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New exhibits aimed at kids, or should we say at children of all ages?


Automotive museums on each side of the country are opening new exhibits aimed at encouraging a very young generation to take an interest in cars. At America on Wheels in Allentown, Pennsylvania, it’s Two automotive museums the “Kids’ Car Service & Restoration Center” and at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles its “Sidewalk Speedsters: The Grown-Up World of Children’s Cars.”

At America on Wheels, a specially fabricated car has been created so children can learn hands-on about cars and engine mechanics while absorbing scientific automotive principles, the museum hopes.

At the Petersen, the exhibit includes an array of child-sized race cars (see photos above for examples), including a 1927 Bugatti Type 52 “Baby,” a 1977 Porsche 936 Le Mans Jr., a 1968 Disneyland Autopia buggy, a 1954 Vanguard Sidewalk Racer, and more, including the new Actev Arrow “Smart-Karts,” an electric racer that children can drive but with parents controlling speed and range via a mobile-phone app.

Petersen adds four more lowriders

New America on Wheels exhibit made for kids of all ages | ClassicCars
Chris Roark’s ‘Final Score’ Oldsmobile on display in Petersen museum lobby | TED photo

Thanks to the success of its “The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazon e Inspiracion” exhibit, the Petersen has added four more lowriders to its exhibit.

Displayed in the museum lobby are Cleto Sanchez’ 1963 Chevrolet Impala convertible “Slippin’ into Darkness; Bobby Garza’s 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass “RM Series;” Danny Arriaga’s 1958 Chevrolet Impala “Lemonlaid;” and Jose Alvarez’ 1972 Monte Carlo “Fatal Attraction.”

New America on Wheels exhibit made for kids of all ages | ClassicCars
Jose Alvarez’ ‘Fatal Attraction’ Monte Carlo | TED photo

The lowriders will be on display in the lobby through January 14, 2018, with the main lowrider exhibit running until July 2018 in the Armand Hammer Foundation Gallery.


Simeone sets Demo Days 2018 schedule

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia has announced its 2018 Demo Days schedule. The museum has been honored twice in recent years as the world’s best car museum in part because of the way it regularly exercises its cars in one of its parking lots.

The 2018 Demo Days schedule starts January 13 with “Poster Cars” — a Squire, Auburn 851, Alfa Romeo 2.9A and Aston Martin DBR1 — and with presentations by photographers Michael Furman and Andrew Taylor.

The theme February 10 is “The Brass Era” with a 1907 Renault racer, 1909 American Underslung, 1912 Hudson Mile a Minute roadster and a Packard Gentleman’s Roadster.

Later in February, on the 24th, it’s “The Great Rallys” with a Talbot Lago, Austin-Healey 100/4, Jaguar SS100 and Mercedes-Benz 300 SL.

“Finish Line Controversy” is the them for March 10 featuring Ford GT40s. April 14 it’s the “Mille Miglia” and on April 29, “Grand Turismo: The Racing Barchetta.”

Other topics are “Targa Florio,” “Brickyard,” “Ford vs. Chevy,” Cubic Inches: The Bigger the Better!” “Bastille Day: Racing for the Tricolour!” “Bonneville Re-enactment: The Cobra Daytona sets World Records,” “SCCA,” “Watkins Glen: The Day They Stopped the Trains,” “Enzo Ferrari: It’s Italian Heritage day at the Simeone!” “Corvette,” “SCCA, Part 2,” and “Spirit of Competition,” in which museum visitors get to pick which cars from the museum’s will participate.

Corvette museum in motion opens New Orleans trip registration

The National Corvette Museum’s Museum in Motion tour series plans a visit to New Orleans for April 3-7, 2018. The tour begins the evening of April 3 with visits the following day to the Oak Allen and Whitney plantations. On April 5, a hop-on, hop-off bus tour will offer sightseeing stops at various New Orleans attractions, with a jazz cruise that evening on a steamboat. The scheduled for Friday, the 6th, includes another plantation tour, a boat tour of Jean Lafitte Swamp, and a riverfront dinner.

For details, visit the Museum in Motion website.

Only three to go for Mercedes museum

In February, the Mercedes-Benz Museum sent invitations to citizens from United Nations-member countries missing from the museum’s list of international visitors. In response, people from Benin, Botswana, Papua New Guinea and Suriname visited the museum in 2017, and a family from Samoa is scheduled to visit this weekend, which leaves only Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis as nations with citizens yet to visit the museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

First-time visitors from each country get VIP treatment from the museum, including a guided tour and a ride in one of the museum’s vehicles.

The museum notes that international visitors account for 60 percent of the museum’s attendance. Since opening in 2006, the museum has attracted more than 8 million visitors.

Special events this weekend

The Kansas City Automotive Museum hosts a “Breakfast with Santa” from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday during its Cars & Coffee cruise-in.

Sunday, it’s “Ice Cream with Santa” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the America On Wheels museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, offers free admission Saturday to anyone who donates to the Thomas Fire Relief Drive at the museum from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. The museum asks for donations of sleeping bags, flashlights, blankets, phone chargers, batteries, toiletries and towels, diapers (infant and adult), toys, hotel/motel vouchers or checks made out to Catholic Charities, with Thomas Fire Relief on the memo line.


Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.



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