When Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced that they were closing the doors of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum at the company’s North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan in 2017 and were repurposing the building to house the North American headquarters for the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, a lot of Mopar fans were heartbroken. There were a lot of questions of what would happen to FCA’s Mopar historical car collection and if it would be seen by the public ever again.
After the Dodge brand announced that legendary Dodge Viper would stop production after the 2017 model year, FCA began to get the ball rolling at figuring out what to do with the facility where the hand assembled sports car was built. In March of this year during a United Way announcement to auction off the Viper’s Conner Avenue Assembly Plant memorabilia, FCA announced that they would be converting the former plant into a new home for the former Walter P. Chrysler Museum collection.
Renamed Conner Center, the former manufacturing facility, tucked in a Detroit neighborhood just south of the famed 8 Mile Road, has space to exhibit 85 of the nearly 400 concept and historic vehicles that will now be stored on site under one roof. Previously, the Company’s extensive collection was housed in several locations across the Metro Detroit area.
“With a storied history of its own, the Conner Avenue facility is an ideal location to showcase the vehicles that have sustained the Company for more than 92 years,” said Brandt Rosenbusch, Manager, Historical Services. “We are proud of our history and have been working diligently in the daily care and restoration of these important vehicles. This move will allow us to house all of our collection under one roof and have the space to share that history with our employees.”
Approximately 77,000 of the plant’s nearly 400,000 square-feet of floor space is dedicated to displaying vehicles like the 1902 Rambler, the oldest in the collection, to one of the most significant, the 1924 Chrysler Touring. Conner’s administrative offices were converted into nearly 22,000 square-feet of meeting space that can accommodate gatherings of various sizes.
Recently, FCA has opened the facility’s doors to certain events. Now, we are finally getting a look at the new Conner Center.
A lot of people were concerned about what would happen to the displays and memorabilia at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum after it closed it’s doors, we are happy say that most of it is at the new Conner Center facility. Pictures, banners, historical markers for the vehicles that once were showcased at the Chrysler Museum have made it to the new site.
While the Walter P. Chrysler Museum had three levels to admire Mopars of the past, Conner Center features everything on one level and in a very open area. This allows for better admiring of those historical vehicles of the past. Conner Center also has the ability to have more space to showcase some of the bigger vehicles in the collection, which haven’t been seen by the public in many years. Vehicles like the 1938 Dodge Airflow Texaco tanker truck.
Even though Conner Center has been housing special events in the past couple of months, it isn’t opened to public just yet. However, FCA has mentioned that Conner Center could be opened to the public at a later date. Until then, enjoy the pictures below of the historical collection of vehicles new home.
Conner Center Image Gallery: