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HomeEvents‘Driven to Win’ opens March 26 at the Henry Ford

‘Driven to Win’ opens March 26 at the Henry Ford

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes

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Postponed by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, “Driven to Win: Racing in America,” presented by General Motors finally opens at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan, on March 26 to museum members and the following day to all visitors, the museum has announced.

Driven to Win is “the first comprehensive exhibition covering various forms of American auto racing, including stock car, sports car, drag racing, Indy car, hill climb and land-speed racing,” the museum said. 

“This 24,000 square-foot exhibition provides visitors with an in-depth look at the people, the experiences, the culture, the spectacle, the risks and the innovations centered in the world of American auto sports.” 

“From the smell of the tires, the sound of the vehicles starting their engines, the innovative advancements that have been made over the years to the various tracks these vehicles have raced on, our staff and partners have certainly brought this exhilarating sport to life on our museum floor,” museum president Patricia Mooradian was quoted. 

“Racing is the embodiment of American innovation in the world of sports, but its reach has long stretched beyond the track to our showrooms, our roads and our culture,” added Mark Reuss, president of exhibition sponsor General Motors. “Driven To Win documents and celebrates those contributions, with an exciting and comprehensive presentation of the past, present and future of motorsports, and General Motors is pleased and proud to help bring it to members and guests of this great museum.”

museum, ‘Driven to Win’ opens March 26 at the Henry Ford, ClassicCars.com Journal
museum, ‘Driven to Win’ opens March 26 at the Henry Ford, ClassicCars.com Journal
Wedell Scott’s 1966 NASCAR Ford Galaxie

The exhibition features interactive zones:

* In the Sports Car Performance Center, visitors will see such things as the evolution of the vehicle design process from clay model to race-day ready, how engineers use data from one race to prepare for the next, and compare the Ford GT in production and racing guises.

* In the Motorsports Performance Training zone, visitors can test their skills as they see the physical and mental training drivers go through before getting behind the wheel. 

* Fueled by Passion is a 15-minute “cinematic experience” providing a look into the hopes and dreams, successes and failures of those who live and breathe racing every day. 

“Inside the multi-sensory theater,” the museum promises, “visitors will feel they’re at the actual tracks, inside the vehicles, in the pits, and at the starting line as they follow each journey before, after some of the most pivotal and notable races of the season.” 

* In the Driver’s Seat Simulators allow visitors (for an extra fee) to “drive” the world’s fastest cars on the challenging tracks during a 15-minute virtual ride. 

* The Winner’s Circle celebrates driver achievements and vehicles that embody stories of key moments in American auto racing.

For more information, visit the museum website.

New exhibits at NASCAR Hall of Fame

museum, ‘Driven to Win’ opens March 26 at the Henry Ford, ClassicCars.com Journal
museum, ‘Driven to Win’ opens March 26 at the Henry Ford, ClassicCars.com Journal
Richie Evans’ 1973 Ford Pinto modified racer | Museum photos

The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte has opened two new exhibits. 

“A Legendary Decade: The First 50 Inductees” features the first 55 people inducted into the hall and includes 10 cars, among them a 1932 Ford coupe driven by NASCAR founder Bill France, a 1973 Ford Pinto raced by Richie Evans and Cotton Owens’ 1964 Dodge Polara.

“Jimmie Johnson: One Final Time” celebrates the career of the 7-time NASCAR champion 

Hammer new head of auto trust, LeMay museum

museum, ‘Driven to Win’ opens March 26 at the Henry Ford, ClassicCars.com Journal
Tabetha Hammer heads America’s Automotive Trust | ATT photo

America’s Automotive Trust, the umbrella over the LeMay – America’s Car and America On Wheels museums, the RPM Foundation and other affiliates, has appointed Tabetha Hammer as chief executive and president, effective March 1. She has been a member of the Trust board since 2016 and was leading Hagerty’s management of the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.

“Our goal to preserve and to celebrate car culture is in good hands with Tabetha,” Trust chairman Michael Towers was quoted. said Trust Chairman, Michael Towers. “Her passion, knowledge and expertise are key to achieving our goals to honor and expand America’s automotive heritage.”

“I’ve been fortunate to work with many enthusiastic people and organizations to bring recognition and relevancy to collector vehicles and our amazing automotive heritage,” said Hammer, a 2009 graduate of McPherson College’s Automotive Restoration program. “I have seen first-hand the value of what America’s Automotive Trust is doing. I’m thrilled by the opportunity to work closely with our member entities, donors and partners for the greater good of all.” 

Hammer was the first female to win the Chevron Delo tractor restoration competition for high school students, in 2003, and she repeated that national title the following year. She joined the Hagerty staff after graduating from McPherson.

She has been a member of the board of the Antique Automobile Club of America, competed in the Great Race, and been closely involved with the Historic Vehicle Association and Hagerty’s youth concours judging program.

LeMay Collections re-opens 

The other car museum in Tacoma, the LeMay Collections at Marymount, has re-opened, though only on a Thursday through Sunday basis and with health guidelines in place. 

The museum also announced it has opened registration for Model T driving experiences scheduled for May 15, June 12, July 10, August 8 and September 12. 

In yet another announcement, the museum’s restoration team does more than vehicles, having just completed the restoration of the Spanaway Skipper restaurant’s historic anchor sign. Skippers was founded in 1969 in Bellevue, Washington, and at one point included more than 200 restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.

AACA features ‘Driving While Black’ 

museum, ‘Driven to Win’ opens March 26 at the Henry Ford, ClassicCars.com Journal
Exhibit looks at ‘Driving While Black’ | Museum photo

In honor of Black History Month, the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is showing the PBS documentary, Driving While Black, at the museum’s drive-in theater. 

“Discover how the advent of the automobile brought new mobility and freedom for African Americans,” the museum notes, adding, however, “The film also takes a hard look at the discrimination, hardships and violence that African Americans faced and how some of that history resonates today.”

Super Bowl Corvette connection

Malcolm Glazer was among those who bought a new Cadillac every year, until 1983, when he told his 13-year-0ld son, Ed, that if he called all the Chevrolet dealers in western New York and could negotiate a good deal, their new car for that year would be a Corvette.

Ed did the deed, even convincing a salesman to make a 90-mile drive to the family home to inspect the Cadillac before the trade in. 

Ed Glazer has fond memories of going with his father to take delivery of that first Corvette. Since then, he’s owned several, sometimes taking delivery at the National Corvette Museum.

Malcolm Glazer died in 2014, leaving his family with ownership of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winners of the recent NFL Super Bowl. 

To encourage other families to use the museum’s delivery facilities, the Glazers’ support led to the museum establishing the Ed and Shari Glazer Family Corvette Delivery Program, which includes special features that incorporate the Corvette buyer’s children and grandchildren in the delivery process, the museum notes.

California museum needs insulation

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento is taking advantage of its pandemic-forced temporary closure to do some needed updating — air conditioning and now insulating the roof to keep that cool air inside.

The museum has launched a “$60,000 in 60 days” fund-raising effort to complete its climate control upgrade. 

To donate, visit the museum website.

‘Friendly’ brothers shared a Model A Ford

museum, ‘Driven to Win’ opens March 26 at the Henry Ford, ClassicCars.com Journal
S. Prestley Blake | Museum photo

S. Prestley Blake died recently at the age of 106. He and his brother, Curtis, founded the Friendly’s ice cream and restaurant business in 1935 when “Pres” was 20 and Curtis was 18. For many years, they shared a used Model A Ford they bought for $40.

The MassLive.com website explained how it worked: “They were able to share the car because they rarely had time off, and almost never at the same time: one brother would work nights making ice cream, and one would run the shop during the day.”

In 1979, the brothers sold their stores to Hershey. In addition to philanthropy, “Pres” became a car collector and, at the age of 105, helped the Wood Museum of Springfield History celebrate its Rolls-Royce Day in 2019 with one of his Springfield-built Rolls. 

Special events this weekend

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 Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, California, hosts a muscle car show from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on February 20.

Mark your calendar

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

The LeMay Collection at Marymount hosts a Cars & Comedy event February 25 at 7 p.m. featuring Tacoma, Washington, area comedians.

The Mustang Owners 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 Museums 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.

“Princesses & Carriages” is the theme of a special children’s event scheduled for 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. (Eastern) on March 6 at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan. The day will feature photo opportunities with 14 storybook princesses and princes beside royal coaches, limousines and fairytale backdrops, as well as a red-carpet experience, scavenger hunt, tea and treats and more.

Among the vehicles to be features are an 1895 Cunningham Victoria carriage, 1939 Royal Canadian tour car built by Le Baron for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and a 1959 Cadillac limousine. 

For ticket information, visit the museum’s website.

“Oshawa’s Automotive Community, 1867-1937” is the topic for the Canadian Automotive Museum’s Third Thursday event scheduled for 7 p.m. (Eastern) on March 18 in Ontario. Presenting the topic will be Alexander Gates and Dumaresq de Pencier. Future topics include “The GM Oshawa Strike of 1937,” on April 15 and “The Oshawa Worker at War,” on May 20.

The Mustang Owners 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 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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