“Everybody remembers their first car, family driving vacations, a sports car they fell in love with as a teenager,” says ACM CEO David Madeira. “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.”
Harold and Nancy LeMay amassed the largest privately owned collection of automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, other vehicles and related memorabilia in the world.
At its peak, the LeMay Collection numbered in excess of 3,000 vehicles and thousands of artifacts and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest privately owned collection in the world; impressive if accomplished by King, but jaw dropping, awesome when accomplished by a local businessman from Tacoma, Washington.
LeMay – America’s Car Museum (ACM) spotlights America’s love affair with the automobile. Featuring a nine-acre campus – with a four-story museum as the centerpiece – ACM, situated atop Tacoma, Wash., 30 minutes south of Seattle and in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, will be one of the world’s largest auto museums and attractions when it opens in June 2012.
“Harold would love the design, the way it suggests a car, and most importantly, that it is designed to become a gathering place for the community. I believe this is a great vision and that we can and will get it done”.
The above text was taken from the LeMay Museum website.
So. Cars. Love em.
When I was born my pops had a Chevy Nova. In 8th grade, my pops sold that beautiful ride for $10 to my uncle. I remember telling myself, “one day you’re gonna get that ride back.” I love the Nova. Actually there are three chevy’s that I want; ’63 Nova SS, ’69 Chevelle SS, and either a ’64 or ’67 Impala SS. Is that too much to ask?
My pops would drive my brother and I in the Nova all over San Diego, CA and Charleston, SC (he was in the Navy, thus the 2 largest navy stations in the US). We didn’t have a great system, so when we got into music, we brought along our double tape deck Sanyo. It was tedious to rewind the cassette tape especially if you wanted to repeat the same song. Of course it was the MJ Thriller tape that we had and it was always about repeating tracks 1, 2, 3, 6, and 8 (Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin, Baby Be Mine, The Girl is Mine, Billie Jean, and PYT). I had the original cassette tape and then copied it over to a Memorex 90 min (That’s right…”Is it live or is it Memorex?”…ummm, its a cassette tape and I had to rewind it sometimes with a #2 pencil when my damn Sanyo would eat it up…and what was up with the pastel triangles on the clear plastic on the packs of 3 that ya’ll would sell…huh Memorex, what’s up with that!).
Cars are for all – young and old alike.
We had some great memories with my pops in that ride. One in particular was when he took us over to the Cooper River (many times), and I believe it was right by the bridge, well the older bridge, and he took us out low tide fishing and so we went out into the flats. Not with poles because I still don’t know how to use a rod and reel…but we would go out in our shorts, wade out to about chest deep, break out our net and circle a huge perimeter, then bring it in. We would have to watch out for puffer fish and other poisonous things, as well as look out for water moccasins that would cross the river BUT we would get a whole mess of flounder and trout. My cousins and uncles who came with us (back then we didn’t have to wear seatbelts so of course, the Filipinos would pack as many people into a Chevy Nova as they could) were out in a rowboat and they would get us the big fish, the Spottails. These fish were awesome and I remember how much adoration I had for them when they brought them in. It was great. A day of fishing out with my dad, uncles, and cousins (at this time my brother was still too young to come out and I was the youngest).
My pops Nova was the shit. My uncles all had Chevy’s as well and so when ever there was a family gathering we were out in the street either talking about the cars or talking about the fish we caught.
The Sonics Guy – Save Our Sonics! and enjoy the LeMay!
To this day, I wish my pops didn’t sell that Nova. Especially when we moved to Washington. We moved into a development where there were other Filipino car enthusiasts. All of their pops kept their vehicles. One uncle right across the street had an AMC Javelin. Down the street, Darvin’s dad had a Baracuda. Across Fairgrounds road, our boy Pedro…his pops had a ’71 Monte Carlo, ’68 Monte Carlo, and ’67 Corvete Stingray. YUP. All the fellas had some type of classic or muscle or both in their garage because their pops kept theirs. I on the other hand, got to look at 2, thats right COUNT it two cherry red vehiculars. The first was a 1982 Toyota Corolla hatchback. The second was a 1985 Nissan 200SX. I’ll say it again, both were cherry red. To top it off, both had black louvers. GREAT for when I started driving and I put some bass speakers in a box and traded between the two, and boy did those black louvers stay quiet. There wasn’t a rattle heard when I would play some of my bass cassette tapes from Miami. OK so I lie. The louvers were so loud that even though the bass was turned up nice and loud, you could still hear that crispy rattle. It was terrible and embarassing.
Whats the point in me telling you all this?
Well. No point really. Figure I would introduce some pictures with some life back stories. Now a days, I love to shoot cars with some of the other car enthusiasts in Seattle. Last year a few of us went to the LeMay Auction and it was Auto heaven. Fast forward to June 2, 2012 and BAM, heaven has got membership dues and my boss (wife) let me have a card. Unlimited entry into the museum equals a lot of car photos on the photo social networks that I am on.
A volunteer next to the vintage Mercedes line.
If you are on Instagram, check the hashtag #lemay_igers_seattle. Also be on the lookout for the “Autography” Show including 4 great woman photographers from Seattle and @jayzombie from the Instagram community team. It’ll be a great one as it is in conjunction with the local Greenwood Annual Car Show which is their 20th Anniversary this year.
Also, watch out, the cars are coming out, so my feed is about to get inundated by vehiculars. I’m looking for my Nova, Chevelle, and/or Impala. Please email me if you see them on the street. OOOH another shameless plug if this post got you interested, check the #whipsinthewild hashtag on IG. AND if you are on Instagram and you have taken photos of vintage, classic, and/or muscle cars tag @joanna and hashtag it #juxtcars.
With that, here are the photos and a couple stories from the Grand Opening on June 2, 2012 at the LeMay Auto Museum: America’s Car Museum.
Mac is a proud of owner of this 1948 Chrysler New Yorker. It has been in his family for 40 years and is one of a few that his family has owned. As you can tell he is a PROUD owner and rightfully so. For some of the owners, I typically didn’t find them by their vehicle. Mac and his family were sitting in the ride with smiles all around. I approached him and told him how beautiful his ride was and he obliged with a great smile and a bit of history on the car. I asked him the worth of the car, and he stated, “It’s not the same as the Cadillac of this year but it’s my car, and that’s worth a lot.”
Mac is also the neighbor of a friend of ours who we didn’t know about until we were in line. It’s great to know how small the world truly is. Gita we met a few years back when her son was only 9 months and our son was yet to be born up in Orcas Island. We shared quick stories about being new parents and learned lessons thus far. It was great to see Gita and even more so, great to know that because of Mac, they are becoming automobile enthusiasts.
Meet Jim and Carol
Meet Jim and Carol and their beauty of a road machine, a 1950 Chevy Coupe. Ya’ll remember up top when I said I love Chevrolet, well I waited for about 20 minutes to let this couple and their family settle before approaching them about this vehicle and of course them. They had some great stories about the car but I’m gonna switch it up a bit and tell you more about the interaction.
Of course Jim was very receptive to taking a photo and being put on the blog but even better, when I asked him if he was the owner and if he would take a shot with his car, he said, “Of course!” then immediately called Carol over and said, “he wants to take a photo with the owners, get over here and take a photo with your car!” I absolutely love it. Carol and I talked real quick about it. This may be Jim’s hobby, but he also knows it’s his hobby because his boss agreed to let it be his hobby. Gotta love the queens of our world!
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