Inaugural Walter P. Chrysler Legacy Gala to Honor Lee Iacocca, Jay Leno, Richard Petty and Virgil Exner


AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 19 /PRNewswire/ — The Walter P. Chrysler Museum, in Auburn Hills, announced today that it will host the inaugural Walter P. Chrysler Legacy Gala on Saturday, July 24, 2010. The event will be held at the Museum and run from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. Tickets are now available to the public for purchase online at or by phone at 800-987-9807.

The event will celebrate 85 years of Chrysler heritage and honor four automotive and entertainment icons – who will all be in attendance – with the Walter P. Chrysler Legacy Award: Former Chrysler Chairman and CEO Lee Iacocca; Comedian and Car Collector Jay Leno; NASCAR Champion Richard Petty; and former Chrysler Design Chief Virgil Exner, who will be represented by his son Virgil Exner, Jr. Additionally, the Legacy Gala will mark the beginning of a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign for the Museum.

“The Walter P. Chrysler Museum is a historical treasure and has soundly established its place in the mosaic of this region’s automotive heritage,” said W. Frank Fountain, Chairman of the Board, Walter P. Chrysler Museum Foundation. “The Museum is a vital part of Michigan’s growing tourism industry and future economic development so its preservation is paramount.”

Iacocca, Leno, Petty and Exner will be the first inductees into the Walter P. Chrysler Legacy Circle. This honor recognizes people who share Walter P. Chrysler’s unbridled passion and tireless dedication, have been instrumental in the Chrysler story, or have made a significant impact on the Museum and the auto enthusiast community. The ceremony to induct the honorees will be a highlight of the Legacy Gala, and each will be permanently recognized in the Museum.

“This grand celebration will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of special guests to celebrate Chrysler’s heritage as well as our four inaugural inductees,” said Fountain. “The strong support we have already received for the Legacy Gala has been tremendous and inspiring; we are looking forward to a very memorable evening.”

Legacy Gala Highlights

Highlights of the Walter P. Chrysler Legacy Gala include the Legacy Circle induction ceremony, a full-length performance donated by Jay Leno, a strolling dinner throughout the Museum’s three floors, and a dessert and coffee afterglow. Dress for the event is cocktail attire.

Additionally, silent and live auctions will feature extraordinary items such as a private tour of Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage plus tickets to The Tonight Show; behind-the-scenes tours for four persons of the Chrysler Tech Center and Chrysler Historical Vehicle Collection; an SRT Track Experience for two persons at the Michigan International Speedway; and 2011 Daytona 500 all-exclusive weekend passes for two.

Legacy Gala Tickets

A limited number of gala tickets are now available for public purchase online at Tickets may also be purchased by phone at 800-987-9807. Gala tickets are $500 per person and include all of the above highlighted benefits. A portion of each ticket price is tax-deductible.

Contribution Opportunities Packages

Legacy Gala Contribution Opportunities packages are also available and offer additional benefits including an exclusive pre-gala contributor reception attended by the inductees, posed inductee photos at several giving levels, and more.

Complete Contribution Opportunity details are available at A significant portion of each Legacy Gala contribution is tax-deductible.

Walter P. Chrysler Legacy Campaign

The Legacy Gala marks the beginning of the Walter P. Chrysler Legacy Campaign, a new multi-million dollar, multi-year initiative soliciting support from corporations, foundations and individuals. It is a greater effort to ensure the newly-independent Museum’s financial future. Contributions will support exhibitions, education programs, vehicle preservation, and automotive enthusiast and community programs.

“The Legacy Campaign will enable the Museum to realize its potential to Preserve, Educate and Inspire,” said Fountain. “These are challenging times, yet we are optimistic that we will meet our fundraising goal. The future Walter P. Chrysler Museum will be an even more exciting and interactive attraction, employing technology and innovation in entertaining ways to engage visitors from around the globe.”

For additional information about the Legacy Campaign please call 248-944-0432 or send an e-mail to:

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