Forty years ago, Doug Hill, now manager and chief engineer of the National Motor Museum in England, was the last graduate of the museum’s apprentice program. To keep alive the skills needed to preserve the museum’s 250-vehicle car collection, he’s relaunched the program — and its first apprentice is 18-year-old Emily Leese.
She had been a museum volunteer since she was 14. She has spent the last two years studying engineering at Sparsholt College. In addition to training with the five-person staff in the museum’s workshop, she will spend time with Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist P&A Wood, working on Level 2 and 3 diplomas in classic vehicle restoration.
“I think I fit in quite well so far and all the guys have been really good,” Emily said in the museum’s news release. “I definitely feel like part of the team.
“I get involved in whatever projects are being worked on, from cleaning and polishing to putting things back together. Recently, I helped to re-fit the engine to our 1930 ‘Blower’ Bentley.
“I don’t know why I love cars so much, but I have ever since I was about 3 years old. Fixing things is my passion. I was always playing with toy cars when I was a child and wanted to be an AA (British equivalent of Triple A) lady! Even then, I decided that I wanted to have the knowledge to fix a broken-down car.”
The Beaulieu apprentice program is overseen by the Heritage Skills Academy and its engineering apprenticeships program, with funding from Beaulieu One Hundred group members, the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs and others, including the Worshipful Company of Coachbuilders and Coach Harness Makers of London, and with equipment donated by Draper Tools.
You can follow Emily’s work on her blog on the museum’s website.
Automotive Hall of Fame creates information hub
The Automotive Hall of Fame, based in Dearborn, Michigan, but slated to move into a new facility in downtown Detroit as soon as funding is secured, has launched a new website that, it notes, will be “the new information hub of automotive history.”
“Our goal for the new Automotive Hall of Fame website was to establish the most comprehensive collection of automotive stories about the people who helped move the world forward,” the museum says on the site.
“To that end, we have updated our Inductee database with a plethora of new content including exclusive videos, extensive biographies and thousands of images. This website will serve as vast resource for everyone from casual car fans to automotive aficionados.”
Here’s the link: www.automotivehalloffame.org.
LeMay seeks vehicles for upcoming exhibit
LeMay — America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, still needs three vehicles for the “Through the Lens; Cars Defined by an American Century” exhibit scheduled to open in November. The exhibit will feature one vehicle from each decade from 1910 to 2010 and will ask visitors to consider which best defines the history and culture of its period.
However, the museum still needs three vehicles — a 1972-79 Honda Civic, a 1984-90 Chrysler minivan and a 1991-94 Ford Explorer. It isn’t looking for show cars, but seeks daily drivers that retain their original equipment with few aftermarket accessories.
If your car qualifies, you can contact the museum at [email protected] by October 15.
In other news relating to the LeMay, America’s Automotive Trust, comprised of the museum, the RPM Foundation, the Concours Club and Club Auto, has hired Adam Langsbard as chief executive and promoted David Madeira to vice chairman, where he can focus on strategic planning.
Langsbard had been chief marketing officer at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and before that worked in marketing in the entertainment industry.
Beaulieu gets Doctor Who’s Bessie
The LeMay may be looking for some cars, but the National Motor Museum of England has landed a famous one, Bessie from the Doctor Who television series has joined the museum’s On Screen Cars display.
“The Earth-based transport for Jon Pertwee’s third Doctor was a bright yellow vintage car replica which starred in many episodes of the cult sci-fi show across two decades,” the museum said. “Bessie was fitted with space-age modifications fit for the Doctor’s adventures.
“The Siva Edwardian, built on the chassis of a 1954 Ford Popular, first appeared in the “Doctor Who and the Silurians” episode in 1970 when the Doctor was stranded on planet Earth and exiled by the Time Lords without the use of his TARDIS. With a need to stay mobile in his fight against monsters and villains, the Doctor adopted Bessie as his four-wheeled transport.”
The museum also noted that the car’s fiberglass body by Siva Engineering was available as a kit from 1969 into the mid-‘70s. In addition to the four-seat tourer, a two-seat roadster was produced by the Dorset-based company.
Sebring Orange is next special Corvette color
The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, shares colorful news about the 2018 car. No, it’s not about the location of the engine, but that Sebring Orange Tint Coat will be the special color for the fiberglass-bodied sports car, replacing Black Rose. The orange hue was shown to visitors at the museum’s recent anniversary celebration.
GM Design developed the orange color in 2015 and has been waiting for an opportunity to showcase it on a vehicle.
“It matches an Orange Crush can,” said Wendy Miller of the Corvette model option team.
The new shade will be available for order in mid-October with production during December.
Smithsonian magazine museum day = free admission
Several automotive museums will participate in Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day Live! program Saturday, which means free admission at many of them. To discover which ones, go to the special Smithsonian website, select your state and see which museums are participating, and then print out your free admission tickets.
Special events this weekend
The Saratoga Automobile Museum in upstate New York hosts its annual Saratoga Auto Auction, Saturday and Sunday at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
It’s Demo Day on Saturday at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, where the them will be David vs. Goliath — small cars that beat the big guys. Among the cars from the museum’s collection being “exercised” in the parking lot are an MG K3 Magnette, BMW 328, and Alfa Romeo 6C 1750
Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida, hosts its monthly flea market and car corral Sunday from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m.
The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, where the first 12,000 Model T’s were produced, and now a museum preserving that history, will open a re-creation of Henry Ford’s “Secret Experimental Room” to visitors for the first time Sunday at 11 a.m. The secret room is where Ford spent months behind closed doors creating his “universal” car. The museum will be open free to visitors on Sunday as it celebrates the Model T’s 109th birthday with Model T rides, music, refreshments and family oriented games. The plant is located at 461 Piquette Street in Detroit.
Sunday, the Petersen Automotive Museum offers the world premier of Climbkhana: Pike’s Peak, a movie featuring Ken Block. But before the 6 p.m. showing, the museum will host a custom car show starting at 4 p.m. and inside the museum, the Xbox driving simulators will allow visitors to drive their favorite Hoonigan cars.
Saturday is Family Steam Day at the LeMay, where your family can design and build a vehicle that will keep an egg safe in a crash. To prove your design works, you’ll actually crash your creation and see how the egg survives.
The MX-5 (Miata) Owners Club’s National Rally is scheduled for Sunday at the British Motor Museum.
Mark your calendar
The Petersen’s 23rd annual gala, scheduled for October 14, will honor “His grace, the Duke of Richmond, Lennox, Aubigny and Gordon” — formerly known as Lord March and officially Charles Gordon-Lennox — with the museum’s Automotive Icon Award in recognition of contributions include the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Goodwood Revival and the Goodwood Member’s Meeting held on the grounds of his British estate.
“For decades, the Duke has been a wonderful ambassador and proponent of the hobby, embodying the type of enthusiasts this institution hopes to inspire,” Terry Karges, the museum’s executive director, said in a news release.“He is exactly the type of person we had in mind when this award was established.”