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LeMay Auto Museum Opens Its Doors

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On: Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 10:05AM | By: Chris Weiss

LeMay Auto Museum Opens Its Doors

Named after the late Harold LeMay, whose private auto collection was once certified by Guiness as the world's largest, LeMay - America's Car Museum opened its doors for the first time this past weekend. The museum will hold its public grand opening later this week.

The museum "spotlights America's love affair with the automobile" in a nine-acre facility in Tacoma, Washington. The museum serves as the centerpiece of the greater facility, and visitors will find up to 350 cars, trucks and motorcycles from LeMay's collection and private and corporate owners. The 165,000 sq ft, four-story museum, which has been called the largest in North America and one of the largest in the world, will also serve as a sort of ground zero for auto collectors, fans and other parties to gather, socialize and network. Other facilities of the greater campus include a 3.5-acre car show field, a cafe and a banquet hall.

"Everybody remembers their first car, family driving vacations, a sports car they fell in love with as a teenager," ACM CEO David Madeira is quoted on LeMay's website. "Personal experiences with cars are at the heart of the American experience, and we’re going to showcase more than a century of automotive lifestyle and history as well as the future of transportation."

LeMay opened this past Saturday with a display of about 150 vehicles. This weekend's grand opening will kick off with dinner parties on Friday night. The greater weekend will include an outdoor car show, an appearance by former Seattle Mariner Edgar Martinez, and a concert.

The museum announced last month that one of its first exhibits will be dedicated to past, present and future vehicles powered by alternative fuels, including electric, bio-fuel and fuel cells. According to the Seattle Times, future events will include themes such as "The British Invasion" and "Ferrari in America."

The opening of the museum comes after more than a decade of funding and development. Harold LeMay and his wife Nancy founded the museum nonprofit in 1998, prior to his death in 2000.

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