Since the automobile’s invention in 1886 by Carl Benz, motorized vehicles have captured the world’s attention. They can be a status symbol, a source of nostalgia and a peek into the future. Savoy Automobile Museum in Cartersville captures all of these in a revolving series of exhibits that showcase all things that go “zoom, zoom.”
The museum opened in December 2021 and we visited in May 2022. An exhibit celebrating the 150th anniversary of Pirelli Tire Company had just opened earlier that month. Pirelli opened a manufacturing facility in my hometown of Rome, Ga. in the early 2000s so I was curious.
An impressive entrance
Located on 37 acres, the outside of the museum is impressive. The museum’s namesake, a 1954 Plymouth Savoy that was unearthed on the grounds, greets you as you walk from the parking lot.
People like me who were creeped out a bit by the singing hood ornament in a certain car insurance commercial may be a bit startled by the 40-foot figure at the front of the building that looks a little like it. The stainless-steel sculpture has nothing to do with the commercial. “The Spirit of Speed” was created by Linda Brunker for the museum. It’s spectacular and a great place for selfies before going inside.
At the entrance of the museum, you will find a 1903 Oldsmobile, but I walked right past that when I saw the second car on display. The Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech is a mainstay at Yellowjacket football games. My Georgia Bulldog-fan husband handled things nicely and simply walked on by the car.
The exhibit halls
Once past the entrance, you can choose from several exhibit halls. I really wasn’t looking at their names. I was just impressed with the automobiles. Here are some of our favorite cars.
Maybe it’s morbid but I was drawn immediately to this Mercury Eight. It’s famous for being the model Jimmy Dean drove in “Rebel Without a Cause” before his tragic death in 1955.
If I had my pick of any car in the museum, it would be this 1947 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Cabriolet. I love the color and who doesn’t want to drive with the top down on occasion?
The museum has a Hudson. The once-popular cars have not been made since 1954.
Part of the Pirelli exhibit was this 2018 Lamborghini Aventador.
Steve loved this 2022 Rivian truck. It is fully electric and just beautiful. Spoiler alert—he’s not getting it.
I love art and the museum has a wonderful collection. I might have tried to buy this cool picture created with Rubik’s cubes
A surprise find
I am not going to show you anymore cars because you really need to visit the museum yourself. But there is something else that really impressed us. Raise your hand if you guessed food!
The Savoy Cafe is located near the entrance to the museum and has a great selection of sandwiches, salads and other items. Steve had a hamburger and I had the chicken salad wrap with pasta salad. All of this was just $21.
The café is available even if you don’t tour the museum. I am thinking the next time we are in Cartersville at lunch we may have to grab a bite.
Tips when visiting the Savoy Automobile Musem
A couple of tips if you decide to go: We had driven by the museum many times but we didn’t realize that you enter from U.S. 411. That’s on the left side if you are looking straight at the museum and you’re not familiar with Georgia roads.
The museum has bathrooms conveniently located outside in case you just have to go after a long car ride. Ladies, you can wash and dry your hands in the same place! I was standing next to a very nice lady who was as perplexed as I was. We figured it out together.
Now to the particulars. Admission is $15 per person and kids ages 3-12 are $5. If you are active military and have your identification you get in free. The only day the museum is closed is on Monday.
Cartersville is known for its great museums. While in town, visit some of the others. You will find a list of them here.