Day at the Museum

Cars, planes, boats & movies
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Mark1
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Day at the Museum

Post by Mark1 » August 27th 2022, 8:38pm

I drove up to codguys neck of the woods this morning to attend the 44th Lemay annual show. Harold Lemay made a fortune hauling trash and towing cars. He spent decades collecting cars and a lot of other things. Codguy had told me before that going there is sensory overload and it is. Once a year the Lemays open up the estate for an annual show. It's their original family home with a 300 car garage. If you ever think your watch collection has gotten out of hand, you've never been here. Once a year the estate is open, they have an 80 acre museum site that is open year round. A few years ago they donated 600 cars to a museum in nearby Tacoma. It is said that over his lifetime Harold Lemay collected 2400 cars. Today, we saw a good number of them. We went to the estate first which is basically several buildings with cars and other things packed to the rafters. There is sometimes a common theme in how the place is arranged but it clearly has gotten out of hand. I apologize in advance as the lighting is not museum like and things are packed in pretty tight. The first few pictures are from the estates outbuildings.
This is about half of the Packard room.
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This building is filled with various old limousines with a truck in the center.
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This is but a small part of the Cadillac section.
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This is for the boys down under, a 1939 Chevrolet Ute, a truck on a car chassis built by Holden in Australia.
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This is, well, Smellody and Nuvolari could tell you what it is, pass the grey poupon.
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1904 Orient Buckboard. This 4hp V2 powered screamer set you back $337. The cheapest automobile in the world until the Model T came along.
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Now moving on to the former Marymount military academy which the Lemays bought to hold more of the collection. At the school, some rooms are small and there are also larger common areas and more outbuildings.
Just one of the rooms filled with vintage motorcycles from all over the world.
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A 1932 Ford roadster, not quite as unique as that thing behind it. What makes this roadster unique is the turbine engine that powers it. No transmission kids-direct drive. I'd bet that's a handful to drive. It has run at Bonneville.
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1948 Tucker in the center aisle. All kinds of stuff on the outer rows.
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A 1947 Dodge Woodie. Centered in the schools gymnasium, this is the only room we saw where you could display more cars without a shoehorn.
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I liked this 1958 Buick Century Caballero.
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A sharp 1956 Pontiac Star Chief Safari. Why can't we have sliding windows and wing windows anymore?
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1958 Mercury Voyager 2 door wagon outside the gym. Station wagons were a theme here.
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There was a car show going on the school grounds, and two more large outbuildings. In one of the buildings the, the vehicles were arranged with each row representing a decade of vehicle production. Inside the door the first thing you see is the worlds first automobile. Invented by Karl Benz in 1885, this patented in 1886 Karl Benz Patent motorcar started it all. The original is on display in Germany. This replica, #1 of 10 was built by MB to commemorate 100 years. This is the motorcar you see in the MB commercial with Karls wife driving to town. Some of the locals thought she was a witch at the time.
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A row of cars from the brass era.
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I've got to bring it back to airplanes for a minute. Here is a Packard/Rolls Royce Merlin V-1650 engine. First used in P51 and P40 fighters in WWII, they were later used to power unlimited hydroplanes.
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1951 Frazer Vagabond utility sedan. Note the old school AC.
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Supercharged 1936 Auburn 852 convertible sedan.
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1937 Cord 812 Westchester.
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1954 Kaiser Darrin KF-161 Roadster. When was the last time you saw one of those?
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That's quite a few pictures, you guys probably get the idea. Too much to see at this place. There is another huge building with two rows of cars and racks three high with vehicles on each side.
If you are interested in cars, stop and see this place if you are in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Thanks to codguy for showing me around the place.
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Re: Day at the Museum

Post by 3Flushes » August 28th 2022, 1:26am

Great pics. Tried to get there the last time I was in the area but couldn't swing a day out of my travel schedule to go.

The Auburn Cord Westchester coffin nose (Cord was a division of Auburn) is the show stopper for me. What a cool automobile. IIRC the 810/812's were the first American front wheel drive cars, the first with hidden headlights and electric multi-speed wipers, and they had an independent front suspension.

The Auburn Speedster is also one of my favorite cars of the era.
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Re: Day at the Museum

Post by jason_recliner » August 28th 2022, 2:32am

3Flushes wrote:
August 28th 2022, 1:26am
Great pics. Tried to get there the last time I was in the area but couldn't swing a day out of my travel schedule to go.

The Auburn Cord Westchester coffin nose (Cord was a division of Auburn) is the show stopper for me. What a cool automobile. IIRC the 810/812's were the first American front wheel drive cars, the first with hidden headlights and electric multi-speed wipers, and they had an independent front suspension.

The Auburn Speedster is also one of my favorite cars of the era.
It's the most incredible car. It's not ground breaking styling or design or engineering, it's all three in one. Drop dead looks to this day.

I'm also a sucker for 1950s American cars. Never was a car industry so far ahead of everybody else until Japan in the late 80s/early 90s.
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Re: Day at the Museum

Post by codguy » August 28th 2022, 7:01am

I go into visual overload each & every time I go there.
Yep, get enamored with the beauty of a '20s or'30s era Rolls or Bentley or Benz or, or, or ------ then turn around and a Pierce Arrow of the same vintage is staring at you.
Sensory overload indeed!

Capped off the nice visit at a local diner for some non-fish sammiches & fries. Thanks for making the drive up Mark, pleasure was mine.

Next up, may I suggest

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Re: Day at the Museum

Post by Mark1 » August 28th 2022, 4:32pm

codguy wrote:
August 28th 2022, 7:01am

Next up, may I suggest

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Roger that. I would also add the Museum of Flight in Tukwila, haven't been there in years.
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Re: Day at the Museum

Post by smellody » August 28th 2022, 4:43pm

jason_recliner wrote:
August 28th 2022, 2:32am
3Flushes wrote:
August 28th 2022, 1:26am
Great pics. Tried to get there the last time I was in the area but couldn't swing a day out of my travel schedule to go.

The Auburn Cord Westchester coffin nose (Cord was a division of Auburn) is the show stopper for me. What a cool automobile. IIRC the 810/812's were the first American front wheel drive cars, the first with hidden headlights and electric multi-speed wipers, and they had an independent front suspension.

The Auburn Speedster is also one of my favorite cars of the era.
It's the most incredible car. It's not ground breaking styling or design or engineering, it's all three in one. Drop dead looks to this day.

I'm also a sucker for 1950s American cars. Never was a car industry so far ahead of everybody else until Japan in the late 80s/early 90s.
Japan just copied and protected everything the British were doing right in the late 50's. NO innovation as far as I am concerned. Blah.
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Re: Day at the Museum

Post by Nuvolari » August 28th 2022, 5:16pm

Holy damn that’s AWESOME!!

But I get the overload! I could spend an hour walking and crawling around the boat tail Auburn alone! And then there’s a damn Cord right next to it! Well, there’s two hours!

When I was a kid my parents had a vacation home in Palm Desert and our next door neighbor was an ooold retired guy who was always very kind to me and let me drive around his golf cart (as an 8 or 9 year old it was top notch!). He saw I had a HotWheels version of the 852 Speedster and he was amused because he used to own one.

He told me how he used to put a couple of sand bags in the trunk to get weight over the rear wheels and if you out your foot to the floor the supercharged Lycoming straight-8 would absolute overwhelm the rear tires. That’s a problem lead-footed enthusiasts would work to address for many many moons…

The sand bags worked great. Right up until he was driving pretty aggressive one day and ruptured one of the bags… and he said it still had sand in it when he traded the car decades later for a more sensible Hudson.

Seeing those cars triggered that flashback!

Great post, Mark! Hat’s off to you!
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Re: Day at the Museum

Post by Mark1 » August 28th 2022, 5:53pm

Nuvolari wrote:
August 28th 2022, 5:16pm
Holy damn that’s AWESOME!!

When I was a kid my parents had a vacation home in Palm Desert and our next door neighbor was an ooold retired guy who was always very kind to me and let me drive around his golf cart (as an 8 or 9 year old it was top notch!). He saw I had a HotWheels version of the 852 Speedster and he was amused because he used to own one.

Great post, Mark! Hat’s off to you!
It really is a small world. When I was about that same age, one set of grandparents lived in Palm Desert, the others in Indio. I remember visiting in the summers. Hanging around the pool, cruising the area in a golf cart. Still remember grandma letting me drive her to the grocery store in a golf cart. Back then, big news in the area was the huge house Bob Hope was building burning down. That and trips to painted canyon, Joshua Tree and the transplanted London bridge. Picking oranges off the tree, etc. Good times.
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Re: Day at the Museum

Post by Nuvolari » August 29th 2022, 1:50pm

Mark1 wrote:
August 28th 2022, 5:53pm
Nuvolari wrote:
August 28th 2022, 5:16pm
Holy damn that’s AWESOME!!

When I was a kid my parents had a vacation home in Palm Desert and our next door neighbor was an ooold retired guy who was always very kind to me and let me drive around his golf cart (as an 8 or 9 year old it was top notch!). He saw I had a HotWheels version of the 852 Speedster and he was amused because he used to own one.

Great post, Mark! Hat’s off to you!
It really is a small world. When I was about that same age, one set of grandparents lived in Palm Desert, the others in Indio. I remember visiting in the summers. Hanging around the pool, cruising the area in a golf cart. Still remember grandma letting me drive her to the grocery store in a golf cart. Back then, big news in the area was the huge house Bob Hope was building burning down. That and trips to painted canyon, Joshua Tree and the transplanted London bridge. Picking oranges off the tree, etc. Good times.
Isn’t that funny - how at that age when a bicycle presented freedom then a golf cart meant you were pretty much like a junior man, and definitely not just a kid. You were driving, after all!
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Re: Day at the Museum

Post by Nuvolari » August 29th 2022, 1:58pm

3Flushes wrote:
August 28th 2022, 1:26am

IIRC the 810/812's were the first American front wheel drive cars, the first with hidden headlights and electric multi-speed wipers, and they had an independent front suspension.

That is correct, Sir.

Also - since there is Tucker right there - this may be an opportune time to share with the group that Preston Tucker determined the best way to transmit power to the road from his rear engined sedan was to use the Cord differential and drive gear from the older (c. 1930) L-29 front engine/front wheel drive and then repurposed them for use in the rear wheel drive Tucker.

I don’t often have an opportunity to share that kind of worthless automotive trivia with anyone that knows anything about ANY of those cars…
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Re: Day at the Museum

Post by 3Flushes » August 30th 2022, 1:09am

Nuvolari wrote:
August 29th 2022, 1:58pm
3Flushes wrote:
August 28th 2022, 1:26am

IIRC the 810/812's were the first American front wheel drive cars, the first with hidden headlights and electric multi-speed wipers, and they had an independent front suspension.

That is correct, Sir.

Also - since there is Tucker right there - this may be an opportune time to share with the group that Preston Tucker determined the best way to transmit power to the road from his rear engined sedan was to use the Cord differential and drive gear from the older (c. 1930) L-29 front engine/front wheel drive and then repurposed them for use in the rear wheel drive Tucker.

I don’t often have an opportunity to share that kind of worthless automotive trivia with anyone that knows anything about ANY of those cars…
I never knew ^^^that.

Tucker's pioneering safety engineering was way ahead of the times with a perimeter frame for crash protection, a reinforced roof, and the coolest, the center headlight connected to the steering gear to light the way around corners and through turns — would be cool to this day for mountain driving and whatnot. No clue why they shit-canned the idea.
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Re: Day at the Museum

Post by Mark1 » August 30th 2022, 7:35am

Here is a better picture of the Tucker. Saw an auction on TV the other day where a 1948 Tucker sold for like 1.8 million. Tried to get pictures without too many people in the frame. Hard to do there where cars are literally door to door.
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This is the last large building we visited. Cars are literally stacked like cord wood on these racks, with three or more rows of vehicles on the floor.
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This is one of the cars used in one of the Indiana Jones movies.
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