Since 1894, Kokomo has been an automotive town. That year, Elwood Haynes made the first successful trial run of his “horseless carriage” on Pumpkinvine Pike, which is now Boulevard east of Indiana 931.
And since that time, automotive manufacturing has played a major role in Kokomo’s economy. To put it in perspective, Kokomo Transmission Plant has built more than 67 million transmissions since 1974.
So it’s no wonder that Kokomo takes its automotive heritage seriously and makes its preservation a priority. Much of Kokomo’s automotive history is housed inside the Kokomo Automotive Museum. The museum traces the history of the automobile and what effect it’s had on Kokomo. It houses more than 100 antique cars, including a selection of early made-in-Kokomo Haynes and Apperson autos.
You can also tour the Elwood Haynes Museum located in the former home of Elwood Haynes and see his automotive inventions. The museums play a big role in why Kokomo is a tourism destination for the automotive hobbyist.
Kokomo’s automotive history is also the centerpiece of the Haynes-Apperson Festival held every summer in Foster Park. The event’s highly anticipated parade features many vintage and classic cars.
The community is also home to several car shows throughout the year.