NASCAR Hall celebrates 25 years of Haulin’

Our weekly roundup of news and notes from car museums

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NASCAR Hall of Fame museum features exhibition of 25 years of racing trucks | Museum photos

A special exhibition celebrating 25 years of NASCAR truck racing runs through July at the NASCAR Hall of Fame museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Haulin’: 25 Years of NASCAR Trucks” features racing trucks from P.J. Jones’ 1994 Chevrolet to Matt Crafton’s 2019 Ford.

“This new exhibit is another great example of the NASCAR Hall’s commitment to honoring the history and heritage of all aspects of the sport,” said Hall of Fame executive director Winston Kelley. “Honoring these drivers and the trucks that carried them to success is a fitting celebration of the talent and skill throughout NASCAR.”

The No. 1 car is the 1994 Ford driven by P.J. Jones in 1994 for team owner Frank ‘Scoop’ Vessels
Exhibit includes an array of helmets

In unveiled the exhibit, the museum noted that “Sanctioned off-road truck racing had been happening for decades when a small group of Southern California racers pitched NASCAR on the idea of racing pickup trucks on paved oval tracks.”

NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. signed off on a plan in 1992 and in 1994 there were exhibition races on tracks in the Southwest. A year later, the NASCAR SuperTruck Series (now NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series) was born. 

Record-setting Sunbeam getting proper transmission

Restored Sunbeam did low-speed run in 2015 but new transmission will enable driving at speed | Museum photos
Bentley transmission fitted to Sunbeam

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, which in 2015 rebuilt the V12 engine in the 1920 Sunbeam 350hp that Malcolm Campbell drove to a world land speed record of 150 mph, has equipped the car with a proper transmission.

The car lost its original gearbox decades ago. The museum’s workshop staff rebuilt the engine and did a low-speed run on the famed Pendine Sands in South Wales in 2015. The run was done with a transmission from an Albion 35hp that was capable of dealing with only a fraction of the 18-liter engine’s output and which lacked a transmission brake, “an important part of the Sunbeam’s original brake set-up,” the museum noted.

Recently, the museum said, a C-type Bentley transmission has been found and adapted to fit the Sunbeam. The museum said its crew is in the process of installing a historically correct transmission brake and propshaft.

“Once the full installation has been completed, the Sunbeam will have the robust transmission its mighty engine deserves,” the museum noted.

‘Grand Tour’ celebrates Ferrari’s birthday

‘Grand Tour’ display at Enzo Ferrari Museum | Museum photo

February 18 was Enzo Ferrari’s birthday and the opening dat for a new exhibition, “Ferrari Grand Tour,” at the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena, Italy. According to the museum, the exhibition is “a journey through beauty and passion” celebrates the international vocation and boundless fame of a marque that has dominated the world scene with unparalleled styling of its cars from the very early days.”

As the exhibition title indicates, it is a showcase of Grand Touring cars and takes visitors on a multimedia journey to Paris, London, New York, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi and Rome.

Corvette museum offers ‘next-gen’ memberships

Corvette museum offers new children’s membership program | Museum photo

To create interest in the “next generation,” the National Corvette Museum offers special memberships for those yet to celebrate their 18th birthdays. The cost, which covers the child until age 18, is $400 for those up to 9 years old and $200 for those 10-18 and includes free admission, a gift-store discount, free cookie in the cafe when visiting, a membership packet that includes a Corvette toy, quarterly newsletter, annual birthday gift and discounts on special children’s programs.

For details, see the member-relations supervisor during your next visit. 

Special events this weekend

Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida, hosts its monthly auto flea market February 23 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in northeast Indiana, with support from the AWS Foundation, will offer an Access Day on February 22 with additional staff and volunteers on hand to provide special programming for people with disabilities and with sensory-related sensitivities. Pre-registration is required and can be done through the museum website.

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, plans at grand re-opening party from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on February 22 to celebrate its new location.

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The finalists for the Dean Batchelor award as book of the year will be featured February 22 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California. The books are The Speed Kings: The Rise and Fall of Motordrome Racing by Don Emde and The Last Shelby Cobra: My Times with Carroll Shelby by Chris Theodore.

Mark your calendar

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. 

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, stages its first “Muscles & Mojo” monthly first-Sunday car show from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. on March 1.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum opens its spring speaker series on March 4 with racers Conor Daly and Ed Carpenter.

“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. 

The “Foundations of Photography 2020” series of classes begins March 14 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, where Andrew Taylor will lead the 6-part educational series on photographing the automobile.

The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, offers a “Start Your Engines!” event on March 21.

The Mustang Owner’s Museum near Charlotte, North Carolina, will host a Ford Spring Garage Sale on March 21.

The Studebaker Family Extravaganza scheduled for April 4 at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will include a parade led by a Tucker, a Studebaker flea market and other activities. The museum notes that the Tucker is Chassis 1026, the only Tucker with an automatic transmission and “has never been seen or driven in a public setting like this.” The car also will take part in the Historic Vehicle Association’s International Drive Conference scheduled for April 23-25 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Miles Through Time Museum preparing for April 4 re-opening | Museum photo

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 AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will host a special Mustang Day program on April 17 with a cruise-in car show beginning at 9 a.m., with behind-the-scenes tours and a special presentation at 1 p.m. by Shelby engineer Chuck Cantwell.

The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Daytona, Beach, Florida, hosts “An Evening with Dave Friedman” from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 17. Friedman is well known for his motorsports photography, especially for his time with Shelby American.

The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, plans its first cars and coffee cruise-in of the season from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. on April 18.

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.” 

The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, opens two new exhibits on May 7 — “a hobby gone wild” and “Wingless Wonders: Propeller Vehicles That Never Took Off.”

The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, California, hosts its 8th annual vintage trailer show from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on June 20. New this year will be seminars and restoration tips from experts.

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 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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