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HomeEventsRedesign and expansion at AACA, Harley and Mustang museums

Redesign and expansion at AACA, Harley and Mustang museums

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes

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The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, has reinvented its main gallery display space with a mission to open the area to better serve visitors and to better show the collection and exhibits.

“The redesign is the first significant alteration since 2007,” noted museum curator Stan Sipko. “Our guests have an expanded view. Since completing the work, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”

museum, Redesign and expansion at AACA, Harley and Mustang museums, ClassicCars.com Journal

In its announcement, the museum noted how attendance and memberships “have skyrocketed” in recent years and the changes were made based on traffic flow, interaction with exhibits and the “unprecedented growth.”

The museum also announced dates for three annual events: The Museum of Bus Transportation Spring Fling” show is set for June 3-4, Motorbike Day is June 11, and the Bill Smith Memorial Cruise In is set for June 18.

Harley museum reshaping its campus

museum, Redesign and expansion at AACA, Harley and Mustang museums, ClassicCars.com Journal
The new Shop

The AACA has redone its main gallery, but the Harley-Davidson Museum has announced plans to reshape its Milwaukee campus with a new event building under construction, with an enhanced Experience Gallery, and with two new retail stores.

The new 8,000-square-foot Garage is scheduled to open this spring. Meanwhile, the Shop (retail store) will move into the former Garage space, where it will have three times as much room and will add more than 150 new products. 

After that move, the former store space will become the first “and only” Factory Shop, where discontinued “motorclothes” products including helmets, gloves, and jackets, will be offered for sale.

“For nearly 15 years, we have been thrilled to welcome guests from around the globe,” the announcement quotes Bill Davidson, great-grandson of one of Harley-Davidson’s founders. “This investment signifies our commitment to Milwaukee and the Menomonee Valley. With Milwaukee making its mark on the global stage, we’re excited to unveil these new additions to campus later this spring and welcome everyone to check them out in person.”

Mustang museum expanding

museum, Redesign and expansion at AACA, Harley and Mustang museums, ClassicCars.com Journal

Construction is underway on the expansion of the Mustang Owner’s Museum in Concord, North Carolina. 

Go hands-on at Revs/Collier

museum, Redesign and expansion at AACA, Harley and Mustang museums, ClassicCars.com Journal

The Revs Institute/Collier Collection in Naples, Florida, is launching “Fun with Engines: A Mechanical Adventure,” a hands-on program designed for the beginner automotive enthusiasts to learn how an engine works, to learn about basic hand tools and engine care. 

The programs will be held in the facility’s restoration workshop and will include “firing potato guns, playing with electricity, and exploring the magic behind a car’s operation,” according to the news release that promises “the feeling of mechanical mastery.”

Each class is $159 and includes four 2-hour sessions.  

Canadian museum shares online puzzle

museum, Redesign and expansion at AACA, Harley and Mustang museums, ClassicCars.com Journal

As part of its Family Day events earlier this week, the Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, shared an online jigsaw puzzle. Simply click on this link and put the pieces together.

I just enjoyed the 5 minutes, 44 seconds it took me to assemble 32-piece virtual puzzle. How quickly can you complete it? (And there are several other puzzles available to challenge your skills as well.)

museum, Redesign and expansion at AACA, Harley and Mustang museums, ClassicCars.com Journal

Indy museum schedules spring speakers

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has announced its spring speaker lineup: March 16, An Evening with Al Unser Jr., April 13, An Evening with Alexander Rossi, and May 25, An Evening with Rick Mears.

Oklahoma town to be outdoor museum?

Sounds like the town of Bristow, Oklahoma, wants to become an outdoor Route 66 museum. Route66News reports that the Bristow Historical Society is raising funds to restore several landmarks, including relighting the 100-foot Chrysler Plymouth tower that was part of the Beard Motor Company, also the Bristow Train Depot, 1929 water tower and Town Square.

Automotive Hall of Fame adding 5

The Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan, has announced its 2022 inductee class: The Green Book publishers Alma and Victo Green; Lamborghini founder Feruccio Lamborghini; motorsports pioneer Lyn St. James; Lu Guanqui, founder of Chinese automotive supplier Wanxiang; and Taicho Ohno, pioneer of the Toyota Production System.

The facility also said its next lecture series event is March 15 and will feature former automotive executive Bob Lutz.

Special events this weekend

museum, Redesign and expansion at AACA, Harley and Mustang museums, ClassicCars.com Journal

It’s Carrera Panamericana Demo Day at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia on February 26, where among the cars to be examined and exercised starting at 11:15 a.m. are a 1952 Jaguar C Type, 1953 Jaguar  XK120, 1954 Austin-Healey 110-4 BN1, 1954 Ferrari 375 MM and 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe.

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and the Ferrari Club of America stages the Enzo Ferrari Cruise-In from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on February 27.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, opens its car show season February 27 with the Loma Prieta Region of the Porsche Club of America. Upcoming events are May 1, NCCA 40th annual all-Corvette show; June 4, Alfa Romeo car club; June 19, Fathers Day show; August 7, NCCA Vette Magic 46 show; September 10, East Bay Street Dreams show.

Mark your calendar

The ACM Book Club of Le May – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, discusses Faster by Neal Bascomb at 6 p.m. (Pacific) on February 28. The meeting will be available via Zoom.

“Driving After Sundown,” an exhibit sharing the history of automotive lighting, officially opens March 1 at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

One of the hidden gems among car museums, the Martin Museum in Phoenix, opens in its new location on March 5 with a car show. The museum’s new and much larger location is at the corner of 43rd Avenue and Thunderbird on the west side of Phoenix.

It’s “Free Museum Weekend” March 5-6 at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento, with admission free to those who pre-register.

Jeff Bloom presents “Open Wheel Racing” on March 6 in Hickory Corners, Michigan, as part of the Gilmore Car Museum 2022 lecture series.

museum, Redesign and expansion at AACA, Harley and Mustang museums, ClassicCars.com Journal

Fred Simeone resumes his role as “The Car Detective” at 11:15 a.m. on March 12 when Demo Day at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia features stories about how the museum found and acquired its vehicles. Featured cars will be the 1921 Duesenberg French GP racer, the 1936 Bugatti 57G “Tank” car, and the 1970 Porsche 917LH.

Third Thursday presentation at 7 p.m. March 17 at the Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, is by Dale Johnson on “General Motors Canada and the Star Blanket Cree Nation.”

John Oates and Guthrie Trapp perform March 26 in a concert in Newport, Rhode Island, to benefit the Audrain Automobile Museum. 

“Drive-In Theaters: An American Institution” is the subject of a presentation March 26 at 11 a.m. at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The program will be presented by Jeffrey Bliemeister, the museum’s executive director, and Tim Neal, manager of the Sky Vu Drive-In, which has been operating since 1948 in Gratz, Pennsylvania. The program will be presented live at the museum’s drive-in theater and via Zoom.

The Mustang Owners Museum in Concord, North Carolina, launches its car-show calendar on March 27 with a “Fords on Sunday” event.

“Foundations of Photography” classes featuring Andrew Taylor begin April 9 and run through October 22 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia.

National Mustang Day will be celebrated April 15-16 at the Mustang Owner’s Museum in Concord, North Carolina, with the opening of the museum’s newly expanded exhibit area and a driving cruise, car show, seminars and a Shelby panel presentation and more.

The spring lecture series at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England, continues April 23 with Alan Chandler discussing petroliana collecting.

The LeMay Collection at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, will offer Driver’s Ed: Model T Experience events May 14, June 11, July 9, August 14 and September 11.

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.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, opens three new exhibits on May 21 — Orphan Cars, ATVs and AMCs.

The Revs Institute in Naples, Florida, hosts a combined meeting of the World Forum for Motor Museums and the National Association of Automobile Museums from November 9-12.

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.

1 COMMENT

  1. I own a 1965 Mercury comet Caliente convertible Blue Ice with White Interior All original matching numbers 38,000 miles would you be interested in having this Vehicle in one of your museum.?

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