“I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor, she’s waiting tonight down in the parking lot, Outside the Seven-Eleven store,” Bruce Springsteen, Racing in the street.
It’s impressive how cars are intertwined in our lives. Our Favorite songs are about them. We decorate them to celebrate marriages. We fall in love in them. We suffer through commutes with them. We explore the country with them. We admire them and sometimes we yell at them. But you feel it like it’s an extension of your body, and if you don’t believe me, drive around Ireland for a week and try to tell me you didn’t struggle with hugging the side of the road.
The Lemay Auto Museum in Tacoma, Washington is the perfect tribute to steel, seats, and steering wheels that we grew up with as if they were a part of the family.
The museum is a massive 165,000 square feet. The shape of the building even looks like a wheel well of an old hot rod. The design of the interior is interesting. The whole place is built like a parking garage, so they can move cars in and out of the exhibits or down to the working mechanics shop where you can watch mechanics work on the some of the 350 plus cars that rotate in and out of the museum. Some from private collections and some from Lemay’s collection located in Spanaway, Wa.
In the Speed Zone, you can get behind the wheel of an upgraded CXC Racing Simulator, with 180-degree field of vision it shakes and vibrates when you inevitably lose control of the formula 1 race car it’s mimicking. For the younger ones, there is a pretty cool slot car racetrack and down another level, you’ll find the Family Zone where you can compete with one another on a pinewood-derby style track amongst other activities for the little ones to enjoy.
Exhibits range from the classics and custom coachworks, custom cars from the 1930s that would make Jay Gatsby proud to the Route 66 featuring cars worthy of a Springsteen song and even the Flintstone Mobile.
Upcoming exhibit: opening November 16, 2019
Saleen: A Journey From The Heart Of A Racer To America’s Supercar
The Lemay Museum Website Describes the upcoming Exhibit as, “An incredible race history with the performance design of the Saleen Mustang, to one of the world’s most renowned supercars, the Saleen S7, CEO & Founder Steve Saleen has carved out a reputation that truly ranks with the most celebrated performance vehicle designers in history. Saleen’s entrepreneurial business plan laid the groundwork for an entire new industry of design, engineering, manufacturing, and sales of high-performance vehicles that were race-proven and marketed for sales through showrooms nationwide.”
Just in case you’re unfamiliar with the Springsteen song, “Racing in the Street.” I’ve linked it below. It’s a great song.