America’s Car Museum Features The James Hetfield Collection

When the doors of LeMay – America’s Car Museum opened on Thursday, Jan. 20, visitors got a brush with greatness: 10 otherworldly, custom-built hot rods of rock-star proportions from an exhibition titled Reclaimed Rust: The James Hetfield Collection. On public display for just the second time ever, Reclaimed Rust is the product of decades of design and building collaboration between rock music icon James Hetfield and some of the best-known custom car builders in the world, including Rick Dore (Rick Dore Kustoms), Scott Mugford (Blue Collar Customs) and Marcel De Lay (Marcel’s Custom Metal).

Consisting of vehicles designed and custom-built by and for Hetfield, Reclaimed Rust pushes the limits of automotive design with billowing fenders, removed pillars, chopped tops, shaved handles and sinewy silhouettes that the original manufacturers could never have envisioned.

“The sleek lines and one-of-a-kind designs in Reclaimed Rust could stand on their own celebrity,” said David Madeira, Vice Chairman and CEO of America’s Automotive Trust. “However, anyone who sees this exhibition will feel the creative horsepower of James Hetfield and his team in these cars. In any art, whether it’s music, visual or automotive design, you can tell when an artist sees the potential of their tools and materials, rather than limitations.”

The collection includes vehicles that live up to their heavy-hitting names such as Skyscraper (a 1953 Buick Skylark), VooDoo Priest (a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr), Slow Burn (a 1936 Auburn 852 Boattail Speedster), Crimson Ghost (a 1937 Ford Coupe), the Dead Kennedy (a 1963 Lincoln Continental built by Hetfield himself) and the Black Pearl and Aquarius (both special constructions hand built from a drawing).

The collection is owned by and was first displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum in 2020. It is on display at LeMay – America’s Car Museum now through Jan. 31, 2023.
For more information about this exhibition and LeMay – America’s Car Museum, visit
www.americascarmuseum.org.

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