Skip to Main Content

Art car on display.

Art Car Museum

Field review by the editors.

Houston, Texas

Art Cars are, plainly enough, cars turned into works of art. The movement began in the mid-1980s when The Orange Show, another oddball Houston attraction, commissioned a "Fruitmobile." Now Houston is the site of the annual and popular Art Car Weekend, attracting artistically-augmented, freak cars from across the U.S. Some artists get so carried away gluing baubles and bric-a-brac all over their old Fords and Cadillacs that the suspension and tires can no longer carry the weight, and the driver can no longer see to drive. But, hey, it's art.

Arty view of an art car art detail.

The museum has been in a warehouse district here since the late 1990s. Its scrap metal and chrome exterior -- a building that rips off car design -- is meant to thumb its nose at skyscrapers that rip off car design. The distinctive chrome dome has given the place its nickname, "The Garage Mahal."

Is it possible that Art car people take themselves a little too seriously for a medium that involves turning cars into giant shoes and bugs? According to its literature, "The museum celebrates the spirit of this post-modern age of car-culture, in which individuals have remolded the factory-model sameness of their automobiles to the specifications of their own idiosyncratic images and visions." Yeah, yeah -- show us the bunny car!

For all of its pretense, this is a small museum with space to exhibit only a few cars at a time. It is made even smaller because it exhibits other kinds of art installations and photographs as well. This is one museum that perhaps needs to be two.

Art Car Museum

140 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX
Northwest side of downtown, in a warehouse district. The Museum is just south of the I-10 exit at Heights Blvd. On the northbound side, just before the railroad tracks and Washington Ave.
W-Su 11 am - 6 pm. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Howard Hughes Grave SiteHoward Hughes Grave Site, Houston, TX - < 1 mi.
Big Metal BulldogBig Metal Bulldog, Houston, TX - 2 mi.
Temple-Like Half-Underground ReservoirTemple-Like Half-Underground Reservoir, Houston, TX - 1 mi.
In the region:
170-Foot-Tall Cross, Houston, TX - 16 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Texas

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Texas.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Texas Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

The Troll Hole, Alliance, Ohio (Sep 25-Oct 1, 2023)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings