Rhode Island

Newport Car Museum

The Newport Car Museum sits on 17 acres in Portsmouth, R.I., just minutes away from Newport, R.I., one of the eastern seaboard’s most famous tourist destinations.

The Newport Car Museum stays relevant for younger generations by having plenty of newer model cars mixed in with the old and grouping them in separate galleries for Ford/Shelby, Corvettes, World Cars, Fin Cars, Mopars, and American Muscle Cars. Using barrier-free platforms (some of them motorized to turn), theatrical lighting, specially commissioned artwork and engrossing videos, the exhibits represent seven decades of automotive design, starting with the 1950s.

The rarest car in the collection is the blue 1965 Ford Cobra 427 SC (only 31 built), but nearly as cool and elusive in the Ford/Shelby gallery is the white 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R (only 37 built), the white 2015 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R (with the same build # as the 1965 edition), and the Grabber Blue 1970 Mustang Boss 429. In the Fin Car gallery, standouts include the black 1957 DeSoto Adventurer Convertible (only 300 built) and a red 1959 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible (the longest and biggest fin car ever). The Mopar and American Muscle Galleries are punctuated by a Plum Crazy Purple 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, a bright Lemon Twist Yellow 1970 Plymouth Superbird and an orange 1969 Camaro Z-28, while World Cars impress with a yellow 1997 Lamborghini Diablo, a silver 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and a silver 1993 XJ 220 Jaguar (only 248 built), among other rare specimens. And one can’t forget the Corvettes, representing every generation of that marque’s design, including a black 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Split Window Coupe and a black 1957 Chevrolet Corvette “Fuelie.”

As for the new cars waiting in the wings – including a Volcano Orange 2014 McLaren P1, a black 2019 McLaren Senna, a Viper Green 2018 Porsche GT2RS, and three Porsche Speedsters from the years 1989, 2011 and 2019 – one can only dream about being at the Newport Car Museum when they are unveiled, but certainly, there is no reason to put off visiting and plenty of reasons to return when they are put on display.

The Newport Car Museum experience also includes browsing at an impressively stocked gift shop, monthly “Hoods Up” Weekends, and “Cars and Coffee” events for car clubs from throughout the Northeast. Over the last weekend in August, more than 500 people toured the Museum, some of them having coordinated their visits with the Sunday arrival of the Porsche Club of America Northeast Region.

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