Fuel for the Future: Two Special Friends of the Museum

Jamie and Sally Will

Good friends are one of life’s greatest blessings … and that goes for institutions as well as individuals. America's Automotive Trust is fortunate to have friends and supporters like Jamie and Sally Will. Their energy and generosity have played a major role in taking a conceptual ‘vision’ of a world-class car museum and turning it into the concrete reality we all enjoy today.

It’s no mystery why the Wills are so committed to improving and maintaining the region’s quality of life. They are longtime residents of Tacoma. The family business, Titus Will Ford, dates back to the early 1900s. Today, the family continues to operate multiple car dealerships throughout Puget Sound offering such brands as Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai and Toyota.

However, cars are not just a business where the Wills are concerned. They are genuine enthusiasts who care deeply about our automotive heritage and the future of the automobile in America. It was this love for cars that led Jamie to become one of the Museum’s first board members. In 2003, the Wills joined our fact-finding tour of European automotive museums and as such, were actively engaged in the initial planning of AAT.

Beyond helping shape the design of America's Automotive Trust, Jamie and Sally, the Titus Will Family Foundation, and a number of the family members and dealerships have been consistent and generous patrons of the Museum. They’ve helped build the facility and continue to support its annual operating needs. As a result of the ongoing generosity of the Will and Titus families, we’ve named one of the Museum’s main level showcase galleries in their honor.

Knowing that for institutions like ours to survive, they must be endowed, Jamie and Sally recently informed us they have earmarked a substantial portion of their estate to benefit the Museum. By making this most generous endowment provision, the Wills have provided much needed “Fuel for the Future” in our drive to achieve long-term sustainability. We simply cannot thank them enough.


The Titus-Will Family’s 1923 Lincoln 124A Touring Car is currently on loan to the Museum. One of only 1,182 built, the Lincoln has quite a history. It was used to transport visiting dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth and Franklin Roosevelt. In 1940, it was the first car to cross the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge … just four months before its collapse. In July of 2007, the car made history again by making the inaugural crossing of the new Narrows Bridge. 



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Ensuring America's Automotive History is Preserved

1965 Lotus F2There are many factors that show America's automotive history is at risk:

  • Our education system emphasizes college-prep and focuses less on the applied arts, crafts and trades. Meaning less young adults are entering the workforce in the areas of restoration and preservation of vintage vehicles, including motorcycles, boats and planes.
  • Car services are becoming more popular and are competing with traditional car ownership.
  • Technological advances have made modern cars more reliable and longer lasting – reducing the need for local repair shops. Hyper-sophisticated safety and environmental requirements make it difficult for a local mechanic to maintain or repair vehicles.
  • Government sponsored museums are dedicated to art, technology, history, air and space, but there is no Smithsonian for the automobile. Many traditional car museums have a limited purpose beyond showcasing the collections of its founders. They're often static in nature, have limited cultural reference and unfortunately, often collapse with the death of their founders with collections sold and dispersed.