And now… been there, done that!

Jun 27, 2013 | 1 comment

d25233470d856c9cYesterday Nyel and I and our friend Linda spent about three hours walking up and down the ramps of the LeMay Car Museum in Tacoma looking at hundreds of vintage and classic cars. Plus a smattering of motorcycles and commercial vehicles.   For two of us (not Linda) it was a hard trek due to gimpy left legs.  It was a first trip for all three of us.  Two of us (not Nyel) said afterwards we didn’t need to go again.  Nyel said, “It depends…”

They say it is the largest collection of its kind in the world.  I have no idea how many vehicles we actually saw; only a fraction of the cars is on display at any one time.  Nevertheless, we ooohed and aaahed over enough bright and shiny chrome and paint jobs to do us for quite a while.

Each of us spotted cars that had played important roles in our lives.  For me, it was my grandfather’s ’39 Chevy sedan (brown) – although I don’t remember his ever being so brand-spanking new looking.  How many times had that car met us at the ferry and driven us to Oysterville after the long train trip from California?

And then there was the 1948 MG TC that Charlie’s dad and I had when he was born.  Ours was red but in all other respects was identical to the one on display – wire wheels and cutaway doors and right hand steering wheel.  I never could drive it comfortably because the seats were stationary and the pedals too far distant for my short legs.  Besides it had mega brake problems due to some kind of congenital oil leaks.

Interestingly, although there were one or two VWs in the lineup, there were no VW bugs, my car of choice in the 1960s and ‘70s.  Nor were there any Porsches.  Granted,  the collection is devoted mostly to American cars, but there were numbers of Ferraris, Jaguars and then the occasional novelty car like the Izzetta or Messerschmitt.  There was a DeLorean gullwing but there wasn’t a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing which is Nyel’s ‘car of choice’.

IMG_3699There was a big display of NASCAR entrants and another display of ‘green cars’ – hybrids, electric etc.  Not far from that was the most curious single aspect of the museum, at least to me.  Rather than any cars on display in this section, there was a mural depicting fluffy clouds and blue skies and posing the question:  “We’ve got to pause and ask ourselves, how much clean air do we need?”

I did as directed and sat on one of the benches conveniently provided.  I never did come up with a satisfactory answer to the question.  I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the concept.  It was like asking how much fresh water we need.  Or nutritional food.  Or love.  I could only think “All of it.  We need all of it.”  But I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the answer they were going for.

None of us got the tee shirt.

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    And here I live in Gig Harbor and haven’t been there yet, although I have admired the building. It’s not my style, but it helps Tacoma compete with Seattle’s EMP in the weird building dept. I love old cars and look forward to going, but I agree. Those cars were from an earlier age when we didn’t know better. Time to create cars that don’t harm the environment.


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