Located next to the good ol’ Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, WA resides the hood scoop esque building sitting at 4 (or 5) stories full of nothing but amazing wheeled machines. With 10 acres of land donated by the city, Harold LeMay owned the world’s largest private car collection. No seriously, over 2000 vehicles and artifacts! The museum itself contains a 350-car gallery highlighting vehicles from various times, that each have their own story to tell.
It becomes easy to spend an entire day at America’s Car Museum (ACM), especially if you’re in to the history of each vehicles. Nearly every vehicle has a printout or a TV to educate the viewer on the impact that the car (or motorcycle, scooter, Flintmobile, cut-up Mustang, solar powered racecar) had in history and the remarkable achievements that they made. On this specific visit the very first floor (or 4th floor) provided an evolution of the automobile exhibit lining the entire perimeter of the upper display floor.
If you ever get the chance ACM is certainly a car museum that doesn’t let down, with a more than fair entrance asking price that goes 100% in to the upkeep of the museum. Just look for yourself and see what the museum had to offer on one particular day (queue upbeat music at 7:50):
You’ll notice the nearly spotless condition of each vehicle that resides in the museum. From an older Ford GT with the license plate “GT” to cars from the 1800s the condition of each automobile is jaw dropping. If you see something at the museum that isn’t so pristine then there’s probably a reason for it, like keeping the history, or telling a story.
At some point when descending from the top floor down you’ll encounter the ACM “Speed Zone”, where you get to take a break from looking at the cars and actually drive one! Ok not quite, but ACM certainly didn’t go cheap on the simulators as they feature CXC Simulations Motion Pro II Racing Simulators, which really aren’t a joke considering the average joe can buy one for $49,000. Just strap in and get ready to race on the tracks that the museum staff have selected that day. A good go-to is always Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for me. Let’s not forget a huge and highly detailed slot car racing setup as well! Race 4 slot cars to your heart’s desire as they wind through LeMay land.
The flow of the museum is very constant and brings you through different points in time, beginning with the oldies and Ford Model-T type era of vehicles. You make your way down floor after floor only to make your way back up the other side of the building, never to be disappointed. The variations of vehicles seem to never end, and with that it’s safe for me to say that I will always be making at a bare minimum 1 visit per year.