Tucker sold at one museum is headed to a new one in Maine

Tucker sold at one museum is headed to a new one in Maine

New museum/sales showroom to open in mid-June tops our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes

The 1948 Tucker that was recently sold at the deaccession sale of the Tupelo Automobile Museum in Mississippi will become the star of a new collector car museum planned for Arundel, Maine. The sale of the Tucker, a historic vehicle driven nearly 3,000 miles in testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, generated $1.985 million of the $10 million raised by the auction.

The buyer of the Tucker was Tim Stetiford, who told the Portland (Maine) Press Herald that he plans to open a new classic car museum and sales showroom under the banner of the Maine Classic Car Museum Collection.

Stetiford said he hopes to have the museum open in mid-June next to his Motorland classic car dealership.

“Unlike most museums, however, the main items on display, including the Tucker, will be for sale,” the newspaper reported. “That will allow Stentiford to turn a profit, he hopes, as well as keep the collection fresh by cycling in new vehicles to display.

“Everyone’s interested in seeing the old cars,” Stentiford told the newspaper, adding that his dealership draws a steady stream of visitors during the summer tourist season.

“We constantly had visitors ask us if we were a showroom or a museum,” Stentiford said of Motorland, which opened in 2011. “We listened to that question long enough that it gave us the idea of doing both.

“Starting a museum from scratch and then trying to have it be self-sustaining is practically impossible,” he told the newspaper. “That’s why this will be both a showroom and a museum.”

“He plans a range of displays within the museum, such as one built around woodies – wood-trimmed station wagons, popular in the ’40s and ’50s – that families used for their annual summer vacations in Maine,” the newspaper reported.

Challenger I and II headed to Motorsports Hall of Fame display

Danny Thompson and his Challenger 2 | Motorsports Hall of Fame photo

Mickey Thompson’s Challenger I and his son Danny Thompson’s Challenger II land-speed-record vehicles will be on display at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at Daytona International Speedway in Florida, where Danny Thompson will talk about his family’s speed-record quests at 7 p.m. on May 13, the museum announced.

Drag racer Mickey Thompson set nearly 300 speed records in various vehicles on the Bonneville Salt Flats in the 1960s. He also built cars for the Indianapolis 500 and founded stadium off-road racing.

Danny Thompson rebuilt one of his father’s speed-record cars as the Challenger II and upped the piston-powered record to 448.757 mph in 2018 at Bonneville.

The museum said the cars will be on display “for a limited time.”

Saratoga lands Gulf Mirage for its auction

Only three of these John Wyer Gulf Mirage M2 racers were built in 1969 | Museum photo

One of three John Wyer-built 1969 Gulf Mirage M2/300/03 sports prototype racing cars has been consigned to the Saratoga Automobile Museum’s annual auction scheduled for September 20-21 in upstate New York.

The museum said the car is the only one of the three restored to its original as-raced condition. Powered by a BMW V12 engine, the car was driven by David Hobbs and Mike Hailwood. The museum said the auction will be the first time this Mirage M2 has been offered for public sale, though it has been displayed at Amelia Island and other concours. 

Another view of that cutaway Corvette

Overhead view of cutaway Corvette | Museum photo

Last week we reported that 1953 Chevrolet Corvette (VIN 003) was turned into a fully functional cutaway display vehicle and has been donated to the National Corvette Museum, where it is part of the museum’s new Gateway exhibit which focuses on the backstory of the Corvette’s creation. 

This week the museum supplied an overhead photograph of the car that we hope you’ll find as fascinating as we do.

Lion Drag Strip Museum slates June 22 opening

With a mission “to honor the legacy of drag racers of the Souther California car culture and preserve it for future generations,” the Lions Drag Strip Museum plans a grand opening event June 22 in Rancho Dominguez, California.

The museum is being founded by Rick Lorenzen, who grew up near the historic racing strip and who worked building headers and chassis for Mickey Thompson, who at one time managed the Lions strip in Long Beach. The track ran from 1955-1972.

Lorenzen owns one of the largest groups of Willys vehicles among his collection of more than 100 muscle cars, hot rods and classics.

LeMay opening Cadillac exhibit

Cadillac Sixteen concept car | Cadillac photo

On May 11, LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, opens its new exhibit, “Cadillac – The Standard of the World,” to tell the story of the automotive marque founded by Henry Leland, who learned precision production techniques as an apprentice to gunsmith Samuel Colt. 

The 16 vehicles included in the display range from a 1906 Cadillac Model K Tulip Car to a 2019 XT4, among them the 2003 Cadillac Sixteen concept car, a modern homage to Cadillac’s famed pre-war 16-cylinder cars, on loan from Cadillac. 

Bike Nights at the Harley museum

We’re a day late, but weekly Bike Nights at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee began May 9, and continue every Thursday of the summer season from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with a cruise-in and live music.

Special events this weekend

“The Sports Car Comes to America” is the theme of Demo Day on May 11 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia. Cars being exercised are a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, 1952 Jaguar C-type and 1954 Ferrari 375MM Pinin Farina Spider.

“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.

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, hosts a Crawford Coffee & Cars cruise-in May 11 from 8 to 11 a.m.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum will stage a special Speedway Cars & Coffee event May 11 limited to the first 100 registered cars. The car show runs from 9 a.m. until noon, but those registered can partake in a full day of activities at the track, where the Indycar Grand Prix starts at 3:30 p.m.

It’s not car related but we can’t pass up passing on the word that The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan, opens a special “Star Trek” Exploring New Worlds” exhibition on May 11. The exhibit featuring mroe than 100 artifacts and props, including the original U.S.S. Enterprise navigation console, runs through September 2.

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

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. 

VW from Transformers movie among sci-fi cars in new Petersen exhibit | Museum photo

“Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy,” a special exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, runs through March 15, 2020.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will offer free admission to mother’s on May 12. The same offer is made by the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.

1929 Cord L-29 being loaded onto the S.S. Leviathan | Museum archives photo

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in northeast Indiana offers a presentation, “Exporting: Auburn’s Global Impact,” at 2 p.m. May 12. Museum curator Sam Grate will talk about the way Auburn built a system of 110 distributors in 93 countries under export manager Robert Wiley. At its height, exports accounted for 18 percent of Auburn sales.

Mark your calendar

“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 National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, hosts the C4 Gathering from May 16-18.

LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, offers rides in some of its antique, pre-war classic and cars from the 1950s at 11 a.m. on May 16.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, opens two new summer exhibits on May 17 — Studebaker Cool: 114 Years of Innovation, and Harley-Davidson: History, Mythology and Perceptions of America’s Motorcycle. Both exhibits run through October 20.

“Time Travel” is the theme of the Pre-1942 Showcase car show and swap meet scheduled for May 18 at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, where the vintage vehicles will parade around the roadways within the msuem campus. Featured will be 1909-1925 Cole Motor Cars, holding their largest reunion.

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.

Rapid Response, a documentary movie exploring motorsports safety, makes its world premiere May 24 at the Indiana State Museum’s IMAX Theater in Indianapolis.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento hosts a Memorial Day Car Show on May 27.

The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut, will stage its second “Barracudas, Sting Rays & More Show Cars from the Sea” car show on June 8.

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

“Daredevils: A Century of Spine-tingling Spectacles,” a special summer exhibit, opens June 15 at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.

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.

LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, will be the finish line for the 2019 Great Race and plans to celebrate with a “Shine Time” car show on June 30. 

“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.

Half Farm & Village in Cleveland hosts a car meet on July 21 featuring, among others, cars from the Crawford Auto-Aviation Collection.

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.

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  • Ron Warrick
    May 10, 2019, 3:35 PM

    Seems to me it would be a good idea for museums to do a lot of swapping or trading of collections. Having new stuff would give people a reason to visit again, and people around the country would get to see a wider variety of cars without having to crisscross the country.

    REPLY
    • Larry Edsall@Ron Warrick
      May 10, 2019, 3:48 PM

      The museum in Tupelo closed because its founder died and his survivors couldn’t keep it going. Money from the auction goes to an educational foundation he’d founded.

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