ROANOKE, Va. — The City of Lynchburg holds a unique place in Virginia’s automotive history, which the Virginia Museum of Transportation will celebrate on Saturday, Oct. 23. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the Very Light Car developed by Lynchburg-based Edison2, which recently won the $5 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, as well as two rare antique vehicles built in Lynchburg in the early 20th century.
To honor the city’s heritage, all Lynchburg residents will be admitted to the celebration free with ID. Admission for all other visitors will be discounted to $5 per person, tax included, for the day.
The award-winning Edison2 is a Lynchburg-based automotive innovation company led by Charlottesville developer and racing entrepreneur Oliver Kuttner. The Very Light Car, developed by the Edison2 team, was the only vehicle to survive the grueling Mainstream Class of the X PRIZE, in which cars were required to seat four passengers, travel at least 200 miles on a tank or charge, and meet stringent performance, handling and emissions standards, all while achieving over 100 MPGe. Based on the design principles of the Very Light Car, Edison2 seeks to develop a new market segment in the auto industry: lightweight, safe, aerodynamic cars that fit the wide-ranging needs of consumers. See www.edison2.com
The day also marks the grand unveiling of the Museum’s newest exhibit, an extremely rare 1923 Piedmont touring car (above). The Piedmont Motor Car Company was the only company chartered in Virginia to ever mass produce cars. The firm built an estimated 1,500 cars between 1917 and 1923. Today, only three are known to exist. The 1923 Piedmont has been donated to the Museum by the Star City Motor Madness Committee to become the centerpiece of the Museum’s car collection as its only Virginia-made car. For the celebration event, the Museum’s vehicle, which is in its original condition, will be joined by a second — a fully restored 1919 Piedmont — on loan from Steve Puckette of Forest, VA.
Additional antique automobiles that once might have shared the road with the Piedmont will be parked in front of the Museum, courtesy of the Roanoke Valley Region Antique Automobile Club of America. Also on display will be the car designed by the Virginia Western Community College’s Baja Team which was the top finishing team among community college competitors and the top finishing Virginia college at this year’s SAE International Mini Baja Competition in Rochester, NY. Additional activities are planned throughout the day. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.vmt.org.
The Museum gratefully acknowledges the generous assistance of Edison2, Advance Auto Parts, BB&T, Chas. Lunsford Sons & Associates, Wells Fargo Bank, WSET, the Lynchburg Museum System, Steve Puckette, the Roanoke Valley Region Antique Automobile Club of America, VIRginia International Raceway, and Virginia Western Community College.
About the Virginia Museum of Transportation
Home to two of the most powerful steam locomotives in existence today — the Class A 1218 and the Class J 611—the Virginia Museum of Transportation regularly attracts visitors of all ages from across the U.S. and 45 foreign countries. Through exhibits, artifacts, and an outstanding collection of rail equipment, cars, trucks, airplanes, and more, the Museum tells the rich story of Virginia’s transportation history. The Virginia Museum of Transportation is the Official Transportation Museum of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but receives no state funding. The Museum is located in the historic N&W Freight Station at 303 Norfolk Avenue SW, Roanoke, VA 24016. Open Monday-Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 1-5. Ph: 540-342-5670. www.vmt.org
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