According to an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the Pate family made the decision due to declining donations and the need for expensive upgrades at the admission-free museum.
The museum was started in the late 1960s by A.M. “Aggie” Pate, Jr., second-generation owner of Texas Refinery Corp. Pate died in 1988, but the museum continued to operate through the nonprofit Pate Foundation.
Its car collection includes a 1937 Rolls-Royce Sedanca, a '40 Lincoln Zephr coupe, a '50 Soviet limousine, a '35 Aston Martin Mark II and a '62 Checker cab that Lee Harvey hopped into after he shot President John F. Kennedy. In addition to these and other cars, the museum includes military vehicles, military airplanes, a periscope and space memorabilia.
Pate's daughter, Sharon Pate, told the Star Telegram that the decision to close was difficult. "It's been hard on all of us to reach this decision. We grew up out here in the summer."
A future auction is being considered by the family. The proceeds will likely go to the Pate Foundation which supports various charities.
MORE RESOURCES FOR CAR COLLECTORS FROM OLDCARSWEEKLY.COM