Museums

Bicester plans to enhance its airfield, historic aviation programs | ClassicCars.com Journal


Bicester
A Blenheim bomber taxis along a grass runway at Bicester | Bicester Heritage photos

Bicester Motion, the former RAF airbase reborn as Bicester Heritage, a major collector car center in England, has set a strategy to enhance its more than 100-year-old former military airfield while promoting historic aviation.

The airfield in Oxfordshire was established in 1917 and has been active since then. Plans include not only powered aircraft but gliding programs as well as new aviation technology and training opportunities.

“We are genuinely excited about the future of aviation here and believe that Bicester Motion can be the driving force behind a rejuvenation of our airfield’s prospects,” chief executive Daniel Geoghegan is quoted in a news release. 

Bicester visitors enjoy an airshow

“Since the departure of the RAF in 1976, the airfield has not been immune from the deterioration and viability issues that have blighted similar sites across the UK. Our plan is to formulate a sustainable approach to enable it to be a positive presence in the flying world.”

“In an era when the viability of historic airfields is increasingly severely challenged, Bicester Motion hopes that the former RAF Bicester will become a rare survivor by promoting the Airfield’s offering as a leisure and amenity resource in the centre of the UK,” Bicester Motion added.

Geoghegan noted that since taking over the site in 2013, Bicester Heritage has reactivated 19 buildings and removed the former airbase from the Historic England’s At-Risk Register, and instead have made it “a national exemplar for constructive conservation.”

That effort now turns to the airfield.

“Once home to a number of significant aircraft, including Blenheims and Spitfires, our aim is for our airfield to once again play its role at the heart of the British aviation community and, ideally, help preserve the skills and training required to maintain these wonderful machines for many generations to come,” Geoghegan added.

Autojumble added to April Scramble

Bicester Heritage’s April Scramble, scheduled for April 26, will add an Autojumble (the British term for a swap meet) to its activities, and camping also will be available for those booking in advance.

Beaulieu adds two more ‘Simply’ events

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, has announced an expansion of its “Simply” car-show series. The additions are Simply BMW on July 19 and Simply British Classics on September 20.

The additions bring to 13 the number of such single or focused marque events on the museum calendar. The museum earlier announced the addition of a Simply Electric show on May 24.

Simply British Classics will be open to pre-1980 vehicles built in England or by a British manufacturer.

The next Simply show is Simply Aston Martin on April 5.

Beaulieu shares its photos

An Austin 7 tips onto 2 wheels at Donington Park in 1933 | National Motor Museum Motoring Picture Library photo

Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu offers more than 120,000 color photos and nearly 1 million black-and-white images dating from the 1880s through its Motoring Picture Library. 

The photo collection was established more than 50 years ago by Edward, Lord Montagu, It also includes nearly a million images that have yet to be digitized. A film library was added in 1979 and now includes nearly 40,000 items. 

BMW Museum doing renovation work

Isetta that smuggled people across the Berlin Wall on display | Museum photo

After attracting a record of more than 600,000 visitors in 2019, the BMW Museum in Munich is spending the first quarter of 2020 doing renovation work, including improvements in lighting to better illuminate exhibits and collections. 

Meanwhile, as new exhibits are being prepared for 2020, the “Freedom with the BMW Isetta” exhibition about escaping from the former East Germany in a secret compartment in a tiny vehicle will continue until March.  

Mercedes Museum celebrates 850,954 visitors in 2019

The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany reports that it has surpassed the 10-million visitor mark thanks to an additional 850,954 visitors in 2019. Of those visitors in 2019, nearly 60 percent came from outside Germany

The museum also reports the success of its lived guided tours on Instagram, with around 350,000 people taking part in two such events in 2019.

Seal Cove can proceed with its suit

Four years ago, the Seal Cove Auto Museum in Maine sued two trustees of the Richard C. Paine Jr. Automobile Collection Charitable Trust in regard to what the museum board saw as exorbitant fees the trustees were paying themselves to the museum’s detriment. The state attorney general joined the museum in its suit, but a court ruled that the museum had no standing in the case and a settlement was reached.

Now, however, the Bangor Daily News reports that the Maine state supreme court has overruled the lower court, allowing the museum to resume its suit. 

The trust owns the cars displayed in the museum. The two trustees had been paying themselves $150,000 each per year as salary, money the museum not only contends is exorbitant but that threatened the trust’s future, and therefore the museum’s as well.

Museums open special exhibitions

Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s creations on display at National Corvette Museum | Museum photo

Several automotive museums have opened special exhibits in recent days. They include “Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection,” which runs through October at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles; “Car-toon Creatures: Kustom Kars & Corvettes, The art & influence of Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth,” which runs through December at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky; and “Ford v Ferrari,” which runs until mid-September at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington.

Meanwhile, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia has extended its ‘Ford v Ferrari’ exhibition through February 16.

Special events this weekend

The Historical Society of Michigan offers several workshops for museums in the coming weeks, starting with “Selling History: Operating a Museum Store,” from 9 a.m. until noon on February 7. The event takes place at the society headquarters in Lansing, Michigan.

It’s a “Hoods Up” weekend February 8-9 at the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island, where the engines on the museum’s cars will be exposed for viewing.

“Dawn of the American Sports Car” is the focus of Demo Day, scheduled from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. February 8 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, where the cars being exercised in the parking lot will include a 1909 American Underslung Traveler, a 1912 National Model 40 Semi-Racing Roadster, a 1912 Hudson Roadster, a 1913 Mercer Raceabout and a 1916 Stutz Series 4C Bearcat.

Charles Nash’s career will be presented in lecture by his great-grandson at AACA Museum | Museum photo

“The Miracle Story of Charles W. Nash” will be presented by James Wheary, Nash’s great-grandson, at 2 p.m. on February 9 at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, continues its winter lecture series February 9 with “The Hackett Automobile Museum – A History” presented by Ted O’Dell, founder of the new automotive museum in Jackson, Michigan.

Mark your calendar

Greg Stacy, marketing director for Saleen Automotive, will be the special guest for the “If Cars Could Talk” program February 11 at  

11:30 a.m. at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington. 

The Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee will offer 2-for-1 admissions as part of its “Date Night” program in February. The museum has designated Thursday evenings in February for its date night promotion, which includes special “Love Potion” scavenger hunts and a “built-for-two” menu in the Motor bar and restaurant.

The Hedkes and their 1964 Studebaker Lark visit LeMay museum | Museum photo

“How to win The Great Race… and stay married!” will be the topic of the day from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on February 13 when Janet and Steve Hedke and their 1964 Studebaker Daytona visit LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington. The Hedkes have competed in The Great Race for more than 20 years “and have managed to keep their cool in doing so,” the museum notes.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento opens its new exhibition, “Reel Cars: The Importance of Cars in Filmmaking,” on February 14.

The North East Motor Sports Museum in Loudon, New Hampshire, kicks off the 2020 racing season February 15 with a Daytona Party that includes slot-car racing and snowcross. The part starts at noon, will show the NASCAR Xfinity 300 on a big screen, and will feature a 60-foot slot-car drag strip, an iRacing simulator, and other events, including the first snowmobile event on the museum’s flat track.

The Harley-Davidson Museum is joining the Milwaukee Art Museum for a special 2-for-1 admission promotion on February 15 and 16. Visit either museum on those dates and your admission ticket also will admit you to the other museum.

Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida, celebrates its 11th anniversary with a car show February 15 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, hosts its annual Pint with the Past fund-raising gala on February 15 from 7 to 10 p.m.

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in northeast Indiana hosts its annual Bootlegger’s Ball on February 15 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The spring lecture series continues at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, on February 15 when George Mooney talks about “Austin Adventures.” Mooney and his wife have traveled the world in their small pre-war cars. The series continues March 21 with Steph Jeavons talks about “Girls on Top” and leading the first all-female motorcycle riding group to the Mount Everest base camp. The series concludes April 18 with Alan Chandler sharing his experience in collecting nearly 4,000 items of Petroliana. 

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in northeast Indiana, with support from the AWS Foundation, will offer an Access Day on February 22 with additional staff and volunteers on hand to provide special programming for people with disabilities and with sensory-related sensitivities. Pre-registration is required and can be done through the museum website.

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, plans at Grand Re-opening Party for February 22 to celebrate its new location.

The finalists for the Dean Batchelor award as book of the year will be featured February 22 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California. The books are The Speed Kings: The Rise and Fall of Motordrome Racing by Don Emde and The Last Shelby Cobra: My Times with Carroll Shelby by Chris Theodore.

Tacoma, Washington, museums including LeMay – America’s Car Museum, plan a special K-12 educator workshop exploring science, technology, engineering, art and math on February 29. 

“Drive the Blues Away” with a “Viva Las Vegas” night March 13 from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington. 

The “Foundations of Photography 2020” series of classes begins March 14 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, where Andrew Taylor will lead the 6-part educational series on photographing the automobile.

The Mustang Owner’s Museum near Charlotte, North Carolina, will host a Ford Spring Garage Sale on March 28.

The Miles Through Time Museum in Clarkesville, Georgia, will stage a grand re-0pening and cruise-in on April 4. 

The Mustang Owner’s Museum near Charlotte, North Carolina, is making plans for National Mustang Day with several days of activities, including a test and tune on April 16, at Mooresville Dragway; a driver’s choice cruise to various NASCAR race shops or to a winery, distillery and brewery before the Mustang Hall of Fame induction on April 17; a “day at the museum” program on April 18; and a cruise to Mustang specialist Innovative Performance Technologies on April 19. Just confirmed will be an appearance by the 1963 Mustang II concept vehicle.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, re-opens its Performance Gallery on April 22. The gallery closed on November 20 for “a much-needed refresh.” 

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com

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custom cars, Hollywood, James Hetfield, Metallica, Museums, Petersen museum, Reclaimed Rust, tom Stahler

Rockin’ the Petersen: James Hetfield’s ‘Reclaimed Rust’ showcases his cars, guitars | ClassicCars.com Journal


James Hetfield chats with Petersen executive director Terry Karges during the unveling of ‘Reclaimed Rust: the james Hetfield Collection.’ Full Gallery Below.

Opening February 1, 2020 in the Bruce Meyer Family Gallery at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, “Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection” celebrates the Metallica frontman’s creativity as a world-renowned artist through his built-from-scratch custom car collection, guitars, photos and memorabilia.

An opening reception was highlighted by a ribbon cutting, a fireside chat with James Hetfield, and an auction featuring two limited-edition ESP guitars.

Hetfield was making his first appearance since entering rehab last September. It was explained to staffers at the Petersen that this grand donation was a part of his “letting go.”
During the fireside chat, Hetfield sang his praises of the museum:“There’s no other place like this. The Petersen is the pinnacle. It’s the best place to have your vehicles. They weren’t doing me much good sitting in my garage. I loved looking at them.

“The best part is they’re all together. I didn’t want to auction them off and go all over the world. It’s a collection. It marks my life.”

Key vehicles on display include the 1948 Jaguar “Black Pearl,” the 1934 Packard “Aquarius,” the 1953 Buick Skylark “Skyscraper,” the 1937 Lincoln Zephyr “VooDoo Priest,” the 1936 Auburn “Slow Burn.” which were designed by famed builder and television personality, Rick Dore, as well as the 1936 Ford “Iron Fist,” the 1937 Ford Coupe “Crimson Ghost,” and the 1932 Ford Roadster “Black Jack.”

Along with the custom vehicles, memorabilia on display includes an ESP Hollow Body guitar and a Mesa-Boogie amplifier painted to match the Buick Skylark “Skyscraper.” There also are images displaying the build process of each car and a video of Hetfield talking about the cars.

‘Reclaimed Rust’ brings together two industries that go hand in hand with artist expression,” said Petersen executive director Terry L. Karges. “This is the first time the Hetfield collection will be showcased to the public and we can’t wait to share the inspiration behind these extraordinary vehicles with the world.”

Without a doubt, cars and music do go together very well. Top-tier donors of the museum include guitar-god Jeff Beck and ZZ-Top frontman Billy Gibbons. Also attending the opening were Hetfield’s Metallica bandmate Robert Trujillo; Van Halen and Sammy Hagar bassist Michael Anthony and Alice in Chains guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell.

Hetfield is a lifelong car enthusiast and views his collection as a form of expression to convey his creativity. Hetfield’s vehicles assert both a reverence for history and a disregard for convention, standing collectively as a testament to the musician’s distinctive personality and artistic energy.

“Reclaimed Rust,” sponsored by ESP Guitar Company, will run through October 2020.

For more information, visit the museum website.

https://www.petersen.org/hetfield

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Museums

Brumos Collection museum opens in Jacksonville | ClassicCars.com Journal


Brumos
Architecturally inspired by the former Ford assembly plant in Jacksonville, Florida, the new Brumos Collection museum celebrates the famous Porsche dealership and houses a collection of cars from three centuries | Brumos Collection photo

Brumos was among the most famous of all Porsche dealerships, known not only for its sales of Porsche cars on Florida’s northeast coast but for the success on the race track of its vehicles, which were driven by the likes of Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood.

In 2015, the dealership was sold to the Field Automotive Group and was rebranded as Porsche Jacksonville. But earlier this week, former Brumos dealer principal Dan Davis brought the Brumos name back as he opened the Brumos Collection, a 35,000-square-foot “interactive museum dedicated to the technology, innovation and historical significance behind some of the world’s finest automobiles.”

The museum revealed that its collection includes the Porsche 917K driven by Steve McQueen in the movie ‘Le Mans’ (above) and the 908 that Jo Siffert and Vic Elford took to victory in the Nurburgring 1,000-kilometer race | vehicle photos by Peter Harholdt

The facility houses more than three dozen racing and collector vehicles, including the 1970 Porsche 917K driven by Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans.

Also revealed as part of the collection was the 1968 Porsche 908 that Jo Siffert and Vic Elford drove to victory in the Nurburgring 1,000-kilometer race. 

But it’s not all Porsches on display. The museum also showcases such vehicles as a 1914 Peugeot L45 racer and a 1923 Miller 122 Grand Prix car driven in European competition by Count Louis Zborowski.

The museum is located in a building designed in the style of the former Ford assembly plant built in Jacksonville in 1924.

This Porsche 997 wears the famed Brunos Porsche racing colors, but there’s more in the collection then just Porsches

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Museums

New exhibits feature James Hetfield customs, Nurburgring ZR1 Corvette and police cars | ClassicCars.com Journal


Petersen
James Hetfield’s Slowburn is a customized 1936 Auburn | Museum photos

“Reclaimed Rust” is the title of an exhibition of custom cars, guitars and memorabilia from the James Hetfield Collection that opens February 1 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Hetfield is co-founder, lead vocalist and songwriter for the heavy-metal band Metallica.

He also is a lifelong car enthusiast.

“Hetfield’s vehicles assert both a reverence for history and a disregard for convention, standing collectively as a testament to the musician’s distinctive personality and artistic energy,” the museum said in its announcement.

Skyscraper is a 1953 Buick Skylark
Voodoo Priest is a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr
Str8edge is a 1956 Ford F-100

Among the vehicles to be displayed include the 1948 Jaguar “Black Pearl,” the 1934 Packard “Aquarius,” the 1953 Buick Skylark “Skyscraper,” the 1937 Lincoln Zephyr “VooDoo Priest,” and the 1936 Auburn “Slow Burn,” all of which were designed by Rick Dore.  

The exhibition also will feature the Buick Skylark “Skyscraper” with an ESP Hollow Body guitar and Mesa amplified painted to match.

“ ‘Reclaimed Rust’ brings together two industries that go hand in hand with artist expression,” Petersen executive director Terry Karges is quoted in the news release. “This is the first time the Hetfield collection will be showcased to the public and we can’t wait to share the inspiration behind these extraordinary vehicles with the world.”

Petersen also opens Italian motorcycle exhibit

This 1971 Ducati Silver Shotgun wears paint that is the name of new exhibit | Museum photo

The Petersen Automotive Museum also has opened “Silver Shotgun: Italian Motorcycle Design of the 1960s and 1970s.”  The name Silver Shotgun comes from the metal-flake paint used on some Ducatis in 1971. The exhibit includes 20 Italian motorcycles and 2 cars. The exhibit runs through February 2021.

“Silver Shotgun explores the relationship between progressive Italian motorcycle design and industrial design, during an era when both industries were concurrently exploding with color, energy and vigor,” Terry Karges, the museum’s executive director, was quoted in a news release.

“When guests walk through the rows of bikes, they will get a sense of the cultural revolutions that were taking place during the 1960s and ’70s that in turn inspired freedom of design across multiple industries.”

Nurburgring ZR1 visits Corvette museum

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 hustles around the Nurburgring | Museum photo

The pre-production 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 that lapped the Nurburgring in Germany in 7 minutes, 4 seconds, is on display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

GM engineer and test driver Jim Mero had been at the famed German raceway and test track in the summer of 2017 doing calibration work for the ZR1’s magnetic ride control. After returning to the U.S., they went to Virginia International Raceway, where they turned a lap more than a second faster than the mark set by Ford and its new GT.

Inspired, the ZR1 team went back to Germany in hopes of becoming the first American car to break the 7-minute mark, only to discover that the track had changed its protocol and that the timed lap would have to be done on cold tires without a warm-up lap. Nonetheless, the car lapped the track in 7:04.

“Chevrolet would never officially release the lap time, however, after retirement, Jim released the unofficial time of 7:04 so that the Corvette community would know what the ZR1 was capable of,” the museum noted 

“Although devastated that he did not break the seven-second mark due to the change in protocol, Jim still believes it is completely obtainable in the ZR1.”

The museum adds that the Nurburing ZR1 will be on display until mid-April.

Police cars at AACA Museum

Pennsylvania state police cars on display | Museum photo

Through May 6, the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, displays “To Protect and Serve: Pennsylvania State Police” exhibit. Featured vehicles include a 1973 Plymouth Fury II, 2011 Ford Crown Victoria and 1989 Harley-Davidson FXRP.

Also displayed are early radar units, scale-model police cars and photos.

The museum’s “Age of Aquarius: Cars of the Counterculture and Beyond” and a special DeSoto display run through April 26. Opening May 23 are “Yeah, It’s Got a Hemi!” “Look… They gave me a Map!” and “Minibike Mania.”

The museum also has elected a new president, Richard Sills, an attorney, car-club member, former president of the Cadillac and LaSalle Club, and active in automotive history groups.

Indy museum reaches Lotus restoration goal

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has achieved its fund-raising goal so it can complete the restoration of the Lotus 29/1 driven by Dan Gurney in 1963. More than 140 people donated the needed $103,000 for the restoration of the No. 93 car, and the museum hopes to unveil the work on the track just before the start of the 2020 Indy 500. 

The museum said it soon will announce another fund-raising effort to provide for the restoration of three “legendary” Indy engines.

Ferrari celebrates its 36 victories at Le Mans

Ferrari museum showcases Le Mans-winning vehicles | Museum photo

The drama of the Oscar-nominated Ford v Ferrari movie came from Goliath finally defeating David in the round-the-clock race in France. Although a small sports car manufacturer when compared with a behemoth automaker such as Ford, Ferrari has recorded 36 victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and they are celebrated in a new exhibition at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy.

Those victories began in 1949 when Luigi Chinetti drove more than 23 of the 24 hours in a 166 MM Barchetta Touring. The most recent victory came in 2019 when Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Daniel Serra posted a class victory in a 488 GTE.

Museum visitors can take the wheel of a 488 GTE and “drive” the Le Mans circuit in a simulator that is part of the exhibition.

Special events this weekend

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia features British cars — a 1927 Bentley 3-Liter Speed, 1934 MG K3 Magnette and 1953 Jaguar C-type — at its England at Le Mans Demo Day from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on January 25.

The AACA Museum will stage a special display through January 26 at the Pennsylvania Auto Show in Harrisburg with a 1917 Pierce-Arrow Model 66, 1951 Buick Roadmaster, 1969 AMX, 1929 Whippet, 1963 Avanti, 1928 Chrysler and 1975 Dodge pickup truck.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, continues its winter lecture series January 26 with “The Ford Model T: How It Changed the World” by automotive historian Don LaCombe.

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will host Bruce Meyer’s All-American Cruise-In celebrating Carroll Shelby and the Ford v Ferrari movie at 8 a.m. on January 26. The car show will be followed by an all-star Shelby panel presentation at 10 a.m.

January 26 will be a Family Sunday at the BMW Museum in Germany, where from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. the museum becomes a MakerSpace with families learning about 3D printing and with children 8-and-older printing 3D pens.

Mark your calendar

The California Agriculture Museum in Woodland offers free admission on February 1.

Ryan ZumMallen will autograph his book Slow Car Fast: The Millennial Mantra Changing Car Culture for Good from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on February 1 at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, continues its winter lecture series February 2 with “Driving Through the Jim Crow Era” with historian John Burton and musician Robin Nott.

“The Miracle Story of Charles W. Nash” will be presented by James Wheary, Nash’s great-grandson, at 2 p.m. on February 9 at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento opens its new exhibition, “Reel Cars: The Importance of Cars in Filmmaking,” on February 14.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, hosts its annual Pint with the Past fund-raising gala on February 15 from 7 to 10 p.m.

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in northeast Indiana hosts its annual Bootlegger’s Ball on February 15 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The spring lecture series continues at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, on February 15 when George Mooney talks about “Austin Adventures.” Mooney and his wife have traveled the world in their small pre-war cars. The series continues March 21 with Steph Jeavons talks about “Girls on Top” and leading the first all-female motorcycle riding group to the Mount Everest base camp. The series concludes April 18 with Alan Chandler sharing his experience in collecting nearly 4,000 items of Petroliana. 

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, plans at Grand Re-opening Party for February 22 to celebrate its new location.

Tacoma, Washington, museums including LeMay – America’s Car Museum, plan a special K-12 educator workshop exploring science, technology, engineering, art and math on February 29. 

“Drive the Blues Away” with a “Viva Las Vegas” night March 13 from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington. 

The Miles Through Time Museum in Clarkesville, Georgia, will stage a grand re-0pening and cruise-in on April 4. 

The Mustang Owner’s Museum near Charlotte, North Carolina, is making plans for National Mustang Day with several days of activities, including a test and tune on April 16, at Mooresville Dragway; a driver’s choice cruise to various NASCAR race shops or to a winery, distillery and brewery before the Mustang Hall of Fame induction on April 17; a “day at the museum” program on April 18; and a cruise to Mustang specialist Innovative Performance Technologies on April 19.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, re-opens its Performance Gallery on April 22. The gallery closed on November 20 for “a much-needed refresh.” 

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com

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Museums

Dale Earnhardt Jr. curates ‘Glory Road’ exhibit at NASCAR Hall of Fame


“Glory Road” has been “a prominent focal point” of the NASCAR Hall of Fame since the facility opened in 2010, and on January 11th that exhibit will be updated by the museum’s first guest-curator, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The exhibit will feature 18 vehicles personally selected by the former NASCAR racing star. 

“We are excited to present some of NASCAR’s most iconic premier series championship cars from the eyes of one of our biggest fans and ambassadors, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.,” Winston Kelley, executive director, is quoted in the announcement.

“I have always been inspired by Dale Jr.’s sincere interest in, and appreciation for, the history of our great sport,” Kelley added. “Having Dale guest curate one of our most recognizable exhibits following his days as a full-time driver has always been one of my personal goals. With so much from which to choose, selecting a theme, and narrowing that theme to 18 cars from a list of 75-100 available cars, is a very tough task. I know I can speak for my fellow NASCAR fans in thanking Dale for once again giving back to the sport he so dearly loves.” 

Earnhardt Jr. will assign new set of cars for ‘Glory Road’ banked track display

“Dale Jr.: Glory Road Champions” will be featured on the facility’s curved-track display space. 

“Having the chance to help choose the cars for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s newest installment of Glory Road was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Earnhardt said. “Everyone knows how much I enjoy learning about the history of our sport and sharing that history with people, and with this, I’m able to play a small role in what we share with fans who visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

“I definitely wanted to represent a broad history of the sport as a whole, so we could also see the progression of the cars. It’s really cool when they’re all there together and you can see all that’s changed in the technology from where we started to where we are today.”

Students create vintage-style advertising art

Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu has a collection of original art used in historic Shell petroleum advertisements. Each year it invites students to visit the museum, examine its car collection and to see the posters and use them to inspire new artwork to be featured in the display. In 2019, those students came from the Oak Lodge School for those with special educational needs.

The high-school age students produced their designs using print, textiles, painting and drawing. School headteacher Sharon Burt noted that the students “worked independently, using new techniques and skills to deliver a very high standard of work that precisely met the criteria of their brief. It was wonderful to see that each student had strong and individual ideas and that that translated into an amazing range of finished posters.”

“The diversity and skill shown in their finished artwork is so impressive and they have brilliantly executed the brief that we gave them,” said Nicky Balfour Penney, manager of the museum’s Shell Heritage Art Collection, which includes advertising posters, original paintings, cartoons and press advertisements, as well as Shell County Guide books. 

Museums seek new leadership, and a mechanic

We reported recently that the Seal Cove Auto Museum in Maine has an opening for a new executive director. So does the San Diego Automotive Museum. 

And The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan, has an opening for a full-time antique vehicles mechanic. 

Special events this weekend

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia opens its Best of Britain 2020 exhibition with a special event at 6 p.m. on January 3. This also is the final weekend for the museum’s Ford v Ferrari exhibition, which closes January 5.

race carsrace cars
The engine in this 1957 Maserati 450S will be exposed on January 3 | Bob Golfen photo

The Legends of Speed exhibition of historic racing cars continues at the Phoenix Art Museum, where from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on January 3, the hoods on the Lancia D24 and Maserati 450 S will be open to showcase the engines in those vehicles.

Mark your calendar

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon hosts the Historic Rally Car Register’s Open Day on January 11 as the HRCR celebrates the 60th anniversary of the RAC’s first use of forest stages. The day at the museum will showcase “how that diversification has led to a full and multi-disciplined sport today” and will feature rally co-driver Mike Broad in a series of forums covering the various aspects of rallying.

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island plans a “Hoods Up” weekend January 11-12 with engines exposed on more than 70 cars.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, has set the schedule for its 7th annual Winter Lecture Series, which begins at 3 p.m. on January 12, with “The Polar Bears of WWI, A Michigan Connection” featuring historian Mike Grobbel. collector Kevin Fleck will present “Cole Motor Company – The Standardized Car” on January 19 and historian Don LaCombe will offer “The Ford Model T, How It Changed the World” on January 26. The series runs through April 26. To see the full schedule, visit the museum website.

LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, offers a brown-bag lunch program, “If Cars Could Talk in 1939,” a presentation by Vic Varkonyi about the state of automotive technology in the pre-war era, beginning January 14 at 11:30 a.m.

On January 18, from noon until 4 p.m., the LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, plans a family pinewood derby car racing program as part of its Steam Day exploring science and math.

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia features British cars — a 1927 Bentley 3-Liter Speed, 1934 MG K3 Magnette, and 1953 Jaguar C-type — at its England at Le Mans Demo Day from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on January 25.

January 26 will be a Family Sunday at the BMW Museum in Germany, where from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. the museum becomes a MakerSpace with families learning about 3D printing and with children 8-and-older printing 3D pens.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, hosts its annual Pint with the Past fund-raising gala on February 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, plans at Grand Re-opening Party for February 22 to celebrate its new location.

Tacoma, Washington, museums including LeMay – America’s Car Museum, plan a special K-12 educator workshop exploring science, technology, engineering, art and math on February 29. 

“Drive the Blues Away” with a “Viva Las Vegas” night March 13 from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington. 

The Mustang Owner’s Museum near Charlotte, North Carolina, is making plans for National Mustang Day with several days of activities, including a test and tune on April 16, at Mooresville Dragway; a driver’s choice cruise to various NASCAR race shops or to a winery, distillery and brewery before the Mustang Hall of Fame induction on April 17; a “day at the museum” program on April 18; and a cruise to Mustang specialist Innovative Performance Technologies on April 19.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, re-opens its Performance Gallery on April 22. The gallery closed on November 20 for “a much-needed refresh.” 

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com

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Museums

Alvis automobiles are subject of Loumann Museum exhibition


Running until February 2, 2020, the acclaimed Loumann Museum in The Hague, Netherlands, presents an exhibition of 17 Alvis vehicles in a celebration of the automaker’s centennial in partnership with Alvis Owners Club Nederland.

“Alvis is well known as an English manufacturer of high-quality cars that introduced a number of important innovations that are still used in the automotive industry,” the museum said as it prepared for the exhibition opening. “The exhibition gives an overview of the most important models, most of them with traditional English coachwork.”

Alvis was founded in 1919 in Coventry by engineer Thomas George John to produce engines, adding its own chassis the following year. 

“These were of high quality and equipped with a 1.5 liter four-cylinder engine with aluminum pistons and pressure lubrication, an advanced feature at the time,” the museum noted.

“In the 1920s, Alvis played a leading role in the application of front-wheel-drive racing cars that raced at Brooklands, Le Mans and in the Tourist Trophy. The experience gained in racing led Alvis to introduce the world’s first front-wheel drive production car in 1928.”

Alvis introduced the first fully synchronized gearbox in a production car in 1933 and a year later launched a car with independent front suspension.

Alvis produced aircraft engines and military vehicles during World War II; its factory was destroyed by German bombers in 1940. The company resumed automobile production after the war, ending production in 1967.

Museum archives available online

Archivist Katie Finn shares British museum’s collection | Museum photo

The British Motor Museum Archive has opened its “Archives Revealed” project featuring an online catalog of “The Art of Selling” collection of sales and press materials from British Leyland and its competitors. 

The museum said a grant received in the summer of 2018 enabled the employment of archivist Katie Finn to work on the project with a group of volunteers, sorting through nearly 16,500 items so far, with another 5,000 to be added in 2020.

“This wide-ranging collection includes everything from original drafts of press releases on a new vehicle, to the marketing and selling of a car along with maps, posters, dealer information and much more,” Charlotte Gallant, archivist for the museum, is quoted in a news release. “The culmination of this project will be that this once inaccessible collection is opened up to the widest possible audience. and we hope the public will enjoy seeing the collection for the first time.”

The collection can be seen via the National Archives database “Discovery” at www.discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. The material also can be viewed in person by making an appointment at the museum’s Reading Room in Gaydon, UK. For more information, visit the museum’s archive website.

Petersen offers kid-friendly holiday events

Scott Dixon race car ready for photo opps | Museum photos

With schools on holiday recess, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles has set extended hours and features new exhibits and educational programing through January 12, 2019. 

New exhibits include three all-electric vehicle displays, and there are special hands-on, car-science activities in the Rob and Melani Walton Discovery Center.  

For more details, visit the museum website.

Exhibits in Petersen’s Discover Center, Museum photo by David Zaitz

Gilmore adds up 2019 numbers

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, has done the math and reports that in 2019 the various car shows staged on its campus drew 70,000 visitors, and that more than 6,000 students from kindergarten through high school took advantage of free tours and other programs, including internships and hands-on mentoring in the museum’s restoration workshop.

Special events this weekend

The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Daytona Beach, Florida, hosts speed-record holder Danny Thompson from 6 to 8 p.m. on December 28.

Mark your calendar

Wendy’s Twinkle at the Track, the special 2-mile, drive-thru holiday lights display at the National Corvette Museum’s NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, will be open to bicycle riders from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on January 1, 2020.

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia opens its Best of Britain 2020 exhibition with a special event at 6 p.m. on January 3.

An update of the “Glory Road” exhibit, guest-curated by Dale Earnhardt Jr., opens January 11 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon hosts the Historic Rally Car Register’s Open Day on January 11, 2020, as the HRCR celebrates the 60th anniversary of the RAC’s first use of forest stages. The day at the museum will showcase “how that diversification has led to a full and multi-disciplined sport today” and will feature rally co-driver Mike Broad in a series of forums covering the various aspects of rallying.

January 26, 2020, will be a Family Sunday at the BMW Museum in Germany, where from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. the museum becomes a MakerSpace with families learning about 3D printing and with children 8-and-older printing 3D pens.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, hosts its annual Pint with the Past fund-raising gala on February 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, plans at Grand Re-opening Party for February 22 to celebrate its new location.

The Mustang Owner’s Museum near Charlotte, North Carolina, is making plans for National Mustang Day with several days of activities, including a test and tune on April 16, 2020, at Mooresville Dragway; a driver’s choice cruise to various NASCAR race shops or to a winery, distillery and brewery before the Mustang Hall of Fame induction on April 17; a “day at the museum” program on April 18; a cruise to Mustang specialist Innovative Performance Technologies on April 19.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, re-opens its Performance Gallery on April 22, 2020. The gallery closed on November 20 for “a much-needed refresh.” 

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com

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Museums

A visit to the British Motor Museum


“Making success of a business venture- that was my original aim in life.”
– William Lyons

Every year I make the 11-hour journey to the UK to visit my grandson Ash for his birthday. I also arrange a car story to appease my automotive passion. This year that story involved a visit to the fabulous British Motor Museum, which is located northeast of London on Banbury Road in Gaydon, Warwickshire. 

The spectacular art deco buildings sit on 65 acres of lush countryside grounds and provides exhibition and storage space for over 300 classic cars and archives of over 2 million photographs, business records, brochures and drawings. 

The British Motor Museum is northeast of London in Gaydon, Warwickshire

Steven Laing, the curator of the museum for the past 25 years explains”, “The museum is a private independent collection of British cars run by a trust. 

In the early 1970s, when British Leland was first formed, they grouped together all of the collections of classic cars and set up a specific collection and that kind of grew and became a formalized collection, so the trust (the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust) itself started in 1983. 

“In the early 1990s we had the first Heritage Motor Museums in London.”

Being one of the largest collections of British cars in the world, owned and managed by the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and the Jaguar Heritage Trust, the array of cars on exhibition, as the museum puts it, “tells the story of the car and the industry that has produced it for more than a century, celebrating the skills and creativity of the people who designed and built them.”

Original William Lyons motorcycle and Swallow sidecar on display

A standout feature in the museum is a display of the achievements of automotive engineers and entrepreneurs like William Morris (Lord Nuffield), who established Morris Motors; Alec Issigonis, who created the Morris Minor and the Mini; and Herbert Austin, who founded Austin Motor Company.

In November 2015, a £1.1 million refurbishment was undertaken and the museum reopened on February 13, 2016, under the British Motor Museum name.

1959 MG EX 179 speed record car

Obviously, British marques are well represented. For example, Land Rover, producer of “Go Anywhere” vehicles originally based on the U.S. Army Jeep. The very first Land Rover from 1948 is on display along with the Range Rover and Rover P5 vehicles used by the British Royal Family.

There is an impressive display of MG’s speed-record cars including MG’s first record breaker, the EX135 which was based on a 1930s K3 racer fitted with a Reid Railton streamlined body for runs at Bonneville in 1952.

As you enter the Collections Centre Building, which is a second structure, the Jaguar story is revealed with the 1925 Brough motorcycle and 1928 Swallow Sidecar with a portrait of William Lyons (founded the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922) and an entire wall of Jaguar race car paintings. 

The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust presents significant historic vehicles including classic Jaguar racing cars,  for example, the XJ13 prototype, and other important models, including the Queen Mother’s 1992 Daimler D5420 Limo.

Technicians in the Restoration Workshop can be observed from an elevated gallery as they maintain the vehicles. 

Last, but not least, there’s the Junction 12 Café for lunch and a wonderful gift shop selling not only the usual museum souvenirs — and such unique items as a Mini “AOK” 16GB USB flash drive in the shape of the first Morris Mini-Minor and designed to celebrate the Mini’s 60th anniversary — but vehicle maintenance charts. 

For more information, visit the museum website.

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