Grand opening set for Sept. 15 in Point Pleasant
This Saturday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held to mark the grand opening of New Jersey’s Vintage Automobile Museum building. The event will coincide with an Antique Boat and Car Show designed to call attention to the state’s role in automotive history.
For organizers, this milestone has been a long time coming.
In 2000, a group of members of the Vintage Car Club of Ocean County decided that is was time New Jersey had an antique auto museum. They realized there are hundreds of thousands of car enthusiasts in the New Jersey market, yet most have never had the opportunity to experience the excitement of the Model T or Model A or so many of the prewar cars that make up our automotive history. Most people do not realize the part that New Jersey played in the long history of automobile manufacturing and heritage.
While retaining their allegiance to the Club, this small group of auto enthusiasts formed the Vintage Automobile Museum of New Jersey. In June of 2000, the museum became a non-profit organization, dedicated to the preservation, education and promotion of the antique automobile.
This was the beginning of a 12-year battle to raise funds. Founders explain the museum had the land, but raising the money to erect the building has been very difficult — and each year the costs continue to increase.
In 2009, the museum was able to make a notable amount of money by selling 9 of the 23 cars, which were donated by Gary Murphy. Mr. Murphy’s donation is the most significant to date. Since then, additional car donations have been made by Mr. John Casiello Jr. The other revenue producers have been the annual classic car raffle, the 300 Club raffle and the annual car shows. All these events are positive and moving forward, but the museum needed a building soon and an alternative action was needed. Even without a building, the Vintage Automobile Museum of NJ remained an active and progressive organization.
Now in 2012, the museum has reached another milestone. The museum will open its own building in the Johnson Brothers Boat Works next to the New Jersey Museum of Boating in Point Pleasant, N.J. Combined: The Boat Museum, The Barnegat Bay Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society and the Vintage Automobile Museum of NJ will do much to present the rich history of the automobile and boats in the state of New Jersey
On Sept. 15, all three of the above organizations will offer a spectacular Antique Boat and Car Show at their properties in Johnson Brothers Boat Works. This will be an all-day event with one of the highlights being the ribbon cutting for the Automobile Museum at 11 a.m.
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