For 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.
Facilities Coordinator Kurt Lawrence and I went to Marymount to size up the challenge and take detailed measurements. I designed portable wooden ramps that were 24' long, 7' high, and that break apart in the middle for transport on the museum's 16' trailer. I built them by myself over the next two days including some bracket welding done at home.
With the help of Kurt, museum intern Alex McMillan, and volunteers Tom Gordon, Talis Jaundaldaris, Mel Proctor, Bob Johnson, Tom Shandrow, Larry Smith and a number of others, we proceeded to move the cars on the gym floor out of the way, set up the ramps, jack up the cars in place to put planks under the tires on the bleachers and gently lower them down using an 8500 pound winch pirated off the museum car trailer.
Once a car was brought down, it was hauled it to the Fife warehouse while we moved the ramps to the next target. Retrieving all seven cars, plus one more and replacing two back up on the bleachers for Doug, took three days. The cars at each end were perched over the stairwells for the bleachers, making the job even more difficult, but we managed without a single scratch or injury.
This job would have been impossible without the dedicated and highly skilled volunteers who assisted us throughout, as well as the efforts of Kurt Lawrence and Alex McMillan.
Note: Darryl Tinnerstet retired from WSDOT as an environmental engineer after 32 years. He then worked in the same capacity for a consulting firm for a period of eight years. As a lifelong “car nut.” Darryl started volunteering for the Museum and soon found himself on the car "picking" crew, going to remote storage sites to remove cars the family had donated to the museum. In February 2010, he was hired part time as Logistics Coordinator and was recently named full-time Logistics Manager. Tinnerstet”s primary responsibilities involve moving cars donated by the LeMay family and other museum vehicles and, as he puts it, “… taking care of pretty much anything else that needs fixing/building/moving etc.” Darryl’s own vehicles range from a '32 Ford Highboy roadster he built himself, to a '54 Chevy 2-door, a C5 Corvette roadster, a Harley and finally, an “ugly” little Honda Insight hybrid he uses for his 100-mile daily commute.