Hershey, PA (April 16, 2019) Each Spring, the National Association of Automobile Museums (NAAM) holds its annual conference which this year took place in South Bend, Indiana at the Studebaker National Museum. The annual NAAMY awards competition honors the work of nonprofit automotive transportation museums. The awards recognize industry leaders for achievement, professionalism, and creativity. They are designed to further promote professionalism in automotive museum managerial, curatorial, educational and promotional work.
“To elevate the stature of the NAAMY Awards and their importance to our members, this year we introduced a new “Special Achievement in Exhibits” award. Stated Matt Anderson, NAAM President, and Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford. The winner of this new prize was hand-picked by Wayne Carini, star of Chasing Classic Cars and all-around champion of automotive history” Continued Anderson. The AACA Museum, Inc. earned this award for the 2018 summer exhibition of “Mustangs: Six Generations of America’s Favorite Pony Car.” “Mr. Carini appreciated the exhibit’s deft interpretation, its breadth of featured vehicles, and the approachability and “everyman” appeal of the Mustang as a topic” stated NAAM President Matt Anderson.
“The AACA Museum, Inc. is honored to have won the first-ever Special Achievement in Exhibits Award as this represents our ongoing commitment to excellence and high standards within our field.” Stated Jeffrey Bliemeister, AACA Museum Executive Director. “We present a diverse palette of changing exhibits and innovative events that provide a World-Class automotive experience for our guests.” “We would like to thank Mr. Carini for recognizing the caliber of exhibits that we display here at the AACA Museum, Inc. in selecting us for this award” continued Bliemeister.
The exhibit opening was a dream come true for the AACA Museum, Inc. Not only were we able to kick-off a new exhibit showcasing all six generations of Mustangs, including some very rare examples; but we were also able to share the back story of the creation and history of the Mustang with the attendees through presentations by the actual designers and engineers who were part of the process.
The panel discussion included: Gale Halderman, Design Director for Ford Motor Company and designer of the original Mustang. John Clor, Enthusiast Communications Manager for Ford Performance and author of “Mustang 2015 The New Generation” and “The Mustang Dynasty” John is also the host of his own local cable-access TV show, “Cars in Context.” Art Hyde was a former Chief Engineer at Ford Global Product Development and Mustang Chief Program Engineer along with being the creator of the original Bullitt Mustang in 2001 and the Mach 1 Mustang in 2003; Chuck Cantwell was the project engineer for Shelby American for the GT 350 and author of “Shelby Mustang GT350: My Years Designing, Testing, and Racing Carroll’s Legendary Mustangs.”
The panel of speakers that came together for this program provided an extraordinary experience for all the attendees. They covered all aspects and generations of Mustangs and were able to present a first-hand account of the story behind the success of this brand and some of the trials and tribulations along the way. We sincerely appreciate their skill, dedication, and willingness to share these stories.
Also during 2018, The AACA Museum was proud to have been chosen as the host of the 2018 NAAM Conference. The members who attended enjoyed with many educational programs here at the AACA Museum, along with offsite excursions showcasing local Museums, attractions, and private collections. We were also fortunate to be able to offer participants with a day in Washington, DC at the Smithsonian Institution with exclusive behind the scenes programs arranged via our relationship as a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum.
For this summer, we’re eager to share information on our upcoming exhibits which will open publically on May 18th and will be on view through October 20, 2019. “Studebaker Cool: 114 Years of Innovation”; “Harley-Davidson: History, Mythology, and Perceptions of America’s Motorcycle”; “Raymond Loewy Retrospective”; and a Pontiac Oakland Keystone State Chapter vehicle display. An extraordinary opening night program is planned for May 17th with a distinguished panel of Studebaker experts as part of the evening’s festivities along with a book signing. Advance registration is required for the exhibit opening, but this event is open to anyone interested in attending. More information on all these fantastic exhibits and the opening reception is available at AACAMuseum.org.
For more information on NAAM, visit their website at http://www.naam.museum/