Museums: Plywood shaped modern life, even our cars

A 1937 DKW F7 cutaway is part of the plywood exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum | V&A Museum photos
A 1937 DKW F7 cutaway is part of the plywood exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum | V&A Museum photos

So I’m cruising through the daily dezeen.com newsletter and there’s a story about a new exhibit running through November 12 at the V&A Museum, aka the Victoria and Albert Museum, London’s showcase of art and design. The exhibit’s title is “Plywood: Material of the Modern World,” and the first two photographs illustrating the article prominently feature cars — a passenger vehicle and a racing car.

Plywood in cars? Even racing cars? Hey, we know about woody wagons and how in the early days horseless carriage bodies were made from hardwoods. But plywood? Continue reading

Museums: Blackhawk showcases ‘Transatlantic Style’

Buick Y-Job arrives at the Blackhawk for Transatlantic Style exhibit | Blackhawk museum photo
Buick Y-Job arrives at the Blackhawk for Transatlantic Style exhibit | Blackhawk museum photo

Saturday is Deuce Day at the Petersen

Just unveiled and running through September 30, the Blackhawk Automotive Museum in Danville, California, offers what figures to be one of the most talked-about exhibitions of the year — “Transatlantic Style: A Romance of Fins and Chrome.”

Featuring about two dozen stunningly designed automobiles, the exhibition is based on the book, Stile Transatlantico / Transatlantic Style, by author Donald Osborne and photographer Michael Furman. Continue reading

2016 top stories: 9 – LeMay Museum’s The Drive Home

The LeMay Museum’s 1966 Ford Mustang, 1962 Chrysler 300G  and 1957 Chevy Nomad take a break in the snow | William Hall photos.
The LeMay Museum’s 1966 Ford Mustang, 1962 Chrysler 300G and 1957 Chevy Nomad take a break in the snow | William Hall photos.

When the LeMay-America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, announced last December that it would be driving three classic American cars – a 1961 Chrysler 300G, a 1966 Mustang 289 Coupe, and a 1957 Chevy Nomad – 3,000 miles through winter weather to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, public reaction was fairly predictable.

Critics decried the perceived abuse of such fine vintage vehicles, and dismissed The Drive Home as a publicity stunt. Guilty: as a non-profit that relies on donations from private and corporate sponsors, this museum and others like it are always looking for ways to generate attention, goodwill and operating endowments to stay alive. Continue reading

Could this be the start of the ultimate restoration project?

Alan Travis draws a crowd of students as he shows his vintage vehicles | Larry Edsall photos
Alan Travis draws a crowd of students as he shows his vintage vehicles | Larry Edsall photos

We are not the first to report that the good news is that the bad news is wrong. In this case, the bad news is that lots of aging collector car owners are fretting over the future of their vehicles. The lament is that the next generations aren’t interested in cars at all, let alone in the preservation or restoration or even the celebration of old ones.

But the good news is that there is growing evidence that young folks do care about cars, and that there are people working hard right now to spread that interest and to be sure that a large enough group of those young car enthusiasts will be equipped to preserve and restore cars for generations to come. Continue reading

LeMay-America’s Car Museum celebrates BMW centennial

Volunteers 'spruce up' the museum's BMW Isetta for display | LeMay-America’s Car Museum
Volunteers ‘spruce up’ the museum’s BMW Isetta for display | LeMay-America’s Car Museum

The LeMay-America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, will host an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Bavarian Motor Werks starting this weekend. “Propelling a Century of Innovation” – a subtle nod to the company’s origins as an aircraft-engine manufacturer – features landmark cars and motorcycles from throughout BMW’s history. Continue reading

Not all classics stored for the winter: LeMay museum plans three-car winter caravan to Detroit auto show

One from each of the Big 3 will be driven through winter weather from Tacoma to Detroit | LeMay museum photos
One from each of the Big 3 will be driven through winter weather from Tacoma to Detroit | LeMay museum photos

David Madeira admits he and Rod Alberts were sharing cocktails when they hatched the idea of driving classic cars more than across the country in the middle of winter…

Continue reading

Eye Candy: LeMay – America’s Car Museum

LeMay museum itself is an architectural wonder | Photos by Steve Purdy
LeMay museum itself is an architectural wonder | Photos by Steve Purdy

Harold and Nancy LeMay loved classic and collector cars and the culture surrounding them so much that they gathered more than 3,000 vehicles and thousands of pieces of memorabilia and built the largest private collection of its kind in the world. In an effort to preserve this important collection and share it with the world, they decided they must build and endow a museum.

Harold died unexpectedly in 2000 during the early stages of planning but his widow continued to lead a dedicated team that shared the vision through a variety of difficulties, including the worst downturn in the U.S. economy since the Great Depression. That crisis dried up funding, particularly relating to suchh not-for-profit projects, and the very survival of the project was uncertain for a few years.

But the team surmounted those challenges and the LeMay Museum in Tacoma, Washington opened to the public in June, 2012, immediately becoming one of the premier auto museums in the country. Continue reading

Le May sets featured classes for Pacific Northwest concours

The scene at the Pacific Northwest concurs in 2014 | Le May photo
The scene at the Pacific Northwest concurs in 2014 | Le May photo

Le May, America’s Car Museum has announced the classes for the 13th Pacific Northwest Concours d’Elegance and is looking for cars to compete for the various awards.

The concours is September 11-13 and includes not only the concours but a Tour d’Jour and other events.

Featured marques and classes are:

  • The Elegance of Rolls Royce
  • Antiques up to 1925
  • Ducati motorcycles
  • Super Cars
  • The Cars of E.L. Cord
  • Packard Non-Classics, 1935-1958
  • Highway Elegance, 1934-1955
  • Customs and Lead Sleds
  • Collector Class
  • CCCA Classics — Early
  • CCCA Classics — Late
  • “Working Guys’’ trucks

Details and entry forms are available at the concours website.

 

LeMay announces three major exhibitions for 2015

Route 66 exhibition will feature station wagons | Larry Edsall photo
Route 66 exhibition will feature station wagons | Larry Edsall photo

LeMay — America’s Car Museum used the opening Wednesday of the annual Seattle Auto Show to announce three new exhibits that will open during 2015. They are American Muscle: Rivals to the End, Ford F-Series: The Truck That Grew Up with America, and a revamped Route 66 display.

Continue reading

Hagerty Education Program announces $65K in first-quarter scholarship, summer intern grants

Student and professor select materials in upholstery shop at McPherson College |Hagerty photo
Student Nick Finney and professor Richard Dove select materials in upholstery shop at McPherson College |Hagerty photos
Kris Kindt and Matthew Edmondson gets hands-on study at Great Lakes Boat Building School
Kris Kindt and Matthew Edmondson gets hands-on study at Great Lakes boat school

More than a dozen college students learning the skills needed for the restoration of classic vehicles — cars and boats — will benefit from the quarterly grants awarded by the Hagerty Education Program, which is administered through the LeMay — America’s Car Museum.

At the first quarterly meeting of the Hagerty Education Program board of directors, grants totaling $65,600 were awarded for the first three months of 2014:

  • $40,000 to provide 8 students with $5,000 scholarships toward studies in the automotive restoration program at McPherson College in Kansas;
  • $10,000 to provide two summer internships at the LeMay Museum in Washington (with funds going directly two the two students, not to the museum);
  • $5,600 to fund a 10-week summer internships for a McPherson student at the Studebaker National Museum in northern Indiana;
  • $5,000 for student scholarships at the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, Mich.;
  • $5,000 a student scholarship to study at the International Yacht Restoration School of Technology and Trades based in Newport and Bristol, R.I.

It was in January that McKeel Hagerty, a founder of the Collectors Foundation and chief executive of Hagerty Insurance, pledged that his company would donate $1.75 million within the next five years to what since then has become known as the Hagerty Education Program.

In the previous nine years and under the banner of the Collectors Foundation, grants totaling $2.75 million had gone to  schools and museums with programs in automotive, aquatic and aviation preservation and restoration in 29 states, three Canadian provinces as well as to four national organizations for everything from scholarships to helping pay the cost of transporting school children to a car museum and from the restoration of a classic fire truck and to helping to pay a part-time auto shop instructor and providing automotive restoration programs for at-risk youth.

The skills necessary to preserve and restore collector vehicles are disappearing.”

— McKeel Hagerty

 

The mission — then and now — is to help ensure that the skills needed to preserve and restore classic vehicles is not lost.

“As a collector community, we’re faced with the reality that the skills necessary to preserve and restore collector vehicles are disappearing,” said McKeel Hagerty. “My vision for the Hagerty Education Program is to develop a program to meet that threat head on in a national effort to support students and organizations committed to the specialized training of those skills and trades vital to the collector vehicle industry.”

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Summer interns Josh Baum and David Jussel help repair a door at LeMay Museum

Grants, according to the organization’s website, go toward scholarships and to organizations “committed to ‘hands-on education’ and making a difference in the lives of young people through the appeal of historic vehicles and vessels,” thereby “building the next generation of collectors” and those capable of preserving and restoring such vehicles.

Details on those and other grants is available at the www.hagertyeducationprogram.org website. The website also provides information about donating to the 509(a)(3) program.