The Newport Car Museum welcomed nearly 50,000 people this year

The Newport Car Museum in Portsmouth announced this week that it has broken some of its own attendance records, exceeding expectations since opening.

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Opened just four and a half years ago, the Newport Car Museum in Portsmouth, RI has grown into a recognized global tourist attraction, maturing well beyond its basic ability to draw visitors to the mansions of the Golden Age and other seaside attractions on offer near Newport. Since the lifting of Covid restrictions in mid-2020, visitor numbers have jumped exponentially, and in 2021 alone, the Museum welcomed nearly 50,000 people through its doors.

“Our hope has always been to bring a smile to our visitors,” said Gunther Buerman, who, along with his wife Maggie Buerman, opened the museum in June 2017, “and so far we have been successful”.

Clockwise from top left corner: A preview of the Fin Car Gallery at the Newport Car Museum, World Car Gallery, Corvette Gallery, and Ford / Shelby Gallery. There are six galleries in all and a Porsche Pop-Up exhibit in 80,000 square feet of exhibition space. Credit: Newport Car Museum photo

During its relatively short life, the museum won numerous awards and, while it was once described as a hidden gem, it is now regularly compared to other renowned automotive museums such as the Revs Institute of Florida and the Petersen Automotive Museum of California. For 2021, it received the Tripadvisor® Travelers’ Choice award and distinction among Top 10% of attractions in the world.

“It is a privilege to see this collection,” said recent visitor Philip Millstein (Cambridge, Mass.). “He’s not an old man where you come to see old cars; there is a vitality here… the colors, the displays, the people who welcome you. The museum is not only beautiful, it is relevant.

Initially, the Buermans had no idea how he would fly, that idea of ​​presenting them as art with their own private collection of rare and exotic cars. “The first challenge was to secure an incredible space that we could grow up in that wouldn’t be seen as just a garage,” said Buerman, “so we acquired a former missile manufacturing plant on the Raytheon Technologies campus. “

The 114,000 square foot building, which had to be completely gutted, reconfigured and turned into a space worthy of exhibiting the Buerman (then 65 fort) collection, came with 17 acres of adjoining land, which would eventually feature in good stead. places in the museum’s capacity to host automobile clubs, auto shows and other special on-site events, as well as to offer visitors free parking for up to 300 cars. Today, the Museum’s exhibits cover 80,000 square feet – the space equivalent of 1½ football fields, including end areas. They include more than 85 cars in six galleries – Ford / Shelby, Corvettes, World Cars, Fin Cars, American Muscle and Mopars – and a Porsche Pop-Up exhibit. There are no barriers around the cars, and enhancements to the museum experience include specially commissioned works of art; historical videos; and an impressive collection of mid-century modern furniture serving as seating. A 2,500 square foot gift shop has become its own colorful gallery, offering thousands of items for car enthusiasts and others.

“The museum is now sought after directly by those who travel to New England in search of experiences that matter to them,” said Buerman. “Our audiences are largely car enthusiasts and art lovers. Some have traveled to see as many different auto museums as possible in this country, and they tell us how amazed they are at what they find here. They appreciate the ambiance of the art gallery, the beauty of the cars, and the rich automotive history represented by each decade of design, starting with the early Century.”

Newport Automobile Museum Collection Sneak Peek

the Ford / Shelby Gallery pays homage to the great Carroll Shelby racing cars that were so admired in their day and includes an extremely rare 1965 Ford Shelby 427 SC Cobra, an original Shelby Series 1 and iconic Shelby Mustangs such as the 1965 GT350R and Boss 429 from 1970.

the Corvette Gallery includes Corvettes of all generations, C1 through C7, starting with a 1954 convertible and ending with a 2019 ZR1 convertible. For fun there is a brilliant multicolored 2005 Corvette, hand painted by artist Romero Britto.

the Car Gallery of the World includes exquisite models such as a 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder, 2014 McLaren P1, newly added 2017 Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster and, for a whimsical touch, a 1957 BMW Isetta and a 2010 Tesla Roadster.

the Fin Car Gallery offers a walk down memory lane for those who remember such classics as the 1954 Buick Skylark, Cadillac Series 62 ’59, Desoto Adventurer Cabriolet ’57 and Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Cabriolet 1960.

the Mopar and American Muscle Galleries resonate with the younger crowd and include a 1969 Hemi Dodge Charger R / T 4-speed, 1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409 convertible, 1969 Camaro Z / 28, 2018 Dodge Demon, 1964 GTO, Dodge Viper ACR from 2017, and from the 1970s, a Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda and a Plymouth Superbird Six Pack.

the Porsche Pop-Up Exhibition consists of nine exquisite models and brings the total number of this brand in the collection to 14. It includes a 2018 911 GT2 RS, a 2011 911 GT3 RS 4.0, a 1956 356a Speedster and 2005 Carrera GT.

The Newport Car Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at Regular admission: $ 18 / adults; $ 15 / seniors, military, students; $ 8 / Ages 5-15 (with an adult); Free / 4 years old and under (with an adult).

About Margaret L. Portillo

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