Chicago to get new auto museum

By Joe Bortz

When I was 15 years old  I was very proud of the fact that people took me for 18, I felt that it had its advantages and allowed me to do things that required you to be 18 years old — like impressing the girls with my maturity. When you are younger you want to be older and of course when the years are creeping up you want to be younger.

Larry Klairmont is 84 now. He’s a legend in Chicago real estate, a former marine and now one of Chicago’s biggest car collectors. Klairmont has not only developed a collection of 350 cars in less than three years, he is now managing to put this collection into a 125,000-square foot building and turn it into what soon will be Chicago’s most significant car museum. The museum will open in September, with well over 300 cars will be on display, along with airplanes hanging from the ceiling, motor scooters, motorbikes and a fantastic train layout that came from the New York’s World Fair in 1964.

Klairmont gets up at 6 a.m. and works until noon in his real estate office and then heads back to his “museum in progress” at 3111 N. Knox, Chicago (just east of Cicero & Belmont). During the annual Lake Forest car show in Lake Forest, Larry showed up on his motorcycle with his girlfriend riding in tow. His greeting to me was, “Hey kid, what you up to?” That is when I realized that 84 years old is very young, and 70 ain’t so bad either.

Starting around September 1, the museum will be open every Sunday it will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and serve as a meeting place for anyone who rides on wheels: Classics, antiques, sports cars, motorcycles and motor scooters. There will be free coffee and donuts every Sunday morning and Klairmont hopes that his museum becomes a regular meeting and hang out place. There is even a dining room that holds 100 people and Klairmont is now working on a separate unit in the building of 40,000 square feet to act as a antique classic and motorcycle sales room.

For more information on the museum, keep checking the pages of Old Cars Weekly, and visit

7 thoughts on “Chicago to get new auto museum

  1. Susanne

    We are visiting Chicago in mid September and we would love to visit the museum! Where can we find more information? We are flying in from Sweden and we do not want to miss it!

  2. michael gonzalez

    This is super cool for chicago! We needed a place like this in chicago a long time ago. I will be visiting this place with my two sons very soon. Thank you, Mr.Klairmont.

  3. Steve Bishop

    I am pleased to hear about this site and look forwrd to seeing it….are the sunday morning still going on ?
    I ave some friends coming in from out of town and would love to see this, are there any other days you are open to see the collection ?

    thanks in advance for your help

    steve b—car guy

  4. Art Lorenz

    Am very disappointed that the facility will only be open on Sunday mornings. Thus time block is right in the middle of most Church services and I am a member of our Church choir here in Palos Park. This then knocks me completely out of visiting the museum.


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