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Traffic-sign exhibit is too late to save my embarrassment

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes


Back when my beat included covering some of the world’s major motorsports events, I’d accumulated enough frequent flier miles that my teenage son joined me at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (where he was immediately adopted by the Peugeot team). After the race, we met my wife and our youngest daughter under the Eiffel Tower, from where we began a European vacation.

The vacation took us from France to Germany to northern Italy and back to Paris. My son still teases me about the day in Munich when, on perhaps my third trip around the same block, my wife finally asked where I thought I was going.

museum, Traffic-sign exhibit is too late to save my embarrassment, ClassicCars.com Journal
Among the signs in the museum display is this one, which indicates “No access for any motorized vehicles.” It is based on the design of the ‘town signs’ as used extensively in major German towns in the 1920s | Mercedes-Benz Museum photo

Frustrated with the traffic in Munich, I was looking for any escape. To that town, I said, frantically pointing to a sign. 

The sign proclaimed “Einordnen.” 

My wife, who had studied German in high school and college, laughed as she explained that Einordnen wasn’t a town. Instead, the sign was a request that drivers get into the proper lane now rather than waiting until they arrived at the next intersection.

To this day, my son loves to ask me if I’ve finally found my way to Einordnen.

Which brings me to this: One of the 33 “Extras” exhibits within the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany features “Road Signs,” including how, in 1909, eight European nations agreed to uniform road signs displaying symbols that could be understand despite language differences.

“The motorcar helps to overcome boundaries,” the museum notes, “which is why internationally uniform rules for road signs make sense.” 

Corvette museum tops USA Today 10-best list

USA Today has announced the results of its Readers’ Choice 2020 recognition of the 10-Best attractions for car lovers. And the winner is… the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

“Someday, we’ll all be ready to pack our suitcases again and head out on our next adventures,” the editors reported. “In the meantime, we’ll keep supporting the places that inspire us.”

Here is the top-10 places on this 2020 list:

  1. National Corvette Museum, Bowling Green KY
  2. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, Birmingham AL
  3. Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners MI
  4. Museum of American Speed, Lincoln NB
  5. Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, Philadelphia
  6. LeMay – America’s Car Museum, Tacoma WA
  7. Mullin Automotive Museum, Oxnard CA
  8. Revs Institute (Collier Collection), Naples FL
  9. AACA Museum, Hershey PA
  10. Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles

Corvette museum sets different sort of cruise 

The National Corvette Museum and its Museum in Motion touring program is putting together a different sort of cruise for May 14-23, 2021. This won’t be a typical collector car cruise, but a 9-day trip through the southern Caribbean area on a Celebrity Cruise Line ship. For details, visit the Museum in Motion website.

Rat Fink exhibit extended

Because the National Corvette Museum was closed for nearly 3 months by the coronavirus pandemic, it has announced that it will extend the “Cartoon Creatures, Kustom Kars and Corvettes: The Art and Influence of Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth” exhibit through April 2021.

The exhibit was co-curated by former Chevrolet Corvette chief designer Tom Peters and showcases the automotive revolution that took place from the late 1950s into the mid-’60s and inspired a generation of car enthusiasts, Peters among them.

The exhibit also will be featured August 20-22 when the East Coast Rat Fink Reunion is scheduled to take place at the museum.

Auto, motorcycle art featured 

museum, Traffic-sign exhibit is too late to save my embarrassment, ClassicCars.com Journal
‘To Protect and Serve’ by Robert Petillo

Though August 23, the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, Massachusetts, features “Luster: Realism and Hyperrealism in Contemporary Automobile and Motorcycle Painting,” an exhibition of more than 50 paintings by contemporary artists.

Springfield, of course, was where the Duryea brothers built the first successful gasoline-powered American vehicle, and also was the home of Knox, Stevens-Duryea, Atlas and Rolls-Royce’s American manufacturing plant, as well as the Indian Motorcycle Company.

‘Little Beaulieu’ open again

“Little Beaulieu,” the special children’s adventure play area at the National Motor Museum in England, will re-open July 27. The area is new and was open only for one week in March before being closed by the coronavirus pandemic.

It features large wooden structures and rustic play equipment, including secret passageways, hidden tunnels, turrets and a lookout tower. There’s even a trick bookcase of explore.

Indy museum cancels Oldtimers event

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has canceled its annual Oldtimers recognition dinner, which was scheduled for August 30, a few days before the rescheduled Indy 500-mile race. 

Indy Hall of Fame inductees Janet Guthrie and Dale Earnhardt will be featured at the 2021 event, the museum said.

Special events this weekend

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia plans to re-open July 23. 

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

Featured book from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. July 25 at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, will be Developing a Champion: The Electramotive Nissan GTP Story by author Chris Willes.

Mark your calendar

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.

Youngsters ages 5-13 can take part in the Porsche Museum’s annual “Car Factory” summer program August 4-23 in Stuttgart, Germany. The program is offered in German and English and offered insight to automobile production.

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 Mustang Owners Museum in Concord, North Carolina, is organizing The Carolina Cruise on September 5, when a 14-mile stretch of Highway 29 will become the site of a rolling car show.

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 [email protected]

Larry Edsall
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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