HomeCar CultureCommentary‘Daredevils’ and other special events this Father’s Day weekend

‘Daredevils’ and other special events this Father’s Day weekend


“Step right up and behold amazing displays of danger and derring-do!” the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee proclaims as it opens its summer exhibit, “Daredevils: A Century of Spine-Tingling Spectacles” on June 15 as part of its Father’s Day weekend festivities, which include free admission for fathers.

“Daredevils have thrilled audiences for centuries,” the museum continues. “What began with horse trick riders in circuses inspired new generations of entertainers on bicycles, motorcycles, cars – even flying sofa chairs. From touring thrill shows to Hollywood movie stunt work, ‘Daredevils’ celebrates the exciting history of these death-defying entertainers who spend countless hours perfecting their exploits. Witness how incredible feats from long ago inspire modern-day risk-takers.”

Highlights of the exhibit include the Urias Family Globe of Death, first constructed in 1912 in Brazil and used by four generations until being retired in 2009; the Harley XR-750 ridden by Evel Knievel during his 1975 Wembley Stadium jump; the rocket-powered Space Cycle designed for jumping Niagara Falls; one of Buffalo Bill Cody’s buckskin costumes; and the piece of living room furniture used by the Nitro Circus’s “reclining sofa chair jump.”

The exhibit runs through September 8.

‘Coffee Grinder’ hot rod at Beaulieu

‘Coffee Grinder’ hot rod, a 1930 Ford Model A, on display in the UK | Museum photo

Meanwhile, across the pond, the Coffee Grinder will be among the vehicles participating in the Hot Rod & Custom Drive-In Day on Father’s Day, June 16, at England’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

The 1930 Ford Model A roadster was customized in the U.S. in the 1950s, was imported into England by pop artist Gerald Laing, went back to the U.S. but recently was returned to the UK by Laing’s sons. It will be joined by 500 other hot rods, customized vehicles and “American classics” at the Father’s Day showcase, being staged in conjunction with the Solent Renegades Car Club.

But wait, there’s more. On Saturday of the Father’s Day weekend, Beaulieu hosts its “Simply VW” show. Throughout the weekend, there will be live music and dancing and vendors offering vintage items, even hairdos from the 1920s through the ’60s.

Cars & Coffee at Mercedes Museum

Mercedes-Benz Museum welcomes various marques to its Cars & Coffee Classic cruise-ins | Museum photo

Starting June 16 and continuing every Sunday to September 8, the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany will host a Cars & Coffee Classic cruise-in event from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. for cars at least 20 years old. Two special events are planned: “125 Years of Motorsport” on July 21 and the 40th anniversary of the Mercedes G-Class on September 1.

More Father’s Day weekend events at car museums

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, and the California Agriculture Museum in Woodland, California, are among the museums offering free admission to fathers on Father’s Day.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, stages its annual Father’s Day Weekend car show with a car coral and flea market. At 3 p.m. on June 15, the museum also presents a special program on the restoration of Tucker 1044 and at 10 a.m. on June 16, a program on the Tucker Tin Goose.

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in northeastern Indiana will stage its first Father’s Day Classic Car Cruise from 1 to 4 p.m. on June 16 with visitors able to ride in a 1931 Auburn 8-98 sedan, 1932 Auburn 8-100 cabriolet, 1935 Auburn 653 sedan, 1935 Auburn 851 sedan or 1936 Cord 810 Beverly sedan for a $10 donation.

The Henry Ford museum’s Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan, is the site for the annual Motor Muster car show June 15-16. Featured this year are the “Fabulous Fins” of the 1950s.

Gilmore putting these cars up for adoption (but you don’t get to take them home

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, launches an Adopt-A-Car program on Father’s Day, when from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., 20 vehicles will be up for adoption. The cars range from a 1906 Columbia XLVII to a 1982 DeLorean DMC-12.  Also on Father’s Day, the museum offers rides in cars from its collection between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., David Lyon will sign copies of his book Art, Architecture & the Automobile.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento offers free rides in cars from its collection for Dad and the family on June 16 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

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

The Kern County Museum in Bakersfield, California, hosts Sports Cars at the Museum on June 16 from noon until 4 p.m.

Other special events this weekend

Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida, hosts its monthly car show June 15 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island opens at 8 a.m. on June 15 to get ready for the big-screen viewing of the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race at 9 a.m. The museum also is hosting a Porsche car corral and a showcase of Factory Five vehicles at noon.

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in northeastern Indiana holds a Cars & Coffee event with RM Auctions on June 15 from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. The event will feature a presentation by curator Sam Grate of several cars from the museum’s collection parked on the plaza.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, stages its annual All Air-Cooled Car Gathering on June 15. Hosted by the H.H. Franklin Collection on the museum campus, the event will feature cars from Franklin, Frayer-Miller, Holmes, Volkswagen, Chevrolet (think Corvairs), Tatra, Porsche, Citroen and other manufacturers.

The Museum of Automobiles in Morriltoa, Arkansas, hosts the Mid-America Old-Time Auto Association’s 61st annual Petite Jean car show and swap meet June 14-15

LeMay Collections in Tacoma, Washington, stages LeMay Motorcycle Days from June 14-23 with 200 motorcycles on exhibit and with rounds of motorcycle soccer.

Mark your calendar

“Planes, Trains & Automobiles” is the theme for a summer camp June 17-21 at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The camp is designed for students entering the 2nd through 5th grades.

Studebaker buildings of the past are subject of South Bend museum program | Museum photo

Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, offers two special events in its Wiekamp Auditorium. At 1:30 p.m. on April 17, curator Aaron Warkentin opens the 2019 Speaker Series with a look at the museum’s new “Streamlined: Style in Motion” exhibition. Then, at the same time on April 19, archivist Andrew Beckman will present a look at bygone Studebaker buildings in South Bend, including family homes and production facilities.

Author Dan Albert will discuss his book, Are We There Yet?: The American 

Automobile Past, Present, and Driverless, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. June 22 at the Simeone Foundation Automobile Museum in Philadelphia.

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. Also that day, the museum stages the third and final segment of its “History of Le Mans” Demo Days.

It’s the “Ultimate All-Year Truck Show and Swap Meet” on June 22 at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, where the show field will be open to antique, vintage, military, emergency, commercial and pickup trucks and to utility vehicles.

The Lions Drag Strip Museum in Rancho Dominguez, California, holds its grand opening June 22.

Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr, architect of Disneyland and its Monorail, will be at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on June 22 signing his new book, Bob Gurr: Legendary Imagineer —  Life and Times, Disney and Beyond.

The National Corvette Museum’s Motorsports Park is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but on June 24-25 it will offer a special high-performance drivers education program at Virginia International Raceway in Dansville, Virginia.

Back to the Future 2 will be presented at Drive-In Movie Night on June 28 at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento.

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 British Motor Museum hosts its seventh annual “BMC & Leyland Show” on July 7, featuring vehicles produced by the British Motor Corporation, British Leyland and The Rover Group. Featured will be the 90th anniversary of the BSA front-drive car, the 60th of the Morris Oxford Farina, the 50th of the Austin Maxi, the 30th of the Rover R8 and the 25th of the Rover SK3. The show also celebrates Triumph National Weekend.

“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 North East Motor Sports Museum in Loudon, New Hampshire, will honor NASCAR champion and New England native Joey Logano at a special event July 19.

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia will feature “Mini Matchup,” an exhibit of classic and contemporary Mini Coopers from June 20 through August 4.

From the 1960s into the 1990s, the Hale Farm & Village in Cleveland hosted a car show. On July 21, the tradition returns with a car show that will include vehicles from the Crawford Auto-Aviation Collection and those from private collections and other entrants parked among the farm and village’s historic buildings.

The British Motor Museum hosts “the biggest rally of classic Fords in the UK” on July 21. More than 400 classic Ford vehicles, all between 50 and 100 years old, are expected for the 11th annual “Old Ford Rally,” which this year includes the Capri’s 50th anniversary and the Sunbeam Alpine’s 60th birthday celebrations.

The Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Nissan GT-4 and the 30th birthday of the Mazda MX-5 at its Simply Japanese cars how on July 28.

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 [email protected].

Larry Edsall
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, 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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