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Gilmore eager to flex its muscle cars

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes


It was just a couple of weeks ago that we shared the news of the Horseless Carriage Club of America planning to add a building to the Gilmore Car Museum campus in Hickory Corners, Michigan.

At the same time, we wrote about the museum accepting the donation of a 1902 Thomas Touring Car and re-opening after being shut down by the coronavirus pandemic with a new featured exhibition “Legendary Packard — From Lightbulbs to Luxury Automobiles.”

The museum not only is celebrating its own re-opening, but on the weekend of July 10-11 it will host an entire “community comeback,” hosting the Delton-Kellon High School Class of 2020 graduation ceremony in an outdoor drive-in format on Friday and, on Saturday, the museum will offer The English Rain, a Grammy-winning Beatles cover band, and for just $28 per carload. 

But somehow we neglected to remind everyone that the Horseless Carriage Club’s building won’t be the only new structure on the Gilmore campus. Last fall, after the overwhelming response to “Born to Perform: The Era of the Muscle Car” exhibition, the museum announced plans for its own 25,000-square-foot muscle car museum to be added to the campus.

To encourage the fund-raising effort, and to enable ground-breaking perhaps in the early spring of 2021, the museum produced a wonderfully enthusiastic 3-minute video that we discovered a few days ago and share eagerly.

Owls Head launches web series

The Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine has launched its first web series, “Shifting History,” and if the series is as good as the teaser, it should prove to be both educational and entertaining.

The first episode was released June 30 but don’t fret, you can go back and see that installment and then watch the subsequent 8 episodes, which will be released each Tuesday at 2 p.m. (Eastern) on Owls Head’s YouTube channel.

Another car museum in Maine, the Seal Cove Auto Museum, has joined the Mount Desert Island Historical Society to offer an 18-question, auto-oriented “History Hunt Challenge.” The winner will be revealed during a live Zoom event at 6 p.m. (Eastern) on July 7.

Corvette museum gets a ‘Miss America’ car

Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000, checks out the car donated to the National Corvette Museum

From 1988 through 1993, Miss America not only received her crown, but a Chevrolet Corvette convertible. Her convertible was part of a very small run of Corvettes produced to help promote the pageant.

Fast forward to February 2020 and Lars Wallace Sr. and Jr. thought it was time for Sr. to donate his 220,000-mile, non-rebuilt original-engine 1988 Corvette convertible to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. While going through the museum’s extensive archives, staff discovered the Wallace car had been one of the five Miss America promotional cars. 

This past week, Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000 and a Kentucky native, was on hand at the museum when the Wallaces made the official donation of their historic and high-mileage Corvette. Also participating, via Zoom, was another former Miss America, Kaye Lani Rafko Wilson, Miss America 1988, who said she still owns and drives the red Corvette convertible she received as part of her title.

At the ceremony, Lars Wallace Jr. said he hoped his family’s donation might lead to a museum exhibit of the various Miss America Corvettes.

Corvette museum hits the road

Assuming we’ll be free to move about the country again, the National Corvette Museum has released its “Museum in Motion” tour schedule.

While the Northern Ohio visit originally scheduled for August 2-7 has been postponed until 2021, the museum says it still has space available for the “Dragon Run,” based in Asheville, North Carolina, September 7-10 and on the “Branson Experience” in Missouri, September 8-12.

The “National Parks Tour” is scheduled for September 20-26, “One Lap of Kentucky” will take place on various dates in September and October, and the “Corvette Racing Weekend” in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is October 23-24.

Meanwhile, the museum hosts its 26th anniversary celebration September 3-5 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

For information, visit the museum website.

Heart of Route 66 museum re-opens

The home of the world’s tallest gas pump, the Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, has re-opened to visitors. 

Speaking of visitors, the museum is scheduled to be the lunch stop August 24 for The Great Race, which this year is scheduled to travel from San Antonio, Texas, to Greenville, South Carolina. 

Ducati Museum re-opens on company’s birthday

Display inside the Ducati Museum | Museum photos

The Ducati Museum and Fisica in Moto educational laboratory in Borgo Panigale, Bologna, Italy, re-opens on July 4, the 94th anniversary of the motorcycle manufacturer. The museum will be open only on Saturdays and Sundays until September 30, with the exception of weekday hours August 3-9 and August 23-17.

In line with new protocols, visits will be limited to 45 minutes each in the museum and the laboratory, the later focused on physics and engines.

In conjunction with the re-opening, the museum offers a one-day tour of Bologna and the Emilia-Romagna area on a new Ducati Scrambler electric bike.

For details, visit the museum website.

British Motor Museum re-opens July 4

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon re-opens to visitors on July 4 with various health cautions in place, including advance purchase of admission tickets through the museum website. 

The museum hosts a series of car shows. The schedule is on the museum’s website.

Mark your calendar

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is scheduled to re-open to the public on July 7.

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, is scheduled to re-open to visitors on July 9.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, will host a “community comeback” July 10-11. On July 10, the Delton-Kellogg High School Class of 2020 will stage its graduation ceremony in an outdoor drive-in format on the Gilmore campus. On the 11th, the Grammy Award-winning group, The English Rain, a Beatles cover band, will perform in an outdoor concert on the Gilmore stage. For details, visit the museum website.

Although the Mercedes-Benz Summer Concert schedule has been canceled for 2020, the Mercedes-Benz Museum is participating in a drive-in outdoor performance of reggae music July 10 featuring Gentleman, featuring Tilmann Otto.. 

Magazine cover

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, will help introduce a new automotive magazine-publishing effort from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 11 when The Garage Media editors Tim Foss and Brian Brennan are at the store. The new titles are Classic Truck Performance and Modern Rodding, currently are published bi-monthly but plans call for them to go monthly in January 2021, when the company launches All Chevy Performance.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, hosts “Volvos at the Gilmore VIII” on July 18 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and the following day, July 19, it’s the third annual “Corvette Envy” show from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., featuring a show of more than 300 Chevrolet sports cars plus a Corvette swap meet.

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, will host a book signing from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on July 18 with Chris Pook, founder of the Long Beach Grand Prix. Pook will autograph copies of the book, Chris Pook & the History of the Long Beach GP.

The Crawford Auto Aviation Collection in Cleveland is scheduled to re-open to the public on July 25. 

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles launches its virtual version of Monterey Car Week on August 1. The event runs August 1-10 and 12-16. Visit the museum website for more information.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum opens a new exhibit, “Granatelli: Larger Than Life” on August 1 to celebrate the legacy of Andy Granatelli, one of motorsports most colorful characters and successful promoters.  

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon hosts its Land Rover Show August 1-2.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will host a cruise-in car show from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on August 2. Registered car owners will receive lunch, museum admission and a museum hat. To register, visit the museum website.

The RV/MH Hall of Fame (that’s RV/MH as in Recreation Vehicle/Motor Home) in Elkhart, Indiana, holds its Hall of Fame induction ceremony on August 3.

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon hosts an electric vehicles festival car show on August 8 and a classics and vintage commercial vehicle show on August 8-9.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, opens two new exhibits on September 12 — “Yeah, It’s Got a Hemi!” and “Minibike Mania.”

The Miles Through Time museum in Clarkesville, Georgia, plans a “Cruise-In to the Museum” from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on September 12.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com

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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