After A Decade, LeMay Car Museum Opens In Tacoma

The country's newest and largest automobile museum opened in Tacoma, Wash., over the weekend. The LeMay America's Car Museum takes up 165,000 square feet in a four-story building. Harold LeMay was a self-made millionaire who owned more than 3,000 vehicles.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And for our last word in business today, we go to Tacoma, Washington, home to what is now the newest and largest automobile museum in the country. It just opened over the weekend.

David Madeira is chief executive of LeMay, America's Car Museum. Madeira says part of the museum's largest label is based on exhibition space. It has 165,000 square feet in the four-story building.

DAVID MADEIRA: And we also have the largest collection, in terms of 770 vehicles that we have donated from the LeMay family and on loan from the LeMay family.

GREENE: The LeMay family, that would be the family of Harold LeMay, who once owned more than 3,000 vehicles.

MADEIRA: And as his widow would say, he never met a car that he didn't like.

GREENE: LeMay was a self-made millionaire who earned his fortune in garbage collection and salvage. He died in 2000. The LeMay family donated several million dollars to help get the museum going. In the end, it took a decade and more than $60 million in financing to make it all happen. The museum is displaying cars outside of LeMay's collection as well.

MADEIRA: Oh, one and only, Edsel Ford speedster, given to us on loan by the Ford family right now; six cars from the Indianapolis 500 Speedway Museum; 10 cars from Nicola Bovary, Bvlgari Jewelry. We got a 12 car Ferrari exhibit.

GREENE: And there our plans for LeMay, America's Car Museum to host some interesting events - everything from vintage motorcycle festivals to drive-in movies.

And that's the business news from MORNING EDITION on NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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