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Museum quality

June 3, 2012
Scooters on the grass

Tacoma’s Firkin SC was representin’ at the LeMay Museum’s grand opening (Orin O’Neill photos)

Tacoma’s newest museum opened to the public Saturday. Yes, there were scooters.

LeMay – America’s Car Musuem has been in the works for many years. The building is located on a nine-acre campus adjacent to the landmark Tacoma Dome stadium.

Hot rod

The museums 3.5 acres of show field was almost completely filled with all kinds of special-interest cars, like this hot rod. But look closely at the engine compartment.

Hot rod

That is a gas turbine engine. Which sounds like a Boeing 737’s, though the rod’s owner said it came from a Cessna (most likely a turboprop).

Shaun's Sprint

Firkin Shaun’s 1967 Sprint was a favorite with show attendees, many of whom exclaimed, “nice moped.” The weather was chilly and rainy in the morning, which kept some scooterists home.

Rabbit pickup

As I said, the mix of cars on the field was eclectic. This VW Rabbit pickup was in decent shape. The Rabbit pickemup is the Ultimate Budget Scooter Hauler.


The early days of the automobile saw lots of these, which the British call cyclecars. This one’s powered by an electric motor. And it has a license plate, so it can be driven on the street. How fast, I can’t say.

Saab engine

There were two early Saabs on hand, both with the (in)famous 850cc 2-stroke 3-cylinder engine, which featured auto-oiling. At least one of them had suicide doors (hinged at the back), which were not allowed on simlar Saabs imported to the U.S. at the time.

Tacoma Dome

See, the T-Dome is right across the street. Just follow the signs on I-5 that say “Tacoma Dome” and you’re there. You can buy tickets online, and they’re good for quite a long time after purchase. Which is good, because the ticket-holders line stretched almost to the Emerald Queen Casino. I’ll visit the museum another time. Favicon

One Comment
  1. June 3, 2012 2:14 pm

    Wow! Some classic machines of all sorts! Thanks for posting pictures. Gosh, I remember how cool the VW Rabbit pickup when it first came out.

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