Racing museum gets moving in the right direction
The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing is dedicated to promoting the history of race cars while helping collectors enjoy a taste of that sport behind the wheel of a once-active car. Information about the organization can be found in The EMMR Times, P.O. Box 688, Mechanicsburg, PA, 17055-0688 (www.EMMR.org).The museum is located at 100 Baltimore Road, York Springs. Lynn Paxton is curator.
Driving those old survivors must be done with special care, as you might imagine. Exactly how that is worked out was the subject addressed by Nancy Miller, EMMR president.
Local race tracks have been used by vintage race cars at Hagerstown, Port Royal, Bedford and Latimore tracks, to name a few. Once a track is secured for special use, “an EMMR contact person goes to the track office” and obtains “wrist bands for the drivers. Each track gives us two wristbands per car,” says Miller. A drivers’ meet usually is held on site.“The drivers are reminded they are there to do an exhibition — not ‘race’ — and respect all other drivers on the track,” she adds.
How many cars are participating?“Our car count is up this year and we are averaging eight roadsters, 10 full-bodied cars, and 20 sprint cars. Over the years we have had as high as 60 cars show up for an event.”
The EMMR bunch goes 10 laps or so, depending on the situation and the track. Taking the tracks even at modest speed with a controlled sense of driving must give a tingle to the owner who masters the once-competitive old car through its paces.
This is all under the auspices of the museum. So, you may also wonder how this can be connected. Most museums today have static displays. Some are gaining attention by having special activities to entice young or old to get a hands-on feel for the items calmly on display. There usually are lectures, also.
The EMMR seems to be doing its job in a more active manner by getting the old cars on the tracks.Seeing a race car sitting motionless in a display is a treat, to be sure.But hearing one rev its horsepower and then smelling its exhaust while watching it take to the road is a part of direct experience which no static display can muster.
“While in the pits the drivers talk, laugh, eat and enjoy each other’s friendship,” Miller says. “Should any driver need help with their car, someone is always there to help whether it is unloading, loading or maybe a mechanical issue.” Clearly, these people with a common interest form the heart and soul of the EMMR.
Those participants come from Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and other states, the EMMR president adds — all dedicated toward keeping the history of vintage racing alive.