Standing next to an early version of the Batmobile, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano sketched out plans Friday for a museum that would combine exhibits of high-profile cars used in movies and on television, with a training center where youngsters would learn to craft specialty autos for use in local film projects.
The Autoseum idea has been kicking around for at least two years, and a firm by the same name has been created to push for its development. The company is a joint venture of George Barris, the West Coast "King of Kustom Cars," and Andy Perillo of Syosset and Mike Manning of Baldwin, owners of the Queens firm New York Custom Coach.
"I'm 65 years old and I'm going to get the opportunity, with Ed's help, to give back to the community what was given to me," Perillo said at a news conference with Mangano, Barris and others.
"I am now exploring the possibility of bringing this company to Nassau County to not only display cars, but to also build them here and teach the trade," Mangano said.
He was short on specifics, such as how the project would be financed, but aides said later that the county was looking at possible sites in Bethpage and Museum Row in Garden City, and that a decision on how to proceed would probably be made in the next six to 12 months.
The Autoseum will share some of the proceeds from the exhibit, which has a $10 entry fee, just at it did in 2008 when it staged a similar event at the Cradle of Aviation. This year's cars include the 1966 Batmobile, one of James Bond's cars, KITT from the "Knight Rider" television show and the General Lee car from the "Dukes of Hazzard" TV show.