The Antique Automobile Club of America has decided to weigh in on the never-ending discussion point – what constitutes a sports car?
The Antique Auto Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania is currently offering its take on the subject by hosting a spectacular 28 car exhibition covering a sixty-year history of sports cars in America.
In choosing the vehicles for display, the Museum defined the “Sports Car in America” as a purpose-built two-seater that was either manufactured in America or imported by the manufacturer for domestic sale. They used the Antique Automobile Club of America’s definition of an “antique” being 25 years old or older to limit the selection to pre-1984 models. That allowed for the inclusion of popular cars such as the Mazda RX7 and the Delorean DMC-12, best known for its supporting role in the “Back to the Future” movie series.
Though arriving relatively late in the game, American manufacturers have had tremendous success with sports cars. The Chevrolet Corvette, which debuted in 1953, is traditionally viewed as America’s only true sports car; it is certainly the nation’s most successful, with volume sales, racing success and a cult following that cannot be matched by its competitors. The Museum’s collection boasts a beautiful 1954 Corvette, one of only about 5 finished in black paint that year, plus a 1963 Split Window Coupe and a 1967 race-prepped model. While Corvette is the longest running American sports car, it shared its early limelight with a host of other American vehicles, including the two-seat Ford Thunderbird of 1955-1957 and other sporty offerings from companies such as Nash and Kaiser, both represented in the Exhibition.
All in all, “The Sports Car in America” offers vehicles to please a wide range of tastes. In addition to others, the Museum has a Ford GT40, the car that took the coveted Le Mans racing title from Ferrari in the mid-1960s, a P-1800 Volvo once owned by Roger Moore, of the Sainte and James Bond fame and a 427 Cobra formerly owned by Carroll Shelby. The Sports Car in America opened on May 22nd and runs through Sunday, October 11th, 2009.
The Antique Auto Museum at Hershey, a member of the Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program, displays beautifully restored automobiles, buses and motorcycles in unique scenes and settings. This Museum is one of the nation’s newest and largest automotive museums. Visitors are transported through eight decades in time from New York to San Francisco, making each visit a visual adventure for all ages. Admission to the Museum is $10 for adults, $9 for Seniors and $7 for children 4-12 years of age. The Museum is located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
For more information, visit www.aacamuseum.org or call (717) 566-7100.