It’s significant to look back over time and consider changes we’ve seen in celebrating Undiscovered Classics cars.
Recently we shared the increased appearances of handcrafted American sports cars at events across the country including the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance – click here for more detail. But another significant change is how many of these handcrafted sports cars are being recognized and celebrated by automobile museums. This first started with the significant acquisition of a Glasspar G2 sports car by the Smithsonian Museum in 2000. Let’s have a look at some of these appearances and acquisitions.
Smithsonian Museum: 1952 Glasspar G2
Several years ago, Jean Poirier, Glasspar Historian Emeritus, worked with Roger White of the Smithsonian Museum to acquire a nice example of a Glasspar G2 sports car for their collection. Since that time, it has been rotated in and out of display several times. Click here to learn more of the Glasspar G2 Smithsonian Acquisition and Display.
The Smithsonian Museum’s Glasspar G2 was also featured in a Velocity TV channel program called “AmeriCarna” starring Ray Evernham. You can watch this video segment by clicking on the image below.
Edge Motor Museum: 1952 Glasspar G2
The Edge Motor Museum in Memphis, Tennessee debuted the newest addition to their collection in late 2019 – a 1952 Glasspar G2 sports car. Click here to learn more of this Glasspar G2 and the event.
LeMay Automobile Museum: 1947 Kurtis-Omohundro Comet, 1952 Skorpion
The LeMay Automobile Museum in Tacoma, Washington showcased our Kurtis-Omohundro in their inaugural opening year. Click here to learn more about the Kurtis-Omohundro appearance. Recently they added a John Wills Skorpion to their collection. Click here to learn more about the acquisition of the Skorpion by LeMay.
Petersen Museum: Fantasies in Fiberglass Exhibit
Cars: Allied Swallow, Maverick, Bangert, Tiburon Coupe, Devin SS, Sorrell SR-100, Woodill Wildfire and More
In 2010, the Petersen Automobile museum hosted an exhibit featuring handcrafted American sports cars built from fiberglass. Check out some of the photos below.
AACA Museum: 1962 Shark Roadster and 1955 Flajole Forerunner
In 2013 the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania hosted an exhibit called Pop Cars and Culture and the Shark was part of the exhibition as shown below. Also headlining their exhibition was the 1955 handcrafted “Flajole Forerunner” designed and built by famed stylist Bill Flajole. Click here for more information on the Flajole Forerunner.
NHRA Museum: 1946 Bill Burke Belly Tank Streamliner
The NHRA Museum hosted a tribute to Bill Burke and invited the Burke Streamliner to participate. It was the first car seen as you entered the museum.
Tampa Bay Automobile Museum: 1947 Kurtis Omohundro Comet; 1961 Tiburon Coupe
Both cars appeared on display in the Tampa Bay area in the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum as shown below.
Sarasota Classic Car Museum:
The cars on display in the Sarasota Classic Car Museum rotate each year. Here’s a partial list of the cars that have been on display: 1947 Kurtis Omohundro, 1948 Kurtis Omohundro, 1961 Tiburon Coupe, 1962 Shark Roadster, 1937 Gougeon Streamliner, 1956 Bangert Manta Ray, 1959 Kellison, 1955 Californian “LeGene” Special, 1937 Custom Cord Phaeton, 1949 Packard Monte Carlo Convertible, 1961 Seagrave, 1958 Galileo Special, 1950 Leo Lyons Custom Mercury, 1952 Allied Swallow and more as shown below.
Lane Motor Museum: Renault Special, Two Urbacars and More
The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee hosts several Undiscovered Classic cars and continues to expand. See photos below of some of their more recent acquisitions.
Private Museums: 1955 Californian, 1948 Kurtis-Buick, 1953 Bohman Special
The 1955 Californian sports special is in a private museum in Orlando, Florida. The 1948 Kurtis-Buick and the 1953 Bohman Special are in a private museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Bohman Special was one of the cars that was featured in the 1954 movie “Johnny Dark” starring Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie.
The trend of Undiscovered Classic cars appearing and being showcased in museums continues to expand. One of the Woodill Wildfires from the 1954 movie “Johnny Dark” is currently being restored and will be finished in the next few months. After its debut, it will be off to its new home near Dallas, Texas to be one of the feature cars in a new car museum that focuses on movie cars of Hollywood. More about the Johnny Dark Wildfire in a future story.
As more handcrafted American sports cars appear in museums, events and exhibitions, we’ll cover them here in Undiscovered Classics so be sure to watch this space gang.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…
The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.
Somewhere in the thousands of photos I have is one of a Skorpion , somewhere in a parade, I inherited a close friends photographs, a professional photographer, many pics are from 1940’s thru 1960’s it was the style without the grille, I had no idea what it was, even though it was labelled ‘Scorpion’ on the back, had no idea what that meant.
If anyone asks the last yellow car in the Peterson museum lineup is a Dale car prototype with no interior or drive train. One of only three made.
I’ve visited many of these museums. Please stop, you won’t be disappointed.
There are many other incredible auto museums around the country.