If Cars Could Talk
They'd Be Excited About a New Museum
Larry Jewett - September 18, 2011 08:00 AM
Lots happened in 1927: Babe Ruth hit 60 homers, “Silent” Calvin Coolidge was quietly running the White House and prohibition was in full swing. A verbose 1927 LaSalle 303 Roadster, conceived by flamboyant GM Design Chief Harley Earle, strolled off the assembly line. More aggressive and stylish than its cousin, the Cadillac, the LaSalle helped launch modern American automotive styling.
Some 84 years later, the same LaSalle is in the news again, having been named “guest of honor” at the LeMay– America’s Car Museum (ACM) “Hard Hat & High Heels” preview party, Sept. 24 at the museum’s four-level, 165,000-sq.-ft., facility in Tacoma, Wash.
In this exclusive “interview” conducted by Scot Keller, ACM chief marketing & communications officer, the LaSalle talks about the museum (set to open in June 2012) and the Hard Hat & High Heels event.
Scot Keller: Congratulations on being named the guest of honor at ACM’s Hard Hat & High Heels. How does it feel?
1927 LaSalle: Reviewers called me a trendsetter back in ’27, and 80-something years later my name still creates loads of nostalgia among car lovers. GM stopped making us LaSalles in ’41, but since ACM was conceived to showcase America’s love affair with automobiles, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Keller: How have they been treating you at the Museum?
LaSalle: Great – I feel like a rock star…albeit an old rock star. I feel so alive here. They really do treat us older gentlemen like celebrities. And just look at it, all nine acres. What a super place this is – you can’t beat the view… city, mountains, water… fabulous!
Keller: What are you going to wear to the Hard Hat & High Heels event?
LaSalle: I hear everyone’s going to be decked out in something called ‘construction chic,’ but that’s not for me. There’s some talk they might want to keep me dusty from the Mille Miglia so I have that authentic, ‘just been raced’ look, but I’m thinkin’ of a nice car wash and wax and getting my upholstery done. And I hope they don’t expect a speech. Last time I did that, I got so nervous I started leaking oil.
Keller: Are you excited about the ACM grand opening in June 2012?
LaSalle: You bet! Lots of my old friends will be there, along with a ton of other gorgeous, stylish rides.. There’s so much stuff going on here, like all the galleries, exhibits, library, show field, theatre and café. I’m just glad at my age they put me in a cool museum instead of an old folk’s home.
Tickets for the Hard Hat & High Heels party – the auto museum’s biggest fundraiser event of the year – are on sale now. The Sept. 24 event will include a cocktail reception, dinner, entertainment, live auction and a chance to see some of the exhibits before anyone else.
For tickets or more information, visit www.lemaymuseum.org