If you want to draw a crowd, simply start the engine of a vintage racing car. The unmuffled sound is magnetic. Crank it and they will come.
You may recall the celebration that surrounded the repair and restarting in 2014 of the engine in Malcolm Campbell’s “Blue Bird” Sunbeam 1924 speed-record car, and the crowd that gathered a year later when the car made another run on the Pendine Sands.
In early September, Britain’s National Motor Museum will attempt to produce yet another such magical moment when it revs up the historic 1950 BRM V16 race car during Beaulieu’s 50th annual International Autojumble. On September 3, the museum plans to fire up the car’s supercharged V16 to celebrate “the end of the long and complicated project” to rebuild the complex powerplant.
The BRM Preservation Appeal was the 2014 Goodwood Revival Beneficiary Charity, and BRM specialist Hall & Hall of Bourne, Lincolnshire was recruited to undertake the engine’s revival.
“This is an iconic British racing car, and the 50th anniversary of the International Autojumble, Beaulieu’s biggest event, is the perfect place for this historic start-up after its major engine rebuild,” Doug Hill, museum manager and chief engineer, said in a news release.
Beaulieus’ autojumble (Brit speak for swap meet) will include more than 2,000 vendors, ranging from major British collector car dealers to folks bringing their wares in the boots (Brit speak for trunks) of their cars.
How Ford, Hudson family connections helped medical research
While doing research on a 1910 Hudson on loan to the Seal Cove Auto Museum from Maine resident Janice Kendrick, Bill Barter, the museum’s director of education, discovered how connections between the Ford and Hudson families benefited medical research on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, and far beyond.
Among Joseph Hudson’s nieces were Eleanor, wife of Edsel Ford, and Louise, wife of Roscoe Jackson. Hudson not only owned Detroit’s huge Hudson department store, but financed a car company that bore his family name.
The cousins and their families had summer homes on Mount Desert. They also knew Clarence Little, president of the University of Michigan and formerly president of the University of Maine. Little wanted to establish an independent cancer research center so in the late 1920s the cousins and other family members agreed to send monthly checks to support such a center — named for Roscoe Jackson after his death influenza — which was constructed on land donated in Bar Harbor.
Today, the Jackson Laboratory is based in Bar Harbor but has facilities in Connecticut and California and a staff of nearly 2,000 doing genomic research in cancer, diabetes, neurogenetics, Alzheimer’s disease, aging and regenerative medicine.
Want to drive a Corvette or go-kart, or ride in a vintage Vette?
Several new programs have been added to the array of activities at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky:
The Corvette Experience offers three 20-minute on-track sessions at the NCM Motorsports Park in a 2017 Stingray Z51. Dates are August 19, 20 and 30, September 4, October 21 and 22, November 3 and 12 and December 1 and 15.
Corvette Touring puts you in a Z51 for four laps led by a pace car. Or, if you’d rather ride than drive — and in a vintage Vette at that — you can take a 3-mile cruise in a 1966 convertible, 1979 coupe or 2003 50th Anniversary convertible.
Also the NCM Kartplex has opened and offers sessions on Tuesdays and weekends from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. See the museum website for details.
Vette Magic meets at the Blackhawk this year
Speaking of Corvettes, the weekend before Monterey Car Week, the Blackhawk Automotive Museum in Danville, California, will be the site of the 42nd annual Vette Magic car show, an event hosted by the Northern California Corvette Association. The weekend actually begins August 10 with the Vette Magic rags at Kingdon Drag Strip in Lodi before the August 13 gathering at Blackhawk Plaza.
And speaking of Monterey and the Blackhawk, the museum’s annual day trip to the Pebble Beach concours takes place August 20 and a few seats on the big bus remain available. For details, see the museum website.
Back to school at the LeMay
LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, will offer free admission to youngsters ages 12-and-younger as part of a back-to-school special from August 19-September 4. On those days, the youngsters also will be offered five minutes free on the Miller Slot Car Circuit at the ACM Speed Zone. A special STEM Day program — Race Car 101 — will be offered from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on August 8.
The museum will offer rides in some of its classic vehicles on August 22 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. On August 11 and 26, the museum offers drive-in movies; Moana on the 11th and Rogue One on the 26th.
Special events this weekend
Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine will host its annual Wings and Wheels Spectacular from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Rides will be available in vintage WW2 aircraft, as well as in Model T vehicles.
The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, stages its annual Red Barns Spectacular car show and swap meet Saturday. There is a judged show, a driver’s choice show, a special area for Tin Can tourists, another for vintage bicycles, another for vintage military vehicles and even a “Boats at the Barns” for classic watercraft.
The Blackhawk Automotive Museum hosts its “F1rst Sunday” cars & Coffee cruise-in Sunday from 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. Last month, more than 1,300 cars showed up. The driver of the first 400 cars to turn out receive 2-for-1 museum admission vouchers.
The newly formed Tennessee Karting Association stages its first major event August 5 at the new kart track at NCM Motorsports Park across the highway from the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The NCM Motorsports Park also will be the site of Trackapalooza, motorcycle track days for novice, intermediate and experienced riders, August 12-13.
Britain’s National Motor Museum stages its Supercar Weekend with as many as 600 high-performance sports cars gathering for the two-day show, which includes acceleration and braking tests on Chestnut Avenue, as well as a Supercar Sound-Off at 2 p.m. each day.
Beaulieu’s Simply Japanese attracts 1,350 vehicles
Owners of a record 1,350 vehicles displayed their pride and joy last weekend at the British National Motor Museum’s sixth annual Simply Japanese showcase at the Beaulieu parkland.
Showgoers selected a brightly painted 1992 Honda CRX Del Sol with a custom-built 2.2-liter engine as the winner of the People’s Choice award. Car owner Chris Davies said he spent 12 years rebuilding and modifying the car.
“It is my pride and joy, and nothing beats a blast down a B road in it with the roof off,” he said in the museum’s news release.
Runner-up was a 1989 Toyota MR2.
The museum’s next “Simply” day is November 12 — Simply Smart.
Meanwhile, the Automobile Driving Museum in Los Angeles will host its JDM at the ADM car show September 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum initiated the event in 2016. It’s open to all Japanese makes and models.
National Motor Museum photos