HomeCar CultureCommentaryEarth-shaking exhibit opens at Corvette museum

Earth-shaking exhibit opens at Corvette museum


It was February 2014 when a sinkhole opened beneath the Skydome and swallowed several cars on display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. No people were present when the event occurred, the cars were recovered, some of them restored, and repairs were done.

Eighteen months later, repairs were completed and the Skydome reopened. Just a few months after that, a “sinkhole experience” exhibit was unveiled, and earlier this month, the museum opened yet another exhibit so children can learn, hands-on, about sinkholes and other earth-shaking events.

Corvette museum
This exhibit is ‘Quake Karaoke’ and displays a seismogram display as a child bounces up and down | Museum photos

“When the Earth Shakes” is an earthquake and tsunami exhibit that runs through December in the museum’s KidZone, where children age 8 and under can take part in several learning areas.

“Immerse yourself in interactive earthquake exhibits,” the museum suggests. “Jump up and down on a platform, changing how hard you jump, and match the seismogram from an historic earthquake! Watch how the continents move and re-form as you spin the dial through geologic history, from 600 million years ago all the way to 200 million years in the future!

“Test your engineering skills as you design and build your own model of an earthquake-safe building out of blocks and reinforcing rods on the Shake Table platform; then start the quake and see if your structure holds up.”

‘Puzzled Earrth’ is an interactive map that falls apart after 2 minutes

Visit the museum’s website for more information.

Crawford explores auto history — and future

This vintage Citroen is part of the new exhibit at the Crawford museum | Museum photo

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum at the Cleveland History Center opens a special exhibit on October 12: “Electric | Steam or Gasoline — The Past, Present, and Future of Alternative Power.”

“How often do we consider the choices that were made to get us here?” the museum asks, pointing to charging stations at grocery stores, hybrid powertrains, 35+ mpg and the like while pondering the early 20th century when petroleum-powered vehicles comprised only 22 percent of the marketplace dominated by steam and electricity.

The exhibit opens with a cars and coffee event at 8 a.m., a behind-the-scenes tour at 1 p.m. and a presentation on alternative power at 2 p.m.

Studebaker museum examines the Edsel

Henry Ford curator will discuss the Edsel at the Studebaker museum | Museum photo

Matt Anderson, curator of transportation at The Henry Ford museum will discuss “The Edsel: Ford’s Famous Failure” at 1:30 p.m. on October 16 at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana.

“Introduced with much fanfare in the fall of 1957, the Edsel was greeted by car buyers with a collective shrug,” the museum’s preview notes. “Was it the bad economy, was it poor marketing, or was it that one-of-a-kind grille? Whatever the cause, the Edsel disappeared after just three model years and $250 million in fruitless development costs.”

Anderson will offer answers to those and other questions.

ACD Museum adds program for Girl Scouts

ACD Museum adds special program for Girl Scouts | Museum photo

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana, has launched an inaugural program for Girl Scouts so they can explore mechanical engineering and design.

From Daisies, Brownies and Juniors, the scouts participating in the program can earn their skills badges. The program opens November 9.

For details, visit the museum website.

Architectural drawings featured at Harley museum

A recently recovered cache of architectural drawings, including plans for the original Juneau Avenue plant, have been put on display at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee along with archival photographs. The plant helped the company grow from producing 1,000 motorcycles in 1909 to 27,000 in 1920. 

The museum will offer free admission from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on October 18 as part of the Historic Third Ward Association’s Gallery Night. 

Special events this weekend

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island hosts the Porsche Type 356 Club at noon on October 11 and the Corvette Club of Western Massachusetts and the Yankee Open Pontiac gathering at 10 a.m. on October 13.

The Seal Cove Auto Museum in Maine hosts a two- and three-wheeler Cars & Coffee event from 9 a.m. until noon on October 12.

October 12 is Demo Day at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, where “Maserati v. Ferrari” is the theme from 11:15 a.m. until 2 p.m. with a 1954 Ferrari 375MM Pinin Farina Spider, 1956 Maserati 300S and 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa being exercised in the museum parking lot.

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland opens a special exhibit, “Electric, Steam or Gasoline: The Past, Present, and Future of Alternative Power,” on October 12, when it also hosts at Crawford Coffee & Cars cruise-in beginning at 8 a.m.

The Racing History Project’s series presentation on the Paramount Ranch and San Fernando Dragstrip at the Valley Relics Museum in Van Nuys, California, scheduled for October 12 has been postponed because of wild fires in the North San Fernando Valley.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, stages its Night at the Museum gala on October 13. The theme is “Diamonds in Danville.”

Mark your calendar


It’s the “Tractors & Brews” party night at 6 p.m. on October 18 at the California Agriculture Museum in Woodland.

A special exhibit featuring 11 vehicles and additional items opens October 18 at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany as part of the 40th anniversary of the G-Class. The exhibit runs through April 19, 2020.

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia opens a new exhibit, “Peugeot, Renault, Citroen” on October 19. The exhibit runs through November 3.

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, hosts author Patrick Kelley and his Imagine! Automobile Concept Art from the 1930s to the 1980s from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on October 19.

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island will welcome more than 150 vehicles for Euro Car Day & New England Wrapup on October 20 from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The Ford Mustang “hero” car from the movie Bullitt will visit the Mustang Owner’s Museum in North Carolina on October 20. At 1 p.m., car owner Sean Kieman will offer a talk about the car. For ticket information, visit the museum website. The museum will host a dinner honoring the Kiernan family and its preservation of the car on October 19 at 7 p.m.

An All-British Motor Show will be staged October 20 at the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, hosts a Spooktacular trick-or-treat event from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on October 22.

The Revs Institute and Collier Collection in Naples, Florida, will host its inaugural Cars & Coffee at Revs from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. on October 26.

Visit the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee at 8 a.m. on October 26 and you can take part in a free 90-minute “Spartan Workout” and then gain free admission to the museum for the rest of the day. 

October 27 is the third annual Legends Day at the North East Motor Sports Museum in Loudon, New Hampshire, where Ollie Silva, Bentley Warren and Ed West will be honored in a ceremony beginning at 11 a.m.

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon hosts the 11th “Large Model Aircraft Show” on October 27 with more than 100 large radio-controlled model aircraft on display in the annual indoor showcase. Modeling workshops also will be offered. 

The Seal Cove Auto Museum in Maine stages a “Haunted History Happy Hour” on October 30 with the Mount Desert Island Historical Society at Peter Trout’s Tavern and then closes for the winter season on October 31. The museum reports a nearly 25 percent increase in attendance during 2019.

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

Book cover

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, hosts former Wheeler Dealers star Edd China and his book, Edd China: Grease Junkie, A Book of Moving Parts, as well as his 50mph sofa from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on November 2.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento joins with the Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association to offer “An Evening with Tom Matano, The Father of the Miata” at 7 p.m. on November 2.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, hosts its annual Vets ’n Vettes event November 7-9 offering rides around the NCM Motorsports Park, a showboat cruise, road tours and the Bowling Green Veteran’s Day parade. Visit the museum website for details.

The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, will offer free admission to veterans from November 7-11. 

The LeMay Collections at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, stages its annual benefit dinner and sock hop dance from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on November 16.

LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, opens its exhibit, “Saleen: A Journey from the Heard of a Racer to America’s Supercar” on November 16 with a “Saleen & Caffeine: Coffee & Donuts” event featuring Steve Saleen from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. 

A special exhibit, “From the Vault,” opens November 20 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum featuring “treasured vehicles and artifacts” moved to the display area from the museum’s storage vault.

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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