HomeNews and EventsGilmore museum opens 2021 with new Winter Motoring Meet

Gilmore museum opens 2021 with new Winter Motoring Meet

Our weekly roundup of car museum news also shares location of a Dale prototype


The Gilmore Car Museum is located on what used to be a 90-acre farm in Hickory Corners, Michigan, and has become a showcase not only for vintage vehicles but for the buildings that house them, buildings that range from historic red barns to a variety of much more modern buildings, several designed along the lines of 20th century car dealerships. 

The museum annually has a full schedule of warm-weather car shows, but will kick off the 2021 calendar earlier with a new Winter Motoring Meet scheduled for February 20. 

The event will feature rides around the snow-covered campus in antique vehicles, an exhibit of vintage snowmobiles, an ice-carving exhibition and outdoor games. There also will be a warming fire and food and beverages including homemade soup, gourmet hot chocolate, winter beer, and more. If there’s fresh snow, visitors will be invited to bring their snowshoes or cross-country skis to explore the campus.

“We’re excited to introduce a new outdoor winter event for folks who appreciate Michigan’s Winter Motoring season, whether in their cars, 4×4 trucks, Jeeps, or snowmobiles,” said Josh Russell, the museum’s executive director. “It’s a fun way for us to get outside and enjoy the winter season, in an outdoor environment with plenty of room for everyone to remain socially distanced.”

Historic red barns are a feature of the Gilmore museum campus
Vintage 1972 Mercury 250ER snowmobile | Michael Allen Collection photo

Also new to the schedule are a Princesses & Carriages event March 6 providing photo ops for youngsters with princesses and royal coaches; Boats at The Barnes, May 8, featuring classic wooden and fiberglass boats; Vintage Travel Trailer Rally, May 15, for vintage campers; Corks & Crafts Wine and Beer Festival, also May 15; Micro-Mini Car World Meet, June 18-19; Bob Oginsky’s GM/Chevy Show, August 1; and DesutscheMarques Oktoberfest, October 9.

Those new events are in addition to such annual shows as the vintage motorcycle weekend, air-cooled gathering, Olds & Orphans, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Corvette Envy, MOPARs At The Red Barns, the Ultimate Truck Show, Lincoln Homecoming Weekend, etc.

The full schedule is available at the museum’s website.

The museum also will stage Wednesday Night Cruise-In events with live music from May through September.

And yet to be announced in detail is a new Summer Concert Schedule.

The museum also announced that its Main Gallery exhibit starting in Spring 2021 will feature all generations of the Chevrolet Corvette.

“We’re excited about the upcoming season of car shows, new events, and concerts at the Gilmore,” said Josh Russell,  the museum’s executive director. “It’s a calendar full of things for our members, partners, guests, and first-time visitors to be able see, hear, and experience on our campus.”

Where’s the Dale? One is in Nebraska

One of the only three Dale prototypes is on display at a museum in Lincoln, Nebraska | Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed

Earlier this week, HBO launched a four-part documentary, The Lady and The Dale, exploring the life of Elizabeth Carmichael (aka Jerry Dean Michael) and the promotion of a 3-wheel car that promised to revolutionize the automobile industry. It was a promise unfulfilled, but the story of the car and of its promoter is fascinating nonetheless.

Despite all the promises, two non-running prototype Dale vehicles were built and one of them is on display at the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

The museum founded in 1992 by “Speedy” Bill Smith and his wife, Joyce, covers more than 150,000 square feet, and is widely known for its amazing collection of racing engines.

The museum’s website includes copies of the 6 original pages of the Dale sales brochure and the museum recently shared new photos of the Dale on display.

The other prototype is part of the Petersen Automotive Museum Collection in Los Angeles. A third prototype, damaged in testing, is believed to be privately owned.

Harley museum sets virtual gallery visits

Although closed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee has launched a series of online gallery tours, including time for questions and answers, on Thursday evenings (7 p.m. Central). 

Next up, February 11, is the Road Gallery, Part I on motorcycles through the 1940s, with Road Gallery, Part II a week later. On February 25, curator David Kreidler visits the Off-Road gallery. 

For details, visit the museum website.

A decline of pandemic proportions

Mercedes-Benz Museum | Museum photo

The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, reports attendance was down 71 percent in the coronavirus-plagued calendar year, compared with 2019 figures. Part of the decline in attendance was due to the museum being closed for 16 weeks. 

The year got off to a great start, however, with attendance up more than 14 percent for the first two months of 2020. 

“Who could possibly have guessed that a dangerous virus would bring the entire world to a standstill – including our visitors and our Museum?” museum director Monja Büdke said in the museum’s annual news release regarding attendance.

Like so many other museums, the museum said it was particularly hurt by international travel restrictions. Also like other museums, it used the down time to develop new programs to be shared online and, when possible, in person. 

“The many positive responses to the new offerings were encouraging, and so coronavirus year 2020 had many an uplifting surprise in store for us,” Büdke said. “As a result, the Mercedes-Benz Museum has embarked on the year 2021 with new ideas and a positive outlook. There is a special exhibition ‘future of mobility’ with concepts and practical solutions for mobility technologies and services. 

“Also on display: ‘Seven at a Stroke’ with the original racing cars to mark the seventh consecutive Formula One World Championship double with seven driver and constructors’ titles in a row. 

“As soon as the Museum reopens, both presentations will be accessible – free of charge for visitors.”

Beaulieu sets 2021 car show calendar

Many Minis | Museum photo

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, has announced its 2021 car show calendar:

April 25 – Simply Aston Martin

May 9 – Simply Vauxhall, 16 – Simply Audi, 23 – Simply Electric

June 6 – Simply Porsche, 13 – Mini Cooper Day, 19 – Simply VW, 20 – Hot Rod & Custom cars, 27 – Simply Jaguar

July 3-4 – Austin 7 Rally, 11 – Simply Land Rover, 18 – Simply Ford, 25 – Simply Japanese

August 7-8 – Supercar weekend, 14-15 – VW T(ransport) Chill, 15 – Graham Walker Run (vintage motorcycles), 22 – Simply Mercedes

September 4-5 – International Autojumble (swap meet), 12 – Simply French, 19 – Simply BMW, 26 – Simply British Classics

November 7 – Simply Smart, 28 – VW Santa Run

Mark your calendar

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves will be the featured guest February 10 when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers its next Zoom cast. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. (Eastern). For details, visit the museum’s Zoom cast website.

February 13-14 is Hoods Up weekend at the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, hosts a “Sweetheart Soiree” on February 13. Three seating times are available. On February 14 the museum hosts a “Toast to Love” brunch, again with three seating times available.

The Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, offers its Third Thursday Talk at 7 p.m. on February 18 with Dale Johnson presenting “When GM headed West.” The topic is the opening of the GM assembly plant in Regina, Saskatchewan in the 1920s to build Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac vehicles.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, presents “Hemi Highlights: The Ardun Hemispherical Head Design Flat Head Ford Conversion” at 10 a.m. February 20 featuring Lynn Paxton, Eastern Museum of Motor Racing curator. Topics to be covered include how the Ardun design relates to the Chrysler Hemi, connections to Allard, and research and design in dirt track racing.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, stages its first Winter Motoring Meet on February 20. The museum will offer rides around the likely snow-covered campus in vintage vehicles, an exhibit of vintage snowmobiles, an ice-carving exhibition, outdoor games, and food and beverages. 

The Revs Institute (Collier Collection) in Naples, Florida, re-opens to visitors on February 25.

The Mustang Owner’s Museum in Concord, North Carolina, hosts its monthly Fords on Sunday car show February 28.

The 2021 season opens March 5 at the National Corvette Museum’s Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with a driving club day. The Kartplex opens the following day and a King of the Heap event also is scheduled for March 6.

The Mustang Owner’s Museum has moved its Spring Carolina Cruise to April 24 and its California Special Mustang Day to May 1.

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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