Henry Ford Museum preparing ‘Driven to Win: Racing in America’ exhibit

Our weekly roundup of news and notes from car museums

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Driven to Win
The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, will open a special exhibition on auto racing in June 2020 | Museum illustrations

“Driven to Win: Racing in America” is the title for an exhibition opening in June in the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan. The 24,000-square-foot display will be housed within the museum’s extensive “Driving America” exhibit area and will “the first comprehensive exhibition covering various forms of American auto racing” for the facility.

The museum promises to provide visitors with “an in-depth look at the people, the experiences, the culture, the spectacle, the risks and the innovations centered in the world of American auto sports.”

“Racing is such a multisensory experience,” museum president Patricia Mooradian is quoted in the news release. “With Driven to Win, we hope to bring to life the excitement fans get at the race track and inspire our guests with the passionate stories of those innovators who have dedicated their lives to this exhilarating and game-changing sport.”

Though housed in the museum named for Henry Ford, the exhibition is being sponsored by General Motors.

“General Motors is proud to present this amazing new permanent exhibition at The Henry Ford,” said GM president Mark Reuss. “Our motorsports heritage goes back to the days of Louis Chevrolet and beyond, and it has always remained a big part of who we are, and what we do, especially in terms of driving engineering excellence and implementing the transfer of technology and innovation from the track to the street.”

In addition to cars ranging from the 1906 “Old 16” Locomobile to Indy 500 and Le Mans winners and speed record-setting 1965 Goldenrod, the exhibition will expose visitors to driver fitness and race car design and engineering displays and offer 15-minute experiences in racing simulators. A 4D movie experience, “Fueled by Passion,” also will be part of the exhibit.

Want your children to enjoy a car museum?

Marvel super hero exhibit opens March 28 at The Henry Ford | Museum photo

You may think of The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan, as a showcase of automobiles and American and industrial history, but your children may not be so excited with the prospect of a visit. That changes March 28 when the facility opens a new exhibition, “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes.” 

Corvette track offers Driving Club

The National Corvette Museum’s NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, has launched a Driving Club that guarantees members at least 30 days of track time each year, access to coaching, guest passes, karting and more. You don’t have to have a Corvette to join

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For details, visit the park’s website. Corporate memberships also are available.

Corvette museum announces 2020 ‘Hall’ class

Doug Fehan, Henry Haga and Mike McCagh will join Wendell Strode in the National Corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame Class of 2020, the museum announced.

Fehan is the long-time head of the Corvette Racing program. Haga is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design and was chief designer of the General Motors studio where Corvettes and other sporty cars were designed. McCagh is a dermatologist by profession and a Corvette enthusiast by passion; he is a member of the National Corvette Restorers Society and the author of dozens of restoration and repair articles.

Strode recently retired as the museum’s executive director. He was a banker who helped put together the financing for the museum and then became its executive director in 1996. His nomination to the Hall of Fame was announced earlier.

The 2020 induction ceremony is scheduled for September 4 during the museum’s 26th anniversary weekend.

PBS newsman donated bus to museum

The AACA Museum and Museum of Bus Transportation in Hershey, Pennsylvania, make special note of the recent death of long-time PBS news anchor Jim Lehrer. Lehrer’s family owned the Kansas Central Lines (which it eventually moved to Texas) and Lehrer and his brother, Fred, donated one of the Flxible Clipper buses in the family colors to the museum.

Date nights at Harley museum

Harley-Davidson Museum offers Date Night specials in February | Larry Edsall photo

The Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee will offer 2-for-1 admissions as part of its “Date Night” program in February. The museum has designated Thursday evenings in February for its date night promotion, which includes special “Love Potion” scavenger hunts and a “built-for-two” menu in the Motor bar and restaurant.

The Harley museum also is joining the Milwaukee Art Museum for a special 2-for-1 admission promotion on February 15 and 16. Visit either museum on those dates and your admission ticket also will admit you to the other museum.

Michigan group offers museum workshops 

The Historical Society of Michigan offers several workshops for museums in the coming week, starting with “Selling History: Operating a Museum Store,” from 9 a.m. until noon on February 7. 

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On March 13, the subject will be “Taming the Chaos and Clutter: Collections Management for Small Museums” and “Archives 102: Preserving Your Family History.”

Sessions on digitizing photography will be offered April 3 and April 17. 

The workshops will take place at the society’s headquarters in Lansing, Michigan. For more information, visit the society website.

Special events this weekend

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, opens its “Car-Toon Creatures, Kustom Kars and Corvettes: The Art and Influence of Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth” exhibit on January 31. Among those scheduled to attend are Roth’s widow, Ilene, and long-time Corvette designer Tom Peters, who helped curate the exhibit.

On February 1, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles opens “Reclaimed Rust,” a showcase of custom cars built for and owned by James Hetfield of Metallica

The California Agriculture Museum in Woodland offers free admission on February 1.

Ryan ZumMallen will autograph his book Slow Car Fast: The Millennial Mantra Changing Car Culture for Good from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on February 1 at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, continues its winter lecture series February 2 with “Driving Through the Jim Crow Era” with historian John Burton and musician Robin Nott.

Mark your calendar

“The Miracle Story of Charles W. Nash” will be presented by James Wheary, Nash’s great-grandson, at 2 p.m. on February 9 at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento opens its new exhibition, “Reel Cars: The Importance of Cars in Filmmaking,” on February 14.

There are many activities scheduled inside (and outside) at the North East Motor Sports Museum | Museum photo

The North East Motor Sports Museum in Loudon, New Hampshire, kicks off the 2020 racing season February 15 with a Daytona Party that includes slot-car racing and snowcross. The part starts at noon, will show the NASCAR Xfinity 300 on a big screen, and will feature a 60-foot slot-car drag strip, an iRacing simulator, and other events, including the first snowmobile event on the museum’s flat track.

Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida, celebrates its 11th anniversary with a car show February 15 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

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The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, hosts its annual Pint with the Past fund-raising gala on February 15 from 7 to 10 p.m.

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in northeast Indiana hosts its annual Bootlegger’s Ball on February 15 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The spring lecture series continues at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, on February 15 when George Mooney talks about “Austin Adventures.” Mooney and his wife have traveled the world in their small pre-war cars. The series continues March 21 with Steph Jeavons talks about “Girls on Top” and leading the first all-female motorcycle riding group to the Mount Everest base camp. The series concludes April 18 with Alan Chandler sharing his experience in collecting nearly 4,000 items of Petroliana. 

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, plans at Grand Re-opening Party for February 22 to celebrate its new location.

Tacoma, Washington, museums including LeMay – America’s Car Museum, plan a special K-12 educator workshop exploring science, technology, engineering, art and math on February 29. 

“Drive the Blues Away” with a “Viva Las Vegas” night March 13 from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. at the LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington. 

Mustang in the garage is not part of the Mustang museum’s garage sale, but an exhibit on barn-found vehicles | Museum photo

The Mustang Owner’s Museum near Charlotte, North Carolina, will host a Ford Spring Garage Sale on March 28.

The Miles Through Time Museum in Clarkesville, Georgia, will stage a grand re-0pening and cruise-in on April 4. 

The Mustang Owner’s Museum near Charlotte, North Carolina, is making plans for National Mustang Day with several days of activities, including a test and tune on April 16, at Mooresville Dragway; a driver’s choice cruise to various NASCAR race shops or to a winery, distillery and brewery before the Mustang Hall of Fame induction on April 17; a “day at the museum” program on April 18; and a cruise to Mustang specialist Innovative Performance Technologies on April 19. Just confirmed will be an appearance by the 1963 Mustang II concept vehicle.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, re-opens its Performance Gallery on April 22. The gallery closed on November 20 for “a much-needed refresh.” 

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

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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 books. In addition to being Editorial Director at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times, writes a weekly automotive feature for The Detroit News and is an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

1 COMMENT

  1. Would you be interested in obtaining a 1962 Ford Falcon that needs to be restored? It has the 144ci cylinder motor and three on tree. It was being restored but my health will not let me finish it. It is a one owner car and I have original title.

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