HomeCar CultureMuseum gift shops open online for holiday shopping sprees

Museum gift shops open online for holiday shopping sprees

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes


As I write this week’s roundup of museum news and notes, I’m wearing a long-sleeve T-shirt I purchased a couple of years ago in the gift shop at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan. 

I have similar shirts, some short-sleeved, some long, purchased at the Owls Head and Seal Cove museums in Maine, the Pierce-Arrow museum in Buffalo, The Henry Ford in Michigan, the Auburn Cord Duesenberg museum in Indiana, and the Martin in Phoenix. The now-fading orange baseball cap I wear most frequently is from the Northeast Classic Car Museum in Norwich, New York.

museums, Museum gift shops open online for holiday shopping sprees, ClassicCars.com Journal

I also have car models, toys and books purchased at museum gift shops here — including the Petersen and the ACD — and in Europe. 

My point? Car museum gift shops are a great place to shop, and that includes any last-minute holiday shopping for the car guy or gal on your version of Santa’s naughty/nice list.

While the latest wave of the coronavirus pandemic has forced several car museums to close yet again, most are still operating their gift shops online. Just go to the museum website and start shopping.

Oh, and don’t forget, a museum annual membership is a great gift to give or to receive.

Speaking of gifts, the museum will be delighted if you make a year-end monetary donation to help its operations.

Packard museum temporarily closed

Because of a resurgence of the coronavirus, the National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio, will be closed through December 31. Although temporarily closed, planning continues for the museum’s 21st annual vintage motorcycle exhibit, and the museum’s gift shop is open online. 

The theme for the 2021 showcase is “Motorcycles — Roll Your Own” and will feature hand-built bikes including basket-case restorations, modified machines and bikes “simply for the joy of riding.”

Bikes scheduled for the exhibit include a 1902 Sylvester & Jones, 1905 Crouch, 1912 Indiana belt drive, 1971 BSA/Diesel 2-cylinder and a one-off 2021 Triumph Scrambler James Bond edition.

AACA offers extended holiday hours

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, has extended hours on Saturdays through January 2. The museum is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily, but on Saturdays through January 2 will stay open until 8 p.m. so visitors can not only see the various automotive displays but the more than 100 decorated trees, poinsettias and wreaths. 

The AACA also has a “Grinchy” scavenger hunt for children and a “Roads to Rails” model train display.

Indy trophy sculptor Zoom visit

Borg-Warner sculptor
2020 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato poses for Borg-Warner Trophy sculptor | Borg-Warner photos by Scott R LePage
museums, Museum gift shops open online for holiday shopping sprees, ClassicCars.com Journal
Indy winner takes a selfie with his sculpted image

From 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. (Eastern) on December 11, William Behrends, the sculptor responsible for creating the Borg-Warner Trophy images of the drivers who have won the Indianapolis 500, will take part in a special “Fuel Up Friday” edition Zoom cast presented by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

The Friday events usually are restricted to museum members, but this one is open to anyone who signs up at the special website.

The Borg-Warner Trophy is among the most famous of American sports trophies and has been used since 1936. Behrends has been the sculptor adding the winner’s image in sterling silver annually since 1990.

During the Zoom cast, he’s expected to discuss his passion for the race, his work as a sculptor, and the process for creating and adding a new face each year to the Indy trophy. In addition to the Indy trophy, Behrends has done statues of baseball star Willie Mays, automotive pioneer Henry Ford II, golfer Bobby Jones and Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, among others.

LeMay benefits from raffle

America’s Automotive Trust is staging a sweepstakes to give someone a 2019 Saleen 302 Black Label nicknamed “Blazing Fury.” Note, however, that the car is not a vintage Plymouth Fury but an 800-horsepower contemporary Ford Mustang tweaked by Saleen Automotive. Proceeds will benefit the AAT’s LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, as well as the RPM Foundation and other AAT programs.

Visit the AAT website for details.

Special events this weekend

museums, Museum gift shops open online for holiday shopping sprees, ClassicCars.com Journal
2005 Chevrolet Corvette by artist Romero Britto | Museum photo

It’s “Hoods Up” weekend at the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island, where more than 75 vehicles will have their engines exposed for viewing. Featured vehicle this month at the museum is the 2005 Romero Britto Corvette, the work of Brazilian-born Miami-based artists Romero Britto.

The Mustang Owners Museum in Concord, North Carolina, hosts a driving cruise December 12 from its facility to Innovation Performance Technologies in Pinehurst. The cruise begins at 10 a.m. and includes lunch and a tour of the Innovative Performance facility and its vehicles. See the museum website for registration information.

The museum has switched to its winter-hours schedule (10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wedneday through Saturday, noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday), and will resume 7-day operations in early April 2021.

The Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, California, stages a cruise-in and toy drive December 12 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

museums, Museum gift shops open online for holiday shopping sprees, ClassicCars.com Journal
Victorian holiday decorations at Palace House | Samantha Cook photo

Palace House, historic home of the Montagu family, will be open December 12-13 and again December 19 to January 3 for a vintage Christmas celebration. The event extends into the British National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, where the featured exhibit showcases more than 800 toy and pedal cars.

Mark your calendar

The Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, continues its Third Thursday lecture series on December 17 at 7 p.m. when restoration specialist Justin Sookraj presents “The Delorean Dream” on Zoom. To participate, visit the museum’s Third Thursday lecture website.

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 larrye@classiccars.com

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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