New racing exhibit announced

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- "Everyone, start your engines..." and head to the most unique auto collection. With many rare vehicles arriving from all over the country, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills will...

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- "Everyone, start your engines..." and head to the most unique auto collection. With many rare vehicles arriving from all over the country, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills will feature its first changing exhibit. "Chrysler: A Motorsports Heritage" will showcase racing vehicles from the 1930s to the present. The exhibit will be held from Wednesday, November 1, 2000 to Saturday, March 31, 2001. This exhibition is a first-of-its-kind gathering of Chrysler motorsport vehicles from a wide range of racing formats. The vehicles themselves are rare survivors of vehicles that were usually driven to death, then cannibalized, then junked. Only recently has the antique car hobby embraced vintage racing vehicles. Previously an obsolete race car was regarded as worthless. In forming the exhibition, the Museum staff was lucky enough to uncover cars that were the only survivors of their type. In some cases, the surprise was that the vehicles existed at all. "This will be a very rare opportunity to see many of the history-making racing vehicles. The exhibit will showcase the actual vehicles and not replicas," explained Brandt Rosenbusch, vehicle administrator for the Museum. "We are able to bring this collection together, through our work with many private collectors and by tapping into our own collection." Nearly 35 motorsport vehicles will featured. Some of the vehicles on display include the 1952 Hudson Hornet driven by two time Grand National Champion Herb Thomas, the 1956 Chrysler 300B driven by Buck Baker, and the 1974 Dodge Charger Richard Petty used to win the Grand National Championship. From the earliest races, Chrysler vehicles took an important lead in racing. The company's first NASCAR victory came in 1949, with Lee Petty's triumph at the wheel of a Plymouth. A new era began when Chrysler introduced the powerful and superior Hemi racing engine at the Daytona 500 in 1964. Hemi powered vehicles crossed the finish line in the first through fourth positions. The motorsports exhibit will both honor and celebrate Chrysler's innovations and successes. "This is the first of what we expect will be a regular series of changing exhibitions focusing on different aspects of Chrysler's heritage," explained Barry Dressel, the Museum's manager. "With these exhibits, we hope to offer something for everyone with an interest in our history, and at the same time learn more ourselves while we educate and entertain." With many interactive vignettes, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum houses approximately 65 of the more than 160 vehicles in the Chrysler Historical Collection. The Walter P. Chrysler Museum is the only dedicated, on-site corporate museum built and operated by an active North American manufacturer. The museum is located on 10 acres at the southeast corner of DaimlerChrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

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