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Oklahoma car collector Tim Dye is well known in the enthusiast community for his stable of Pontiacs. Now, he’s decided to open a museum dedicated to the now defunct marque, in the town of Pontiac, Illinois, through which passes a stretch of the historic ‘Mother Road,’ Route 66.
The museum will be located in downtown Pontiac, IL in the town square on North Mill Street. Dye will be loaning some of the cars from his own collection, while others are likely to come from other collections or individual enthusiasts. At present the Museum is slated to open by July 21st this year.
Given all that General Motors has been through lately and the way in which Pontiac was unceremoniously dumped, it’s nice to see some enthusiasts looking to preserve the legacy of this once popular and exciting vehicle brand, even if many brand nuts believe the rightful home should be in Pontiac, Michigan. However, given the recent economic crisis and the fact that Pontiac, Michigan is struggling financially and couldn’t fund such a project anyway, one museum dedicated to the brand, even if it is in Illinois, is better than none at all.
[Source: Hemmings Motor News]
It’s only been open since May; yet the NASCAR Hall of Fame museum, located in Charlotte, North Carolina is finding it tough attracting the attendance it needs.
The museum has received glowing reviews both from the press and the fans who’ve attended, but the problem seems to be getting people through the door. Initially the plan was for the Hall of Fame to attract approximately 800,000 visitors in its first year, but in the first four months of operation, only 120,000 stopped in. In August (the last full month of summer vacation) the Hall reported an operating loss of $280,509, which could likely result in the operating budget being cut from $15 million to approximately $3 million; according to spokesperson Kimberley Meesters.
Yet at posting time there are no actual planned budget cuts, nor changes made to the 26 strong workforce. The Hall has been hedging its bets in drawing crowds from local Sprint Cup races, but as the season winds down, it will be interesting to see if NASCAR fans will take the opportunity to indulge in a little history of their favorite sport while the teams re-group for next season. The Hall of Fame certainly hopes that will be the case.
[Source: New York Times]
In 1965, the late Jim Clark, piloted his Lotus Ford 38/1 to victory in the Indianapolis 500 on May 30th, crossing the line ahead of Rufus ‘Parnelli’ Jones and Mario Andretti. What was significant was the fact that Clark was a British driver, who beat out local talent and also, that his primary gig at the time was driving for Lotus in the Formula 1 World Championship. The 1965 Indy 500 also marked the birth of the ‘modern’ pit crew, with the Wood Brothers NASCAR team brought in to crew for Lotus at the event.
Twelve years after it’s prime time victory, the winning Lotus was acquired by the Henry Ford Museum where it has remained ever since. In 2009, the Ford V8 was removed from the chassis and sent to Race Car Restorations for a complete overhaul, while the chassis was restored by Clive Chapman (son of Lotus founder Colin) and his crew at Classic Team Lotus. The 38/1 was brought to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, where it ran under its own power for the first time since 1965 – legendary racer and three time F1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart taking the wheel, along with Lord March.
More recently, the historically significant Lotus has been invited to the 201o Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance ,where at the exclusive Club XIX it will be unveiled by three time Indy 500 winners Bobby Unser and Johnny Rutherford. Following its debut at Pebble Beach, the car will form part of a ‘Racing in America’ exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, which highlights the history and innovation of motorsport in the United States. The Lotus made a significant impact on racing in this country, because its lightweight construction and mid-engined configuration forever changed the design and engineering of single seat, open wheel race cars in North America, resulting in a configuration that’s still adopted as the standard today. For more information on this fascinating car and the Henry Ford, visit the link below.
[Source: The Henry Ford]