Without 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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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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Two can’t-be-missed” events are on tap at America’s Car Museum…
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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.
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?
"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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Look for ACM as part of this year's New York International Auto Show with an exciting display of a dozen or more cars.
- Once again we're sponsoring Amelia Island, Kirkland and Pebble Beach Concours.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!