Home Uncategorized Seal Cove museum’s future at stake in legal dispute in Maine

Seal Cove museum’s future at stake in legal dispute in Maine


Support for the Seal Cove Auto Museum could be at stake in a suit filed by the Maine Attorney General’s office that alleges that two trustees of a charitable trust inflated the value of the trust’s assets to pay themselves higher management fees, according to an extensive report in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald.

Although museum board members have no legal standing in the case, they “are watching closely because the fate of their quirky museum could be a stake,” the newspaper reported. 

The museum is supported in part by monthly payments from a charitable trust established by Brass Era car collector and museum founder Richard Payine Jr. 

Would trustees sell museum’s most valuable car, this 1913 Peugeot Type 150 boat-tailed ‘skiff’ by Labourdett, against museum board’s desires to keep such a showcase vehicle?

The newspaper reports that while the value of the collection and the trust management fees have increased, “payments to the museum from the trust have been falling and (museum board) members have learned that the museum’s most valuable car, a 1913 wood-bodied Peugeot, is being shopped,” the newspaper reported.

“If things keep going the way they are going,” museum board member David White told the Press Herald, “the museum won’t be able to sustain.”

Gilmore hosts Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild reunion and exhibit

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, hosts a reunion of the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild and launches an exhibition of more than 100 members’ model cars on April 6. The exhibition runs through October 1.

General Motors sponsored the Fisher Body program from 1930 until 1968. It was an automotive styling competition for those aged 11-20 to design and build 1/12-scale “dream car” models. College scholarships were awarded to the best designs and many of the participants went on to careers as car designers. 

Petersen showcases electric motorcycles

Harley-Davidson LiveWire is among the electric-powered motorcycles in exhibit the opens April 6 at the Petersen museum | Harley-Davidson photo (above) Museum photos (below)

On April 6, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles opens “the world’s first exhibition focused exclusively on electric motorcycles,” with 21 bikes included in the “Electric Revolution” exhibit. The exhibit is being guest curated by Paul d’Orleans, co-founder of the Motorcycle Arts Foundation.

“Zero-emission vehicles have become a prominent part of the driving landscape, and e-bikes are one of the fastest growing sectors of new tech transportation,” the museum said. 

“As the transportation industry moves toward electric-powered vehicles, it is our responsibility as a museum to accurately represent this progression with our exhibits,” added Terry Karges, the museum’s executive director. “Because of the growing popularity of e-bikes, we felt it was the right time to debut ‘Electric Revolution’ and show our audience how these ultra-stylish and contemporary designs are pointing the way to the future.”

The exhibit runs until November.

Special events this weekend

The Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile in Torino, Italy, opens a new exhibit, “Cars With Passion: Interaction between graphics and design” on March 29. The exhibit, which runs through June 30, including more than 30 advertising posters and brochures created by the “great masters” of graphic art, including designer and humorist Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia, the museum’s founder. The exhibit includes six cars that represent the evolution of automotive design over the decades included in the graphic display.

Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida, holds its monthly auto flea market March 31 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“The Tucker: Insight from the Tucker Family, Owners, and Preservationists” is the title of a program March 30 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, where two of Preston Tucker’s great grandsons will be among the speakers in a program from noon to 2 p.m.

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland hosts a cars and coffee cruise-in from 8 until 11 a.m. on March 30.

The National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio, offers one of its “Coffee & Donut” sessions at noon March 30 featuring a panel presentation, “Motorcycle Competition Champions — Meet the Masters.” Panelists include such racers and restorers as Frank Gallo, Jim Borer and Bob Wentzel.

LeMay Collections at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, hosts the LeMay Tea Party on March 30.

Mark your calendar

April 5 is the registration deadline for the teen driving day being held in conjunction with the Kentucky Safe Driver Program at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green on April 13.

The National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio, hosts Warren’s McGuffey School and the first Lego League Titonics robotics exhibition on April 6 from noon to 2 p.m.

Mitch Bishop, co-author of IMSA 1969-1989: The Inside Story of How John Bishop Built the World’s Greatest Sports Car Racing Series, will autograph copies from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 6 at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California. That evening, the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo hosts a “Tribute to IMSA” celebration dinner and gala featuring IMSA racers.

“USAC Stars: From Dirt Tracks to the Brickyard” is the theme of a panel discussion at 6 p.m. April 9 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum featuring U.S. Auto Club racing champions Brady Bacon, Tyler Courtney, Dave Darland, Justin Grant and Kody Swanson.

The Miles Through Time museum in Toccoa, Georgia, opens for its 2019 season on April 10. The museum will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.  

The 50th anniversary of Mario Andretti’s victory in the 1969 Indianapolis 500 will be celebrated April 10 with a dinner at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, where the evening program includes a “fireside chat” with Andretti. 

Rocket movie poster

April 10 is LA Speed Week Day at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, California, where a mini-auto racing film festival will be offered in the Packard Ballroom starting at 10 a.m. At 1 p.m., the museum will show Rocket and a 2:30, Thunder Road.

The National Corvette Museum’s NCM Motorsports Park will stage a special “Drive Toward a Curve Day” program on April 12 to fight Parkinson’s Disease. The track in Bowling Green, Kentucky, will off an all-day, lead-follow lapping program with $50 of the $125 entry going toward the charity. The track stages its teen driving day being held in conjunction with the Kentucky Safe Driver Program at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green on April 13.

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia hosts the Kimber Festival 2019 on April 12-13. Though termed a “festival,” the two-day program is an academic conference about MG and its history, including design, production, technology and participation in motorsports.

April 17th is Mustang Day at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing in York Springs. The program starts at 9 a.m. at the AACA and after lunch moves to the racing museum.

SEMA’s CuS.T.E.M. Car Experience visits the LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, on April 19. The program introduces middle school students to the automotive customization hobby through STEM education experiences. 

Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu hosts its annual “Simply Audi” car show on April 21.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is organizing a bus trip to the New York International Auto Show on April 27.

The Lingenfelter Collection in Brighton, Michigan, hosts its annual Charity Spring Open House event April 27 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Ken Lingenfelter’s collection of more than 180 vehicles will be open to the public to benefit the American Cancer Society.

“Tucker: The 50 Production Cars” is the subject of a special program May 11 at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where one of Preston Tucker’s grandsons will be among the speakers.

“Mario Andretti: ICON” is a special exhibit that opens May 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. The exhibit is designed as a comprehensive 50th anniversary celebration of Andretti’s victory in the 1969 Indianapolis 500 race.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, opens a special “RCR 50: Only in America” exhibit featuring 50 years of Richard Childress Racing in May. 

“My dream is longer than the night,” a radio play about Bertha Benz and her influence on the early motorcar, will be performed May 3-5 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany. 

The Simply Ford gathering May 5 at Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu will feature the 60th anniversary of the Ford Anglia 105E and the 50th birthday celebration for the Ford Capri.

The British Motor Museum stages its fifth annual “Gaydon Land Rover Show” on May 11-12 with a special appearance on May 12 by the Ferguson 4 Wheel Drive Club and its vehicles. 

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California opens its new Fireball Gallery of automotive art with a special event from 6 until 10 p.m. on May 11. 

“Colors of Speed — 50 Years of the 917,” a special exhibition of 10 of the famed Porsche racing cars, opens May 14 and runs through September 15 at the Porsche Museum in Germany.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, opens two new summer exhibits on May 18 — Studebaker Cool: 114 Years of Innovation, and Harley-Davidson: History, Mythology and Perceptions of America’s Motorcycle. Both exhibits run through October 20.

Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu hosts both its silver-anniversary spring autojumble (swap meet) May 18-19 and a 60th anniversary celebration of the Mini. 

LeMay Collections at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, offers Model T drivers education classes May 18, June 8, July 7, August 4 and September 8.

The IMS Museum presents the 21st annual Indianapolis Historic Racing Exhibition on May 23-25 when around 70 Indianapolis 500 racing cars are expected to return to the track for exhibition laps and to be displayed in the museum parking lot inside Turn 2. The event is open to cars that raced at Indy between 1911 and 1994.

Britain’s National Motor Museum and the Montagu home at Beaulieu will host a major exhibition of sculpture from May 25 through July 14. “Sculpture at Beaulieu” will feature more than 350 works by more than 60 sculptors.

LeMay Collections stages LeMay Motorcycle Days from June 13-23 with 200 motorcycles on exhibit and with rounds of motorcycle soccer.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, will stage its annual Father’s Day car show on June 16.

The Miles Through Time museum in Toccoa, Georgia, hosts its second annual car show from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on June 22. 

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, hosts its seventh annual vintage trailer show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 29, with more than 40 vintage trailers and campers on display.

“The Car. The Future. Me” is the title of an exhibit scheduled to open July 13 at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, UK, to explore “futuristic car design and (to) challenge your idea of how we will interact with the cars for the future,” the museum said. 

The Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan, inducts new members Sergio Marchionne, the late chief executive of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; Janet Guthrie, the first woman to qualify as a driver in the Indianapolis 500; Richard “Dick” Dauch, co-founder of American Axle Manufacturing; and Patrick Ryan, creator of the first auto dealership finance and insurance department, on July 18 in Detroit.

On August 3, the British Motor Museum will be the site of the Classic Mini Mosaic world-record attempt that is expected to draw more than 600 classic Minis. The following day the museum will be the site of the National Metro & Mini Show.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, inducts racer Briggs Cunningham, Corvette designer Tom Peters, and Dollie Cole, Corvette enthusiast and widow of former GM president Ed Cole, into its hall of fame on August 30.

“Legends of Speed,” a showcase of nearly two dozen historic racing cars, opens November 2 at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com.

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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