NAAM E-NEWS – September 2017, Volume 19, Issue 3

September 20, 2017 in Newsletter by Courtney Meredith

NAAM E-NEWS - September 2017, Volume 19, Issue 3

In This Issue

President's Message

By: Mary Ann Porinchak

Greetings colleagues and friends,

First, as we go about our routine days and schedules let us not forget those who continue to struggle with the aftermath of hurricanes and flooding. Let us keep them in our thoughts and prayers as they endeavor to rebuild.

It is now the fourth quarter—during this time most of us are evaluating the projects, programs and activities held the previous eight months. This is the perfect time to put your NAAMY entry together! You have to evaluate the project anyway, why not share it with your NAAM colleagues and get credit for the good work you are doing? Why not be recognized for your efforts and the long hours spent ensuring the success of the project, program or event? Now is the time to act—before the holiday rush hits or the January reorganizing goes into full swing.

Now that I have pitched the NAAMYs, please know I am fully aware of the time invested in planning, organizing and executing a program or event. I am also aware of the extra time it takes to enter the NAAMY Awards. However, the benefit of entering the NAAMY’s far outweighs the short term time constraint of completing the entry. Don’t think of it as extra time spent for accolades. Think of it as time spent to secure tangible evidence of the professional work that you are doing. This is evidence that you can use to leverage financial support from a myriad of sources and that gives you a new level of credibility. The NAAMY program truly works for organizations—we have seen the results here in our own operation. I challenge you to give it a try. Got the jitters of a first time entrant? No worries, there are many in the NAAM organization here to help. Contact Christine Bobco if you have specific NAAMY questions.

Speaking of the work we do and the long days, someone asked me recently why we spend so much time at the museum. At first the typical answers came to mind such as, “there’s a lot to be done—no one will do it if we don’t” and statements of that nature. Then the conversation went to “Why collect, why preserve, why history…. As one might imagine I found this course of the conversation hard to swallow. Then I realized that many of our audience and even supporters have never contemplated the importance of preserving history. It is often taken for granted. During this time of great tragedy in our nation, when many of our associates, collectors, and friends are battling life-threatening storms and devastating destruction we must all be clear on the “WHY” in our positions. No doubt, the recent storms will also become part of history. It will be a story that tells of the devastation and destruction of entire communities and even states. Interpretive panels will express the heroism of complete strangers who helped those in need and sadly it may also tell of the damage to and loss of many important historic artifacts. Perhaps this story will be communicated in a museum setting in the future. Regardless of the specifics, we must be clear why we preserve history and be ready to answer those who ask.

Every object, every event, every person has a story. The story if it is articulated with honesty and integrity will illustrate how that object came to be, the good and the bad. It will tell of the journey, the motivation, the need or the incident that triggered a chain of events that brought an idea or intangible vision to life to become a chapter in history.

History—explains the how in science, technology and even anthropology. History explains the why in our nation’s history, our medical history and even family history. History helps us understand our world, the cause and effect or chain of events that brought us to a specific place in time. History gives wisdom, knowledge and understanding. We know what disaster can befall nations at war and what happens when evil takes power. History even illustrates the impact of a single person who is willing to speak out and stand up for what is right.

History Challenges us---to do better, to be wiser, to be kinder, to be creative, to be imaginative, to consider the ramifications of our actions and to leave the world a better place.

History inspires---we know anything is possible if we believe and dream big—that no idea is irrelevant that no imagination is too great.

History knows no gender bias or age limitation—anything is possible for anyone. We know that history speaks to all alike on every level, in every culture—History touches where other disciplines cannot.

History compels us to be tolerant—to understand—to have compassion

History is the consummate equalizer—where gaps exist in age, geography and gender, history bridges them. The beauty of history is that it speaks to everyone alike. It needs no debate. In simple terms it is a collection of facts regarding events, people, objects and artifacts of all types that illustrate the past. In doing so it helps to explain the present.

The next time you are asked “why”, I hope you are able to answer better than I and with more than a superficial statement. Furthermore, may you understand fully the importance and significance of your museum position. We are the stewards of the past and caretakers of the present for understanding in the future. It is our obligation to convey to others why history is important.

Best Wishes,

Mary Ann Porinchak

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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.

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AACANAAM Conference Dates: April 9-13, 2018
(New Monday – Thursday pattern this year!)

Host Hotel: SpringHill Suites Hershey Near the Park - they are literally just across the parking lot from the AACA Museum – easily walkable. Specal NAAM Conference Rate - $129 per night + tax. Attendees should reference “AACA Museum NAAM Conference” when calling

Phone: 717-583-2222

Check in time: 3:00 PM   Check Out Time: 11:00 AM

Closest Airport: Harrisburg International Airport

Regional (larger) Airports: BWI Baltimore/Washington International about 1 ½ hours away; Philadelphia @ 2 hours drive; Washington, DC about 3 hours drive.

Information on area attractions is available via Visit Hershey-Harrisburg, the local visitor’s bureau.

Hershey is known as The Sweetest Place on Earth so you can be sure there will be lots of Hershey’s Chocolate at the conference and nearby for you to take back home!

Within Hershey Hershey’s Chocolate World Visitor’s Center, HERSHEYPARK amusement park, Hershey Gardens & The Hershey Story Museum are all located within a couple miles of the AACA Museum. We’re not sure if Hersheypark will be open for Springtime in the Park during the weekend leading up to OR following the conference – TBD. There is also the GIANT Center that hosts a variety of concerts and events such as AHL Hockey – too soon to know this schedule just yet.

We’re working hard to put together an interesting and informative conference for this year. We have quite a few exciting opportunities in the works- be sure to watch for future announcements!

  • Nancy Gates, Director of Marketing and Communications, AACA Museum

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Join the new NAAM Facebook Group! This space is in conjunction with the NAAM Online Community and is a great place to share successes and challenges, gather ideas, and network with member museums. Go to

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MattASmall Cars Mean Big Projects at The Henry Ford
By Matt Anderson
The Henry Ford

It’s the eternal question in automotive museums: To run or not to run? At The Henry Ford, only a small number of our collection vehicles are driven on a regular basis. As we all know, maintaining a vehicle in operating condition is a serious commitment of time and resources. Operation is also, to some extent, inherently destructive. Original materials will wear and eventually require replacement.

When we do return a vehicle to operation, we look for a car that meets two defined criteria: something that has been restored, meaning that original parts and materials have already been replaced; and something that is unusual – the kind of car that you don’t see everyday, and that will provide something special to our visitors.

This year we brought two qualified candidates back into running condition: our 1980 Comuta-Car and our 1917 Woods Mobilette. In March, the Shell Ecomarathon Americas returned to Detroit for the third year. The contest has high school and college students competing to build the most fuel-efficient vehicles possible. (The results are truly impressive. Winning teams routinely exceed 2000 miles per gallon.) We thought it worthwhile to show the students that fuel economy concerns are nothing new. Our 1980 electric Comuta-Car represents the tail end of the oil crises of the 1970s. While the car didn’t win any beauty contests, it managed an impressive-for-its time range of 45 miles between charges. Ecomarathon organizers gave us some “track time” on the indoor test course. There were many smiles – and a few outright chuckles – when we brought that wedge-shaped devil around the circuit at a quietly blistering 10 miles per hour!

Old Car Festival, our annual gathering of pre-1933 autos and trucks, gives us a perfect excuse to fire up our 1917 Woods Mobilette. We get many Model Ts and Model As at the show, and an impressive array of early and/or obscure marques, but very few cycle cars. The same problems that bedeviled them 100 years ago – small size and poor build quality – make cycle cars just as unpopular with modern collectors. (And, of course, these vehicles simply don’t survive in large numbers.) The Woods gives us an opportunity to share something unusual with our visitors. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Mobilette is celebrating its centennial this year!

Periodic inspections were made of both vehicles over the years, primarily in anticipation of loan or display opportunities. Notes from these inspections confirmed to us that both vehicles were in sound condition, and that the Woods had been heavily restored.

The Comuta-Car posed few problems. After test runs, our only concerns were the motor’s tendency to run hot and the reverser solenoid’s occasional failures (making it impossible to back the car up under its own power). Given that the Ecomarathon only required us to run for short periods – and primarily forward – we could live with the issues.

The Mobilette was more vexing. Inspection reports warned us that the engine had seized. After pulling it we quickly found the culprit: one of the four pistons was frozen in place. We sent the block to a local race shop and in short order had four honed cylinders and four newly-made aluminum pistons. As of this writing, the little Woods is ready for the festival just a few weeks away.

Each of these repairs and alterations was carefully documented through photos and written reports. Future conservators and curators will know exactly what we did, and why we did it. And today, people can enjoy seeing these two unusual little cars in action.

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Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum- Auburn, Indiana
“Historical Marker Unveiling at the Museum Following the Parade”

The Indiana Racing Memorial Association unveiled two historical markers, at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, to honor the racing contributions of the storied Auburn Automobile Company and Duesenberg, Inc. The unveiling took place in the Education & Exhibit Plaza, the attractive gateway to Auburn from the South, on Saturday, September 2 at 4:00 p.m., following the Parade of Classics during the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival.

The racing roots of Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs run deep. A purpose-built Auburn Indy car debuted at the Indianapolis 500 in 1930; but it was in speed trials that Auburns found their greatest racing successes. Record runs at the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Muroc Dry Lake and on the board tracks of the Atlantic City Speedway placed the marque firmly in the public eye in the 1920s and 1930s. Indeed, racing speed king Ab Jenkins famously signed each Auburn Speedster’s dash plaque to certify that the car had reached 100-mph.

Cord, Auburn’s corporate companion, also achieved great renown through competition: The landmark L-29 Cord’s powertrain was derived from the radical front-drive layout of Harry Miller’s trend-setting Indianapolis 500 racecars. Ab Jenkins of Auburn Automobile Co., drove a Cord 812 to victory at the 1937 Stevens Trophy Challenge. The trophy was awarded to the closed-body American stock car that maintained the highest 24-hour average speed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In addition, Cords paced the annual Indy 500 racing classic.

Unlike its corporate siblings, the name Duesenberg was synonymous with early motorsports. The marque famously won at both LeMans and Indianapolis, and held the world’s land speed record. Drivers loyal to the brand included Indy 500 winning drivers Bill Cummings, Pete DePaolo, Fred Frame, Tommy Milton, Jimmy Murphy, George Souders, and three time Indy 500 champion Wilbur Shaw. Others who competed behind the wheel of a racing Duesenberg included such early racing stars as Albert Guyot, Ab Jenkins, Rex Mays, Eddie Rickenbacker, 1921 Indy 500 runner-up Roscoe Sarles, Babe Stapp, and Ira Vail, among others.

Famed Indy 500 historian Donald Davidson will attend to discuss the contributions of the marques to the States’ motorsport history.

  • Kelby Park, Visitor Experience Manager,

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum

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The Automobile History Preservation Society - Perry, Michigan
Automotive History Digital Documents Library

We would like to make you aware of our Automotive History Digital Documents Library that contains over 200,000 digital documents. Access to these documents is provided free of charge and may help you in your endeavor to provide information on your vehicles to your visitors.

The Automotive History Preservation Society (AHPS) is an IRS non-profit 501 c (3) public charity that has been in existence since 2010. The AHPS is headquartered in Michigan, U.S.A. where we are also registered as a non-profit organization. Our staff is composed of experienced archivists, automotive experts and authors as well as many volunteers who donate their time and material to our efforts.

Our mission is specific – to "Preserve the Past for the Future". We do this by digitizing the history of the automobile as found in pictures, print advertisements, brochures, magazine articles, manufacturer's published training and education materials, press photos, vehicle service manuals and guides, and any other appropriate sources.

When it comes to materials we digitize; we scan them, restore them to their original condition and then post them to our Internet-based Digital Documents Library where anyone can view them, or download them. We have over 250,000 pages of material already stored and available.

PLEASE USE OUR LIBRARY! We are sure that this host of material can assist you in any information gathering you may need or want to do for your collections.

  • All the original material has been converted to PDF files that are downloadable.
  • Our material is stored by type – then by brand and year. It is easy to peruse and one can quickly find what we have on a particular vehicle.
  • We also have a Technical Section where we compile much of this diverse sea of material by specific make and model for easy access.
  • We have a "Car Models Described" section, by make, that contains detailed guides that can easily be printed for the enthusiast or researcher.
  • Your organization may use whatever materials you access for your research needs.
  • Additionally, we have a research assistant that can help with specific requests.

We hope you will take advantage of our service – feedback is greatly appreciated. And if you like what we are doing, please tell your constituents, friends, and fellow professionals about us.

NOTE: We rely on donations, sponsorships and grants to continue our growth and to fund our projects. We have no paid advertising or commercial links on our website – all our operating expenses are paid by our membership's generous donations.

- Robert Gerometta, The Automotive History Preservation Society

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Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum – SAPULPA, Oklahoma
Vintage-Inspired Gas Pump

Route 66A new 66-foot-tall vintage-inspired gas pump, added to the long list of eye-catching attractions along Route 66 in Oklahoma recently, has had its globe installed. The gas pump will help draw visitors to the Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum, a 10,000-sqaure-foot facility featuring vintage cars and a variety of exhibits featuring cars, the military and Route 66.

- Lina Holmes, Executive Director, Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum

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Classic Car News- Distribution List

Larry Edsall, Editorial Director,, has started a new weekly auto museum news roundup on ClassicCar News. He is requesting to be added to press release distribution lists for any museum who would like to be included in the weekly column.

Also, he would be happy to include photos with articles. Please include .jpg photos as email attachments or via wetransfer or with a link to fetch them from dropbox or another free photo-sharing service.

Larry’s contact information is:

Larry Edsall Editorial Director •
1345 E Chandler Blvd • Suite 101 • Phoenix, AZ  85048 • USA
Email • Voice +1 602.300.4518 • Twitter


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