‘Roarin’ Relic’ race car gets new home at Motorsports Hall of Fame

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1949 Olds
Historic 'Roaring' Relic' 1949 Oldsmobile NASCAR racing car returns to Daytona Beach before moving into Motorsports museum | Bill Warner / Amelia Island Concours photos

The “Roarin’ Relic,” believed to be the oldest original NASCAR race car in existence, has become part of the permanent exhibit at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Museum in Daytona Beach, Florida.

On hand for the car’s delivery to the museum’s collection was 94-year-old Paul Goldsmith, who flew in from Indiana to be reunited with the 1949 Oldsmobile that he and others had driven. 

Goldsmith is the only racer to have won on the old Daytona Beach road course in both cars and motorcycles. He rode for the Harley-Davidson factory team in 1953 when he won the Daytona 200.

“It’s an honor to help deliver the Roarin’ Relic,” Goldsmith said at the event. “The car and I go a long way back. It will give people a chance to see what it was really like for us in NASCAR’s earliest years.” 

The Roarin’ Relic was modified for racing by Bobby Griffin at Griffin Motors in Florence, South Carolina, and competed for more than a decade at the top level of stock car racing. In addition to Goldsmith, its drivers included Lee Petty, Buck Baker, Darel Dieringer, Bill Blair and Gene Darrah.

Paul Goldsmith and the ‘Roarin’ Relic’ Oldsmobile racer

Baker averaged 100.139 mph to put the car on the pole for the 1951 Modified Sportsman race on the beach circuit. He led the first 12 laps of the race before a fuel-pump issue interrupted his race. 

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The car was the first to be enshrined in the Joe Weatherly Stock Car Racing Museum at Darlington Raceway in 1965 and was a featured guest at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

New exhibits at ACD, Gilmore

An exhibition featuring the cars and stars of American Graffiti — “Where were you in ’62?” — has opened at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, and the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in northeast Indiana unveils “Duesenberg: The Evolution of America’s Finest Motorcar” on September 1.

Lane museum featured in new book

Book cover

The first in a series of books featuring the collection of the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville has been published and is available through the museum’s gift shop.

The 144-page book was written by automotive expert Ken Gross with photography by Peter Hardholdt and Bruce Sweetman and features 50 articles, including Lane family history and driving impressions of some of the museum’s eclectic vehicles.

Mustang museum honors Halderman

Although it remains closed under North Carolina’s coronavirus restrictions, the Mustang Owner’s Museum is staging the Gale Halderman Memorial Virtual Car Show. 

Mustangs, including Shelby, Saleen and Roush cars, will be grouped by model years and registration runs through September 8. The museum has announced that Karen Koenig, Halderman’s daughter, will select the Best of Show winner. 

For entry details, visit the museum’s website.

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Special events this weekend

The National Corvette Museum’s Motorsports Park celebrates the museum’s annual anniversary with high-performance driving events and a seminar featuring chief driving instructor Andy Pilgrim.

The Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, opens the third installment of its “South Bend: Then and Now” photographic exhibition on August 29. The “then” photos on display cover 1895 through the 1940s. The exhibit is scheduled to run through January 23, 2021.

The Mustang Owner’s Museum in North Carolina stages a “Cruise to Holman-Moody event” August 29 with departure from the museum at 11 a.m.

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

Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida, stages its monthly flea market August 30 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, hosts its “Simply Aston Martin” car show on August 30.

Mark your calendar

The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, resumes normal hours on September 1 and will host a cars-and-coffee cruise-in every Thursday and Sunday through October. The museum also will extend its “Stories of the G: 40 Years of G-Class” exhibition will be extended until September 20.

The National Corvette Museum stages its 26th anniversary celebration September 2-5. On September 3, the museum’s motorsports park offers opportunities to drive the new mid-engine C8 Corvette. The Corvette Experience will be offered on September 10 as well. The track will have a lap day and Auto-X events on September 5 and motorcycle events on September 5-6.

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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.

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 Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, will host a drive-in concert at 8 p.m. on September 11 featuring The Rock Show, a Journey tribute band.

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.

The Saratoga Automobile Museum in upstate New York hosts its annual collector car auction on September 19.

Although “Fall Hershey” has been smacked by the coronavirus pandemic, the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will stage a socially distanced, one-day car show on October 10.  However, the “Grillin’ & Chillin’ ” event planned for the previous evening has been postponed.

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

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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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