LeMay Car Museum


2015-06-26 11:08:55

LeMay Car Museum

LeMay Car Museum is a classic car museum under construction in Tacoma, Washington, USA. It will house 500 vehicles – the largest collection of classic cars in the world. The museum

Dubbed America’s Car Museum, it is named in honour of Harold LeMay (1919-2000), an American waste management entrepreneur.

According to the Museum website, LeMay amassed the largest privately owned collection of automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, other vehicles and related memorabilia in the world, which numbered in excess of 3,000 vehicles at its peak,

After his death in 2000, LeMay’s collection was donated to the museum for the benefit of the public.

Currently under construction, the museum describes itself as a “technologically advanced, interactive automotive museum and educational centre that will showcase the cultural impact of cars, motorcycles and trucks on our uniquely American way of life.”


Costing $60 million, the LeMay Museum will house 500 cars and is predicted bring in an estimated 425,000 visitors and some $34 million to the local economy annually. It is due to open in 2011.

The collection

The collection at the museum will comprise 500 cars from LeMay’s record breaking collection.

A notable car in the collection is a 1916 Abadal Buick, a rare Spanish car manufactured between 1912 and 1923, according to the museum's website.

Another is the 1983 DeLorean DMC 12. The museum states that the car was designed by the Italian designer Giorio Guigiaro, and produced in Belfast, Northern Ireland, “as a major aid to rampant unemployment there”.

It has a V-6 alloy, double overhead cam 2850 cc engine, producing 130 brake horse power. The engine was developed by Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo.

8,742 units were produced for 2 years between 1980 and 1982 and at the time, it had a list price of between $25,000 and $27,000.


Although no formal valuation has been attributed to LeMay’s collection or the museum’s collection, the museum states that several cars are worth well over $1 million.

The New York Times reported that the museum has been funded by $15 million from LeMay’s wife Nancy, $11 million from Washington State and $1.6 million from AAA, the car club.

Furthermore, since ground-breaking in June 2010, there has been a $9.5 million fund-raising effort to complete the museum.

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