More than a museum

America’s Car Museum

LeMay – America’s Car Museum, a member of America’s Automotive Trust, is an international destination for families and auto enthusiasts to celebrate America’s love affair with the automobile and learn how it shaped our society. Based in Tacoma, Wash., the stunning 165,000-sq.-ft. facility has been recognized as one of MSN’s 10 Best Automotive Museums worldwide, USA Today’s 10 Best Museums in Seattle and KING5’s Best Museum in Western Washington. ACM serves as an educational center for students of all ages, features 12 rotating exhibits and hosts America’s Automotive Trust’s annual Signature Events.

ACM Campus

  • 165,000-sq.-ft. museum
  • 3.5-acre show field
  • Galleries
  • Banquet hall
  • Meeting space
  • Car storage
  • Café
  • Administrative offices
  • Adjacent to the Tacoma Dome – just off Interstate 5

ACM Vision

  • Preserve America’s automotive treasures
  • Promote America’s automotive heritage
  • Offer educational training programs in automotive preservation and restoration
  • Serve as a gathering place where enthusiasts from around the world come to celebrate America’s love affair with the automobile
  • A creator of a social network for automotive enthusiasts, serious collectors, educational entities, and museums through promotion of and active involvement in automotive activities around the world
  • A showcase for the auto industries to portray present achievements and future directions in design, technology, and product development
  • Form strategic alliances with like-minded institutions desirous of promoting our love affair with the automobile
  • Develop sponsor partnerships with industry partners to promote education, driving, preservation and other activities

ACM Mission

LeMay – America’s Car Museum is a non-profit organization chartered to preserve and interpret the history and technology of the automobile and its influence on American culture. The Museum is dedicated to securing and interpreting the valuable LeMay Collection and to acquiring, preserving and interpreting additional artifacts that explore broad themes of American mobility and lifestyle in an instructive and entertaining manner. The Museum will sustain its vital public service through viable, professional operations and complementary alliances.

ACM Land Acknowledgement

America’s Automotive Trust and LeMay – America’s Car Museum acknowledge that we are situated on the traditional lands of the Puyallup People. We gratefully honor and respect their stewardship of this land throughout the generations. We recognize that this land acknowledgement is one small step toward true allyship, and we commit to uplifting the voices, experiences, and histories of the Indigenous people of this land.

ACM History

Harold and Nancy LeMay amassed the largest privately owned collection of automobiles, other vehicles and related memorabilia in the world. At its peak, the LeMay Collection numbered in excess of 3,000 vehicles and thousands of artifacts. The Collection is broadly American and spans the 20th Century powerfully demonstrating both the dominance of the American auto industry in that time period as well as the American experience with the automobile.

Harold and Nancy intuitively knew the power of the Collection through the experiences they shared with family and friends at car shows and swap meets across the nation. They also knew its power from the stories it elicited from all who spoke with them at their Annual Car Show and Open House which has drawn thousands of people to the LeMay homestead each August for more than a quarter-century. Harold and Nancy knew that the power of their Collection would be lost if it, like the wonderful Harrah’s Collection, was ever dispersed individually or in small lots to numerous buyers. It became their dream to ensure their marvelous Collection never suffered the fate that befell Harrah’s.

At America’s Automotive Trust (AAT) and America’s Car Museum (ACM) we promote America’s car culture, skilled workforce and the future of mobility.  Education is an important part of our mission and we’re looking for the right person to work alongside us in developing our programs forward.

In 2003 and 2004, efforts were focused upon planning the world’s foremost auto Museum. The Building Committee, architects and other consultants designed an iconic facility and created an economically viable operating plan. The team began with “due diligence” visits to a broad spectrum of auto museums, car shows, auctions, and entertainment venues across America and Europe. Small and large groups of car buffs, collectors and volunteers participated in “visioning” sessions and design charrettes. The design was officially unveiled in August 2004 to a group of city officials, Board and Steering Committee members, media and other friends to enthusiastic response. This occasion marked the beginning of “The Drive for AMERICA’S CAR MUSEUM” with Nancy LeMay’s initial pledge of $15,000,000 to jump start the effort.  Construction of the LeMay – America’s Car Museum, 165,000 square foot showcase facility, was completed in Tacoma in the fall of 2011 and a celebratory Grand Opening was held in June of 2012, drawing more than 10,000 persons Opening Weekend.  It was reported in more than 1,000 publications worldwide and cited by USA TODAY as one of the top eight cultural attractions in the world to open that year.

Read the full history here.