LeMay: America's Car Museum Opens in Tacoma

Tacoma’s new car museum is an ode to hitting the road.
Brangien Davis  |   June 2012   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
Tacoma’s new car museum is one of the largest in the world

Cars may have lost some street cred among bikers, environmentalists and anyone tired of pouring her paycheck into the gas tank, but a new museum in Tacoma is here to remind us of the glory days, when we could rev up and roll down the road free of guilt. LeMay: America’s Car Museum opens this month next door to the Tacoma Dome, in a shining chrome and glass structure that looks vaguely automotive. (Is it a rearview mirror? A grille?)

Sourced largely from the massive car collection (listed in the Guinness Book of World Records) of Tacoma garbage/recycling magnate Harold LeMay, the exhibit features vehicles from prehistoric times (a Flintmobile from the movie The Flintstones) all the way back to the future (a 1983 DeLorean DMC-12, à la Marty McFly).

The gallery can house as many as 500 cars, and emphasizes innovations in speed, technology and design, including a 1918 Cadillac limousine; a tiny, three-wheeled Messerschmitt KR200 from 1956; and a 1963 Corvette Stingray. The museum also boasts a 3.5-acre outdoor show field, which in the future will be used to display autos, host outdoor festivals and present one of the best things about cars: drive-in movies.

Opens 6/2. Times vary. $8–$14 (children younger than 5, free). 2702 East D St.; 253.779.8490; lemaymuseum.org

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