Insert American Auto Industry Joke Here

With all the negative economic news these days, it’s exciting to see that someone is actually moving forward with financing and beginning construction on a major new project…especially one that has major tourism attraction potential.

According to their own estimates, the LeMay Automobile Museum in Tacoma is shooting for 500,000 visitors per year. To put that in context, it’s about the same as the Museum of Flight gets.

I’ve always had a soft spot for this project, particularly because it started as one very rich guy’s personal car collection:

At its peak, the LeMay Collection numbered in excess of 3,000 vehicles and thousands of artifacts and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest privately owned collection in the world; impressive if accomplished by a King, but jaw dropping, awesome when accomplished by a local businessman from Tacoma, Washington.

But I also know that specialty museums like this have a lot of enthusiastic followers from around the world, and these are people who will get on a plane (or drive their classic ’68) to the region to drop a lot of money. They’re estimating an economic impact of $34,000,000 to the local economy annually.

Of course, a lot of cars are going to be museum-only objects soon anyway.  See you in Tacoma, Pontiac!


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