CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — When you first drive up, you are greeted by a giant, customized hood ornament statue. Inside, you’ll find galleries and collections full of classic and rare cars. The newly-opened Savoy Automobile Museum in Cartersville is now very hard to miss.
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The museum has been on the drawing board and under construction for years, but has finally opened its Bartow County doors to the public this past week. Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach spoke with the museum’s executive director Macra Adair and director of development Tom Shinall about their new pride and joy.
“To see the looks on their face brings pride to myself,” Adair said. “But it has been an emotional cause and we’ve seen it from the ground up.”
The sprawling, 65,000 square foot museum opened Dec. 8. on a 37-acre site located on U.S. Highway 411, not far from Interstate 75. Its name comes from a rusty, 1954 Plymouth Savoy unearthed, intact, in the middle of the property as it was being cleared. The restored Savoy now greets visitors outside the building.
“We’ve brought it back to the site,” Adair said. “We’re going to plant a tree in it, tell its story and put a reader rail out there because we want people to know who we are now is part of that car’s story.”
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The state of the art auto museum offers visitors the chance to explore the history and diversity of automobiles. The displays won’t focus on specific makes, models or eras, but will feature constantly rotating exhibits, educational programs and engaging, interactive experiences. The museum owns some of the vehicles on display, but also houses cars on loan from private collections.
“People come in, and say man, I never thought I’d see that car,” Shinall said. “Or wow, that’s a car my grandfather had. Or that’s a car my best friend had when he was 16 years old. There’s just memories and connection points for everyone who seems to come through.”
The Savoy Auto Museum hopes they’ll draw visitors from around metro Atlanta, the state of Georgia and all parts of the world looking to connect cars to a certain memory or piece of history. It also features a presentation theater, on-site café, and an outdoor pavilion for car shows, concerts and more.
It’s part of a museum complex in Cartersville that features the Bartow History Museum, the Booth Western Art Museum and Tellus Science Museum. Tickets to the Savoy Museum are $15.
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