Newport Car Museum celebrates six-year anniversary with new additions

After six years the key to success for the Newport Car Museum is to keep it fresh with new car additions.

A 1963 Corvette Sting Ray Split Window Coupe is one of the many rare cars to discover at the Newport Car Museum in Portsmouth, R.I.

Newport Car Museum

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. – The Newport Car Museum in Portsmouth, R.I. hasn’t stopped growing, or pleasing, since it first opened its doors in June of 2017. Now, six years later, with more than 90 classic, rare and exotic cars, it’s not only a car museum with one of the largest private collections accessible to the public but also an art museum that captivates even those without a keen knowledge of automobiles and their fascinating histories.

Committed to keeping exhibits fresh and exciting, the Newport Car Museum will celebrate its June 1 Anniversary with the unveiling of a dramatically styled orange and black 2006 Bugatti Veyron, sure to be a hit, especially with the younger crowd. With 1001 horsepower and a top speed of over 250 mph, the car is one of the fastest production cars in the world and an automotive marvel of the 21st Century.

Planned for May 6 (and coinciding with a visit by the Gull Wing International Club) is the special unveiling of a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Mille Miglia Recreation, built to pay homage to the original car in which Mercedes team driver Stirling Moss broke the record in the 1955 Mille Miglia that still stands today: 990 miles in 10 hours, 7 minutes, 48 seconds for an average speed of 97.96 mph. The coupe version (1 of 2 built) of this car recently sold for a world record price of $143,000,000.

The Newport Car Museum is a visual feast: (clockwise from top left) cars have no ropes around them and some spin on turntables; on June 1, a 2006 Bugatti Veyron will be unveiled and added to the collection; a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Mille Miglia Recreation will have its own unveiling May 6; the Porsche Pop-Up Exhibit will be made permanent later this year; and every month the Museum hosts a Hoods Up! Weekend where engines can be inspected on over 90 cars.

Newport Car Museum

Because it has become popular enough to warrant its own gallery, the Porsche Pop-Up Exhibit will be made permanent later this summer. The generous assemblage of German luxury and high-performance sports cars includes some of the marque’s finest examples, including all five generations of speedsters ever built – in its own right, a rarity to find under one roof. For icing on the cake, a twin-turbocharged 1987 Porsche 959 will be added; regarded as the most technologically advanced road-going sports car ever created, it still to this day demands that other supercars fall in place behind it.

The Jagodzinski family of Hatfield, Mass. pause for a family portrait next to the 1954 Kaiser Darren 162; the 1965 Ford Shelby 427 SC Cobra is the star of the show in the Ford/Shelby Gallery; a 1970 Plymouth Superbird and a 2019 McLaren Senna resonate with visitors, telling two very different stories in the history of automobiles and their design.

Newport Car Museum

Among the Museum’s rarest cars are a one-of-only-31 ever built blue 1965 Ford Shelby 427 SC Cobra, Carroll Shelby’s purpose-built, flat-out race car that was prepared last-minute for the road; a silver 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, which Mercedes Benz had no intention of building but changed its mind when American automobile importer Max Hoffman, so impressed with the 1952 performance of the 300 SL “Gullwing” race car, placed an order for 1,000 of the roadsters to be produced; a black (with red interior) 1963 Corvette Sting Ray Split Window Coupe, among the most collectable of Corvette models; a black 2019 McLaren Senna, the personification of Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest racing drivers of all time; a “Lemon Twist Yellow” 1970 Plymouth Superbird, designed to lure Richard Petty back into Plymouth’s NASCAR racing fold after he left to drive for Ford; and a “Plum Crazy” purple 1970 Plymouth Hemi ’Cuda, a standout for muscle car collectors and MoPar enthusiasts.

Particularly interesting are the black (with maroon interior) 1954 Kaiser Darren 162, once popular with the Hollywood set, with only 200 remaining today; a “Verde Scandal” lime green 2017 Lamborghini Adventador SV Roadster, with an engine built entirely by hand in Italy; a blue 2010 Tesla Roadster, the first battery electric sports car; and the refrigerator-looking bright red 1957 BMW Isetta, which saved BMW from financial ruin after WWII.

More About the Newport Car Museum

The Newport Car Museum’s private collection is displayed in Six Galleries and a Pop-Up Porsche Exhibit, telling the story of Ford/Shelby, Corvettes, World Cars, Fin Cars, MoPars and American Muscle Cars. Each car sits on a low platform, some that rotate and all that allow up-close and personal inspection of exterior angles, curves, and embellishments as well as interior controls, gear shifts, seats, and dashboards. The monthly “Hoods Up! Weekend” has become a popular attraction, as it further provides an unobscured view of the engines that power the cars.

Rounding out the Museum experience are specially commissioned large-format art pieces, award-winning videos and a worthy-in-its-own-right collection of Mid-20th Century Modern furnishings, some of it used for comfortable seating throughout 80,000 square feet of exhibit space.

The Newport Car Museum is handicap accessible and hours are daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can be bought at the door or online at www.newportcarmuseum.org (401-848-2277). Regular admission: $20/adults; $16/Seniors, Military, Students; $10/Ages 5-12 (with an adult); Free/Ages 4 and under (with an adult) www.newportcarmuseum.org

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