LeMay revs up fund drive for car museum

In a celebration of a freewheeling America, auto lovers, history buffs and community boosters gathered Thursday afternoon to cheer on the “Drive for America’s Car Museum” as it hits the road.

The capital fund drive to build the Harold E. LeMay Museum began at a 4 p.m. private gathering at the Fircrest Golf Club.

Guests were the first to see a scale model of the museum building to be sited next to the Tacoma Dome. The model and drawings allowed guests to examine the building’s curves, chrome and glass that will create a new Tacoma icon.

When built, the museum building will feature a permanent collection of 1,200 cars and auto-related 20th century Americana, largely from the LeMay Collection. Ground breaking is scheduled for 2006 with the building opening in 2008.

“We are determined that America’s Car Museum will be the world’s foremost auto museum. It will be a destination that beckons all generations, the place where car enthusiasts and families from around the world gather to celebrate our love affair with the automobile,” said David Madeira, museum chief executive officer.

Museum cars, including the award-winning 1930 Duesenberg Model “J” convertible coupe, were on display at the event. The vehicle will be showcased in the Kirkland Concours Sept. 11 and was recently invited to participate in next year’s prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The Harold E. LeMay Museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the LeMay Collection of automobiles and memorabilia, along with vehicles and artifacts it may acquire. For more information, visit www.lemaymuseum.org.