Car museum news this week includes the National Corvette Museum doing its first delivery of a mid-engine C8 model and the British Motor Museum taking delivery of a historic Triumph TR2 prototype.
C8 Corvette makes first museum delivery
Were I buying a new Chevrolet Corvette, selecting option “R8C” would seem to me to be a no-brainer. “R8C” means I would take delivery not at my local Chevy dealer but at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Sure, I’d have to find my way half-way across the country, but there are perks involved in museum delivery — and I’d have the great fun of driving my new mid-engine beauty back home.
On March 10, the museum did its first such delivery, handing over C8 VIN 0029 to Glenn and Andrea Johnson of Port Neches, Texas. The C8 is the sixth Corvette the couple has owned, their first being a 1982 model.
The museum expects to deliver 600 of the new mid-engine Corvettes this year. In 25 years of its delivery program, it was handed over the keys to more than 12,000 Corvettes to new owners.
British museum takes delivery of historic Triumph
Thanks to a grant of nearly $330,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the only known 1953 Triumph TR2 prototype has been presented for display at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire. In May 1953 at Jabbeke, Belgium, the TR2 prototype set a speed record of nearly 125 mph for a car with a 2.0-liter engine, and the resulting publicity ignited a renaissance for the Triumph brand.
The car was sold in the mid-1950s and the new owner dismantled it and put it into storage with plans to do to a restoration. But that restoration was not done until 2015 when the parts — all original and all preserved — were purchased and the car was restored to its original specification.
The car was obtained for the museum through the heritage fund grant, and it not only will be displayed but exercised from time to time, the museum announced.
“This is a truly triumphant day,” said Rene Olivieri, interim chair of the heritage fund. “A beacon of the UK’s pioneering motoring industry in its heyday, this Triumph TR2 prototype is a very important piece of our industrial and social heritage. At the National Heritage Memorial Fund we felt it was imperative to save it for the nation, for future generations to enjoy.”
‘Legends of Speed’ exhibition ends March 22
I’m glad Bob Golfen insisted we kidnap the Journal’s new managing editor, Tom Stahler, and spent part of a recent afternoon at the Phoenix Art Museum, where the “Legends of Speed” exhibition features an array of stunning and historic racing cars.
Cars of such quality that one of them, the 1973 Porsche 917/30, left the exhibition early to win Best of Show honors at the 2020 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
The museum, which benefits annually from the Copperstate 1000 vintage car rally, was a pioneer with its “Curves of Steel: Streamlined Automotive Design” exhibition back in 2007.
Membership has its rewards
Ever wonder why you should become a museum member instead of a casual visitor? Here’s one example: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum offers “Fuel Up Fridays” to its members. The first such event of the season is scheduled for the morning of March 27 and will feature a visit and question-and-answer session with 25-year-old Indy racer Sage Karam.
Virus threat closes Henry Ford museum
The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan, announced March 12 that it would be closed from March 13 at least through the 18th, when it will re-evaluate the situation concerning the spread of the coronavirus.
“It is our obligation to proactively put the health and safety of our guests, staff, students and volunteers first and do our part to help minimize the spread of this virus and the impact it will have on our nation’s health system and our community,” said museum president Patricia Mooradian.
“As history has taught us, Americans are resilient in the face of adversity and as a country we are at our best when we work together to help create solutions.”
The Blackhawk Collection in Danville, California, has closed until March 20 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum also has closed, but hopes to reopen March 30.
Meanwhile, the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine will remain open during regular hours, but will not stage a variety of extra programs it had planned, including the family bike rodeo, April school vacation programs, the transport lecture series, imagination station and engine demonstrations. The museum plans to resume what it calls “onsite guest programming” on May 2.
In addition, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia remains open, but has canceled Celebrity Cars Demo Day and the Foundation of Photography class for March 14.
“Drive the Blues Away” with a “Viva Las Vegas” night, scheduled for March 13 at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date, the museum announced.
Special events this weekend
It’s a “Hoods Up” weekend March 14-15 at the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island, where engines on more than 75 cars will be exposed for viewing.
The “Paint Me A Magic Bus” program scheduled for May 14 at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, has been postponed until April 25.
The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, will donate all admission fees collected March 14 to The Community Foundation to be used for relief and rebuilding after the recent EF4 tornado that struck the Nashville area.
The National Corvette Museum’s Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, stages a BingeTokyo high-performance driving event March 14-15 with track time available for all sorts of cars and drivers (though there is a 103 decibel at 50 feet exhaust noise limit). For details, visit the track website.
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 Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, exposes the engines in its vehicles through March 15 in a special “Under the Hoods” presentation.
Mark your calendar
“Birds of a Feather: Studebaker Hawks” is the subject of the speaker series presentation at 1:30 p.m. March 18 at the National Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana, where museum archivist Andrew Beckman will talk about the history and evolution of the Hawk model.
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Daytona Beach, Florida, has postponed the induction of its Class of 2020 originally scheduled for March 17. Hall officials said a new date will be announced date. 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-opening 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 motorsport photography, especially for his time with Shelby American.
The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, celebrates its 10th anniversary in April and starting April 17 will expand its schedule to be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
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 Spring Open House at the Lingenfelter Collection in Brighton, Michigan, is scheduled for April 25. Among the cars featured will be the 1954 Duntov “test mule,” which was the first Chevrolet Corvette with a V8 engine.
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].