May. 14, 2012 at 10:34amCarroll Shelby, 1923-2012... A Personal Short Story

ShelbyYes, he was a snake oil salesman... and a flim-flam man and, from time to time from what I've read and been told, an olympic class truth stretcher. But he was also an "American Original"... an irrepressible individualist... an unapologetic iconoclast... a man with no use for focus groups and market research. Carroll Shelby probably would never have made it in today's mamby-pamby, hyper-sensitive and over-regulated market place... but if anybody could, my chips would be on him.

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Mar. 12, 2012 at 6:30pmA Piece of American History Uncovered

Researching the cars here at ACM often reminds me of genealogy research, where you look at people’s ancestry, birth date, marital status, immigration, residence, military, professional, fame/infamy, and, finally, death records. Similarly, vehicles have very comparable records, a birth date, place they were created, licensing history and, perhaps, histories of being moved from state to state. There are records showing ownership changes and whether the car has been restored. The titles are just like our own birth records and can tell us volumes concerning past ownership.Simplex badge

While researching the records for ACM’s 1917 Crane Simplex Chassis No. 2358, I found a small reference that the car had possibly been owned by the J.D. Rockefeller Family. John D. Rockefeller founded and built the Standard Oil Company empire in the late 19th century, eventually becoming one of the most prominent and wealthiest men in the country, so it was likely this fine luxury automobile built in New York might have been in his stable.

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Jan. 18, 2012 at 12:09pmTo Craft the Finest Automobiles in America

The 1956 Continental Mark II

"To craft the finest automobiles in America" - was the motto of short-lived Continental Division of Ford Motor Company, and during its two year production run, the division produced the Continental Mark II series.
Boone Continental 1

Our newest addition to the collection is this 1956 Continental Mark II, donated to America’s Car Museum by Steve Boone, owner of Northwest Harley Davidson in Lacy, WA. Steve, who has been a tireless LeMay- America's Car Museum supporter, is a member of the Museum's Board of Directors and the Chairperson of ACM’s Collection Committee.

The Mark II is a beautiful display example of Ford’s forward thinking in engineering design and attention to quality. When Steve acquired the car he said it caught his eye for its sleek look and luxury interior. “I thought it was just a beautiful car!”, Steve tells us.

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Jan. 11, 2012 at 4:47pmAvanti Rescue Update-Green Sparkle Gone!

After 40 years, the First Avanti is no longer Green Sparkle and is on its way back to its original Avanti White.

Over the past couple of months, ACM’s Avanti has undergone some major changes and our monthly updates on the ACM’s Collection pages have been showcasing the recent progress. The car has been completely stripped by our all-volunteer rescue team in Bellingham, Washington, under the direction of James Bell of the Bell Studebaker Museum. In final preparation for paint removal, James and his crew cleared out everything under the car-- the driveline, brake and fuel lines, exhaust, etc. so they wouldn’t be in the way of soda blasting the frame. The volunteer crew, who are all members of the Whatcom County chapter of the Studebaker Driver’s Club, have meticulously dismantled the car taking care to label and bag all parts. The rear end was swapped out with a temporary one and the refreshed rear-end, new leaf springs plus suspension from the A-arms out in front will be replaced once the car has returned for re-assembly.
Read More --->

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Dec. 28, 2011 at 5:14pmBeautiful Bullet Nose Coupe

1951 Studebaker Champion Starlight

America's Car Museum received an extra special gift in our stocking this year from Dick Hannah of Vancouver Washington. This 1951 Studebaker Champion Starlight Coupe was lovingly restored by Dick Hannah Dealerships (under Mr. Hannah's direction) in 2009 and was frequently on display at the dealership's showroom.

Studebaker's design team created the Starlight under the direction of  legendary Raymond Loewy and final designs were executed by Virgil Exner.  The daring 1950-51 Bullet-nose Studebaker has become one of the most iconic American automotive designs.
Hannah 51 Stude

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Nov. 16, 2011 at 2:12pmHot Rod Shop Deuce Delivery

1932 Ford Sedan Delivery

Greenfield Deuce
...is our newest addition to the collection generously donated to America's Car Museum by Gerald Greenfield and Family, of Lake Tapps, Washington.

By 1931 sales of the aging Model A were plummeting. Ford knew that they needed a modern design to revitalize the company. Working around the clock they designed and built the first economical V-8. The first of what was to become the "Deuce" models rolled off the line in April of 1932. The Sedan Delivery truck was only produced for the last two months of the year and only 402 were built making it one of the rarest Fords of all time.

This car's story has been featured in the June, 2009 edition of Rod and Custom Magazine, CarTech's America's Coolest Rides Station Wagons, and has won many awards including the 2011 Goodguys Pacific NW Best Commercial entry.

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Nov. 7, 2011 at 3:56pmMove to the New Museum...One car at a time!

Car move truck1After two years preparing the collection for our new museum, it was finally time to move from Collection Management’s temporary home in Fife to our new 165,000 square foot building in Tacoma! 

Our first day of car moves into the museum was primarily all of the pre-war vehicles we had ready and waiting at our warehouse.  I selected these cars because many are open cars with delicate interiors and exteriors, and it was looking like our first day was going to be excellent weather for moving them safely.

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Nov. 4, 2011 at 5:15pmACM Volunteers Make Things Happen!

SIAS_1Without the skilled and tireless efforts of our dedicated team of volunteers, we would not have been able to transfer operations from the temporary headquarters in Fife to the new Museum campus nearly as quickly or smoothly. Working in two teams of four to six people each, our volunteers helped with the office move and both days dedicated to moving vehicles. Judging from the smiles on the faces of the volunteers in these photos, it's safe to say the effort, though hard, was also a lot of fun.

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Aug. 25, 2011 at 2:31pmA “Slice of History” on Auction at LeMay– AMERICA’S CAR MUSEUM Hard Hat & High Heels Gala

Hard Hat & High Heels attendees will have the unique opportunity to bid on a painting of the gala’s “Guest of Honor,” a 1927 LaSalle. Tacoma artist Carolyn Burt’s painting of the Museum’s Mille Miglia conquering car will be one of many items and experiences on auction at the September 24th event.

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Aug. 2, 2011 at 2:56pmOldsmobile Down Under

Car collectors are the same world over.

Recently, I was contacted by the son of Mr. Peter Gifford of Dunlop Australia who restored ACM’s 1926 Oldsmobile Holden 4 door touring car in the late 1970’s. After several fun email exchanges between son Michael and Peter’s wife Connie, I received a package in the mail with photographs of the car’s restoration, along with documents, and the Canberra collector license plate which was on the car in many of the photos included with the package.

The following letter from Mr. Gifford was enclosed:

“Six months ago an old friend rang me and said he had seen the car in a museum in America. This of course started my son Michael tracking this information until finally locating it. It is a credit to those people who have owned the Olds since I sold it in 1981 to Darrell Cawthorn in Sydney.

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Plenty more in the Archives