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November 4, 2000 – Harold LeMay, record auto collector, dies

At the time of his death on this day in 2000, Harold E. LeMay had amassed one of the largest personal collections of automobiles ever recorded. It contained upwards of 3,000 cars, trucks, motorcycles, military vehicles, buses and other modes of transport. It also included thousands more pieces of automotive memorabilia. The collection was so enormous it earned a Guinness Book of World Records title in 1997 for being the largest private auto collection.

Top: Cars at the LeMay Collections, via lemaymarymount.org. Above: America’s Car Museum exterior.

Harold started a trash collection company in Spanaway, Washington following high school, which led to the founding of Harold LeMay Enterprises just after WWII. The company continues to operate throughout Washington state, but has grown to include towing services and an auction house. Harold used his self-built wealth to always buy cars and then never sold them. The tale goes that Harold never sold a car in his lifetime. Among the many vehicles are countless rare and one of a kind autos, including Duesenbergs.

Harold and Nancy LeMay (americascarmuseum.org)

Today the collection is mainly housed on the LeMay family properties, and some vehicles are on display at The LeMay Family Collection at Marymount, a retired military style school for boys. Other vehicles, along with more from around the world that are curated and on loan, can be seen at LeMay – America’s Car Museum, in Tacoma, Washington.

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