Tupelo Automobile Museum | Tupelo Mississippi Car Museum

Tupelo Automobile Museum is a Must See!

Tupelo, MS is famous as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, but there is another major attraction to visit for fans of  other American classics in this small town. That is the Tupelo Automobile Museum, which has one of the largest privately owned collections of cars in North America, with cars going back to 1886.

This Amazing Historical Display is a Treasure

The Tupelo Automobile Museum grew out of the private collection of founder Frank Spain, who collected cars of every age from Europe and America. In 2002 the Tupelo resident’s private collection was turned into a museum. This fantastic line-up presents a chronological history of the motor car and by association, of modern times. The display is built around ten cars from each decade, with new and loaned cars to keep the collection fresh and appealing.  The resulting number often reaches 150 cars.  In 2003 the state of Mississippi designated this treasure as the offical state automobile museum.

There are always over 100 cars are on display covering all types, including antique, rare and collectible. Visitors can take the self-guided tour, which begins with an 1886 Benz. To inexpert eyes, it looks like a motorized bicycle. But the exhibit is arranged to trace the development and innovation of automobile technology and the evolution of design. The latest exhibit is a 2011 Toyota Corolla built at the new Toyota plant in Mississippi.

Celebrity cars, often gifted to the museum, include a 1976 Lincoln Mark IV that was owned by Elvis himself. There is also an Elvis Display many people enjoy! Fans of automobile history will recognize luxury cars like the Tucker, the Dusenberg and the Hispano-Suiza. The restoration bays let viewers watch crews working on cars that will be added to the exhibit.  The museum loves and celebrates cars, of all kinds and varieties. A series of events through the year pays tribute to different types of cars: Corvettes, Motorcycles, Salute to Farming, Camaros vs. Mustangs, Barnyard Finds and America’s Haulers. The Just As Found exhibit shows cars from the museum’s storage room, in their stages of rusty disrepair before being restored to pristine condition.

Gift Shop is a Fun Experience too!

The gift shop has many unique items, a friendly staff and a section on gifts from local businesses. The Automobile Museum is an important part of the life of this community of almost 36,000 people, and is available for special tours and events. For car fans, the Museum is a chance not only to see the exhibits but to talk cars with staff and other visitors.

Not surprisingly, the Tupelo Automobile Museum has won the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence three years running. It is a must-visit for automobile fans of all ages and nationalities. The majority of people who visit this historical display offer rave reviews. Even people not into cars enjoy it!  The facility is well lit, spacious and air conditioned.  The folks working are friendly, helpful, welcoming people ready to share their knowledge and passion for cars.

A trip to Tupelo can be combined with a trip on the Natchez Trace Parkway, a scenic drive that follows the migration routes of native Americans and the early settlers.

 

Birthplace of Elvis Presley | Tupelo MS

Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum

Tupelo Mississippi is where it all began. The birthplace of Elvis Presley, it is also the birthplace of rock-n-roll and the transformation of American culture. This is where the boy from Tupelo began his journey to stardom. Now, as it was then, this small town in the north-eastern corner of the state of Missisippi is rather off the beaten track. But it still attracts a steady stream of visitors, from boomers reliving their greatest years to millennials trying to understand what the fuss was all about.

The King of Rock-n-Roll was born January 8, 1935

The humble beginnings of the legend are to be seen in the small two-room house where the King of Rock-n-Roll was born, in 1935. Built by his father, Vernon, with his own hands, this is the house where the family lived until Elvis was three years old. Period replicas of furniture and household goods recreate the simple daily life of the family. Unable to continue payments, the family lost the home and moved in with relatives.

Elvis acquired his guitar playing southern gospel roots in this church!

The small Assembly of God church which Elvis attended and where he began his musical career has been moved from its original location to the birthplace complex. This was where he learned the rich gospel music of the South, which remained at the roots of his music. Visitors can experience church services as Elvis and his family would have, with multimedia presentations recreating pentecostal meetings with prayer and song. It was also at this church that Elvis learned to play his first guitar.

The first thirteen years of Elvis Presley’s life were in Tupelo, MS

The birthplace complex recalls the events of the early years of Elvis’ life with a story wall and a walk of life. A fountain of life celebrates the first thirteen years of Elvis’ life, which he spent with his family in Tupelo. The museum uses graphics, period artifacts and music to recreate Elvis’ childhood. The gift shop carries many unique souvenirs, not available anywhere else, and is certainly worth a visit in itself.

Chapel

The idea of a chapel where fans could meditate was first suggested by Elvis himself. The chapel was built by his friends and fans and features stained glass panels. It is also available for special events and weddings.

Other Attractions in Tupelo

There are other attractions in Tupelo – the Automobile Museum, the Buffalo Park, the Gum Tree Art Museum, even fine chocolates. The birthplace complex is a small-scale, quiet place, almost as if it were designed to be a contrast to Graceland and Las Vegas and all that came with fame and fortune. For those looking for the neon lights, rhinestones, the cars and the craziness that engulfed the King’s later years, there is Las Vegas.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the place for Elvis-themed weddings, pink Cadillacs, limos, Elvis impersonators performing at weddings in Elvis-themed chapels, and all the neon and glitter that came to define the King’s later years. There is one car on exhibit at the birthplace complex in Tupelo: a green 1939 Plymouth sedan, identical to the one in which the family moved to Memphis when Elvis was thirteen years old, in search of better opportunities. The rest, as they say, is history.

Tupelo, Mississippi is definitely a fun way to spend some time exploring history.