Audrain museum opens new exhibition with online event

Our weekly roundup of news and notes from car museums

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The evolution of automotive lighting is the subject of a new exhibition at the Audrian museum in Rhode Island | Museum illustration

The Audrian Automobile Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, will stage a virtual exhibition opening event May 1 at 7 p.m. (Eastern time). Featuring the museum’s chief executive Donald Osborne, the event is opening “Shining Bright: Advances in Automotive Lighting,” an exhibit that runs from May 1 to August 2.

With the museum closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the exhibition will be shared virtually for the time being.

“From the time of the first horseless carriages to the contemporary car, the development of technology in automotive lighting has been astonishing,” the museum reports on its website. The early evolution of automotive lighting also is featured in a video produced by the museum:

Vehicles to be featured as the exhibition opens range from a 1901 Winton Runabout and 1910 American Underslung to the 2018 McLaren 720S and 2020 Ducati Panigale V4R.

Corvette museum offers sneak peak

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, plans a special online event at 11 a.m. (Central time) on May 7. For a contribution of $100 to the museum, 100 people will be offered a sneak peak at the new E. Pierce Marshall Memorial Performance Gallery, the new “Vision Realized” mid-engine Corvette display and a new “Entombed Corvette” display.

This “behind the barrier” access with museum staffers offers looks inside the cars and under the hoods, special appearances by Corvette racers, and more. For more information, visit the museum website.

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California museum sets ‘Reel Meal Deal’

In partnership with fellow Sacramento, California, small businesses, the California Automobile Museum is offering “The Reel Meal Deal” from noon to 2 p.m. (Pacific time) May 2.

Meals can be pre-ordered through the museum website, and then picked up at the museum during the early afternoon on May 2. Meals are packaged for 2 or 4 customers and priced at $40 for 2 and $80 for 4. The meals are done by Dad’s Kitchen and Red Bus Brewing and benefit the museum.

Petersen shows global cars & coffee event

After drawing 140 submissions from 8 countries and 13 states for the inaugural event, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles plans another Global Car & Coffee to show on its YouTube channel on May 10.

“The overwhelming response to the Petersen Automotive Museum’s Global Cars & Coffee shows the passion of car enthusiasts worldwide,” museum executive director Terry Karges is quoted in the announcement. “This shared passion unites the global car community, and we are proud to continue serving as a platform for entertainment, education and the love of the automobile during these times of uncertainty.”

To enter the second showcase, use your smartphone to record a landscape-style 20- to 30-second video of your car, including interior, exterior, engine and start-up, upload the video to Dropbox, Google Drive of YouTube, and fill out a form on the Petersen website.

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Mullin offers online tour on May 5

The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, will offer an online tour at 10 a.m. (Pacific time) on May 5. The tour, on the museum’s Instagram page, will feature the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, the so-called Mona Lisa of the automotive world.

Studebaker museum shares photo library

The Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, is making its photo archives available online. The collection includes more than 200,000 images dating to the 19th century.

“The site is fully searchable and images cover a wide range of subjects, such as Studebaker’s 1932-33 Indianapolis 500 racing efforts and the 1960s Bonneville campaigns,” the museum said in its announcement.

“Other image collections include Studebaker plants and production scenes, dealerships, famous Studebaker ‘personalities,’ and Studebaker vehicles of all eras, both civilian and military.  Images may be purchased through the site and delivered to your doorstep.”


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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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