HomeCar CultureSurprise! It’s not all Chryslers at AACA Museum’s Hemi showcase

Surprise! It’s not all Chryslers at AACA Museum’s Hemi showcase

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes


“This is likely the most comprehensive public exhibition of ‘Hemi-power’ ever assembled,” the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, says of “Yeah, It’s Got A Hemi!”  The exhibit, featuring more than 35 vehicles and nearly 20 engine and cutaway displays, opened earlier this month. 

By the way, the exhibit isn’t limited to Chrysler products, but to other vehicles with domed/hemispherically shaped combustion chambers. Such engine architecture also has been used by Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, BMW, Porsche, Saab and others, the museum notes.

“While the Hemi engine is unquestionably linked to Chrysler, they did not invent the technology, which actually dates back to the first decade of the 20th century,” said Jeffrey Bliemeister, the museum’s executive director.

Hemi, Surprise! It’s not all Chryslers at AACA Museum’s Hemi showcase, ClassicCars.com Journal
Yes, there are plenty of Chrysler vehicles on display
Hemi, Surprise! It’s not all Chryslers at AACA Museum’s Hemi showcase, ClassicCars.com Journal
Hemi engines
Hemi, Surprise! It’s not all Chryslers at AACA Museum’s Hemi showcase, ClassicCars.com Journal
But also an Aston Martin

The museum’s announcement explains that guest curator and museum volunteer Bill Sangrey researched hemi-powered vehicles from throughout automotive history and tracked down “seminal” examples from across the country.

“We have over a dozen manufacturers represented with vehicles ranging from a 1914 Sterns-Knight to a current Dodge Pickup Truck,” Sangrey is quoted in the museum’s exhibit announcement. “Of course, Chrysler cars from all of its divisions are well-represented, including original and restored examples of Imperials, Chryslers, DeSotos, Dodges and Plymouths. 

“Visitors will also find the unexpected, including motorcycles, race cars and European vehicles such as BMWs, Alfa Romeos, Saabs, Porsches and Aston Martins.” 

Also included is a 1930 Duesenberg.

In addition to the Hemi showcase, the museum’s re-opening also features three other new exhibits that run through April 2021. Those include “Look, They Gave Me a Map!”, “Minibike Mania” and a display by the Horseless Carriage Club of America in the museum’s gateway gallery.

Harley museum welcomes medical, safety responders

Through September, the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee is offering free admission to medical and safety responders. The museum also will be the site of a blood-donation drive on September 18 – those donating blood will receive free museum admission that day.

Greenfield Village shares restoration stories

It’s Restoration and Customization month at the ClassicCars.com Journal, so the timing works well with a new online display by The Henry Ford Museum’s Greenfield Village. The restorations involved are not vehicles but of five historic buildings that have been moved to the Village and restored to their original condition. 

AACA, Carlisle Auctions set partnership

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and nearby Carlisle Auctions have announced a partnership program that will cover the Fall Carlisle auction scheduled for September 30 to October 4 as well as the Winter AutoFest sale scheduled for February 19-20 in Lakeland, Florida.

The museum will consign at least seven vehicles to the fall auction, including a 1926 Packard 4-door Club Dietrich, 1926 Wills St. Clair, 1931 Cadillac Town Car, 1935 Brewster sedan, 1946 Kaiser street rod, 1956 Chrysler Imperial and a 1991 Jaguar XJS.

Petersen will auction 1961 MGA Outlaw

Hemi, Surprise! It’s not all Chryslers at AACA Museum’s Hemi showcase, ClassicCars.com Journal
1961 MGA Outlaw will be auctioned by Petersen museum | Museum photo

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will shift its annual gala to a virtual event on September 26 and as part of the festivities it will auction a 1961 MGA Outlaw, a ride around Sonoma Raceway with Bruce Canepa in his Porsche 935, a 6-night stay in a Scottish castle and other goodies.

The auction will benefit the museum foundation, which provides educational programming to students in the LA area.

Mustang museum plans autumn activities

The Mustang Owner’s Museum in Concord, North Carolina, has announced a slate of autumn activities. They include:

October 3 — Cruise to Innovation Performance Technologies

October 10 — Fall Ford Garage Sale

October 17 — Mustang Hold’em and National Bullitt Day

October 24 — Oktoberfest

October 31 — Halloween

November 11 — Veterans and Mustangs

November 14 — Fox Body & SN-95 car show

November 21 — 4th and 5th Generation car show

November 28 — Toy Drive at the Museum

December 5 — Shelby, Roush and Saleen car show

December 12 — Member Appreciation Day

For details, visit the museum website.

Special events this weekend

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island hosts a Corvette clubs’ car show on September 18 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The annual collector car auction at the Saratoga Automobile Museum in upstate New York is scheduled for September 19.

Muscle Car City in Punta Gorda, Florida, stages its monthly car show September 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mark your calendar

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon presents a non-automotive showcase, “Voices of the West End,” a musical presentation featuring selections from acclaimed West End theater performances, on the museum grounds September 25-27. 

The Porsche Typ356 Northeast Club will stage a car show September 27 at the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island.

Fresh off its recent and inaugural museum picnic and driving tour, the Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, announced the Durham Region Rally is scheduled for September 27. For details, see the museum website.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento hosts the Cap City Motor Tour from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on October 3. 

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. 

The Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee opens a new exhibit, “Off-Road Harley-Davidson” on November 21.

“In the decades before America paved its highways, early riders had to be prepared for all sorts of terrain: sand, clay or dirt – and wandering those makeshift byways were Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” the museum notes. “Today, it’s called off-road or adventure touring; back then it was just called riding. 

“Since 1903, Harley-Davidson motorcycles proved their toughness by riding over wooded hills, through stone-choked creek beds and up mountain sides. ‘Off-road Harley-Davidson’ tells the history of motorcycles designed for rough roads, the people who rode them and the adventures they shared.”

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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