HomeNews and EventsStudebaker museum celebrates Avanti’s 60th anniversary

Studebaker museum celebrates Avanti’s 60th anniversary

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes


An Avanti visits Indianapolis Motor Speedway

It was in June 1962 that Studebaker launched production of its own fiberglass-bodied sports car, the Raymond Loewy-designed Avanti. Powered by a supercharged 289cid V8 engine, the car broke more than two dozen world speed records in runs on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

To celebrate the car’s 60th anniversary, the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana, has opened a special exhibit that runs through October 2022.

The exhibit not only looks at the car’s development and introduction — the car was publicly unveiled by Studebaker on April 26, 1962 at the New York International Auto Show — but also will focus on issues during early production and the car’s life beyond the demise of the Studebaker brand.

In the Avanti’s anniversary year, South Bend also will be the site of the 58th annual Studebaker Drivers Club International Meet, scheduled for May 4-7 and concluding with a car show at the St. Joseph County 4-H Fairgrounds.

Petersen showcases electrified motorcycles

The home-built KillaJoule carried Eva Hakansson to an electric-powered speed record of 240.7 mph
‘XP Zero’ by Hugo Eccles

On April 14, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, opens a new exhibit “Electric Revolutionaries,” featuring electric-powered motorcycles from “cutting-edge designers.” The museum said the new exhibit is a followup to its “Electric Revolution” exhibit of electric motorcycles in 2019.

“It is incredible how far electric motorcycles have come in the short time from our first exhibit in 2019,” the museum’s executive director, Terry Karges, is quoted in a news release.”This new display gives a unique and close-up look at the innovative machines and the creators behind them pushing the boundaries of motorcycle electrification and design. The detail, level of craftsmanship and unorthodox thinking behind these electric motorcycles make them must-sees.”

“Electric Revolutionaries’ really does represent the range of interest in an electric future, from a humble teen in Ghana making EVs from scrap, to genius artisans building conceptual and boundary-pushing designs, to speed demons and global superstar designers interested in pushing mobility into the green zone,” added Paul d’Orleans, co-founder of the Motor/Cycle Arts Foundation and curator of the Petersen exhibit.

Special events this weekend

It’s a “Hoods-Up” weekend April 9-10 at the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island.

“Roadsters 2 Records: The Twelve Years that Revolutionized the Indianapolis 500,” opens April 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. The exhibition covers 1960 to 1972 and the emergence of rear-engine cars and European drivers.

The Road Map Collectors Association’s Spring MapCon takes place April 9 at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The Blackhawk Collection in Danville, California, announces the return of its vintage gas pump exhibit this weekend.

Mark your calendar

From April 8 through September 25, Mauto (the Museo Nazionale dell’Automoible) in Turin, Italy, will feature an exhibit, “Motus: The Prehistory of the Automobile.”

“Foundations of Photography” classes featuring Andrew Taylor begin April 9 and run through October 22 at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia. On April 9, the museum also showcases “The Perils of Racing” with its Demo Day featuring a 1936 Bugatti 57G Tank, 1950 Allard J and 1967 Ford Mk IV.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum hosts its first Cars & Coffee event of the season April 9 with free beverages and donuts provided by Founders Grounds and Jack’s Donuts. Subsequent cruise-ins are scheduled for the second Saturday of each month. Entry into the Speedway grounds is through Gate 2.

“Mini Madness” is the theme at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon for the Easter season April 9-24. Events include a Mini Egg Rover Challenge April 15-18, as well as the Road Map Family Trail. 

From April 9-24, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, England, stages its Easter holidays celebration with Living History daily parades and characters. Taking part in those parades will be the re-created Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car. 

On April 10, automotive historian Don LaCombe presents the “Miracle on Piquette Avenue,” the story of the Ford Model T assembly plant, as part of the 2022 lecture series at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan.

The British Motor Museum resumes its “Gaydon Gathering” car shows on April 12 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. In addition to the car show, the museum opens its Gaydon Garage workshop for viewing. Subsequent gatherings are planned for May 10, June 14, July 12, August 9, September 13 and October 11.

Milwaukee’s area code is 414 and the Harley-Davidson Museum will celebrate “Milwaukee Day” with a $4.14 admission ticket on April 14 (though that price is available only online). The museum also will stay open until 8 p.m. that day.

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 AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, celebrates National Mustang Day on April 17 with a cruise-in car show co-hosted by CJ Pony Parts. Museum admission will be free for anyone arriving in a Mustang.

The North East Motor Sports Museum in Loudon, New Hampshire, opens its outdoor event season April 16 with the inaugural New England Racers Reunion. The event, taking place at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, will include all eras of racing vehicles.

“Open Road: The Lure of Motorcycling in Ohio” opens April 16 at the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. The exhibit features motorcycles rarely displayed in public. The display will be supplemented by ride-ins, lectures and demonstrations.

The Third Thursday Zoom program on April 21 by the Canadian Automotive Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, features “Lost Car Rescue: Behind the Scenes of a Canadian Car Show.”

It’s Cars & Coffee from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville on April 23. 

Stahl’s Automotive Collection in Chesterfield, Michigan, celebrates its Tucker 48 (#1015) on April 23 with Preston Tucker’s grandsons Mike and Sean Tucker, with Tucker expert Mark Lieberman, and with a presentation of the movie Tucker: The Man and His Dream. There will be two sessions, one at noon and the second at 5 p.m.

The Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee hosts its 11th annual Earth Day Celebration on April 23 with a zero-waste event that includes live music after the 27th annual spring river cleanup.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento hosts the Tuner Showdown car show from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 23.

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

The 2022 lecture series at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, concludes April 24 with historian Mark Tomlonson presenting “The History of a People’s Car.”

The British Motor Museum at Gaydon celebrates national Drive It Day on April 24 with a special car show.

The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, hosts its annual Michelin NCM Bash from April 28-30. Events include an assembly plant update, focus on the C3 with the National Corvette Restorers Society, laps at NCM Motorsporets Park, a Michelin tire tech talk, a Z06 and ’63 split-window demonstration and a car show, among others.

A second wave of vehicles arrives September 22, 2022, and runs 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.

It’s the “Simply Ford” show May 22 at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, UK.

The book club at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, meets online again on May 24 to share Auto Biography: A Classic Car, An Outlaw Motorhead, and 57 Years of the American Dream by Earl Swift.

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, UK, has moved its “Simply Electric” car show to May 29. In addition to the EVs on display, the museum reminds visitors they can ride the facility’s electric-powered monorail that opened in 1974.

The California Automobile Museum at Sacramento hosts a Memorial Day car show featuring Vettes and Vets from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m on May 30.

A new summer event, the MCACN Muscle Car Meet Up, will be held at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, on June 25. The event will be the summer version of the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, which is staged indoors in Illinois during the winter.

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, UK, opens a new exhibit, “The Story of Motoring in 50 Objects,” on July 3. 

The summer art show is scheduled for July 9-10 at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento.

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 [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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