Craig Breedlove and his historic, land speed record busting Spirit Of America are back in the news again but for very different reasons than you may expect. Breedlove is suing the Museum of Science and Industry for nearly $400,000 due to alleged damage that was done to the car over the course of its near half century stay at the museum. This is a story that starts in 1965. Breedlove became a national hero after breaking the 500mph barrier and doing so as a good looking, young, California hot rodder. The car he had mostly built at his home became a symbol of the hot rodding spirit and the ingenuity of motivated kids around the country.
The guy was a knight in shining armor and his steed was the patriotically named Spirit of America. We can only imagine the number of museums and places that wanted to host this car but for his own reasons, Breedlove sent this car to the museum of Science and Industry where it stayed from 1965 until just last fall.
Breedlove claims that after getting the car back and inspecting it, there was significant damage to the vehicle after its stay in the museum and he wants the money to fix the machine. Among the claims in the lawsuit are that graffiti has been carved into aluminum surfaces, body panels no longer fit, the driver’s seat is gone, the frame had been altered and shoddily repaired in some way, among other things.
This is an interesting case. We know of people who have loaned cars to museums for periods of time but never 50 years. A judge recently ruled that the suit could continue. We’re going to follow this story to see what happens next.
Thanks to Bil Swanson for the tip!