LeMay - America's Car Museum. Photo by David Imanaka

LeMay - America's Car Museum. Photo by David Imanaka

Divide 3,500 by seven and you get 500. Simple math, but Harold and Nancy LeMay realized it would be slightly more complicated in the context of willing their immense car collection between their kids as inheritance.

To the relief of enthusiasts (and presumably their children), the couple’s back-porch conversation several years ago has culminated in the opening of LeMay - America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington.

Covering nine acres along Interstate 5, the campus includes an education center for younger visitors, indoor and outdoor space for car clubs and shows plus interactive experiences throughout.

And then there are the cars. Presented in a three-story, architecturally bold 165,000 square-foot structure reminiscent of a hood scoop, a few hundred vehicles from LeMay's and other collections are displayed at any given time.

Staggered rotation will keep things fresh, including themed exhibits. For the opening, they currently include alternative propulsion, British Invasion of the 1960s, Ferrari in America and Indy cars.

The late Harold LeMay really did amass about three-and-a-half thousand examples in his collection, which stands to reason when a passionate collector only sells eight of his own vehicles--and buys back five--in a lifetime.

Current inventory is still over 2,000 vehicles strong. The new museum, complemented by the previously-established LeMay Collection at Marymount, also in Tacoma, should ensure visits and revisits for years to come.

Speaking of which, the museum’s comprehensive website www.lemaymusem.org has all the info to know before you go. Once you’ve been, tell us about your favorite car displayed. See any cars you used to own? Did you see some you never knew existed? Let us know your thoughts.