Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Texas Museum of Automotive History is off to the races on Monday
Classic cars galore fill the new museum in Fair Park.
FAIR PARK Ladies and gentlemen, fire up your engines. The Texas Museum of Automotive History (TMAH) opens Monday.
Located in Fair Park, the museum will chronicle and showcase the history of both racing and commercial cars from 1901 to 1984. Interactive exhibits will include cars from almost every genre, along with video features of the classics during their heydays. Attendees will awe over vintage beauties like the 1936 Airflow, which, according to the museum’s curatorial assistant Chuck Broadway, has been “completely restored and is very rare." Race car fans will appreciate seeing Bill Elliot’s actual race car (circa 1999) up close and personal, and the kiddos will get a big kick out of the Puff the Magic Dragon car. There will even be something for comic book lovers -- a 2002 Dodge Spiderman Viper, built to promote Spiderman the movie.
One cool aspect of the museum is The Restoration Factory, a four-year program that will focus on giving “at risk” Dallas teens a chance to learn skills such as work ethic, team building, and sportsmanship as they relate to life and a career in the automotive industry. Teens ages 15 to 18 will learn how to fix and restore vehicles. They will be able to put their newly-acquired mechanic skills to the test when they step into The Restoration Factory garage, where they will assist with the repair of actual vintage vehicles. Upon completing the program, mentors will help the graduates apply for college and assist them in securing jobs.
Plans to host other events throughout the year like a movie night, hosted the first Thursday of every month; and Pinewood Derby races, to be held six times a year. Also, educational classes such as Automotive Awareness 101, a class for parents and teens focusing on basic automotive care, and Traffic Safety 101, will teach teens about safe driving and the dangers of cell phone usage, reckless driving, and other driver distractions.
Bringing the museum into Fair Park is said to be a win-win for the museum and the city of Dallas, especially with the impending loss of the Science Museum. The building that the museum will open in is actually its temporary home. TMAH will move into the art deco building that currently houses the Science Museum when it relocates downtown in 2012. The eclectic early century design of the Science Museum building will provide a dynamic complement to the vintage cars on showcase.
The museum hosts its inaugural fundraising gala on Saturday. Guest speakers will include Bill Emerson, a noted authority on Healeys; former auto racer Johnny “Lone Star JR” Rutherford; and the evening’s emcee will be Scott Murray. Museum activities will be open to the public beginning Monday and will even be open on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Finally, something to do besides going to the movies on Thanksgiving!
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