Automobiles are Art at the Newport Car Museum

The Portsmouth museum opened in 2017.
car museum
Photograph courtesy of the Newport Car Museum.

Newport Car Museum treats automobiles as art. The Portsmouth gallery features seventy-plus cars over seventy years of design, including an impressive collection of Ford Shelbys, Corvettes, Fin cars, World cars and American Muscle cars. The cars are organized by theme in each gallery and paired with videos, stunning art and Mid-Century Modern furniture from acclaimed designers. Founder Gunther Buerman opened the museum in 2017 after deciding to take his private collection public, and he’s continuously adding to the fleet through auctions, eBay, private sales and dealer negotiations. “I’ve always loved cars, Mid-Century Modern furniture and artwork, and it has been wonderful to incorporate it all into a museum,” Buerman says. “I don’t think of cars as transportation so much as the creative genius of American designers.” He hopes the museum will become an attraction that entices visitors to Newport, like the Newport Mansions draw so many travelers. “Almost everyone has a connection with the American automobile, drives a car or has a family member who had some of these cars, so it’s a walk down memory lane.” The museum hosts Hoods Up Weekend every third weekend, and the last movie night for the winter/spring season will be Wednesday, May 8. There’s also a gift shop with tempting model cars and a room with eight Playseat driving simulators where visitors can test their skills on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans and other race courses around the world. If you can’t test drive the real machines, virtual reality is a close consolation prize. 1947 West Main Rd., Portsmouth, 848-2277, newportcarmuseum.org

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