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.
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.
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“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.
Collectors Foundation 2010 Collections Management Internship Grant Awarded
Alex McMillan, South Seattle Community College
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.
This 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.”
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.
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:
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.
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.
In 2009, I received a call from Mrs. Lorna 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-America’s Car Museum's Collection. Following our review of the donation, we knew the vehicle would be a great addition.
The Burt family purchased the car in April of 1983 from Bill Gill Lincoln Mercury dealership in Tacoma. It was delivered 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.