This car collection is absolutely humongous…
If you haven’t already visited LeMay Collections in Marymount, which is located in Tacoma, Washington, you’re missing out on what’s easily the largest private collection of cars in the Pacific Northwest. Assembled by the late Harold “Lucky” LeMay, the man accumulated a staggering 3,000 cars during his life. After he died in 2000, his widow decided the only thing to do is share the interesting vehicles with the world, creating LeMay Collections.
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Of those 3,000 cars, about 500 are on display in LeMay at any given time, giving visitors plenty to gawk at, even if they aren’t a gearhead. There are also 70 motorcycles in the collection and 400 boat motors. In other words, if you plan on visiting, you might want to set aside the entire day.
There are quite a few unique, one-off vehicles in the collection, so those alone make visiting the Marymount property worth the time if you’re already in the area. One of these custom vehicles is a roadster called Gothik Coach, which was designed to pay tribute to Alice Cooper. You probably have seen pictures of the art car shaped to look like a red stiletto high heel shoe.
Another is the Playboy Bunny Coach. Made out of 1955 Chevy Nomad, this over-the-top build features a strange sunroof, roof-fixed wing and exposed side-exit exhaust all combined with a head-turning custom paint job. The costume car has worn many paint jobs over the years and has quite the history, but now you can see it at LeMay.
Visitors can choose to wander through the collection themselves. However, if you want to hear the full story behind each vehicle, you can pay for a full tour and learn more.
Like many other large car collections, LeMay has a Model T Experience program. Instructors teach participants how to drive the car that got Americans and many others behind the wheel, then you get to try your hand at Tin Lizzie yourself. You have to book your class in advance, and at the moment they’re being held about once a month.
One of the big money-makers for LeMay Collections is weddings. Quite a few brides dream of posing in the historic building with any number of classic cars. We have to say, if you’re going to do some over-the-top wedding, at least throw in some classy ride like an old Bentley or Cadillac and not a Hummer limousine. There’s a long list of rides available for photo opportunities or to even help you arrive and leave an event on the grounds in dramatic fashion.
After shutting down because of COVID-19 restrictions in the area, LeMay Collections is now open again. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can just waltz in an see the cars on display without any regard for the rules, of which there are several. You must reserve your tickets in advance, so no showing up and expecting to just buy them on the spot. No groups larger than 6 people may attend, and everyone has to be from the same household. Wearing masks and social distancing will be enforced, plus everyone’s temperature will be taken at the door. Also, the collection is only open Thursday through Sunday at the moment, so keep that in mind.