Corvette museum offers sneak peek of its new exhibits

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes

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What can you see through this new window at the National Corvette Museum? | Museum photos

The National Corvette Museum re-opens its galleries to visitors on June 8, but is sharing a preview via the ClassicCars.com Journal of three new exhibits. 

They are:

Previous mid-engine Corvette proposals are on display in the museum

“Vision Realized” mid-engine Corvette gallery — This exhibit showcases the decades of prototype vehicles that preceded the 2020 mid-engine C8-generation of the Corvette. 

“The exhibit tells the story of Zora Arkus-Duntov’s dream of one day having a production mid-engine,” said museum curator Derek Moore. We only wish he could be here to see it for himself.”

Among the vehicles featured are Cerv I and Cerv II, and the 2-rotor powered XP-987 GT.

This exhibit is on display through April 2021, the museum said.

“Entombed Corvette” — “Many Corvette aficionados may remember hearing of a 1954 Corvette that was ‘entombed’ in a brick room in the basement of a grocery store for nearly 30 years,” the museum reports. “In 1986, the room was dismantled brick-by-brick, and the Corvette revealed.”

That Corvette was donated to the museum in 2019 and its story has been preserved in a special exhibit that recreates the tomb, including the pair of light bulbs in the ceiling, the small hatch for access and a tiny window.

Don’t fret, though, because one wall of the tomb is gone so the car can be viewed in its entirety.

Performance gallery has been revised and updated

Renewed Performance Gallery — The museum’s former racing and performance gallery has been renovated as the E. Pierce Marshall Memorial Performance Gallery and has been updated with a 180-degree video display, touch screens at display cases and an array of racing cars, including Marshall’s C7.R.  

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The National Corvette Museum opens June 8, will be open daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. (Central time), and will open in compliance with health and safety precautions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

For more information, visit the museum website.

Miles Through Time welcome visitors

Miles Through Time museum re-opens with car show in parking lot | Museum photo

The Miles Through Time museum in Clarkesville, Georgia, has re-opened and already reports having “hundreds” of visitors. 

The museum hosts a Mercury Cougar Club gathering on June 13. For more information, visit the museum website.

Stahls still closed, so it takes cars on the road

Cars roll out of the museum | Museum photos by Dale Moore

The Stahls Automotive Foundation collection in Chesterfield Township, Michigan, has yet to re-open to the public, but that didn’t stop its crew from taking a bunch of the collection’s cars on a parade-style cruise June 2. The route included cruising through the parking lots of several senior-living centers and a hospital.

Cars on their tour

Audrian’s doors open again June 8

The Audrian Automotive Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, has announced its re-opening for June 8.

“It’s fitting that our current exhibition is titled ‘Shining Bright’, as we feel this re-opening can be another sign of brighter times ahead for us all,” said museum chief executive Donald Osborne.

Gilmore will re-open on June 12

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, has announced June 12 at the date for the re-opening of its campus to visitors. The museum offers a farm-like setting with many of its cars located in historic barns that have been reassembled on the property. 

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The campus also includes several collections displayed in buildings that appear to be vintage auto dealerships.

Owls Head sets July 17 re-opening date

The Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine plans to re-open to the public on June 17. In response to ongoing social-distancing guidelines, the museum will be open to 45 visitors at any time in its six gallery spaces and outdoor courtyard/picnic area. 

Visitors will be required to bring masks to wear when social distancing is not possible. As the museum returns to activity, reservations will be required and can be made through the museum website.

Beaulieu museum closed but grounds open

Although it has yet to be allowed to open the National Motor Museum or other buildings to the public, the grounds and gardens at Beaulieu, England, will be re-opened to visitors June 6. In addition to the Victorian flower and vegetable gardens, Mill Pond walk and Beaulieu Abbey grounds, Lord Montagu’s private gardens surrounding Palace House will be available.

Safety protocols will be in place and only 500 people will be admitted at any time. For details, visit the special visitor safety website.

British museum updates show schedule

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon, Warwickshire, has updated its 2020 car show schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic. The museum itself remains closed and has yet to announce a date for re-opening.

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Meanwhile, on the museum grounds, the Old Ford Rally is scheduled tentatively for July 19 and the Yakushi Car Club Meet for July 26. The Land Rover Show has been moved to August 1-2 and the Classic & Vintage Commercial Vehicle show to August 8-9.

The National Metro & Mini show and the BMW & Leyland show have been rescheduled for September 6. The Retro Truck show will keep its original September 12-13 dates and the Mogfest is still planned for September 26.

Saratoga museum accepting consignments

1931 Pierce Arrow Model 42 Phaeton is on the auction docket | Museum photos
Child-sized Ferrari

The Saratoga Automobile Museum stages its annual Saratoga Motorcar Auction for September 18-19 in upstate New York and is accepting consignments for the sale.

Among the vehicles already on the docket are a 1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 42 dual-cowl phaeton with a built-in bar for those riding in the back seat and an electric-powered 1962 “kids” Ferrari Letizia Ferrarina, imported in 1962 by Luigi Chinetti Motors and featured in a five-page spread in Road & Track magazine in 2000.

Don’t miss the drone flight through Mercedes museum

In conjunction with the museum news and notes roundup this week, on the morning of June 5 we’ll publish our Video of the Day, this one featuring a drone flight through the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Here’s the link.

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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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