Last night I attended an industry event at Klairmont Kollections, a car museum west of the Kennedy and just off Belmont and wow! What an amazing museum of 300+ cars plus watches, motorcycles and scooters, micro cars, and a vintage model train set!
The cars are owned by Larry Klairmont, founder of Imperial Realty in Chicago, the company he started 50+ years ago. While Larry has owned these cars for many years, the museum was the idea of his partner and fiancé, Joyce Oberlander. The two of them are very energetic in describing the collection including details and stories of each car. In addition to the collection, they also are also preparing to open an entertainment space for corporate, family, and fund raising groups interested in a truly unique experience! And, unlike so many destinations in Chicago, there is a huge FREE parking lot in front of the museum! It’s especially easy for those of you coming from the suburbs. From the north, just exit at Kimball and turn right on Belmont and left on Knox. There is a Belmont exit from the south.
The museum includes rooms dedicated to time periods of cars, and in several rooms, sections for marques like Cadillac and Rolls Royce. Don’t miss the replica of the original Route 66 Cucamonga Service Station, one of the last few on the famous route. This room also includes a WWII German fighter plane hanging from the ceiling.
There are are interesting collections for everyone here including a room with ship models, a room dedicated to the ship Titanic, a replica of Chicago’s famous Hot Doug’s hot dog stand, and a room with hundreds of watches of all types.
This is an amazing place for car nuts like me as as well as those with fond memories of high school days when they first learned how to drive. You’ll find it all at Klairmont Kollections.
The huge back room includes a collection of Rolls Royce models, including one covered in Swarovski crystal, and a reproduction of the Batmobile that shoots flames out of the back. You can also browse through a variety of crazy custom cars and rods, including those from the ’50s and ’60s. Some might remember the Ford Fairlane Skyliner with the retractable roof – there’s one here.
Interested in race cars? The second floor includes classic race cars, a collection micro cars, and European cars including a 1936 BMW convertible and several British sports cars.
This is a unique destination worth the drive from the suburbs or downtown Chicago. Currently, it is open on Thursdays and Saturdays but I understand they may be planning to open more days. They also encourage those interested in viewing the collection to call even on days when they aren’t officially open. You might just get the chance to get a tour from Larry or Joyce (except in the cold winter months). Regardless of the time of year, the museum is staffed on most days.
3111 N. Knox Street