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Newport Car Museum owners’ private collection is a joy for the public

Major automobile collections are available in massive museums throughout the United States. And there are also plenty of smaller, equally impressive private offerings, with rare openings to the public.

The Newport Car Museum is a hybrid. Approaching its fifth anniversary, it’s the largest automotive museum in New England and it celebrates seven decades of modern industrial car design represented in more than 85 vehicles.

The Newport Car Museum has a varied collection of vintage cars.
The Newport Car Museum has a varied collection of vintage cars.

It’s all the vision of owners Gunther and Maggie Buerman. The couple, who live in Highland Beach, Fla., and Newport, R.I., opened the museum in 2017. The cars in the museum are their private collection, and they embrace the public to share their passion for historic art on wheels.

Originally from Mannheim, Germany, Gunther Buerman moved with his family to New York as a young boy. His interest in automobiles began when he practiced wax paper transfer etchings of car advertisements from National Geographic Magazine.

Early vintage automobiles combined with historical displays are a specialty of the Newport Car Museum.
Early vintage automobiles combined with historical displays are a specialty of the Newport Car Museum.

The former chairman of Harris Beach, PLLC, a major New York law firm, and current chairman of American Rock Salt Co. in Retsof, N.Y., Buerman was willed a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible in the mid-1980s from an uncle, and his passion for cars hasn’t waned.

“It was a wonderful, wonderful car that I admired for a long time,” he recalls. “But my life of cars started before then. I especially remember drawing over some of those cars from Studebaker and Packard dealerships of that time and the important Mercedes.

Vintage sports cars are always popular and the Newport Car Museum has several on display.
Vintage sports cars are always popular and the Newport Car Museum has several on display.

“I was so enamored by the Gullwing that was pictured in the middle of National Geographic and doing my own rendition of it. In fourth grade when they had vocation day and asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ everyone wanted to be doctors, lawyers and Indian Chiefs; I wanted to be president of General Motors.”

The Newport Car Museum is far more than iconic cars from Ford and Shelby to Fin Cars and Muscle Cars. The varied collection is a museum for complementary mid-20th Center Modern furnishings by renowned international designers and automotive artworks by Los Angeles-based artist David Lloyd Glover.

To learn more, visit: Newport Car Museum

James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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Joel L.
1 month ago

Another small private collection that recently opened to the public is the Dauer Classic Car museum in Sunrise, FL https://dauercars.com/. Sunrise is a suburb of Ft Lauderdale. There are 55 cars in the collection and all of them are in perfect condition. There are also some industrial exhibits that are interesting.

Roger B
1 month ago

Another great vintage car museum is the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, TN. Lots of old strange and foreign autos.

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