Category archives: Museums

Seeing Red: The Petersen’s tribute to 70 years of Ferrari

Part of the 'Seeing Red' exhibition of Ferraris at the Petersen Automotive Museum | Larry Crane photos
Part of the ‘Seeing Red’ exhibition of Ferraris at the Petersen Automotive Museum | Larry Crane photos

Red, because Ferrari continues to honor the 1906 Federation International de l’Automobile decision to establish national racing colors to facilitate a spectator recognizing racers from his country — Italian participating cars would be red.

While there have been many manufacturers who spent vast amounts of money modifying production cars to improve racetrack performance, Ferrari in its early days made very minor modifications to make its racing sports cars street worthy. Continue reading

Museums hold car shows near you

Cobra at the Museums recent Shelby gathering | Blackhawk Museum photos
Cobra at the Museums recent Shelby gathering | Blackhawk Museum photos

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg museum’s next Cars and Coffee cruise-in is May 20. America on Wheels stages its VW Fest on May 20, with a show open to all Volkswagens, whether air- or water-cooled.  The annual Corvette Homecoming and Chevrolet International car show at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is June 1-3.

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Klairmont Kollection: Chicago’s hidden gem

Klairmont Kollection features 300 cars in its Chicago 'museum' | Photos by Larry Nutson
Klairmont Kollection features 300 cars in its Chicago ‘museum’ | Photos by Larry Nutson

Love affairs develop in various ways. Like many loves, a love affair with the automobile can start with an interest and grow to a passion.

Illinois native Larry Klairmont’s interest in cars was already evident as a 5-year-old with a fondness for hood ornaments. Following Wold War II, Klairmont founded Imperial Dry Cleaners and it grew to become of the nation’s largest dry cleaning chains. While running his business, Klairmont began buying a car here and a car there. Continue reading

Museums welcome your donations of cars — and car books

Car books overlook | Larry Edsall photo
Car books overlook | Larry Edsall photo

It is not unusual for classic car collectors to donate vehicles to their favorite museums. But have you considered other things you own that might be of value to such institutions?

Take, for example, that collection of automotive books that has become so heavy that your bookshelves are sagging and the floor beneath might even be cracking from the weight.

I’ve already made arrangements to donate my automotive book collection to the automotive restoration program at McPherson College. You may recall that the Gilmore Car Museum and its research library and archive in Michigan recently received a collection of nearly 400,000 automotive patents. Continue reading

Delightful delivery: BMW Performance Center

Andy Reid and his Z3 during their homecoming visit to BMW's South Carolina facilities | BMW photo
Andy Reid and his Z3 during their homecoming visit to BMW’s South Carolina facilities

Buying a new BMW is always a pretty special experience. To some it is a chance to move up to the next level of BMW performance cars and to others it is the realization of a dream come true.

There are many ways to buy your first, or perhaps it’s your next new BMW vehicle. You can go to the dealer and buy the one in stock that you like most. If you have a bit more money and time you can opt for a European delivery, order your car and turn it into a vacation at the same time.

There is also a third option that falls somewhere in between. Continue reading

GM unveils Durant-Dort Factory One archive, museum

Main entrance of the restored Durant-Dort Factory One, in Flint, Michigan, which includes more than 17,000 color-matched replacement bricks | Photo by Jason Robinson
Main entrance of the restored Durant-Dort Factory One, it includes more than 17,000 color-matched replacement bricks | Photo by Jason Robinson

General Motors has opened the restored Durant-Dort Factory One as an event space and a place to view archives and learn about the innovators and risk takers who reinvented personal transportation.

The facility was once home to the Flint Road Cart Co., started in 1886 by William Crapo “Billy” Durant and his business partner, Josiah Dallas Dort. Durant later founded General Motors. He acquired the Buick Motor Company in 1908, added Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Oakland, what would become the GMC truck division and in 1911 launched Chevrolet. Continue reading

Shaken, not stirred: James Bond’s 2000GT leads Toyota parade

Car leading Last years' parade | Toyota photos
Car leading Last years’ parade | Toyota photos

The Toyota 2000GT made famous in a classic James Bond movie, You Only Live Twice, will lead over 150 classic cars in the Toyota Automobile Museum’s 28th Classic Car Festival, to be held May 28 at the Aichi Expo Memorial Park in Japan’s Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture.

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10-99: Corvette museum and its friends complete car’s restoration for police officer’s family

Melissa Rhoads and her daughter, Jacquelyn, are reunited with the Corvette | National Corvette Museum photos
Melissa Rhoads and her daughter, Jacquelyn, are reunited with the Corvette | National Corvette Museum photos

Burke Rhoads, a police officer in Nicholasville, Kentucky, bought a 1984 Chevrolet Corvette and was restoring it as time and finances permitted. His goal was to have the car ready so his daughter, Jacquelyn, could use it for the trip to her high school prom after she turned 16.

But Burke was killed in a car crash while on duty in 2015, and his widow, Melissa, called the National Corvette Museum to seek recommendations about a shop that might finish what Burke had started. Continue reading

More than parts, NPD has 200+ classics in its collection

Remember these slick Indy Pace Car Mustangs?  This one has only traveled 56 miles since new | Jim McCraw photos
Remember these slick Indy Pace Car Mustangs? This one has only traveled 56 miles since new | Jim McCraw photos

With 207 cars and trucks already in place, and more on the way, the NPD Collection in Ocala, Florida, must be among the largest private classic car collections on Earth.

Put together by the father and son team of Jim and Rick Schmidt, the collection traces its roots back to Jim’s basement in Cleveland in 1976. The company he started there, National Parts Depot, is one of the world’s premier producers of reproduction parts for classic American cars and trucks, a company that started making parts for the 1955-57 classic Ford Thunderbirds, branched out from there to Mustangs, and now covers just about every American classic car make and model you can think of. Continue reading

Gilmore museum bids farewell to its sports cars exhibit

02October2016  "The Golden Age of Sports Cars 1946 - 1966" at the Gilmore Car Museum.
The Golden Age of Sports Cars 1946 – 1966 | Gilmore Car Museum photos

The Gilmore Car Museum says “Farewell to Sports Cars” this Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. as the museum’s exhibit, the Golden Age of Sports Cars, ends. The exhibit featured two-dozen rare and sought-after cars like Janis Joplin’s 1964 Porsche 356, Nicholas Cage’s 1967 Ferrari 275/GTB 4, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz “gullwing” 300SL and a 1967 Shelby Cobra 427. Continue reading