HomeCar CultureClassic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska, to close after 10th anniversary

Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska, to close after 10th anniversary

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes


If you want to explore the more than 200 vehicles that comprise the Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska, you need to do so by the museum’s 10th anniversary in May 2021. The Kearney Hub Enterprise reports that after that date, the museum will be closing and its car collection will be sold at auction.

May 2021 marks the museum’s 10th anniversary and also a date at which the collection can be liquidated under the original agreement between the museum and Bernie and Janice Taulborg, who donated nearly 130 vintage vehicles to launch the facility.

The Hub Enterprise reports that the cars in the collection have been appraised at $4 million, which would be more than enough to repay about $3.3 million in tax-funded revenue from the Kearney Visitors Bureau. That money has kept the collection in operation for nearly 9 years.

“They really gave it as hard a try as I’ve ever seen, but it’s just not attracting the visitors,” county board chairman Bill McMullen told the newspaper. “The volume is so small and the cost is so high.”

Kearney car museum, Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska, to close after 10th anniversary, ClassicCars.com Journal
Classic Car Collection is located on historic Lincoln Highway/U.S. 30

Kearney is located in central Nebraska, 185 miles west of Omaha on I-80. The Archway, a museum focused on westward expansion and the Oregon Trail, spans the interstate highway in Kearney and has become a significant tourist attraction. The Classic Car Collection is located some 4 miles to the north on U.S. 30, the historic Lincoln Highway.

The car collection includes a 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith limousine, two Locomobiles, one of only 80 1930 Lincoln convertibles by LeBaron and one of only 20 1930 Lincoln Dual Cowl Phaetons. The collection also includes a variety of cars from the 1950s, a supercharged Shelby Mustang GT350 and an early Pontiac GTO.

The museum hosts Cruise ’N Coffee events starting at 3 p.m. local time on the third Sunday of each month starting in April.

Corvette museum gets DeAtley Trans Am racer

Kearney car museum, Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska, to close after 10th anniversary, ClassicCars.com Journal
DeAtley Trans-Am car has been donated to National Corvette Museum | Museum photos

After his Camaro-based team swept the top 3 spots in the 1983 SCCA Trans Am series, Chevrolet asked Neil DeAtley to race Corvettes in 1984. With only 8 weeks before the season began, the team completed 4 cars, and they were the first tube-frame chassis to carry Corvette bodies, albeit bodies modified for the demands of the race track.

Three of those cars survive and one of them has been donated to the National Corvette Museum by Mike Moss, who started racing as a teenager and who later would run an international trading company and become a lecturer at the U.S. Naval Academy. Moss acquired one of the DeAtley Corvettes, raced it in vintage events, and then had it restored to its original specification.

“Rather than sit in my race shop under a cover, it’s America’s Sports Car and truly a piece of Corvette history, especially in the mid-80s. America should have a chance to see it, so I donated it,” Moss was quoted in the museum’s announcement of the donation. 

“I wanted to share it with the nation and Corvette enthusiasts around the country, and the only way to do that was through the National Corvette Museum.”

Drivers of the DeAtley Corvettes included David Hobbs, Michael Andretti, Darrin Brassfield and Willy T. Ribbs. The DeAtley Corvette will go on display at the museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in April.

While he donated the DeAtley Corvette, Moss continues to compete in vintage events in vehicles including a Lola T-70 Mark III B. He also owns a Lola T-163 Can Am car driven by Peter Revson, a 1966 Gerhard Indy car raced by Gordon Johncock and a 1969 Gurney Eagle Indy car driven by Denis Hulme.

Kearney car museum, Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska, to close after 10th anniversary, ClassicCars.com Journal
DeAtley Corvette donated to museum by vintage racer Mike Moss

California dreamin’… of Pennsylvania

The California Automobile Museum is organizing a field trip to Pennsylvania in early October 2020. The tour will include visits to the Fall Hershey Show, the Mack Truck, America on Wheels, AACA and Simeone museums, historic sites in Philadelphia, as well as visits to Gettysburg and Amish Country. The trip runs October 3-13. For more information, visit the museum website.

Special events this weekend

The Seal Cove Auto Museum in Maine hosts its Speakeasy 2020 party March 7 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Mark your calendar

Shortly after noon on March 10, the record-breaking Triumph TR2 prototype will go on display at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon. In 1953 on Jabbeke, Belgium, the Triumph set a speed record for a 2.0-liter road car and revitalized the Triumph brand around the world.

“The Maxwell Story: Women Who Drove Across the Nation” is the subject of the “If Cars Could Talk” program at 11:30 a.m. on March 10 at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington. The program will feature Alice Ramsey’s coast-to-coast drive in 1909 in a Maxwell DA and Emily Anderson’s 2009 tribute trip. Ramsey’s 1908 Maxwell Model K runabout will be on display.

“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. Also scheduled for March 14 (beginning at 11 a.m.) is a Demo Day featuring celebrity cars formerly owned by Greta Garbo, Claudette Colbert, William Holden and Phil Spector.

The Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, California, will offer special showings of the 1927 movie, Her Wild Oat, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on March 14. Thought to have been lost, a copy of the museum was discovered in the Czech National Film Archive in Prague.  The movie will be shown on a hand-cranked projector accompanied by live organ music on the museum’s 5,000-pipe Mighty Wurlitzer one-man theater organ.

The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Daytona Beach, Florida, inducts its Class of 2020 on March 17. The class includes Red Byron (historic), Chris Carr (motorcycles), Floyd Clymer (at large), Rick Hendrick (stock cars), Jacky Ickx (sports cars), Tiny Lund (historic), “Ohio George” Montgomery (drag racing), Ivan “Ironman” Stewart (off road), and Wally Dallenbach (Indy racing). 

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 Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, offers “Packard – Ask The Man Who Owns One” with Packard historian Chuck Lachman as part of its winter lecture series at 3 p.m. on March 22.

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia hosts the third Philadelphia Area Car Modelers show from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on March 28.

March 29 is Family Sunday at the BMW Museum in Germany, where children can demonstrate their driving skills driving remote-controlled cars.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum in update New York hosts Ross Bentley’s Speed Secrets Seminar from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on March 29. 

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.

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

Kearney car museum, Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska, to close after 10th anniversary, ClassicCars.com Journal
Penske Racing is among the shops to be visited on Mustang Owner’s Museum tour | Museum photo

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 motorsport 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 Classic Car Collection in Kearney, Nebraska, opens its monthly Cruise ’N Coffee season from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 19.

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 Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia hosts the fourth annual Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance on April 24-25.

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 [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 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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