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Autofest: Where Automobiles Reign Supreme
September 22, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
For at least one weekend during the year, the automobile reigns supreme in St. Michaels as the maritime industry takes a back seat during Concours d’Elegance, one of the country’s top-ranking classic car collector competitions, taking place from September 21 through 23.
Again in 2018, St. Michaels Concours d’Elegance will partner with The Classic Motor Museum (CCM) of St. Michaels, an educational resource for car enthusiasts. CCM members will volunteer for the competition, which showcases some of the finest automobiles from around the world, of the likes of a 1921 Rolls Royce “Springfield” Silver Ghost that won Best in Show last year.
A portion of the weekend’s proceeds will support CCM, a fledgling museum that has experienced tremendous growth since opening to the public barely a year ago. Situated at 102 East Marengo Street, the museum campus is comprised of the historic Pinkett House (a great story in itself), an Education Center and the Exhibit Barn, which showcases up to 20 historic vehicles at a time on a rotational basis.
During the weekend of Concours, CCM is hosting its first Autofest on September 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is the perfect opportunity to see all that has been happening at the museum. In addition to a great display of historic cars, including GTOs, a Mustang, a Chevy Bel Air convertible and other vintage vehicles from the 40s, 50s and 60s, there will be live music and a special presentation, “Chasing Grandpa.”
“Chasing Grandpa” is a book published by Richard Bassemir about his cross-country trip with his brother Doug in a 1917 Maxwell Model 25 car that was used to recreate their grandfather’s journey from New Jersey to California 100 years earlier. The brothers will be at the museum to discuss their journey and how the idea for the anniversary trip hatched. They will bring the Maxwell they drove cross-country and let CMM display it at the museum for six months.
The cost to attend Autofest is $15 for non-members and free for members. A portion of the proceeds from the event is earmarked for Talbot Goes Purple, a substance abuse awareness program.
There are three main components to the vision from which the Classic Motor Museum was founded: Appreciate, Educate and Give Back. The big strides this year came with its educational focus.
For one, the Education Center (a repurposed building originally used for grain storage) will be complete in time for Autofest. The center is separate from the Pinkett House, which serves as the welcome center and office. The Education Center will include a reading room, classroom, and library.
Another important educational component in 2018 has been focused on young car enthusiasts. Museum members have worked with enthusiastic high school students from three different schools to start the Classic Motor Museum Student Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA). The Bay Country Region AACA sponsors the student chapter, which has also received support from the Eastern Shore AACA. It is one of two student chapters in the country.
Currently, there are 13 student members, known as First Gear students, who are currently working on a 1938 Alvis British sports car, which was donated for this very purpose. First Gear is designed to help local students gain experience restoring and maintaining antique cars. The goal is to have the sports car restored in time for the 2019 Concours.
The museum is open to the public on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Each Saturday there is a Cars & Coffee event where car enthusiasts meet to discuss antique cars and see each other’s vehicles. Annual museum events include a parade of antique vehicles through town on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and a New Year’s Day Tour to Black Walnut Point. A new program, Motor Mouth Series, is kicking off soon, too, where guest speakers present a variety of topics to members. Membership hovers at 205 members at the moment.
For more questions about the Classic Motor Museum in St. Michaels, contact Executive Director Linda Haddaway King at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-745-8979. Tickets for Autofest will be available at the gate. Tickets for the 2018 St. Michaels Concours d’Elegance are currently on sale at https://smcde.org.