LeMay Car Museum

LeMay Logo

OPENED: June 2, 2012

ADDRESS: 2702 E. D. St., across from the Tacoma Dome

HOURS From Memorial Day to Labor Day
10 a.m.–5 p.m., seven days a week

ADMISSION Individuals
Adult – $14
Student/military/senior (65+) – $12
Youth (5-12) – $8
Child (Under 5) – Free
Members – Free
Family (two adults and up to four children) – $40

Groups
Adults (10 or more) – $10 per person
Schools (10 or more) – $5 per person

ADDITIONAL COSTS Slot cars
Simulator

Museum Website

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 35 million: Pounds of concrete used to make the building.
  • 14,200: Total man hours to build the museum.
  • 150: Workers per-day (at peak) on the museum construction site.
  • 79,000: Total square footage of museum walls and roof.
  • 2,980: Sheets of 1â…›-inch plywood used to build the roof.
  • 175:  Average number of vehicles on display each day.
  • 300: Number of cars that will fit on museum’s 3½-acre grass show field.
  • 391,590 square feet (9 acres): Dimension of museum campus.
  • 200:  Volunteers needed to support operations.

Source: Lemay America’s Car Museum

YOUR GUIDE TO THE MUSEUM

LeMay Car Museum Guide PDF

TIMELINE

Harold LeMay
Harold LeMay

A long, winding road from one car lover's dream to world-class museum

1942 – Harold LeMay barters for his first truck to start Spanaway garbage collection service, the basis for Harold LeMay Enterprises.

1963 – LeMay begins his most active and productive phase of collecting vintage cars.

1964 – Harold marries Nancy.

1995 – The couple first discusses the idea of a non-profit museum for Harold’s car collection.

Late 1996 – Tacoma City Manager Ray Corpuz leads a delegation to speak with LeMay about putting a car museum in Tacoma.

1997 – The LeMay Collection is listed in the “Guinness Book of World Records” as the largest privately owned antique and vintage vehicle collection in the world.

1998 – Harold and Nancy LeMay form nonprofit Harold E. LeMay Museum corporation.

July 1998 – LeMay and the City of Tacoma announce joint pursuit of a downtown car museum. Mayor Brian Ebersole says, “The city is hugely interested.”

October 1998 – City launches $30,000 task force study of feasibility and possible sites.

June 1999 – Task force says best location is parking lots west of Tacoma Dome.

August 1999 – Preliminary design includes 251,000-square-foot museum plus 10-story glass tower – the Tower of Horsepower – to display 800 cars.

September 2000 – City tentatively agrees to give Dome parking lots to museum.

Nov. 4, 2000 – Harold LeMay dies at age 81.

January 2001 – State Transportation Improvement Board awards $1 million grant to city for architectural work on museum.

April 2002 – Museum board hires consultant David Madeira as CEO.

May 2002 – Museum gives city ultimatum: Quit fiddling and close deal at Dome, or we move.

August 2002 – City and museum close deal on nine acres next to the Dome, plus promise of utilities and parking with total value estimated at $17.5 million.

November 2003 – Museum board approves design concepts for museum.

August 2004 – LeMay family gives $15 million to museum. Campaign for “America’s Car Museum” pegged at $167.5 million.

January 2005 – Nicola Bulgari, vice chairman of the Italian jewelry company Bulgari, joins museum’s board of directors.

June 2006 – State Farm Insurance gives $1.5 million to the effort, gets naming rights for museum’s theater.

2007 – U.S. economy sputters. Museum fundraising stalls.

September 2007 – Museum and city agree to build museum in stages. No Tower of Horsepower.

August 2008 – Waste Connections Inc. of Folsom, Calif., buys the Harold LeMay Enterprises garbage empire for undisclosed amount. With annual revenue of $100 million, LeMay is the largest privately owned solid waste services company in the Northwest.

April 2009 – City agrees to apply for a $3.5 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 108 program and relend it to the museum to help it get construction financing.

September 2009 – Museum auctions off 129 cars from LeMay collection, nets $1.1 million from $2.5 million in sales.

June 2010 – Groundbreaking ceremony for museum.

September 2011 – Construction mostly completed. First public event, “Hard Hats and High Heels,” celebrates end of construction and kicks off $12 million fundraising campaign to cover operations costs until museum opens.

May 2012 – Nancy LeMay contributes an additional $700,000.

June 2, 2012 – Grand opening.

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