America's Car Museum

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LeMay America's Car Museum
LeMay Museum (Tacoma, Washington).JPG
Established June 2, 2012
Location Tacoma, Washington, USA
Coordinates 47°14′10″N 122°25′48″W / 47.236°N 122.430°W / 47.236; -122.430
Type Automobile museum
Collection size 350 automobiles[1]
Visitors 400,000+ expected annually[2][1]
President David Madeira (CEO)

The LeMay - America's Car Museum is a museum in the city of Tacoma, Washington. A new museum facility adjacent to the Tacoma Dome opened on June 2, 2012.[3] Most of the cars on display will be donated by the family of Harold LeMay to the museum.


Harold LeMay owned a successful refuse company, Harold LeMay Enterprises, within the Tacoma metro area and amassed the world's largest private car collection.[2] After his death, the city of Tacoma donated 10 acres (4.0 ha) of land next to the Tacoma Dome for the Museum that would contain some of his car collection. The majority of the collection remains at the LeMay Family Collection at Marymount in nearby Spanaway. At a price of $100 million,[2] the Museum is being called "America's Car Museum." The Museum has 165,000 square feet (1.53 ha) of exhibit space,[1] and contains Harold LeMay's cars along with gift shops, restoration shops, lecture halls, galleries, a banquet room, and café.

The museum has a 500 car gallery showing cars remarkable for their speed, technology and design, as well as their importance to car culture. Outside the museum is a 3 acres (1.2 ha) courtyard and clubhouse for car clubs.

The museum has "Club Auto" satellite locations in Tacoma, Kirkland, Washington, and Lakewood, Colorado.[4]

The museum's cafe, Classics by Pacific Grill, is run by chef Gordon Naccarato, chef/owner of Pacific Grill restaurant in Downtown Tacoma. The cafe is located on the mezzanine level and offers views of the main floor of the museum along with Downtown Tacoma, Thea Foss Waterway and Commencement Bay.

Donors and Sponsors[edit]

Harold LeMay's wife, Nancy LeMay donated $15 million to the museum. The land donated to the museum by the City of Tacoma is estimated to be worth $17 million.

AAA Washington made the largest corporate donation to date with its 2008 commitment of $1.6 million.[5] Other major Museum sponsors include Bonhams, Boeing, The News Tribune, and State Farm Insurance.

Other donors include various car collectors, auto clubs and citizens worldwide.

The architect for the museum is the Los Angeles based firm LARGE architecture. JTM Construction of Seattle was the general contractor for the Museum.


  1. ^ a b c Alan Rider (May 25, 2012), "A Car Hoard, Pruned to a Collection, Gets a Fitting Home", The New York Times, retrieved 2012-06-13 
  2. ^ a b c Nicole Brodeur (May 27, 2012), "Tacoma's LeMay car museum honors the American automobile", Seattle Times 
  3. ^ Jonathan Schultz (June 4, 2012), "After a Decade of Planning, LeMay Museum Opens", The New York Times (wheels blog) 
  4. ^ Club Auto, LeMay Museum, retrieved 2012-03-13 
  5. ^ LeMay Lands AAA Donation Business Examiner(2008-09-08). Retrieved on 2009-01-22.

External links[edit]