Featured photo for Lemay Car Museum

Lemay Car Museum

One day in early December, I received an e-mail from “Lemay–America’s Car Museum” which I had never heard of. I was about to delete it when I thought, “I might as well look where this is located,” and to my surprise, I discovered that it was located in Tacoma, Washington, just 30 miles south of Seattle. I was going to be in Seattle in a couple weeks. What luck!

As it turned out, this was quite possibly the most fascinating and impressive automotive museum I have ever been to. Not only were there a lot of cars—four floors worth—but the historical significance of almost every single one of them was astounding. Mr. Lemay was a true connoisseur of motorized transport.

The photos I took illustrated just a sampling of the vehicles. This is a must-visit museum for any motorhead. If you make the journey, give yourself at the very least 3 hours to peruse (I wish I did).

A pair of Nash Metropolitans.
1965 Buick Riviera GS.
1961 Chrysler 300G.
Tacoma as viewed from the Lemay Museum.
1937 Chrysler airflow: the first mass-production aerodynamic car.
1930 Duesenberg Model J.
1993 Mercedes-Benz 380 SS.  This was one of my favorite cars in the museum.
Cadillac Eldorado.
1956 Continental (before Continentals became Lincolns).
1968 Lotus Turbine "Wedge" #70 race car.
1949 Crosley Hot Shot Roadster.
1986 Owosso Pulse 3-wheeler coupe.  Despite its looks it cannot fly.
A custom Thunderbird.
1990 Viking XX Solar Race Car by Western Washington University.
1990s GM EV and 2012 Chevy Volt.
2012 Lexus LFA.  It looked much better in person than in photos---particularly in this nice blue color.
2012 Mercedes SLS AMG.
Cadillac Coupe with massive tailfins from the 1950s (a Henry Earl design).
1983 DeLorean DMC-12 2-door gullwing with 5-speed manual transmission.
1991 Ferrari F40: first road legal production car capable of exceeding 200 miles per hour.
The Ferrari hallway.  On the left is a nice red 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 "Daytona."
Ferrari race car.
Original Mustang convertible.
A bunch of Nortons.
1964 Lotus Elan.
1952 MG TD.
1952 Jaguar XK120.
1967 Jaguar E-Type, Series I.
Kurtis Omohundro Comet, America's first post-war sports car. It was a one-off aluminum special.
Outside the Lemay Museum. The Fiat 500 was my rental car.