The Museum has thousands of irreplaceable items in the archives along with 52 vehicles that range from 1886 through 2003.
The R.E. Olds Museum was incorporated in 1977 on the incentive of a study task force of the Greater Lansing Chamber of Commerce. After site selection and renovation, the Museum opened to the public on May 18, 1981 at its present location.
The Museum is a nonprofit, educational organization governed by a Board of Trustees.
It is dedicated to Ransom Eli Olds, inventor, entrepreneur, and financier, and one of Lansing’s most notable automotive leaders. He created the principle of the assembly line in the automobile industry and founded two local automobile companies: Olds Motor Works (1897) and REO Motor Car Company (1904).
As the Museum has grown in interpretation of its mission, and to more accurately promote Lansing area’s many contributions in transportation, the word “Transportation” was added to the Museum’s name in 1987.
The Museum exhibits a significant collection of automobiles, engines, and other materials significant to the transportation history of Lansing, the region, the state and the nation. The R.E. Olds Transportation Museum and the Bates and Edmonds Engine Company offices are resources within the Lansing Stewardship Community of Motor-Cities-National Heritage Area, a cultural heritage area and affiliate of the National Parks Service.
Currently, the REOTM and its surrounding land are leased from the City of Lansing.
The R.E. Olds Transportation Museum has outgrown its current building. The Museum cannot remain on the current site to expand its facility and services because it is located in the 100-year flood plain and the floodway. Currently REOTM is looking into other sites around the Lansing area to construct a new, larger facility.