Located in Tacoma, the LeMay, America’s Car Museum is just the place for car enthusiasts. If you love cars and want to check out hundreds of rare and vintage cars, then this place is a must-visit. The world’s largest car museum, it was established back in the 1960s, when Harold E. LeMay started collecting cars. It is now a non-profit organization with a vision of showcasing and preserving artifacts and cars from across the US for future generations to view and enjoy.
The collection first started when well-known car enthusiasts Harold and Nancy LeMay, started collecting automobiles and other American items, including dolls, antiques, toys, and farm equipment. Today, the LeMay collection has amassed over 1,500 vehicles since Harold LeMay first started his collection following World War II. As his collection gathered fame in the city, many people, especially car lovers, started visiting the places where he kept his cars. After Harold’s death in 2000, the city of Tacoma allocated around 10 acres of land to build a museum that would feature Harold’s collection of cars. This beautifully constructed museum now sits next to the Tacoma Dome and while most of Harold’s cars are still at the LeMay Family Collection at Marymount there is still an expansive collection of vintage cars on display at the museum.
The museum covers 165,000 square feet of exhibit space and has 350 cars on display, featuring some of the fastest, most expensive, and high-end cars of their time. The museum also has amazing views from the mezzanine level, while the Foss Waterway and the Commencement Bays can also be seen from the museum. There is an open-air, 3-acre piece of land that is a perfect place for hosting car shows, car club events, and many other car-related activities, so famous car manufacturers often use the open-air area to host launch events for their new cars.
This project is the only one of its kind, as not only the government donated land and money, so did many companies and personalities, including Nancy (Harold’s wife), who chipped in with a significant amount of money. The famous and well-reputed Los Angeles-based architecture company LARGE worked on the project, while the general contractor for the museum was JTM Construction from Seattle. The museum has been praised by various magazines and TV channels and many automobile-related TV shows have been shot here.
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2702 E D St, Tacoma, WA 98421, Phone: 253-779-8490