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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Jul. 8, 2011 at 3:03pmTwo can’t-be-missed” events are on tap at America’s Car Museum…

Two can’t-be-missed” events are on tap at America’s Car Museum…

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Jun. 15, 2011 at 4:01pmStudents with an Eye on Cars

Since LeMay-America’s Car Museum’s collection spans over 100 years of automotive history, we offer unique opportunities to introduce students to various educational activities that are designed to enhance a student's experiences with this important part of our American heritage.  Education has been (and will always be) a key component to the museum's interests.

During the summers of 2010 and 2011, the 'Coffee Cruise-in Open House', events held at our Fife headquarters, allowed members of the Fife High School Key Club to have a chance to participate as judges for something we call the “Favorite Three” pick of the morning. The goal is to expose the students to the sport of car collecting.

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May. 10, 2011 at 1:37pm1962 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia: Think of it as a Timex movement inside a Rolex case

This post comes from our own Autobiography article of OpenRoad; our quarterly publication for members. If you would like to receive this award winning publication, sign up to become a member today! Otherwise, you can download the full article from OpenRoad, here.

Karmann 2

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Apr. 21, 2011 at 11:43amIntroducing: The Avanti #1001 Rescue Project

ACM has launched the "Avanti #1001 Rescue Project" to restore our 1963 Studebaker Avanti (which is #1001/body 101), the first production Avanti in America.  If funds can be generated, the museum will cosmetically restore the car to display condition and complete a full mechanical restoration on the world’s first production Avanti.

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Apr. 18, 2011 at 2:27pmThe Fabulous Wailer Mobile - In Memory of Ken Morrill

In 2010, Tacoma's homegrown musical heroes, The Fabulous Wailers, generously donated their beloved “Wailer Mobile”,  a 1976 Cadillac 4 door Brougham, to LeMay- America's Car Museum.

Wailer visit

Last month, founding Wailers Kent Morrill and bassist Buck Ormsby dropped by to see the car.

The LeMay Museum is very sad to announce that on Friday, April 15th, 2011, Kent Merrill succumbed to the cancer he had bravely battled for the last four years. Kent was 70 years old. He and his wife Toni had six children together, and were grandparents to twelve grandchildren.

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Mar. 11, 2011 at 5:27pmCollection Management Volunteer Staff is Shifting into Top Gear

Anticipating the completion and move into the new LeMay-America’s Car Museum building and the exhibits for the Harold E. LeMay Exhibit (including, as well, all other Americas Car Museum Exhibits), the museums vehicles have been going through several levels of conservation and careful display preparation. Cars, trucks and motorcycles will need to be fully assessed, cleaned, dressed and conserved. Much of this work is being accomplished through the generous support of our museum volunteer staff.

Recently, two volunteer staff training classes were conducted on Vehicle Assessment and Vehicle Detailing. Attending the Vehicle Assessment class were twelve volunteers, conducted within the Museums facility at Fife by the Director of Collections, Renee Crist. This class covered processes concerning vehicle authentication, research, and display assessment. Using all of the information gathered in this process, the Collection Management team can better plan for a cars preservation and conservation needs.


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Feb. 22, 2011 at 3:40pmStrictly Continental

1942 Lincoln The first Continental was a customized Lincoln Zephyr built in 1939, at the request of Ford Motor Company President Edsel Ford.  The car was built to be for his use at his vacation home in Palm Beach Florida. As the story goes, upon returning from a trip to Europe, Edsel went to the Ford Company’s head designer, Bob Gregorie and asked him to build a “strictly continental” car for his personal use.


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Feb. 11, 2011 at 4:04pmWhat's with the flames?

In answer to the first question, I can say without the slightest hesitation or equivocation, I have absolutely no idea and neither does anyone else. As for their meaning, the answer is both obvious"they look cool"and a bit more complex, involving how we, as human beings, are  visually and emotionally hard-wired.

Download a copy of this article here.

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Feb. 8, 2011 at 4:42pmHow’s this for a birthday gift: Two Chrisman dragsters donated to NHRA on its 60th

This post comes from Hemmings Blog:

What do you get for the 60th anniversary of the organization that’s done the most to legitimize and foster the growth of the sport of drag racing? How about a couple of dragsters?


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Feb. 4, 2011 at 5:02pmKeeping your Collector Car Safe

BASIC GARAGE SAFETY

HagertysExcerpt from Hagerty.com "Protect Your Car" collector car brochure.


Although earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods all bring different hazards, some of the basic precautions are the same.
For starters, it’s a good idea to make sure your garage is in good shape. Is the roof and siding sound, are the windows fully glazed and well caulked, and are the gutters and roof free of debris? While you’re checking, be sure to trim shrubbery or branches and tree limbs that overhang the garage or could brush against the building in a high wind. Not only will your garage and home be safer, it will look better. Also make sure that any outside doors have deadbolts, which not only protect against intruders, but keep high winds or flying objects from knocking them open. As an extra precaution, make sure your house number can be easily seen from the street to ensure that emergency help can find you quickly.

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Feb. 3, 2011 at 11:11amShow Season Spotlight: Amelia Island

This blog post comes from Hemmings blog:

With the new year well under way, chances are a number of you are already putting together a list of potential must-attend 2011 events. Here’s one you can add to that list: the 16th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. One aspect of this year’s event is a display celebrating the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet, which will include an appearance by the famed 1955 Chevy Biscayne concept car, courtesy of noted collector Joe Bortz; he was also responsible for its painstaking restoration. The functional fiberglass-bodied car was part of the GM Motorama show circuit, and it also doubled as a platform for the debut of the 215hp, 265-cu.in. V-8 engine.


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Jan. 21, 2011 at 10:25amGNRS to feature 75 of the most significant customs

This post comes from Hemmings Blog

The Customs Then and Now exhibit at the Grand National Roadster Show will include Larry Watson’s Thunderbird. It’s a good bet the girl posing with it won’t be there, though.

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Jan. 19, 2011 at 1:15pmTech Tip: Cold Starting Vintage Car

HARD STARTING COLD By Paul Kelly, President Gig Harbor Cruisers Automotive Club

CarbDifficulty starting a vehicle that has been allowed to sit for a number of days (that will then start well the rest of the day) is often caused by modern fuel.  Modern fuel begins to vaporize (evaporate) at a much lower temperature than fuel that was available before the 1970’s. So, once the engine is shut off, the fuel in the carburetor bowl begins to evaporate through the bowl vent. If there is no fuel in the carburetor, the engine will not start.

Pumping the foot-feed during this time simply prolongs the agony, as the accelerator pump will pump the fuel into the engine, but in amounts insufficient for starting.

If you have this problem, try priming the carburetor by using an eyedropper and filling the carburetor bowl through the bowl vent prior to cranking the engine. If you do not wish to prime the engine, crank the engine for 15 to 20 seconds WITHOUT PUMPING. Then stop cranking, pump the foot-feed 3 or 4 times, release it, and then reattempt to start the engine. Priming the carburetor eliminates excessive wear on the starter.

Jan. 17, 2011 at 4:56pmThe Mustang Motorcycle is back!

This comes from Motorcycle Classics blog:

California Scooter Company's new "Classic" was directly inspired by the Mustang, which was built from 1947-1965.


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Jan. 14, 2011 at 5:03pmReno Air Races 2010 – Results and Photo Gallery

This post comes from Sports Car Digest:

The Reno Air Races 2010, also known as the National Championship Air Races, were held September 15-19 at the Reno-Stead Airfield in Nevada.

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Jan. 13, 2011 at 8:44amRetrieving Cars from Impossible Locations: That's what we do here at LeMay!

Bleacher 2For the last 25 years there have been about a dozen 1923 to 1931 cars perched on the bleachers in the old gym at Marymount. Seven of them were cars donated by the LeMay family to the museum. Following a meeting with Doug LeMay, the Museum was given a green light to access the cars provided a ramp could be used rather than a forklift in order to protect the new carpeting in the gym.

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Jan. 12, 2011 at 5:52pmThe 40-MPG diesel-powered Auburns of Clessie Cummins

This blog post comes from Hemmings Blog:

If nobody else, Clessie Cummins had proved to Americans the viability of the diesel engine. Familiar with the Indianapolis 500 since crewing for Ray Harroun in the first such race in 1911, he returned in 1931 with a Duesenberg-built, diesel-powered race car that finished 13th, but managed to not only run the entire race without pitting (averaging 16 MPG), but also be driven to the track and back.


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Jan. 10, 2011 at 3:56pmMicrocars at Mecum, and Other Assorted Imports

January is a busy month with regards to auctions, especially in Scottsdale, Arizona. But just after the clean-up crews have called it a day out west, things start to jump to life in the Orlando region of Florida: Mecum Auctions rolls in to Kissimmee  for their annual event, which runs from January 26-30. We’ve already mentioned the plethora of vintage domestic race cars that’s sprinkled throughout their catalog, but we also took note of a few interesting imports – including a couple of microcars – that deserve equal time.


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Jan. 5, 2011 at 4:45pmCollectors Foundation 2010 Award

Alex McMillanCollectors Foundation 2010 Collections Management Internship Grant Awarded
Alex McMillan
, South Seattle Community College

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Jan. 5, 2011 at 12:16pmThe world’s fastest Healey

This post comes from Hemmings Blog:

From England comes news that the Austin-Healey endurance car  that averaged 148.13 miles per hour over 1,000 kilometers last year is officially in the record books. After 12 months’ deliberation, the Federation Internationale l’Automobile (FIA) and Britain’s Motor Sports Association (MSA) have certified that the car set 17 records, 11 national and 6 international.


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Dec. 10, 2010 at 2:32pm1958 Ford Skyliner Donation

1958 Ford

Recently LeMay-America's Car Museum received a generous donation of a 1958 Ford Skyliner Retractable in restorable condition from Mrs. Barbara Birt. Mrs. Birt informed us that currently the car was not in museum displayable condition but wanted to offer us a car for our vehicle donation program and we could sell the car and the proceeds from the sale would be a donation to the museum.

 

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Dec. 10, 2010 at 1:43pmEl Mirage Conditions Uncooperative but Scooter Land Speed Records Established Anyway

This post comes from Hemmings Blog:

Because of the closure of the El Mirage Dry Lakes by the Bureau of Land Management, the inaugural US Motor Scooter Land Speed Trials had to be relocated to Route 66 in Devore, California, at the 11th hour. The weather was not cooperative there either; that, and the late change in venue probably kept at least half of the potential spectators from attending the event. Not to be defeated, however, the Motor-Scooter International Land-Speed Federation held their land speed trials anyway, and new speed records were established in 16 different classes, with the top speed of 90 MPH turned in by Patrick Owen on a Yamaha TMAX 500cc scooter.


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Dec. 8, 2010 at 2:59pmPearl Harbor and the last 1942 Packard

This article comes from Hemmings Blog:

Today, as I’m sure you’re all aware, marks the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the event that ultimately led the United States into World War II. Coincidentally, while recently browsing the Making of Modern Michigan online photo database, I came across this picture of the last 1942 Packard built before the company switched over its factories to the production of war materiel. The MMM caption for the photo reads


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Dec. 2, 2010 at 2:33pmBruce Larson’s Dragonsnake on the Market

This posting comes from Hemmings blog:

Bruce Larson’s Dragonsnake Cobra – CSX 2093 – will be available for purchase once again. When last we saw it, Mecum Auctions  had it at their annual Kissimmee, Florida, event held in late January. This was back in 2007, and it sold for a whopping $1,417,500 (which included a 5 percent buyer’s premium) – it was the top sale of the auction. Just landing on our desk was news of its impending sale at auction: Mecum at their annual Kissimmee event in January 2011.


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Nov. 29, 2010 at 2:37pm2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Classes Announced

This article comes from Hemmings Blog:

If you’re already looking at the 2011 collector-car calendar, trying to decide which events to attend, organizers of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance  recently announced their 2011 class structure and special features. Topping the list will be a 125th anniversary celebration of the automobile, or more specifically, three classes devoted the

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Nov. 23, 2010 at 2:09pmThe DeLorean Trip

This post comes from Darryl Tinnerstet, Logistics Coordinator for 
LeMay - AMERICA'S CAR MUSEUM

Background: from 1986 through 2004 I operated Specialty Automotive in Olympia, WA, selling new and used DeLorean auto parts worldwide, while also working full time as an engineer.  During that time I restored/refurbished 7 DeLoreans and parted out 6 more.  Over those 18 years of traveling the country buying up dealer parts inventories and restorable cars I naturally had a few interesting adventures.  The following is the second of several true stories from that period.

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Nov. 22, 2010 at 11:18amCoronado Speed Festival 2010 – Results and Photo Gallery

Read the full article at Sports Car Digest:

The Coronado Speed Festival 2010 took place September 25-26 at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California.


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Nov. 19, 2010 at 11:12amLA Show 2010: Porsche's Lighter and More Hardcore Cayman R

This was posted on CarScoop:

Porsche has chosen the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show to unveil its finest version yet of the Cayman sports coupe. The new Cayman R is a stripped-out, lighter and more powerful variant of the mid-engined 'S' model. Porsche says that in its special alphabet, the letter 'R' is for "responsive and refined – but most especially for racy."


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Nov. 18, 2010 at 10:35amNew Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstacy Showroom Statues Now Available

This blog post comes from Hemmings blog:

One of the most recognizable and beloved automotive mascots of all time is Rolls-Royces famed Spirit of Ecstacy. Sculpted in 1911 by Mr. Charles Sykes and reportedly modeled after Ms. Eleanor Thornton, this symbol came to signify Rolls-Royce as much as the automakers neoclassic Pantheon-inspired grille and double-R emblem, all of which are still seen on todays Rolls-Royce automobiles.


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Nov. 16, 2010 at 6:22pm1947 Packard Clipper

Bayley 1947 ClipperThis 1947 Packard Clipper Deluxe Eight sedan is our newest addition to LeMay-America’s Car Museum Collection. The car was donated by Club Auto Member, Christopher Bayley of Seattle. Mr. Bayley states “To me the Dutch Darrin designed Clipper is the most beautiful "modern" Packard. Some of us even think the Silver Cloud I Rolls Royce and comparable Bentley mimicked the look of these cars.”

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Nov. 15, 2010 at 2:04pmAuction Pulse: Russo Relocates

This blog post comes from Hemmings blog:

Last winter is a touchy subject with Russo and Steele  but it’s clearly the reason they’re shifting this January’s operation a mile to the east along Loop 101, to the intersection with Hayden Road. According to the Arizona Republic, the 20-acre public site, also the home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, will feature a paved asphalt pad and, crucially, permanent building “similar to what Gooding and Co. uses.”

Russo and Steele has signed a five-year lease on the site; litigation from the tent collapse is ongoing.

Nov. 11, 2010 at 1:39pmIt’s better in the Bahamas

Read the full post here on Hemmings Blog:

This had to happen at some point. The compass needle of vintage racing was simply bound to swing back toward the Bahamas. That was where the greats of international motorsport held their winter busman’s holiday between 1954 and 1966. To be sure, they raced in exotic rolling stock, but it was just as much a winter party caressed by warm Atlantic breezes.


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Nov. 8, 2010 at 9:25amMotor Racing Legends Historic Support Race at Le Mans 2011

This article comes from ClassicRallies.com

Motor Racing Legends is delighted to announce the return of the Le Mans Legend historic  support race to next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours weekend. For 2011, the race will be for cars that were eligible for Le Mans from 1949 to 1965 – which covers everything from Aston Martin DB2, Austin-Healeys, C-type and D-type Jaguars, right through to the familiar archetypes of the 1960s: front- and mid-engined Ferraris, Morgans and MGBs, plus a vast array of other icons from this evocative era. (To keep the racing close and competitive, however, the grid will not include Ford GT40s.)


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Nov. 5, 2010 at 4:03pmHemmings Find of the Day – 1963 Oldsmobile Starfire

View the entire article at Hemmings Blog:

Where do you pin down a car like this 1963 Oldsmobile Starfire? The jet age connotations were all the rage of the prior decade, and against the muscle cars of the later decade, this Starfire comes off as a little more adult. Instead, it has a style and presence all its own, enhanced by the excellent restoration of this example. From the sellers description:


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Nov. 3, 2010 at 4:03pmGREEN: First Drive: Aptera 2E

The rest of this article can be viewed on the Automobile blog:

Every now and then something weird and wonderful comes our way. The Aptera 2E scores over the top in weirdness and, assuming a number of ifs can be fulfilled, it has the potential to be a wonderful alternative to humdrum automobiles.


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Nov. 2, 2010 at 12:24pm1958 Porsche 356 “Speedster”

Originally posted on ShineySide.net:

No amount of words on paper (or screen) can do this car justice. More than 60 years later, the Porsche 356 design holds it’s own against almost every car built before and since. It’s beautiful in it’s simplicity and incredibly daring in it’s curves. Erwin Komenda should be a household name for those in the auto industry and the 356 should be the reason why.


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Oct. 27, 2010 at 2:05pmForgotten Racing Heroes: Sir Jack Brabham

The name Sir Jack Brabham is very well known among Formula 1 fans, but lately Sir Jack has been fading into the background and we thought we would refresh everyones memories with his mind-boggling accomplishments.

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Oct. 25, 2010 at 9:34amLand-speed scootin at El Mirage

This post comes from Hemmings blog:

So, you think you’re one pretty bad dude riding that Vespa, Kymco or Honda scooter around town, eh? How about putting your bike where your braggadocio is? The first annual Motor-Scooter Land-Speed Trials are taking place on El Mirage Dry Lake on November 21. You have until October 22 to submit your application to enter the event. Bikes ranging from 50-500cc are already entered. Some with sidecars, even some electric scooters will be vying for the title “World’s Fastest Scooter.”


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Oct. 22, 2010 at 10:15amA Fuelish Desire for Straight Gas

This blog post comes from Hemmings Blog:

I never thought very much about ethanol in gasoline until I started messing with old dirt bikes again.

Two of my bikes run poorly on E10 (10 percent ethanol), and I blame the alcohol for making the rubber seals in the tank petcocks so hard theyll barely turn. My lawn mower, my generator, my truck and a small 100cc bike I also own all seem to run okay on E10, but Im still not nuts about burning it. I cant help but think that my two bikes are like the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, foretelling the problems that ethanol can cause in old vehicles.


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Oct. 18, 2010 at 1:46pmPHOTOGRAPHY OF BOB MAGILL | EPIC IMAGES OF AMERICAN MOTORCYCLING

This Web Watch item comes from The Selvedge Yard:

THESE GUYS (EH-HEM, AND GAL) ARE COOL BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT TRYIN’ TO BE– THEY’RE SIMPLY DOIN’ WHAT THEY LOVE TO DO.  RIDIN’.  THESE EPIC SHOTS TAKEN BACK IN THE 1940s – 50s PERFECTLY SHOW THE NATURAL, RAW BEAUTY OF MOTORCYCLING IN ITS PURIST FORM.  THE GEAR IS NO NONSENSE AND RUGGED SPORTSWEAR, AND THE EXPRESSIONS OF GRIT AND JOY ON THEIR FACES ARE PRICELESS– CAPTURED BY THE LEGENDARY MOTORCYCLING PHOTOGRAPHER BOB MAGILL (1917-2005).  RIDIN’ NEVER LOOKED BETTER. ROLLED, WORN DENIM.  ENGINEER BOOTS.  LEATHERS AND GOGGLES AND CAPS– OH, MY.

Oct. 15, 2010 at 2:33pmFantastic rides from the Atlantic side

This blog post comes from Hemmings blog:

Dead stock, blissfully restored or daringly modified, great cars have never exclusively belonged to the West Coast or its legion of writers and shooters. There was, and is, a devoted rod and custom community in the eastern United States. The Saratoga Automobile Museum is giving East Coast rodding history a prime showcase, beginning October 23.


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Oct. 11, 2010 at 11:39amFour-Links – turbine car brochure, BowlMor Cadillac, H-Mod reunion, 1949 Ford intro

Oct. 4, 2010 at 2:05pmJapanese Concept Cars

Japanese Concept Car















* From Pink Tentacle,
a gallery of Japanese concept cars and show cars, most of which you've probably never seen before.

Sep. 30, 2010 at 5:42pmThe Bedroom Car

Background:
From 1986 through 2004 I operated Specialty Automotive in Olympia, WA, selling new and used DeLorean auto parts worldwide, while also working full time as an engineer.  During that time I restored/refurbished 7 DeLoreans and parted out 6 more.  Over those 18 years of traveling the country buying up dealer parts inventories and restorable cars I naturally had a few interesting adventures.  The following is the first of several true stories from that period.

This is one of those stories you hear and say “yeah, right.”  But it’s true and I have the photos to prove it.


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Sep. 28, 2010 at 10:45amGordon v. Gorgoni – postwar streamlined diamonds an ocean apart

This blog post comes from Hemmings Blog:

The years following World War II provided perhaps the greatest experimentation with the automobile since the first couple decades of the Twentieth Century. In those years the microcar became a European staple, the sports car spread to the United States and drivetrains started to move away from the traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layouts. Also in those years, two men" one in California, the other in Italy " introduced streamlined vehicles with diamond-pattern wheel layouts.


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Sep. 27, 2010 at 3:39pm75 Years of Cool Cats

Think of England and several things come to mind. The Queen. Big Ben. Stiff upper lips. And, of course, Jaguar.


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Sep. 24, 2010 at 3:27pmHemmings Find of the Day – 1930 Stutz

This post comes from Hemmings blog:

Looking far more modern than any Stutz I’ve seen "save for perhaps the revival Stutzes of the 1970s" this 1930 Stutz Model M  (the rear of it, at least) appears to come tantalizingly close to the shapes and forms used on the Chrysler Thunderbolt and the myriad other long, low, partially streamlined cars of the late 1930s. From the seller’s description:

   

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Sep. 23, 2010 at 5:08pmDavid Brown's rusty old Aston sells for £200k at auction

This article comes from autoblog.com

How much would you pay for a rusty old car? A couple grand, if it had real potential? More? How about $319,000? That's how much one rusty old Aston Martin recently sold for at auction, and needless to say, it far exceeded pre-auction estimates.

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Sep. 8, 2010 at 10:32amHershey’s Matchbox Toy Show

On Sunday, September 26, the AACA Museum  in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will host an all-Matchbox toy show. The show will be run by the Diecast Exchange, and will focus on the entire history of Matchbox model cars, from the early 1950s up through the present day products. Most of the top Matchbox dealers and collectors from throughout the country will be there displaying and selling some of the rarest Matchbox models ever created.


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Sep. 7, 2010 at 5:13pmLost and Found overflow – Darrin’s Illian and GM proposals

  In the Lost and Found section in the issue of Hemmings Classic Car that should be landing in subscribers’ hands shortly (#74), I included a photo from Guy Cassaday of the full-size prototype of the car that Dutch Darrin designed for Israel-based Illian, a company that previously assembled Kaiser-Frazers there. I also noted that the photo may have been flipped, so I thought I’d also show it the other way ’round, as it was sent to me by former SIA scribe Leon Dixon. Benni Haspel, who lives in Israel, confirmed for me that Israelis have always driven on the right side of the road, which should make this version of the photo the correct one. By the way, does anybody know whatever became of this prototype?

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Sep. 3, 2010 at 12:44pmMagnatude finishes street rod sweep

As far as street rods go, 2010 will be remembered as the year of the Magnatude sweep, now that Jerry Magnuson’s custom-built roadster took all three of the major street rod awards handed out by Goodguys this year, becoming the first street rod ever to accomplish that feat.

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Sep. 3, 2010 at 11:45amFirst Look: 2012 Morgan EvaGT

By Brandon Turkus
August 16, 2010

The Pebble Beach Concours dElegance is one of the most prestigious automotive events of the year, and is drawing the attention of more and more high-end manufacturers. Count Morgan among them, as the company has just debuted the stunning EvaGT 2+2.

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Sep. 2, 2010 at 2:01pm14 Cars Break Million-dollar Mark at RM Monterey Sale

An exquisite 1938 Talbot-Lago T150-C Lago Speciale Teardrop Coupe with coachwork by Figoni et Falaschi, and an exceptional 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta, the fifth of only seven examples built, each sold for $4,620,000 at RM’s Sports & Classics of Monterey Saturday night, leading an impressive group of 14 individual million-dollar-plus sales.

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Aug. 30, 2010 at 12:28pmRare 1948 Streamliner Woodie Station Wagon for Sale

This blog post comes from Classic Rallies.com

Bonhams is delighted to present an extremely rare 1948 Streamliner “Woodie” station wagon, estimated at 55,000 – 75,000, at the sale of Fine Motor Cars and Automobilia at the 'Weekend de l'Excellence Automobile' held on the former site of the French Grand Prix circuit of Reims-Gueux on Saturday 11th September 2010.

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Aug. 26, 2010 at 5:20pmDo you have a Porsche passion?

This article was posted on Hemmings Blog:

Porsche is pulling out all the stops to celebrate its 60 years in the U.S. Last week, the automaker announced its search for the oldest Porsches in the nation. Now, the company is looking for stories from current and past owners of the cars of Zuffenhausen.

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Aug. 25, 2010 at 3:07pmRare motorcycles roar onto the lawn at Pebble Beach

This article comes from Hemmings Blog:

The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance  isn’t just about some of the most beautiful cars ever built or restored; it also celebrates some of the best preserved and rarest motorcycles on the planet. The Concours presented bikes in two different classes this year, Prewar American Road Motorcycles and Prewar American Racing Motorcycles, and our friend and curator of the Wheels Through Time Museum  in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, Dale Walksler, was invited to bring two of his finest examples of early board track racing bikes... 

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Aug. 12, 2010 at 11:02amJay Leno: American Cars Are Poised For A Comeback - Article

This post article was posted on Jay Leno's Garage

After decades of dormancy, American automotive engineering, design and technology are back on the bleeding edge. Jay Leno thinks it's finally time for the resurgence of the Great American Car, not in the form of boring hybrids, but with groundbreaking electrics.

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Aug. 10, 2010 at 3:55pmMurderdrome

This article came from Hemmings Blog:

Albert Shrimp Burns
If you want an outstanding history of early motorcycle  racing in America, you can spend the next few days with Pioneers  of  American  Motorcycle  Racing: Exclusive internet publication about the men who built and rode the first American racing motorcycles between 1900 1933, by Daniel K. Statnekov (including a chapter on Shrimp Burns).

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Aug. 4, 2010 at 2:47pmModel T tank, version 2.0?

This article was posted on Hemmings Blog:

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Aug. 3, 2010 at 9:44amAnother record for Speedweek?

This article was posted on Hemmings Blog:

With 500 pre-entries and more racers expected to show up on the salt, officials from the SCTA-BNI may see a record number of entrants for this year’s 62nd annual Speedweek at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

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Aug. 2, 2010 at 9:43amThe most honest metalworking book in the world

This article was posted on Hemmings Blog:

Perhaps the greatest legacy of the nostalgia rod movement is the torrent of creativity it unleashed upon hot rodding as well as the urge among hot rodders to learn how to cut, shape and weld metal to push the envelope of hot rod styling.


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Jul. 8, 2010 at 1:33pmHealey Rendezvous 2010

Late June, early July saw the bucolic hamlet of Eugene, Oregon experience a British invasion… of the four-wheeled variety… and ACM (in the form of yours truly and wife Denise) was there to record it. Over two hundred Austin-Healey enthusiasts descended on the town as part of “Healey Rendezvous 2010.” Cars ranged from lovable little “Bugeye” Sprites to every iteration of the so-called “big Healey.” A large contingent of rare Nash Healeys also made the trip to Eugene.

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Jun. 20, 2010 at 2:05pmYour Car’s Nickname – A Term of Affection or Derision?

We have a love affair with our cars so it only makes sense that many of us give our vehicles pet names. Several years ago USA TODAY reported on the findings of an AP-AOL Autos poll, which revealed that 20% of all drivers give their cars nicknames. Commonly, the derivation of the name is an obvious reference to the vehicle's color, make, size or some aspect of its reliability or lack thereof. In the latter case, the handle may not be a term of affection, but one of derision.


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Jun. 20, 2010 at 12:15pmHenry Ford and All American Pastimes: Cars and BBQs

As we move into summer, Americans start polishing off the collector car and getting out the BBQ. I never put the two activities together other than they are both favorite summer pastimes, however they are both closely related thanks to Henry Ford.  I found the start of this article in our archives which was submitted by museum volunteer John Austin , who is the former President of the Galloping Gertie Model A Ford Club of Tacoma Washington

Model T’s Ford bodies are composed of a sheet metal skin over a wooden frame. Henry Ford produced over 15 million Model T’s over its 19-year run (1908-1927), and simultaneously produced vast quantities of wood waste.

E.G. Kingsford,  a relative of Mr. Ford who owned a Ford dealership and also happened to be a real estate agent, engineered the purchase of over 313,000 acres of land on the Michigan Upper Peninsula upon which a sawmill and wooden auto parts plant were built in 1920.  Soon after Ford, who was known as a notoriously frugal businessman, partnered with Kingsford and founded the Kingsford Company to reclaim saleable byproducts from the manufacturing  waste.  For every ton of scrap wood produced, this plant was able to extract 610 pounds of charcoal. This charcoal was manufactured into briquettes and sold under the name Ford Charcoal Briquettes. Now a ready source for outdoor cooking, this was the beginning of Americans cooking and barbecuing with charcoal.

Briquettes were re-named Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes (in honor of E.G.) a brand that still exists today. As a result of his entrepreneurial sense, Henry Ford is credited as forming the foundations of two industries both the automobile industry and the charcoal briquette industry.


 

May. 20, 2010 at 1:25pmShow Me The Money: What's My Car Worth?

A classic or collectible car for many of us car collectors is not only like a member of the family, it is also a valuable asset. Looking at Kelly Blue book, NADA classic car pricing or recent auction valuations might give you a good ball-park estimate, but many times for older classics, high performance cars or cars that have been customized, these avenues may not be fully adequate. To protect your assets for “agreed or replacement value” insurance policies, an appraisal by a certified automotive appraiser is the way to go.

I frequently receive calls asking for information on auto appraisers and whom we would recommend for them to contact. Appraising an automobile takes a professional who specializes in your particular era of vehicle. Therefore, it would be difficult for one to recommend an appraiser for all vehicles. I usually recommend contacting verified appraisal organizations, and requesting a list of appraisers in their area.

Always interview potential appraisers before you give one the job. Before you hire an appraiser, ask each of them:

  • About their experience levels. Some appraisers cost more than others, particularly those with expertise in certain types of cars.
  • How long they've been appraising cars.
  • To see examples of their appraisals. You will want to be clear about the level of detail they will give before you hire anyone. I have seen one-sheet appraisals with minimal information and multi-page appraisals with historical research specific to the vehicle included with the appraisal.

Auto Appraisers Group (AAG), headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia is one such source for locating an appraiser qualified to assess the value of your vehicle. They have a very informative website on how to select an appraiser.

International Society of Appraisers (ISA), headquartered in Chicago, Illinois is another source one can explore. The ISA appraiser lists are not limited to just automobiles; appraisers of collectibles, jewelry furniture and more can be found.

International Automotive Appraisers Association (IAAA), headquartered in Montvale, NJ boasts a membership of certified Professional Appraisers from the United States, Australia, Canada and Puerto Rico.


Apr. 26, 2010 at 4:04pm2010 WA Hot Rod Hall of Fame Awards

I had the pleasure last night to attend the Washington State Hot Rod Hall of Fame’s Annual awards banquet at the Tacoma Convention Center.  For those of you who have not attended this event in the past, I would recommend making it next year:  the 2011 banquet will be held at the Everett Holiday Inn in conjunction with the Cruizin' to Colby show.

In addition to a  large and enthusiastic crowd (estimated to be over 600), there was a nice selection of raffle prizes and several new inductees were named, in addition to the 40+ past inductees who were honored:

Outstanding Young Hot Rodders: 
- Andy Patton
- Nick Lampert

50 Year Club Awards:
- Beach Barons
- Mo-Taters
- Pacific NW Region Porsche Club
- Pushrods of Hoquiam, Rakers

2010 Club of the Year:
- Seattle Rod-Tiques

Inducted Members:
- Don Amundson
- Larry Berkovich
- Jon Byers
- Russ Divers
- Mike Mooney
- Henry Nelson

$7,000 was raised  for the favorite charity of the group, The Burned Children Recovery Foundation, and an announcement was made about the reforming of the Northwest Car Club Council. The Council was originally formed about 50 years ago to help legitimize the car clubs of the era and the stated mission today is to advocate the hobby to the many young people who will become the future of the hobby.

MC Lance Lambert did an outstanding job of both keeping the event going, and having some fun along the way! 


Apr. 8, 2010 at 3:22pmWhere Are They Now? eBay Cars Get a Second Wind

The cars live again!  Vehicles that have been released for sale by the Collection committee have been going to good homes and we are receiving regular updates from many of the new owners with regard to their restoration efforts of vehicles purchased from the museum.

Recently, for example, the collection committee released for sale a 1956 Studebaker Goldenhawk which had turned out to actually be made from parts of two Goldenhawk years, 1956 and 1957. The front end, frame and interior was the 1956, the rear fins, trunk lid, doors, dash and engine was from a 1957. 

This car turned out to be quite controversial among Studebaker purists, but new owners felt the car had merit. The car was purchased by Jim and Stephanie Bell from Bellingham, Washington for the Bell Studebaker Museum. The Bells have started a museum full of rare or unusual Studes, currently housing 75 Studebakers, going as far back to the days when Studebaker was a premier maker of wagons.  The Bells were thrilled to be able to add this car to their stable. Jim has all the parts to get the car running again, which will include re-fitting the engine with the missing supercharger, putting back the stock transmission, and some of the missing trim, finishing the interior, and driving it every day he can!

Jim and Stephanie spoke fondly of Harold LeMay and mentioned two cars Harold had acquired from them in the past, and are thrilled to add this specialty custom to their collection.

Our selling account on eBay lists donated parts, car donations as well as cars released by the Board of Director's Collection Committee.  To find our listings, go here.  Those with eBay accounts can save us as a “favorite seller” to receive email notifications of new listings directly from eBay.


 

Mar. 30, 2010 at 1:50pmPlaying in the rain . . .

I had the pleasure last weekend of being one of three winning drivers in the wettest race I have probably ever competed in . . . and I grew up racing in Seattle!

The event was the International Conference of Sports Car Clubs (ICSCC) 6-Hour Enduro, which is the traditional season-opener at Pacific Raceways in Kent.  The team was Lowe Group/Frost Engineering and we were driving the same Bridgestone-sponsored BMW M3/GTR that we raced in the 7th Annual NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill last December.  My co-drivers, Jim Gallaugher and Jerold Lowe, did a great job of taking an early lead and holding it, despite spirited challenges from some clearly fast competitors. Jerold handed me a car in the lead when the rains came -- and boy did they come!

It was really a matter of trying my best to see out of a very wet and dirty windscreen and maintain a pace to keep us in the lead.  I had a blast, and the soaked and tired team received a well-deserved victory. 

Next stop . . . Pikes Peak


Mar. 14, 2010 at 5:12pmOur "Marquis" Diamond

Last year, I received a call from Mrs. Burt, wishing to donate her beloved 1983 Mercury Marquis station wagon to the Museum.

Mrs. Burt was downsizing her home and the family car was an item that she reluctantly realized she needed to give up. She inquired if her Marquis might be welcomed at LeMay, and after speaking on the phone with her for a few minutes (along with at least one trip to see the car), I knew we would definitely want this vehicle and it would be a great addition to the LeMay collection. 

The Burt family purchased the car in April of 1983 from Bill Gill Lincoln Mercury dealership in Tacoma. It was delivered brand new to the Burts, equipped with every luxury option available on the Marquis at the time. It was obvious upon the first viewing that this Mercury Marquis only had one owner and it was almost like a member of the family. This Mercury had been meticulously maintained as well as garaged all of its life. The original faux wood grain siding looks new, the paint is original and all of the bright work is polished and beautifully shiny.

Mrs. Burt is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. A former elementary school teacher, she is the proud mother of three children. Both Mr. and Mrs. Burt were avid golfers, and enjoyed traveling around the country in the Marquis. The Burts revealed that their golf clubs fit perfectly in the back whenever they went to tournaments; it was one of the favorite things that they loved about the car. The cargo area also features bench seats which fold up and out, allowing additional passengers to ride along if desired. The tailgate is also an interesting mechanical innovation for the day, a two-stage operation that opens horizontally like a car door, as well as offering a traditional fold down, tail-gate style opening. 

Following a tour in the armed forces and his subsequent graduation from medical school, Dr. Robert Burt set up a general surgery practice within the city of Tacoma. On days off, Dr. Burt enjoyed taking his grandchildren out for rides in the Mercury Wagon. All of the Burt grandchildren remember that, when they would ask grandpa where they were going, he would always reply "Oh, let's just see where the car will take us".

The kids unanimously agree that grandpa's car almost always found its way to the local ice cream parlor.


Mar. 12, 2010 at 5:05pmAdopt-a . . . Bus?

The sights and sounds of a foreign country - even a familiar one - often jog our senses and transport us to another time. Coming from a land of SUV's and bland sedans that all seem to look alike, I'm always thrilled to see the kinds of vehicles embraced by our cousins "over the pond". What I love the most is seeing those wacky London taxis and the wild and wonderful Bristol double-decker buses - it's like seeing some long-extinct pterodactyl flying past!

Apparently, Harold LeMay must have felt the same way. Over the years, he managed to find and buy not one, not two, but three of the darn things. One of these fascinating machines was donated to America's Car Museum by the LeMay family and we are very proud to have it. So proud, in fact, that we elected to include it in our pool of vehicles for our Adopt-an-Auto program. The list includes all levels of vehicles we want to restore and allows people to donate the badly-needed funds to help us get them Museum-ready.

We added this great example of UK ingenuity to our list and within days, John Lyons, one of our newest Steering Committee members, scooped it up. John knew full well that he will be the proud "parent" of this bus for 5 years and will get to come to the Museum when it's done for a fun family photo shoot. In the meantime, we will display the Bristol at our new place in Fife - and allow the millions of people a year who drive past us on I-5 a short glimpse into the past and into the fun world of British transportation.

Cup of tea, anyone?


Mar. 8, 2010 at 5:02pmHello, Motor Mouth!

"Motor mouth - someone who talks incessantly!" Sometimes, it has negative context but I like to think of it as also meaning, "fresh, sassy, and insightful".

These ideas create a pretty good description of the new blog space for America's Car Museum (ACM). "Motor Mouth" will be a place where enthusiasts from all over the world will participate in a never ending conversation about our love for the car, and, ok, for motorcycles and trucks too.

There's a lot to be excited about at ACM these days because we're committed to help our supporters - members of America's Car Club (ACC) - with information, connections, and opportunities at the center of the enthusiast culture.

Here's some of what's going on:

  1. We've received final approval of the transfer of the land in Tacoma for the new Museum campus and will close on that land in the next 30 days.
  2. We've also entered the final closing period on the financing for the new building project - and barring unforeseen circumstances - will announce groundbreaking in just a few weeks! Keep an eye out here for that exciting announcement.
  3. Club Auto - our exciting club for enthusiasts around the country is opening its newest clubhouse in Tacoma April 1st and will soon announce an affiliate Club program in San Jose, California. Next to come - Scottsdale!
  4. Look for ACM as part of this year's New York International Auto Show with an exciting display of a dozen or more cars.
  5. Once again we're sponsoring Amelia Island, Kirkland and Pebble Beach Concours.
  6. This summer we'll once again sponsor the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic - a 1,500 mile classic car tour from Club Auto Kirkland to Monterey, CA and have three Museum cars in the field.
  7. Our Adopt-an-Auto program is providing enthusiasts to help the Museum restore its cars and provides enthusiasts the opportunity to participate in incredible events.
  8. And Motor Mouth is our latest offering - a way to develop our social network and create a meeting place for enthusiasts from around the world to share their personal stories, news and ideas related to our love affair with the car.

We'll regularly participate in the conversation through blogs from members of our board of directors, executive team, collection staff and automotive media personalities. Many of these are key subject matter experts who you'll get to exchange ideas with.

Motor Mouth promises to offer you an insider's look behind the scenes of the Museum and of the broader automotive community.

Nothing elitist.

Not at all stodgy.

Like car gatherings everywhere, Motor Mouth should provide an opportunity to enjoy all things automotive together. It will only do so if it's a two way conversation among enthusiast.

So, start your engine, let that motor run and let's talk!