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Home Car Culture One museum features mini-Indy, but another museum is closing

One museum features mini-Indy, but another museum is closing

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes

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Just days after struggling to decorate a small gingerbread house as part of my daughter’s holiday decorating, I heard that a gingerbread version of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex had been created and was on display at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis.

Turns out the mini-Indy isn’t made of gingerbread, but it is impressive nonetheless and is displayed as part of the annual “Jingle Rails” showcase at the Eiteljorg through January 18. 

“Jingle Rails” is an annual scale-model railroad array that the museum has done for the past 11th years. Each year a new Indy-area attraction is added. In 2019, it was the Speedway, complete with a slot-car track and cars in motion; in 2020 it was the Indiana State Fair backdrop.

The models are designed and built for the museum by Applied Imagination, a landscaping and “botanical architecture” firm in Alexandria, Kentucky. Applied Imagination’s artisans use all-natural materials such as tree bark, pine cones, and dried plants for its scale-model displays.

Muscle Car City closing with auction

If you like Chevelles and Malibus, you will find a treasure trove at Muscle Car City, arcing around from the wall to the front entrance, almost | Jim McCraw photo

Muscle Car City, the huge GM-centric car museum in Punta Gorda, Florida, used its Facebook page to announce that it will close January 17 after 14 years in operation.

“I am 72 and beginning to feel like it,” wrote Rick Treworgy, who cited the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of international tourists as reasons for the museum “going backwards” in 2020. “It’s time to retire.” 

Just days after closing, Treworgy said Mecum Auctions will go onsite to sell off “3/4 of my collection… the rest I will take home and it will become my private toy box again.”

The no-reserve auction featuring around 200 muscle cars is scheduled for January 22-23.

While the museum will close, Treworgy said Sting Rays bar and grill will remain open and the facility likely will host car shows and swap meets for the time being.

For more information, visit the museum and Mecum websites.

Cal museum’s 1977 Pacer is back on the road

After it was sitting parked for 20 years, the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento wanted to put its 1977 AMC Pacer back on the road, so it worked with Alan Galbraith, “head gasket” of the Concours d’Lemons, to make that happen. In the process, a pair of YouTube videos were produced. 

Here’s the first:

And here’s a link to the second. 

Audrain expands its footprint

The Audrain Group, which is based on the Audrain Automobile Museum in Newport, Rhode Island, has launched the Audrain Motorsports division to produce “experiences for every level of car collectors and enthusiasts,” according to the news release.

The Audrain Group also has acquired Park Place Holdings of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, a vehicle storage facility offering 50,000 square feet of space.

Mark your calendar

Happier new year! The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, re-opens January 4 at 9 a.m. (Eastern).

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
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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