HomeNews and EventsNewport Car Museum reports strong attendance

Newport Car Museum reports strong attendance

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes


Opened 4½ years ago and, like so many other institutions, limited by the coronavirus pandemic, the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island reports that nearly 50,000 people have visited its collection this year.

“Our hope always has been to put smiles on our visitor faces,” said Gunther Buerman, who with his wife, Maggie, opened the Museum in June 2017. “And so far, we have been successful.”

Ford/Shelby gallery
Fins are fine, and fun

The museum began with the Buermans sharing their collection of 65 cars and since has expanded to more than 85 vehicles presented in six galleries — Ford/Shelby, Corvettes, World Cars, Fin Cars, American Muscle and Mopars — as well as a new PopUp Porsche exhibit. 

The museum spans 114,000 square feet, including a 2,500-square-foot gift shop, features Mid-Century Modern furniture, and has a parking lot that can accommodate 300 cars. 

“Our audience is in large part car aficionados and art lovers,” Buerman said. “Some have travelled to see as many different car museums as they can in this country, and they tell us how amazed they are at what they find here. They appreciate the art gallery ambience, the beauty of the cars and the rich automotive history represented by each decade of design, starting with the early 1950s and finishing with new models from the 21st Century.”

Gilmore celebrates the holiday

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, has not shunned Michigan’s winter weather but is celebrating it this holiday season. Outdoors, it has a 1964 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 and 1963 Shasta Airflyte trailer (below) set in a throwback 1960s fresh Christmas tree lot. It also has a drive-through holiday lighting route that includes the top down in the museum’s 1963 Cadillac.

The vintage Shell gas station on the museum campus has been turned into Santa’s Garage, and instead of elves on the shelves, they are busy under the hood and going for a ride on a small-block Chevrolet engine.

Meanwhile, inside the museum, there’s a vintage Volkswagen Beatle and other vehicles displayed inside “snow globes” (which don’t need to be turned upside down, simply turned on for the snow to fly).

GT Hawk lands at Studebaker museum

1964 Studebaker Grand Turismo Hawk formerly owned by designer Brooks Stevens joins museum collection

A 1964 Studebaker Grand Turismo Hawk formerly owned by designer Brooks Stevens has been donated to the National Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana. 

Studebaker, when its sales were falling, considered ending production of the sporty coupe after the 1961 model year, but the company’s new president, Sherwood Egbert, instead commissioned Stevens to do a redesign for 1962. 

The ex-Stevens Hawk, with an optional black-vinyl sport roof and supercharged R2 engine, disc brakes and Powershift automatic transmission, was donated to the museum by nearby Indiana residents Ron and Betty DeWinter. The car was displayed at the Stevens design museum in Wisconsin until being sold to the DeWinters in the early 1990s.

Corvette museum open, track closed

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is open, but the NCM Motorsports Park just across the highway sustained damage during the recent tornado storm and has closed until further notice.

Mustang museum expanding

The Mustang Owner’s Museum in Concord, North Carolina, is expanding, adding a third unit in the building it occupies. Plans call for the expansion to have its grand opening celebration on National Mustang Day, April 15, 2022.

Crawford raffling ’79 MG Midget

The Crawford Auto Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is staging a raffle to award someone a 1979 MG Midget driven only 32,436 miles since new. The Pageant Blue car has a tan interior, luggage rack and, the museum adds, should provide “many enjoyable hours on the road.” Tickets are $50 each.

Special events this weekend

The Canadian Automobile Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, offers its Third Thursday lecture at 7 p.m. December 16 on Zoom with Dumaresq de Pencier featuring “Early Electric Cars of Canada: 1897-1927.” The museum also is working on its next exhibition, “Wires to Wheels: Electric Vehicles in Canada and Beyond,” scheduled to open in July 2022.

On December 17, the MAUTO, the automobile museum in Turin, Italy, hosts a series of presentations under the banner of “The evolution of an idea,” celebrating the creation of the internal combustion engine by Father Eugenio Barsanti, a priest, physicist and mathematician who, with engineer Lucca Felice Matteucci, filed documents in Italy in 1853 describing such a 4-stroke machine nearly 15 years before Otto and Benz in Germany.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will stay open December 18 until 8 p.m. as part of its “Sparkling Christmas and Cars (…buses, trucks and motorcycles)” event. The museum also showcases new Christmas-themed items donated for its model train display.

Ed Swart: From Zandvoort to Daytona will be featured from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on December 18 at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California.

The Montagu family Palace House, which shares its grounds with the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, offers a trip back to 1889 with its Victorian Christmas event from December 18 to January 2. 

Mark your calendar

The grand opening of the Segerstrom Shelby museum and event center has been rescheduled for January 20, 2022, in Irvine, California.

The Canadian Automobile Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, has announced its Third Thursday lecture topics for January and February. “Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights” will be presented January 20 at 7 p.m. on Zoom by Gretchen Sorin of the State University of New York College at Oneonta, and “The Death and Legacy of Sam McLaughlin – Looking Back After 50 Years” will be offered by Samantha George of the Parkwood National Historic Site on February 17.

“The Tucker Movie: What’s Real, What’s Not” is the subject of a program to be presented via Zoom by the AACA Museum on January 21, 2021. The presentation will include Preston Tucker’s grandchildren

A second wave of vehicles arrives September 22, 2022, and run through May 14, 2023, in “The Allure of the Extreme” supercar showcase at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

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.


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