Keith’s Blog: LeMay, One Year Later

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I’ve been involved with LeMay — America’s Car Museum in a variety of ways over the past decade, from casual observer to board member. Under the leadership of President and CEO David Madeira, fundraisers generated over $85m, the museum was built, and a year ago last weekend, it opened to the public.

This is cause for great celebration. There is no other automotive museum of this scale in the Pacific Northwest, and I don’t know how far you would have to go to find a bespoke building designed like this to pay homage to the motorcar.

Last Friday, Wendie and I attended the Concours Club Annual Gathering (the Concours Club consists of those who have contributed more than $100,000 in cash or services to the museum), where Dr. Frederick Simeone was the recipient of the 2nd Annual Nicola Bulgari Award.

The Bulgari Award is annually presented to an individual who makes an outstanding contribution to preserving America’s automotive heritage through education, restoration or collecting classic cars. Dr. Simeone has been a leader in the thoughtful conservation of important automobiles, edited and published The Stewardship of Historically Important Automobiles and is the founder of the Simeone Automotive Museum, located in Philadelphia, which showcases an impressive collection of racing and sports cars.

Last year’s recipient was Ed Welburn, Vice President of Global Design for General Motors.

As you might expect, there was a fund-raising auction, and over $300,000 was raised to help further the museum’s goals. The sponsor of the Annual Gathering was Hagerty Insurance.

It was a grand night, and I had a chance to visit with old friends and kick tires.

Congratulations to the entire LeMay organization, and thank you to everyone who has contributed to the drive, from a $100 paver to the over $14m from Nancy LeMay and her family – the donation that really got the museum from the drawing board to reality.

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

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