News

America’s Car Museum sets Grand Opening for June 2012

Exterior construction is nearly three-quarters completed on Tacoma, Wash. project, which spotlights ‘America’s love affair with the automobile’ and is projected to annually provide $34 million for the local economy

Apr 20, 2011

TACOMA, Wash. (Apr. 20, 2011) – Fundraising for LeMay – America’s Car Museum (ACM) has powered through the recession and construction has moved forward on-time and on-budget.  With these assessments in tow, ACM management today announced that the Tacoma, Wash., project, built mostly through philanthropic funding, will have its grand opening on June 2012.

“We’ve managed to build a museum (which began construction in June 2010) during difficult economic times when nearly everybody said it couldn’t be done,” says ACM President and CEO David Madeira, who has been at the museum’s helm since 2002.  “I’m proud to say we are creating ‘a destination’ in addition to a museum, which we project to annually attract 425,000 visitors and result in $34 million for the local economy.”

The nine-acre campus – with the four-story, 165,000-sq. ft. museum as the hub – will include a massive show field to host everything from vintage car events to rock concerts and drive-in movies. (Think about a summer Saturday night with “American Graffiti” as the main feature, says Madeira.)  There will also be a gift shop, banquet center and cafe, an educational center/library and rotating exhibits using cars, music, film and photos for displays such as “game-changing automotive inventions.”

“America’s love affair with the automobile is the centerpiece of our museum,” says Madeira. “Everybody remembers their first car, family driving vacations, a sports car they fell in love with as a teenager.  Personal experiences with cars are part of life in America, and with assistance from the Harold and Nancy LeMay family collection, we’ll spotlight more than a century of automotive history.”

ACM will have 15 galleries housing up to 500 cars, trucks and motorcycles from private owners, corporations and the LeMay collection, which amassed a Guinness Book of World Records total of more than 3,500 vehicles in the mid-‘90s.  “Harold never met a car he didn’t like,” says Nancy LeMay about her late husband.

ACM also plans to move beyond American vehicles, with future exhibits ranging from “The British Invasion” (including Mini, MG, Triumph and Aston Martin), to the “Prancing Horse” display that will capture the lifestyle surrounding Ferrari. 

“ACM is designed to preserve history and thrive at the heart of the world’s automotive culture,” says Madeira. “We’ll have a fun, ever-changing environment with rotating exhibits, our 3.5-acre show field will host events and visitors from around the globe, and we will establish a destination that breaks the mold for traditional car museums.”

ABOUT LeMay - AMERICA’S CAR MUSEUM (www.lemaymuseum.org)
LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Wash., explores how the automobile has fulfilled a distinctive role at the core of the American experience and shaped our society. The spacious Museum with rotating exhibits is designed to be the centerpiece for automotive history as well as an educational center and library. The campus also contains a 3.5-acre show field, theatre, café, banquet hall and meeting facilities. To become an ACM member, volunteer or make a donation, visit www.lemaymuseum.org


Official Providers

State Farm Mutual Insurance Company Hagerty Insurance SiteCrafting, Inc. Hedges Family Estate
Michael Craft Photography Griot's Garage Sports Car Market Magazine Titus Will Automotive, Inc.
Northwest Harley-Davidson Washington Liftruck, Inc. Hotel Murano Thuzi
Inde MotorSport Ranch Napa Auto Parts Coca - Cola Getty Images, Seattle
Arscentia, Inc. Sameday Scratch and Dent Repair Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca BNY Mellon Wealth Management
Olympic Eagle Distributing AAA Washington Passport Transport BMW Northwest
Washington State Independent Auto Dealers Association Puyallup Tribe of Indians Charitable Trust


Historic Vehicle Association




« Back to Headlines