The idea for the Larz Anderson Auto Museum grew out of a Sunday tradition started by wealthy socialites Larz and Isabel Anderson at their Brookline, Massachusetts home. The Andersons would open the doors to their spectacular Carriage House on Sunday afternoons and share their mounting collection of marvelous American and European vehicles with the public.
The Andersons’ collection began with the purchase of their first vehicle, an 1899 Winton 4-hp Runabout. Today this vehicle remains on permanent display in the Museum’s lower gallery. As their interest in the automobile grew, the Andersons continued to purchase and subsequently retire vehicles to the Carriage House all the way up until the passing of Isabel Anderson in 1948. The Andersons purchased an automobile nearly every year, acquiring a total of thirty-two brand new motorcars during the course of their lives. Fourteen of these vehicles and many of the Andersons’ original horse-drawn carriages remain in the Museum’s permanent collection.