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Volo Auto Museum delays reopening

Cynthia Wolf Posted on 2020-07-10

Volo Auto Museum delays reopening

Grams family focuses on enhancements, visitor experience

VOLO — The wait will be worth it.

That is the promise of Volo Auto Museum owners, who’ve chosen to focus on ongoing improvements rather than reopening amidst restrictions that would diminish the guest experience.

Brian Grams, director of the museum at 27582 Volo Village Road, noted that several fans have reminded him that Phase 4 of Illinois’ pandemic-prompted Restore Illinois plan allows museums to reopen.

“Some folks have let us know they are pretty unhappy that we’re not reopened,” Grams said. “It’s not because we don’t miss everyone.”

The restrictions Phase 4 entails would prohibit some of the very moments that set the Volo Auto Museum apart, such as train tours, visitors congregating around an ever-expanding array of animatronics shows, children boarding vintage kiddy rides, or kids crowding around princesses and superheroes during special events.

Although the museum’s reopening is, at this point, unlikely until Illinois enters Phase 5, patience will be rewarded, Grams said.

Since the museum closed in March, crews have been hard at work making sweeping improvements.

“If you thought this place was amazing before, you won’t believe your eyes the next time you see it,” Grams said. “And if you’ve never been here, you’ll be in for an even more jaw-dropping treat.”

A Jurassic Gardens indoor dinosaur park is under construction in the old Mercantile Mall building just south of what used to be the main museum entrance.

New movie-car exhibits have been added, including the “Ford v Ferrari” GT and the family truckster from “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” A renovated entryway will reduce ticketing line wait times on busier days. An improved traffic flow is in place throughout the complex. Bathroom facilities have been renovated.

Monster truck rides and a train tour through an outdoor Ice Age exhibit are planned. The museum’s century-old Herschell carousel, fully restored, will carry happy horseback riders as it twirls, its organ music pumping.

The Grams family also has added 60 acres to the property, which now extends north to the intersection of Route 12 and Fox Lake Road.

“We’ll have more options to add future car shows and other events,” Grams said. “Those who love us for our amazing classic and muscle car collection — that’s not going away by any means. In fact, that’s expanding too.”

By reopening day, there’s sure to be even more.

But for now ...

“Please be patient,” Grams said. “The wait will be worth it.”

For other information, call 815-385-3644, visit or find Volo Auto Museum on Facebook.


The family truckster from "National Lampoon's Vacation" is seen in the background as Volo Auto Museum Director Brian Grams talks about new exhibit installations and other work under way at the Volo Auto Museum while it is closed. The Grams family has elected not to reopen the museum under current Phase 4 restrictions.


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