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BMW history featured in ‘Genesis’ exhibit

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes


The history of BMW is shared in an exhibit that includes 20 cars and 4 motorcycles at the BMW CCA Foundation Museum in Greer, South Carolina. The exhibit also features archival photos, stories and an audio tour that can be downloaded to mobile phones.

“The exhibit tells the story of BMW’s early history as a maker of airplane engines during World War I, through its expansion into motorcycle and automobile production in the 1920s,” the museum said in its announcement. 

“With informative kiosks and fascinating vintage photography, the exhibit guides visitors through five decades of BMW history. 

“Genesis illuminates the company’s technical innovations as well as its role in supplying the German military through two world wars, and its re-emergence as a peacetime mobility company in the aftermath of World War II.”

The museum says the display is the most comprehensive collection of pre- and early post-war BMWs ever presented in North America. Some of the vehicles are the only ones of their kind in the United States.

Among the highlights are Colleen Sheehan’s 1930 3/15 PS DA2 cabriolet, believed to be the oldest BMW in North America; the 

1940 327/28 cabriolet presented to Schorsch Meier following his victory in the Isle of Man Senior TT; one of only 9 1940 335 4-door cabriolets with Autenrieth coachwork; a pair of EMWs produced in the former BMW factory in Eisenach when it was under Soviet control; a 1957 507 roadster first owned by Oscar Liebmann, the first BMW motorcycle dealer in the U.S.; and a 1965 3200 CS designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone.

Among the motorcycles are a Depression-era R2 single and a sidecar-and-trailer-equipped R75 produced for the German military during World War II.

The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

For those who cannot visit, a virtual tour of the exhibit is available at the museum website and there’s a 166-page Genesis book by BMW historian Jackie Jouret available as well.

Audrain opens ‘Track to Opera’ exhibit

1927 Isotta Fraschini 8AS Fleetwood roadster | Audrain photo

“From the Racetrack to the Opera: Marques That Did It All” is the title of a new exhibit that opens August 15 and runs through November 15 at the Audrain Automobile Museum in Newport, Rhode Island.

The exhibit includes cars from manufacturers that not only were successful in motorsports but produced vehicles that could be driven to the opera and other similar events. Note that the museum’s chief executive is Donald Osborne, who had a career in opera before becoming prominent in the car-collecting community. Osborne will take part in an online debut for the exhibit at 7 p.m. (Eastern) on August 14.   www.audrainautomuseum.org

Among the featured vehicles in the exhibit are a 1936 Delahaye 135 CS GP that won at Le Mans, the 1930 Duesenberg “Fred Fame” Special that was runner-up in the 1933 Indianapolis 500, and a 1952 OSCA 1600 GT coupe by Carrozzeria Touring. Cars will be paired together, for example, the 1927 Isotta Fraschini 8AS Fleetwood roadster built for Rudolph Valentino and a 1909 Isotta Fraschini Tipo FENC race car.

“This is an unprecedented gathering of extraordinary vehicles displaying the range great manufacturers achieved in their products,” the museum said.

Corvette club donates to Packard museum

Although they own Chevrolet Corvettes, members of the Mahoning Valley Corvette Club in Ohio have a soft spot for the National Packard Museum, located in Warren, Ohio. The museum and the club have collaborated on events in the past, and the club recently donated to the museum $1,654, proceeds from the Corvette and Steel Car Caravan held in late July.

“Due to the Corona Virus, car shows, and large gathering were halted, and museum operating funds typically generated by those events disappeared as well,” the museum said. 

“In an effort to support the museum and help to restore some of those funds the Mahoning Valley Corvette Club came up with the idea of hosting the Caravan. Any make, model or year vehicle was welcome to participate if they paid the $20 registration fee. A 50/50 drawing was also held. All proceeds of the event were for the benefit of the National Packard Museum.”

The event drew more than 80 vehicles.

Plans already are in place for the club to take guests to the museum next year when the National Council of Corvette Clubs stages its convention in Cleveland.

Registration opens for 1-Lap of Kentucky

The National Corvette Museum has opened registration for its annual 1-Lap of Kentucky drives, each a 5-day event that visits various sites throughout the state. The laps begin September 28, October 12, October 19 and October 26. For details, visit the Museum in Motion website.

Beaulieu adds ‘Simply French’ event

Citroen 2CV | Beaulieu photo

Britain’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu has added a 15th event to its “Simply” car show lineup with “Simply French” schedule for September 6.

“All owners of vehicles built in France, or by a French manufacturer are invited into Beaulieu for what promises to be a superb day out for both owners and enthusiasts,” the museum said. “From wonderful classics like the Citroën 2CV or the Alpine A110, through to the everyday family favorites like the Renault Megane and the Peugeot 308, all makes and models are welcome.”

Special events this weekend

With the 2020 Indianapolis 500 to be closed to spectators, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum also will be closed on days that have on-track activity. That means the museum will be closed August 12-16 (practice and qualifying) and 21-23 (Carb Day, Legends Day and race day).

The kartplex at the National Corvette Museum’s Motorsports Park re-opens August 14 and offers a 2-for-1 deal that day. Buy a spot in an Arrive & Drive race and get a second race included.

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, hosts its “Simply VW” car show on August 15 and “Simply American” on August 16.

Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida, hosts its monthly car show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 15.

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

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles stages its virtual version of Monterey Car Week from August 12-16. Visit the museum website for more information.

Mark your calendar

The New Forest at the British National Motor Museum in Beaulieu launches its new “Park & Picnic” program on August 13, with similar programs planned for August 20 and 27. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For details, visit the museum website.

The Massachusetts chapter of the Challenger Demons club gathers for a show August 16 at the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island.

The National Corvette Museum hosts the East Coast Rat Fink Reunion August 20-22 in conjunction with the museum’s “Cartoon Creatures, Kustom Kars and Corvettes: The Art and Influence of Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth” exhibition, which has been extended through April 2021.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, offers “The Corvette Experience” August 23. For $799, visitors can drive a new C8-generation Corvette Stingray Z51 around the 3.2-mile, 23-turn road course. It’s a lead-follow format that includes classroom instruction, track time, lunch and a museum tour. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate. The program also will be offered September 3, 10 and 18, October 9 and 16 and November 13. For information, visit the NCM Motorsports Park website.

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon hosts the Old Ford Rally on August 23, but the Buses Festival planned for that same date has been postponed.

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, hosts its “Simply Mercedes” car show on August 23.

The Porsche Club of America’s Northeast Region gathers for a show August 30 at the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island.

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, hosts its “Simply Aston Martin” car show on August 23.

The National Corvette Museum stages its 26th anniversary celebration September 2-5. 

The Mustang Owners Museum in Concord, North Carolina, is organizing The Carolina Cruise, an inaugural event, 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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