HomeCar CultureAlfa Romeo museum features ‘Seahorses’ exhibit

Alfa Romeo museum features ‘Seahorses’ exhibit

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes


“Seahorses” is the title of a new exhibition at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, Italy, where the focus is on watercraft powered by Alfa engines, boats that have won Italian, European and world racing championships, and broken speed records as well.

The craft range from pleasure boats to those used on Venice waterways and those deployed during World War II. Cavalli Marini is the Italian name of the exhibit, which runs through February 21, 2021. 

“Aeronautical and automobile engines were adapted for marine use, both production and racing, derived not only from the legendary Alfetta during and after their automotive careers, but also from the Giulietta, Giulia GTA, Montreal, 2600 and others,” the museum said in its announcement. 

“Among all the records and world, European and Italian titles in the various classes, Alfa Romeo won on the water almost as much as on the track and on the road.”

Antonio Pietrobelli drove ‘Celli,’ first of four 2500 racers powered by Montreal-Autodelta marine engine. to several victories
When Alfa left F1 auto racing, it moved to racing on water with craft such as the 1953 ‘Laura’

A special feature of the exhibit is the reunion of the Arno II racer and the engine that propelled it before being used in Formula 1 racing cars. 

Included in the showcase are 10 boats, nine of which claim 11 world records and six world championships. 

RAC moves Art of Motoring online

Stirling Moss, by Stefan Johansson | RAC photo

Britain’s Royal Automobile Club annually stages an Art of Motoring exhibition in its Pall Mall Clubhouse, but with the coronavirus pandemic still active, the 2020 version has moved online. 

The exhibition is introduced in an 11-minute YouTube video, which leads to a link to the website where you can take your time exploring the work of more than 20 artists and sculptors.

Among the artists featured this year is Stefan Johansson, Le Mans winner and F1 racer who started painting after his friend, Elio de Angelis, died while testing a racing car in 1986.

Studebaker museum offers its 2021 calendar

Calendar images | Museum photos by Matt Cashore

Speaking of automotive art, the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, has released its 2021 calendar, which features photographs of vintage cars at Indiana landmarks with people in period costumes from the Casaday Costume Company. 

The calendars are priced at $17.99 and are available through the museum’s website.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em

What has to be one of the most unusual displays at any car museum is one of the “33 Extras” at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Ashtrays is the subject of the display of “utensils for the use of tobacco in the car.”

The museum notes that ashtrays were an accessory before World War II, smoking was considered “modern” in the 1920s and ‘30s, the museum adds, and then the receptacles were integrated into dashboards after the war. 

Power outage at Miles Through Time

A hot rod donated by the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is ready to be displayed at its new home, the Miles Through Time Automotive Museum in Clarkesville, Georgia. Problem is, a storm that blew through the Clarkesville area knocked out most of the buildings power supply and it may be another week before the flow of electricity can be restored. In the meantime, the museum remains closed.

Special events this weekend

The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, offers free admission to active and retired US military personnel (plus as many as 3 guests) through November 9. The museum also will be beginning its Toys for Tots Drive that weekend. Donate a new unwrapped toy worth $10 or more and receive free museum admission.

The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California re-opens to the public on November 6. New hours will be Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Hot rod from Petersen awaits new visitors | Museum photo

The Mustang Owners Museum in Concord, North Carolina, will host an Early Generation and Mustang II car show on November 7. However, due to coronavirus restrictions, only the first 25 cars to register will comprise the show. Third and Fourth-Gen Mustangs will be featured November 14 and Fourth and Fifth on November 21. The museum also will host a Veteran’s Mustang show open to cars owned by veterans on November 11.

Mark your calendar

The Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island plans two reduced-admission days, November 11 for active military and veterans and November 27 for AAA members. The museum also will stage a “Hoods Up” weekend November 14-15.

Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, co-author Elana Scherr and their book, My Life Beyond the 1320, will be featured from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. November 14 at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California.

Members of the Arcane Auto Society get featured parking on the plaza in front of the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on November 7. On November 15, that honor goes to the Bay Area Jaguar Club and Jaguar Associates Group.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, hosts its annual “Vets ’n Vettes” event November 12-14. On the 14th, the museum’s Motorsports Park offers a 1-day high-performance driver introduction designed for those new to “recreational performance driving.” For details, visit the track website.

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.”

The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, will include vault tours as part of the regular admission fee on November 27.

The San Diego Automotive Museum will feature an electric vehicle exhibit from January 22 to May 22, 2021. Among the vehicles on display will be a 1914 Galt gas-electric roadster that has been on loan and on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The Galt’s regular home is the Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, where the car is scheduled to return after its San Diego pit stop.

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, 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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts