Illinois Auto Museum set to reopen in May, including ‘monumental’ Jurassic Gardens


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VOLO – While the pandemic was ranging, Volo Auto Museum was quietly investing, undergoing a vast expansion that is set to emerge from a long hibernation this spring.

“Opening day is set for May 14, rain or shine, as long as the region is in Coronavirus Response Phase 4 or better.” Museum representatives said on their website Tuesday. “Among the monumental upgrades taking root here since March 2020 has been an indoor Jurassic Gardens adventure featuring several dozen lifelike — and many life-size — animatronic dinosaurs, plus a gift shop, arcade, fossil dig and “lab.””

As part of the diversification efforts, the museum recently added over 60 acres of adjacent land for expanded train tours and future outdoor related events.

Museum Director Brian Grams recently described the expansion as ‘a multimillion-dollar investment’ which also includes a renovated ticket system for shorter wait times for guests, a 1920s carousel and music machine hall.

The museum itself is over 28,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, including cars famous for appearances in TV and films.

“To pay for all of the improvements we have been making while we have been closed,” Grams said, “we are going to be parting with some film-car collector gold.”

Among some of the cars to be sold in upcoming eBay auctions by the Museum include a 1963 Corvette Grand Sport replica used in “Fast 5”, a screen-used 1966 Ferrari from “Ford v Ferrari” and a 1981 Cadillac hearse ordered by Sony to promote the 2016 “Ghostbusters” movie that featured Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon.

A Promotional Car built by Casey Productions for the release of the 2016 Ghostbusters movie. [Photo: Volo Auto Museum]

“These are some incredible collector pieces for the right buyers,” Grams said. The auctions will go live and run from April 14th to the 21st.

The Volo Antique Malls and Auto Sales Department have remain open for visitors while the museum remains closed until spring.

For more info, visit or follow them on Facebook.

Shane Saathoff
Shane Saathoff
An active writer for two decades, Shane's focuses on local news and events throughout the area, Shane is an active historian, science nerd, and tech geek. Shane is a native of Bourbonnais, IL, and alumni of Olivet Nazarene University.


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