News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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September 10, 2013

Finish line: Stock car enters Children’s Museum through window

TERRE HAUTE — A new exhibit at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum literally stopped traffic on Wabash Avenue Monday morning.

The first and biggest piece of a new automotive exhibit slid through the museum’s second-floor windows, as the Clabber Girl stock car replica was rolled into its new display home.

“This is not a normal situation,” museum executive director Lynn Hughes said, watching from street level as a crane from Misco Enterprises lifted the car, which was transported to the site by Illiana Truck Parts.

“We do not have a freight elevator in the museum,” Hughes explained, “so for big pieces that we can’t take up the stairway, we have to do it this way.”

Deputies from the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department temporarily halted traffic on Wabash Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets. The window removal by City Glass began at 7:30 a.m. and was done by 8:30 a.m. Lifting the car and getting it inside the building took another hour. Then the windows were reinstalled.

“We weren’t expecting it to go this quickly,” Hughes said, as the project wound down at about 9:30 a.m.

Hulman & Co. donated the car, which had been in storage, and Vigo County School Corp. employee Doug Dillion and his son, Douglas, modified the car so children can climb inside and feel what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a NASCAR racer.

Hughes said the museum is working with other community partners to acquire display pieces for an automotive exhibit.

“It’s important for us to add new pieces and new experiences for our guests,” Hughes said.

The car is located where a seashell exhibit and a big bubble ring had been situated. The bubble ring — a favorite with visitors who can stand on a platform and pull a rope to be encased in a bubble — has been moved forward on the same floor. The seashell has been moved to the third floor.

The museum is closed for cleaning and maintenance through Monday. The museum reopens at 10 a.m. on Sept. 17.

Admission for the remainder of September is $5 per person.

For more information about the museum, go online to www.terrehautechildrensmuseum.com.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com.

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