NAAM E-NEWS – June 2014, Volume 16, Issue 2

May 25, 2014 in Newsletter, Uncategorized by Courtney Meredith

NAAM E-NEWS – June 2014, Volume 16, Issue 2

In This Issue

  • President’s Message
  • Mission Statement   
  • 2014 Annual Conference 
  • 2014 NAAMY Award Winners
  • 2014 Conference Scholarship Recipients
  • Job Opportunity with NAAM
  • Curatorial News 
  • Retail Opportunities
  • Donation Offer

President’s Message

By: Terry Ernest

I am honored to be serving as the new NAAM President.  My name is Terry Ernest, Director of the Wills Sainte Claire Automobile Museum in Marysville, Mich.  I was quite pleased when 10 years ago I learned of an association devoted to automobile museums. As head of a relatively new auto museum (founded in 2001), I was excited by the opportunity to learn how to operate a museum the “correct” way, and in accordance with the principles of established auto museums.  What a wonderful journey of learning it has been!  One of the many things that impress me about NAAM is the professionalism that is exhibited by the many member museums that I have met.  What also impresses me is the passion that our members have for the auto museum industry and their willingness to share their knowledge.  Because of this passion, I see a bright future for our organization.

As the new President, I would like to thank our immediate Past President Jackie Frady for her leadership over the past 3 years.  Jackie has worked diligently to keep NAAM moving forward, and has provided continued value to our membership.  Jackie’s talent and enthusiasm for NAAM is endless.  I can only hope to emulate her in my time in this position.  I would also like to thank the board of directors for their dedication and continued support.

With the annual conference at the Petersen Automotive Museum wrapped up, we can continue to share the energy from this exciting meeting at the NAAM Forum on our association’s website,  By sharing your opinions, questions and answers on the Forum, we can keep the spirit of the annual meeting alive all year!   Have you visited the website today?

If you have any questions or suggestions about our association, please feel free to email me at willsmuseum@sbcglobal.netor call my office at 810-987-2854.

In the words of C. Harold Wills (President & Founder of the Wills Sainte Claire Automobile Co.), “If you aim high, you will never shoot low.”

Mission Statement

The National Association of Automobile Museums is a professional center of excellence for automobile museums and affiliated organizations that supports, educates and encourages members to operate according to professional standards of the museum industry.

NAAM And World Forum

We sincerely thank The Peterson Automotive Museum for hosting a remarkable joint conference for NAAM and the World Forum for Motor Museums in Los Angeles, Calif. from March 24 – 28, 2014.  We especially thank former NAAM Board member and The Petersen’s Chief Curator Leslie Petersen for proposing the idea of a joint conference and bringing it to reality, Executive Director Terry Karges for generously supporting the program, Associate Curator Mary Brisson for coordinating endless details and the Petersen team for their assistance in many areas. There were 119 attendees representing 10 different countries, nine informative sessions, five tour destinations, four scholarships awarded and 26 NAAMY Awards presented at the festive closing banquet.

The conference began with a welcome reception on a delightful period street setting at The Peterson on Monday evening, March 24, with an abundance of food and beverages. It was a great opportunity to meet new attendees and greet special friends and associates from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Greece, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, UK and USA.

Sessions on Tuesday and Thursday offered valuable information with national and international perspectives relevant to the conference theme, “Attracting New Audiences.”  Wednesday and Thursday featured tours of the Bruce Meyer Collection, the Art Center for Design in Pasadena, the Nethercutt Collection, Mullin Museum and Malamut Collection.  It was sensory overload at its best.  Evenings throughout the conference featured unique activities, including a reception, dinner and touring the Toyota Auto Museum, thanks to NAAM Board member Susan Sanborn; shuttles to explore the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade; a movie night at The Peterson complete with hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, milk shakes, popcorn and American Graffiti.

The closing banquet included insightful comments from key note speaker Dr. Fred Simeone, Simeone Automotive Foundation, and the highly-anticipated NAAMY Awards presentation by Christine Bobco, National Packard Museum. It was a charming evening of warm conversation, and delicious dining complemented by beautiful floral arrangements, while surround by notable automobiles.

Thank You to Our Supporters

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to our generous sponsors, whose support helped make this conference a great success:

  • Hagerty – The Official Insurance Provider of the National Association of Automobile Museums
  • Group Delphi – Generous sponsors of the NAAM Scholarship Program


Congratulations to our 2014 NAAMY Award Winners!  Each award recognizes industry leaders for achievement, professionalism and creativity. NAAMY Awards are designed to further promote professionalism in automotive museum managerial, curatorial, educational and promotional work.  Entries were judged at Kent State University, Trumbull Campus, Warren, Ohio, by professors with expertise in each field of competition.

Congratulations to the following award winners:

2014 NAAMY Award Winners

Division I

Museums with budgets less than $300,000

Interpretive  Exhibits

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence – National Packard Museum

2nd Place – Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

Newsletters and Magazines

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence – Veit Automotive Foundation
2nd place – Wills Sainte Claire Auto Museum
3rd place – Seal Cove Auto Museum

Website Design

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence – Seal Cove Auto Museum

Division II

Museums with budgets greater than $300,000

Books and Exhibit Catalogs

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence – Henry Ford Museum

2nd Place – Reynolds-Alberta Museum

3rd Place – Reynolds-Alberta Museum

Collateral Materials

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence – AACA Museum

2nd Place – San Diego Automotive Museum

3rd Place – Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum

Educational Programs

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence – LeMay – America’s Car Museum

2nd Place – National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection)

3rd Place – National Corvette Museum

Events and Public Promotions

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence – AACA Museum

2nd Place – National Corvette Museum

Interpretive Exhibits

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence – AACA Museum & Reynolds-Alberta Museum

2nd Place – National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection)

3rd Place – San Diego Automotive Museum

Newsletters and Magazines

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence – National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection)

2nd Place – National Corvette Museum & LeMay – America’s Car Museum

3rd Place – AACA Museum

Website Design

1st Place NAAMY Award of Excellence – National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection)

2nd Place – Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum

3rd Place – AACA Museum


Congratulations to four NAAM members who received scholarships to attend the 2014 Annual Conference.  Awards included $1,000 for travel expenses, plus complimentary conference registration.  These valuable scholarships were made possible thanks to a generous sponsorship from Group Delphi (specialists in museum exhibits), combined with a contribution from NAAM.

NAAM is dedicated to helping its members grow professionally through informative annual conferences and networking opportunities. To fulfill this goal, NAAM offers conference scholarships each year. The scholarship program is designed for museums with limited financial resources to pay for their staff to attend.

Congratulations to our 2014 recipients:

Raney Bench, Director, Seal Cove Museum
Nancy Darga, Executive Director, Ford Piquette Avenue Plant
Robert Jeffrey, Executive Director, Northeast Classic Car Museum
Katrina O’Brien, Archives & Collection Manager, World of Speed


A Simple Deaccession

By Drew Van De Wielle
Curator of Collections
Studebaker National Museum

In early 2013, the Studebaker National Museum deaccessioned a 1965 Studebaker Wagonaire. It was not suitable for display, and it was not cost-effective to restore the vehicle to those standards. It appeared to have been painted with a broom over about 50 pounds of Bondo. Another factor that complicated the situation was that although the donor form was complete and proper, the title was never signed and transferred. The donor, the wife of a former Studebaker executive and her husband had long since left this earth. This began the opportunity for me to play detective.

Information on the husband was easy to locate in the St. Joseph County Public Records office. Unfortunately, the state required both donors’ death certificates, and the wife moved out of the county immediately following her husband’s passing.  Having one death certificate in hand I ask myself, “Where do I go from here?” Fortunately, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google some years back to assist in situations similar to mine. Through a lot of research I was finally able to track down the late wife in Madison County, Ind.  A quick phone call and a couple dollars later, the death certificate was in the mail.

Upon the certificate’s arrival, I hurried down to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles with the title, both death certificates and the original donor form. A few weeks later, the title arrived bearing the name Studebaker National Museum. I learned a lot from this situation, most importantly how to prevent things like this from happening in the first place. I ask all of you reading this to please make sure all steps in the donation process are followed to the “T” for the sake of tomorrow’s curators.


Custom Products Manufacturing and Museum Store Products
Custom Products Manufacturing and Museum Store Products of New Jersey (USA) have been working with museums, gift shops and cultural sites for over 25 years creating magnets, note cards, notepads, bookmarks, puzzles, coasters, key chains and much more. They specialize in custom product development and have just been voted the 2014 Vendor of the Year at this year’s Museum Store Association show.

Please visit their website to view available products that they can create with any of your images with no set-up fee. There are low minimums using your images over a wide range of products to create a story of your venue. Email any product questions you may have.  They can also send a wholesale price list if you wish. Catalogs and samples available on request.
Contact:  Marty Gutowski,


AUTO BIOGRAPHY by Earl Swift, $26.99

Tommy Arney has biceps as big as most men’s thighs, knuckles roughened by wrench-turning and blunt-force trauma, some self-applied tattoos and more than a few scars. A grade-school dropout, he’s the owner of Moyock Muscle: a glorified junkyard, where four-hundred old cars litter five scrubby acres in eastern North Carolina. For Tommy, these cars aren’t just scraps waiting to be dismantled for cash. They’re archeological artifacts, fossils of the twentieth-century American experience, of a place and a people utterly devoted to the automobile and changed by it in uncountable ways.

To him, they’re history. But to his town, they’re trash. And so when he acquires a classic ‘57 Chevy in terrible shape and promises to return it to its full glory, he starts on a journey that could restore his financial solvency and respect in his community, as well as save his business from the town officials and creditors who seek to destroy him.

In tracing the ownership of the Chevy from its original owner down to Tommy, Earl Swift’s multifaceted story charts the fortunes of middle-class American experience from the mid-fifties to the present. Swift will intersperse his progressive biography of the iconic Chevy, with an in-depth exploration of its thirteenth-and final-owner, Tommy Arney, a man who himself was written off as unsalvageable.

Written for motor heads and automotive novices alike, AUTO BIOGRAPHY is the story of the decline and rebirth of the American Dream, drawn through the evolution of our most iconic automobile and the improbable heroism of its last owner.

More information here.   Contact: Emily Homonoff,

WHERE THEY RACED: Speed Demons in the City of Angels 

The Award winning film “WHERE THEY RACED: Speed Demons in the City of Angels” is now available on DVD. This documentary tells the story of the amazing automotive innovation and racing history that helped put Southern California on the map. With hundreds of vintage photos, rare archival footage and revealing interviews “WHERE THEY RACED” reunited the ghost tracks of Los Angeles with the cars that raced on them to give these fading memories a final victory lap. Please contact Harry Pallenberg for wholesale prices, email:, phone: (213) 810-2376


Vanya Scott from National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C. has presented a unique opportunity to NAAM member museums. NLEM recently deaccesioned 1948 Plymouth P15 and is offering to donate it, at no charge. The accepting museum would simply have to accept bearing the cost of transporting the Plymouth from their facility in Forestville, Md. This auto was lovingly restored and has been kept in protected museum storage since the NLEM acquired it in 2006. See the attached informational sheet about the automobile and its provenance. For more information, please contact: Vanya Scott, Registrar, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund National Law Enforcement Museum, (202)737-7869 (DC office), (202)737-3405 (Fax), (301) 420-8394  (Offsite)


Hans Laurell has offered his unique collection of car cemetery photographs to NAAM member museums for use in an exhibit. These photographs were taken by Hans in a listed and protected car cemetery deep in the forest in Sweden. Several hundred old wrecks were stored there from the 1940s through the late 1960s by two brothers who are no longer among us.  It is a rather unique collection in that the photos show the beauty of mother nature’s reclaim of man’s dear possessions.

Hans’ pictures are not meant to be of a documentary kind, but rather something beautiful even though they depict the slow degradation process. The collection consists of approximately 50 pieces, and the photographs have been displayed in several art exhibitions in Sweden.  Please contact Hans Laurell by email at

Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles – Boyertown, Penn.

The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles opened its newest exhibit, Woodrow Wilson, President Electric: Harnessing the Power of Innovation in the Progressive Era on April 10, 2014.  This award-winning exhibit, which is on loan from the Woodrow Wilson House Museum in Washington, D.C., explores the technological advancements made during President Wilson’s administration from 1913 through 1921.  Featured in the exhibit will be the Boyertown Museum’s own 1921 Milburn Light Electric Opera Coupe, which is similar to the Milburn electrics President Wilson’s Secret Service men drove.  This exhibition was supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and will be on display at the Boyertown Museum until September 30, 2014.

Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear Museum – Elizabethtown, Ky.

Swope’s Cars of Yesteryear Museum of Elizabethtown, Ky. is celebrating its 15th anniversary by featuring “orphan” cars of the early days of the automobile.  These will include a 1910 Brush, Model T and Model A Fords, Packards, Pierce Arrows, LaSalles, a Hupmobile, a Chandler and others. These are cars that bring back pleasant memories.  The museum contains a total of 64 magnificent machines of the past, all original or professionally restored to original condition. The museum is free and all are welcome to come and enjoy.  Open from Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., there is always a knowledgeable hostess there to greet you, answer questions or give a tour.   TripAdvisor gives the Museum a five star rating and has dubbed the Museum as a “must see attraction.”  For a virtual tour, please visit



The Antique Automobile Club of America – Hershey, Penn.

The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum proudly announces its newest exhibit, Indian Nation: The Indian Motorcycle and America. This captivating exhibit includes more than 22 Motorcycles and continues to roar on through October 24, 2014.

The stunning selection of rare and show-winning motorcycles on display will showcase early singles and twins, Scouts, Chiefs, and Fours. Some of the exhibit’s highlights include Harrisburg-area racer Bob Markey’s original 1940 Scout, a 1903 Indian –

possibly the earliest original example of the marque – and immaculately restored machines of all eras. Included within the exhibit will be period dealer items and popular culture references.

Please join the AACA Museum this year in enjoying a celebration of some of the most beautiful and meaningful cultural objects created by America, in one of the world’s premier motor museums. This exhibit celebrates and commemorates Indian’s exciting re-entry into the marketplace this year.

Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum – Fairbanks, Alaska

Beginning June 1, 2014, the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum will showcase a new exhibit called Extreme Motoring: Alaska’s First Automobiles and Their Dauntless Drivers. The museum has assembled a collection of original Alaska automobiles for the exhibit as well as several extremely rare cars identical to the first to arrive in the territory. Among these are Alaska’s very first automobile (built by a young man who had never seen one before) and an unusual Fordson Snow Motor.

The exhibit will also tell the stories of Alaska’s first motorists and the challenges they faced before there were any highways, bridges or snow plows in the area. The extreme cold, deplorable road conditions and an absence of repair shops required a high level of ingenuity and resourcefulness by these bold men. Their inventions and adventures will be illustrated through displays, historic videos and an extensive photograph collection shown throughout the museum’s galleries. For more information, please visit