning a simple museum visit into an educational experience that covers technology, geography, and cultural preferences all at once.

How A Man's Unique Abilities Can Make Him A Great Leader

A man's unique abilities can shine as leadership qualities. These skills include being a good listener, having empathy, and making decisions with confidence. Being a leader isn't just about giving orders.

It's about understanding people and guiding them towards a goal. This means knowing how to motivate others, solve problems creatively, and stay calm under pressure.

Great leaders also adapt to new situations quickly. They learn from both success and failure. Sharing these insights during father-son bonding activities can inspire a child to grow into a strong leader too.

Museums provide real-life examples of leadership through the stories behind inventions and innovations in the automotive industry—making them ideal for educational experiences that fathers can share with their sons.

The Cyclical Nature Of Innovation

Exploring a car museum, fathers and sons witness firsthand how innovation moves in cycles. They'll see cars that introduced groundbreaking technology, only for those ideas to fall out of favor, then come back years later in modern designs.

It's like watching a movie where the hero keeps coming back stronger; every era brings something new that nods to the past. This cycle shows us learning and improvement never stop.

Car museums highlight not just the sleek exteriors or powerful engines but also the stories of creativity and problem-solving behind each model. Fathers can point out to their sons how early electric vehicles from over a century ago laid the groundwork for today's push towards sustainability.

These experiences fuel curiosity and inspire young minds about endless possibilities in science, art, and history – showing them that with persistence, they too can contribute to this ongoing cycle of innovation.


A trip to a car museum with your son opens up a world of learning. Together, you'll dive into math, science, art, and history—all through the lens of automotive evolution. It's more than just cars; it’s about sparking curiosity and fostering a deeper bond through shared discoveries.

So next time you're planning an outing, consider the educational adventures awaiting at a car museum. It promises fun and insightful experiences that both of you will cherish for years to come.

Written by:
#MenWhoBlog MemberBlogging GuruThought Leader

James' passion for exploration and sense of duty to his community extends beyond himself. This means he is dedicated to providing a positive role model for other men and especially younger guys that need support so that they can thrive and be future positive contributors to society. This includes sharing wisdom, ideas, tips, and advice on subjects that all men should be familiar with, including: family travel, men's health, relationships, DIY advice for home and yard, car care, food, drinks, and technology. Additionally, he's a travel advisor and a leading men's travel influencer who has been featured in media ranging from New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He's also been cited by LA Weekly "Top Travel Bloggers To Watch 2023" and featured by Muck Rack: "Top 10 Outdoor Journalists for 2022".

He and his wife Heather live in St Joseph, Michigan - across the lake from Chicago.