Motor Mouth Blog

Come explore the musings of your fellow car enthusiasts. Get excited about the movement we are all a part of!


Guest Editorial: How to Get Your Car into ACM

By Ken Gross, Automotive Journalist and ACM Guest Curator
With additions from Scot Keller, Curator of Exhibitry

acm_cars-6At ACM we focus on curating exhibits with the finest automobiles available notwithstanding their ownership. Beyond cars from our own vast collection, we regularly handpick loan vehicles from private collectors, corporations and other museums to allow a fresh flow of interesting vehicles through the Museum. This includes current and future exhibits.

Presently we are looking for Classic & Coachbuilt cars, 1950-70 British cars, NASCAR racers and restomod muscle cars from 1964-70. And this is only the list for the current exhibits. We have many new exhibits planned for the future including Vintage Hot Rods, BMW’s and Import Tuner cars just to name a few.

Your car need not fit into a specific category. If it’s unusual in and of itself, like the Edsel Ford Speedster or the Kurtis-Omohundro Comet, the decision may be made to present it as an individual display.IMG_9102

If you are interested simply email us details about your car, including pictures.

We’re looking for cars, trucks and motorcycles that are accurately restored and/or well preserved. If you have detailed information on your car, so labels and descriptive material can be created, let us know. We’ll take it from there.

The curatorial team will review each submission and make an appointment to see it. They’ll let you know whether your car qualifies, and when we might need to borrow it. You and your car will be on the way to helping LeMay– America’s Car Museum continue to be the best museum of its kind in the country.

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Deadline tomorrow: Restomod owners in the Pacific Northwest: ACM wants your help

1964 Buick Skylark Sport Coupe

A restomod 1964 Buick Skylark Sport Coupe. Photo courtesy LeMay – America’s Car Museum.

Last July, LeMay—America’s Car Museum debuted an exhibit entitled American Muscle: Rivals to the End, which portrayed the never-ending struggle for street and strip supremacy among American manufacturers with a display of 20 classic muscle cars. Now the museum is looking to extend the exhibit, but with an emphasis on restomods, and it needs your help to do so.

Read more on the Hemmings blog.

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Ten Cars to Buy Before They Shoot Up In Value


The collector car market is volatile, and putting the classic you’ve always dreamed of in your garage can become unrealistic in the blink of an eye. The Pininfarina-designed MG B GT, the iconic BMW 2002 and the timeless Citroen 2CV have all shot up in value in the past few years.

We’ve compiled a list of ten relatively affordable classics that we predict will go up in value over the next few years. We’ve limited ourselves to cars can currently be purchased for less than $10,000 in running and driving condition and that were sold new in the United States, meaning gray market imports from the Old Continent like the Audi RS 2 and the Lotus Carlton are off limits.

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Some Tips on Leading a Road Tour

P1190700Should you find yourself charged with organizing and leading a car club road tour, here is a list of tips—based on direct experience—that might come in handy, Keep in mind this is for a low-key, relaxed, non-competitive tour… you know… five-max over posted speed and no timed checkpoints.

The cars

Unless it’s a come-one-come-all tour, be very specific about the type and vintage of cars that are eligible. For instance, it could be pre-1980 sports cars, all makes or Mustangs of any year. As to the number of cars, 8 to 12 is perfect. More than that and numerous logistical complications expand exponentially.

The route

Avoid the Interstate; choose scenic routes with nicely spaced points for rest stops, eating, gas and overnight stays. Check with DOTs in each state to get current info on road closures and construction. It’s also helpful to know where ethanol-free gas can be found… there’s an app for that.

Daily distances

Try to keep the longest daily leg less than 300 miles, 250 +/- is perfect. Reduce it a bit each day. 150 to 175 miles on the last day is a good low-key way to end the tour. Try to arrive at each day’s destination about 3:30 to 4:00 pm. It gives people time to unwind, look around or hit the pool before dinner. 9:00 to 9:30 am is a nice relaxed departure time.


Everyone should have a charged cell phone and a list of other participants cell phone numbers. Forget walkie-talkies, most people don’t know how to operate them and they’re distance limited.


Have a AAA card and a clear policy on this. Is it “you’re on your own sister” or, “we’re with you to the bitter end?” I suggest rendering aid until it’s obvious amateur help is futile… then it’s “call for help and meet us down the road.” Be sure to keep an eye on the ammeter as well as gas and temp. Electrical issues are numero uno in old cars… especially with Brits.


First off, there is no law that says everyone has to eat together. Second, not everyone likes Thai food, or seafood, or BBQ. Allow people to partner up as desired and eat where and how they want. If possible, choose restaurants within walking distance of where you’re staying. There are downsides to banquet style seating. It can be a logistical hassle and limit restaurant options. It slows service (one end of the table is having dessert while the other end is still waiting for the salad), you can’t talk to more than three or four people anyway and it often adds a surcharge to the bill.


There are basically two types, modern and “historic.” Some people find old hotels charming, some don’t. As with dining, allow tour participants a choice and just have a “meet at such-and-such a time at such-and-such a place” for the next day’s departure.

One more thing

Avoid discussions centered on politics and religion… too polarizing! Stick to telling funny self-deprecating stories, discussing the ride, the weather or “how about those Huskies – Ducks — Seahawks or (insert favorite team here).”

Now, enjoy the ride!

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Dream Cars: Le Sabre, Firebird 1, Centurion

From the Historical Vehicle Association:

In our continuing series taking a look at General Motors “Dream Cars” of the 1950s, we spotlight GM’s one-of-a-kind “rolling laboratory,” the first gas-turbine-powered “rocket car” and a Buick with features decades ahead of its time.

1951 GM Le Sabre

Facts And Legends: It’s as if GM told their head of design, Harley Earl, to take every futuristic auto- motive idea he ever had and put it into one vehicle. Taking its name and styling influences from the Air Force’s F-86 Sabre fighter jets, the original Le Sabre—a nameplate eventually adopted by Buick in 1959—was billed as a “rolling laboratory” for GM construction ideas and technological innova- tion. Some figures estimated a cost of anywhere from $500,000 to a million dollars to produce what many considered the most influential GM concept car of the 20th century.

The La Sabre was a test bed for radical new types of materials, most of which turned out to be too expensive to ever use in production cars. The La Sabre’s body was made of cast magnesium panels and hand-formed aluminum. After Motorama, Earl used the dream car as his everyday vehicle, put- ting 45,000 miles on the odometer to prove its roadworthiness.

Click here to read the original post.

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A Blast From the Repast

By David Chesanow

Over the broad and changeable landscape of American popular culture, the automobile crosses all terrains, all social divides: From art and music to sport and lifestyle, among rich and poor, regardless of gender, race, creed or political persuasion, cars continue to elicit the same fanfare and excitement that greeted the first “horseless carriages” in city streets and cow towns across a U.S. on the threshold of the twentieth century. They have always been, and will always be, cool.

Cars, and the people who ride in them, have needs, the most basic of which is fuel. And so car culture met food culture along the nation’s roadways, giving rise to a distinctly American icon: the diner.

Even those with no firsthand experience of real diners still recog- nize them on sight from their depictions in the media and through the paintings of John Baeder, a former advertising art director who began creating stunningly realistic portraits of diners for postcards in the early 1970s; today his work is in major museums and private collections around the world.

Read the full article here.

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Denise McCluggage, 1927 – 2015

To say that Denise McCluggage opened doors for women in racing, or even women in sports journalism, is a bit of an understatement. In many ways, she kicked down those doors, and then spun eloquent prose about doing so. She hobnobbed with the giants of racing’s golden age, including Phil Hill, Sir Stirling Moss and Briggs Cunningham, and impressed many with her natural ability to drive a race car. Denise died on May 6, age 88, so we thought it appropriate to reprint Jim Donnelly’s excellent piece, “The Lady Arrives,” from the July 2012 issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.

Focusing solely on Denise McCluggage’s career as an American sports car racer sells her short. Going out of your way to remind everyone it was a manly exploit would terribly diminish her. She had impressive gifts to explain her personal experiences as an athlete, world traveler and teacher in words and photos. We would argue that no racer, of either gender, has been so fit to archive her experiences as Denise McCluggage.

She has lived in a world that few people could ever imagine. The stars of motorsport are today cloistered away from intruding fans, their motor coaches secured in tight, protected compounds like prairie wagon trains. When Denise was getting known, she would sidle up to a dimly lit table somewhere on the Continent with Stirling Moss, Phil Hill, Denis Jenkinson, Jo Bonnier, Peter Collins, scratching occasional notes. A long, hazardous day would melt into the pleasantness accompanying wine, victuals and conversation.

Click here to see the original post from Hemmings Daily.

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Come One, Come All!

ACM is all about inclusion.

“INCLUSION” rather than “exclusion” is at the heart of ACM’s mission and vision. AMERICA’S CAR MUSEUM is about cars—all manner and type: large and small, new and old, foreign and domestic, the exotic and the plebian. Granted, to gain entry into
the ranks of the Museum’s collection, a car must represent—in some fashion—historical and cultural significance, recognized aesthetic quality or ‘break-out’ technical achievement. No such qualifications will be applied to our members, visitors or their cars!

We’ve all been there when a 60 something hot rodder sneers at the 20 something in the winged and blown ‘rice burner or when Harley riders snub anything Japanese. Silly isn’t it? In truth, we all can ‘just get along.’ All it takes is a common bond with sufficient adhesive strength to overpower our compulsion to form ever more tightly focused and exclusionary sub- cultures.

Read more here.

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The Days of Chrome and Hyperbole

Walt Tomsic

It may not be wine and roses, but I miss the days when cigar chomping, seer-sucker suit wearing ad men were in charge of naming stuff… particularly car stuff! Take this for example, the 1958 Buick featured 160 ‘floating’ chrome squares on its grill. Did they call it a “Buick grill?” How plebian! No, it’s the “Fashion-aire Dynastar Grill.”

In the realm of the overstatement, copy flacks were not about to be outdone. The sales brochure for the 1958 Pontiac proclaimed it to be “the boldest advance in 50 years!” I guess the writer never heard of George Patton or Albert Einstein.

Read the full article here.

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