The Kokomo Automotive Museum is the culmination of the long term dream of the Pioneer Auto Club. The Club, begun in 1951,worked to preserve collector cars of all types, but members had a special fondness for the locally built Haynes and Apperson automobiles. In 1976, the Haynes Apperson Festival was started as a mechanism for raising funds for a local automotive museum. Through many fits and starts, in 1997 a building became available that could be utilized as a museum. By 1998, the former Big R store had been transformed into the City of Firsts Automotive Heritage Museum thanks to countless hours of volunteer labor donated by the Pioneer Auto Club. Over time, ownership of the property changed hands, ending up as part of Ivy Tech Community College in 2012. Since that time, many changes to the museum have occurred, including the introduction of revolving themed exhibits, the beginning of reorganization into a themed gallery based museum, the creation of a membership program, and the establishment of several annual fundraising events. As the museum looks forward to its 20th anniversary a few years from now, it is clear that the Kokomo Automotive Museum is evolving into a true destination for car lovers from all over the Midwest. .