Newport Car Museum - Fall Car Peeping at its Best

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (Sept. 11, 2018) – While Fall is the time for 'leaf peepers' to drive the Northeast looking for foliage that has turned to brilliant autumn colors, it's also the perfect time to enjoy some cool car peeping at the Newport Car Museum in Portsmouth, R.I. There, the spectacular colors of 70+ cars create an eye-popping experience in what used to be a missile manufacturing facility for the government. The 114,000 sq. ft. building is climate-controlled with an art gallery-like environment for six impressive galleries that include seven decades of automotive design, starting with the 1950s.

'People travel here from all over the country and the world and many times they've visited other major automobile museums,' said Newport Car Museum Founder Gunther Buerman, who often can be found mixing with visitors, which are nearing 40,000 in numbers since opening last June. 'Because we're so new, they don't really know what to expect, and I love it that they always leave so happy.'

Gallery Highlights

Newport Car Museum highlights include the Ford/Shelby gallery's authentic 1965 427 SC, the rarest car in the museum's collection and the Corvette gallery's fine examples from all seven generations of production (C-1 through C-7). Peepers can look for '70s cars like the Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda and Superbird in the Mopar Gallery and '60s cars like the Mustang, GTO, Chevy Impala and Camaro Z/28 in the newest gallery American Muscle 'Then & Now'. Also in that gallery, which opened on the Museum's one-year anniversary, is a 2019 Dodge Demon, which boasts the highest horsepower of any production car in the world.

The World Car gallery impresses upon entry with a bright-red 1989 Lamborghini Countach followed by a central display of three shiny hybrids, those being a 2014 BMW i8, 2017 Acura NSX, and 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder. The Fin Car gallery has as its centerpiece a 20-foot-long red 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible. It turns on a platform in front of an original mural of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.

More to See and Do

Artwork like the Marilyn and Joe piece, along with specially commissioned historical videos and sculpturally significant pieces of Mid-Century modern furniture, are representative of the special touches throughout this museum that make it unique among other top automobile museums. Visitors are welcome to sit on the furniture; there are no velvet ropes around the cars; and docents are around every corner to answer questions. The simulator room (where testing one's driving skills on one of eight simulators is free with admission) and an expansive gift shop are the Newport Car Museum's last stops that make a happy experience even happier.

The Newport Car Museum experience lasts anywhere from 90 minutes to a full morning or afternoon, depending on how much one wants to indulge. Once a month, the museum hosts a 'Hoods Up' weekend for gearheads wanting to admire the engines in the cars, and monthly movie nights and car club visits also are popular draws. The Newport Car Museum was named one of the 'Top 10 Best New Attractions in America' by USA Today (2017) and 'Best Specialty Museum' by Yankee Magazine (2018).

Tickets: $18 / adults; $15 / Seniors, Military, Students; $8 / Ages 5-15 (with an adult); free for children 4 and under (with an adult). Handicap accessible, the Newport Car Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. Address: 1947 West Main Rd. (Enter at Light), Portsmouth, R.I. 02871, 401-848-2277.

By: Newport Car Museum
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Photo credit: Newport Car Museum
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