Horseless Carriage Club plans museum on the Gilmore campus

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes

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Architect's rendering shows the proposed exterior of the Horseless Carriage Club of America's building to be added to the Gilmore Car Museum campus | Horseless Carriage Club of America illustrations
Plan includes 10,000 square feet of display space

To preserve and present the Brass Era of the automobile and its impact on society, the Horseless Carriage Club of America has begun a fund-raising effort to support construction of another building on the 90-acre campus of the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan.

The facility, which would be built in 2023, also would become the club’s home base, said Bob Ladd, a former Horseless Carriage national president who is leading the museum fund-raising effort. Ladd was a long-time car dealer who for the last several years has been consulting on fund-raising for various non-profit groups.

It was during a planning session in 2018 that the idea of a club museum and headquarters was proposed, with the suggestion that it be centrally located. Thus the Gilmore, which in addition to its own buildings is the location of museums built by the Franklin, Cadillac-LaSale, Model A Ford, Lincoln, Pierce-Arrow clubs as well as the Classic Car Club of America. 

The Horseless Carriage Club will showcase vehicles in the Gilmore’s Carriage House in 2021 and 2022 as it continues its fund-raising program toward its own museum. That museum will be built to resemble one of the earliest car dealerships in nearby Kalamazoo, Michigan and will provide room to display more than 2 dozen vehicles while also sharing the story of the motorcars’ impact on society.

More news from the Gilmore…

1901 Packard Model C is part of new exhibit | Museum photo

The Horseless Carriage Club museum isn’t the only new building being planned on the Gilmore Car Museum campus. The museum will construct its own 25,000-square-foot muscle car museum to house a display of Detroit muscle cars from the 1960s and ‘70s. 

Groundbreaking for the muscle car building was scheduled for this summer, but has been pushed back to spring of 2021. 

Meanwhile, the museum has re-opened with a special exhibition, “Legendary Packard — From Lightbulbs to Luxury Automobiles” showcasing 20 examples of the brand. 

The museum also has accepted the donation from insurer Jim Grundy of a 1902 Thomas Touring Car (with tonneau) that is considered one of the best-preserved and unrestored examples of a pre-1905 motorcar. 

The car’s original owner was John D. Rockefeller and the Rockefeller family owned the car into the 1960s. The only non-original parts on the car are its tires and the water, oil and gas in its various tanks. The car was only the 11th produced by the E. R. Thomas Motor Company of Buffalo, New York, and it still wears its original hand-made leather New York State license plate.

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Thomas, of course, became world famous when its 1907 Flyer won the round-the-world 1908 New York to Paris race.

Corvette museum is ‘sensory inclusive’

The National Corvette Museum and its NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, have been certified as “Sensory Inclusive” venues. Staff “has been trained to recognize guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation,” the museum said.

“Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads are available to guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment and can be obtained at the admissions counter.”

“Sensory sensitivities, or challenges with sensory regulation, are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other sensory regulation challenges,” said Deb Howard, the museum’s education coordinator. “One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which is a part of the environment at our venues. With the new certification and sensory tools, the Museum is better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible.” 

Families concerned about such issues can download the free KultureCity App for details about more than 350 sensory inclusive sites in 4 countries.

Petersen re-opening set for June 19

Been frustrated that the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles was closed and you couldn’t see the “Hollywood Dream Machines,” “Reclaimed Rust” or “Building an Electric Future” exhibits? 

Your frustration ends June 19 as the museum re-opens, albeit in adherence to health and safety guidelines and with a new hours of operation schedule. For the time being, the museum will be open only Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and visitors will be required to wear protective face coverings, which will be provided to those who do not bring their own.

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Tesla Cybertruck concept

As an added incentive to attend, the Tesla Cybertruck will make its public debut, in the Petersen lobby, from June 19-26.

Admission tickets at this time must be purchased ahead of a visit through the museum website.

NE Motor Sports opens doors June 20

After being closed by the coronavirus pandemic, the North East Motor Sports Museum in Loudon, New Hampshire, plans to re-open June 20. The museum will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m until 4 p.m. through June. If all goes well, it also will be open on Fridays in July.

While closed, the museum added a feature exhibit, “The Might Midgets,” with 7 historical significant midget racing cars with New England history.

C&C at ACD

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana, stages its first Cars & Coffee of the season from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on June 20. Several cars from the museum’s collection also will be displayed on the Plaza.

Newport welcomes dads

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island not only offers free admission to fathers on Father’s Day, but through June 24 as well. 

On June 27-28, the museum will stage one of its “Hoods Up” weekends with the engines exposed on more than 75 vehicles on display.

Monaco museum re-opens

Helmets to be auctioned for charity | Museum photo

After being closed for more than 3 months, the Prince of Monaco Car Collection has re-opened to the public, albeit under new health restrictions, such as wearing a mask.

The museum’s director noted that the current display features Formula One racing cars since the annual Monaco Grand Prix was canceled during the coronavirus pandemic.

The museum and the Hotel Hermitage will host an Artcurial auction of collector cars from July 19-21. The auction will include a special selection of custom-painted helmets to be sold to benefit the care of children at L’Archet Hospital in nearby Nice.

For more information, visit the collection website.

BMW revs up ‘Wheels & Weißwürscht 2020’

BMW breakfast gathering open to all vintage vehicles | BMW photo

BMW Group Classic launches “Wheels & Weißwürscht 2020″ from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. June 20, inviting owners of classic vehicles of all marques to Moosacher Strasse 66 in Munich for a breakfast of white sausages and pretzels. 

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The event is open to 2- and 4-wheel classics and each will recieve “the coveted W&W sticker,” BMW Classic says, adding that, “As a special treat, tours of the historic BMW vehicle collection are offered between 10:00 and 12:00 in groups of up to ten people.”

“Wheels & Weißwürscht” events, which usually start in May, are planned for the first and third weekend through October. 

Cars & Coffee returns to Mercedes museum

„Cars & Coffee“, das markenoffene Klassikertreffen am Mercedes-Benz Museum. Foto aus dem Jahr 2019. “Cars & Coffee”, the meet for classic cars of all makes at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Photo from 2019.

The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany has resumed its weekly Cars & Coffee cruise-in programs, to be held each Sunday through September 13 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the museum mound. “Classic cars and well-preserved modern classics of all brands are welcome,” the museum notes.

Henry Ford museum to re-open July 9

The Henry Ford museum and adjacent Greenfield Village will re-open to the public July 9, though on only a Thursday through Sunday schedule at first. 

The museum covers various aspects of history and innovation and has an extensive automotive display.

For details, visit the museum’s “welcome back” website.

Motorsports Hall of Fame of American open again

The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and Museum at Daytona Beach, Florida, has re-opened to visitors, though with health and safety protocols in place.

“Building guests will have their temperature taken at arrival,” the museum said. “Museum host staff and docents will be wearing masks, and all guests are required to have a mask if they are buying a ticket. Six-feet distancing rules will be in place for all tours that will see guests follow a one-way path through highlight sections of the MSHFA Museum”.

NASCAR Hall of Fame identifies Class of 2021

The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, has revealed the Class of 2021 inductees. They are Mike Stefanik, a 9-time champion in modified and NASCAR East racing; Red Farmer, a member of the famed “Alabama Gang” who won the Late Model Sportsman division 3 years in a row; Dale Earnhardt Jr., a 2-time Xfinity champion; and Ralph Seagraves, an executive at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco who brought Winston sponsorship to stock car racing.

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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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