LeMay Museum Opens

Gala Celebration For Realizing Longtime Dream

Larry Jewett - June 07, 2012 09:44 AM


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It was an eclectic gathering at the debut of the Pacific Northwest’s newest attraction: LeMay – America’s Car Museum (ACM) as thousands of people flowed into the 165,000-sq. ft., four-level museum with sweeping views above Tacoma, Wash.  Visitors included Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen, GM Vice President of Design Ed Welburn, Tonight Show host Jay Leno, jewelry magnate Nicola Bulgari, Mariners’ two-time batting champ Edgar Martinez, “car guys,” museum lovers and lots of families.
“We’ve created a fun destination in addition to a beautiful museum,” said ACM President and CEO David Madeira.  “We’ve got our 3.5 acre Haub Family Field to host concerts, car shows, civic events and even drive-in movies. We have an educational center that will attract 100,000 school kids each year and unique exhibits that blend cars, music, film and photos.  And all of this is centered around preserving history and creating a thriving museum at the heart of the world’s automotive culture.”
“My husband never met a car he didn’t like,” said Nancy LeMay about Harold, who passed away at age 81 in 2000.  “We created initial fundraising plans in 1998 to memorialize a portion of the collection.  Today he would be so proud to see his dream become a reality and have his passion for cars displayed in such an amazing setting.”
LeMay’s collection, estimated by the Guinness Book in the mid ‘90s to include a 3,000-plus cars, trucks and motorcycles, highlights cars ranging from a 1916 Pierce Arrow to a 1956 Chevy two-door hardtop.
“Everybody remembers their first car, family driving vacations, a sports car they fell in love with as a teenager,” says Madeira.  Personal experiences are part of life in America, and with the assistance of the Harold and Nancy LeMay collection, we’re showcasing more than a century of automotive history.”
To get information on museum hours, becoming an ACM member, volunteer opportunities or to make a donation, visit