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Archive for Friday, August 12, 2005

Professor has designs on $200M auto dream

August 12, 2005

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Le Mans auto race officials have approved his design for a new museum. Now all Kansas University professor Dennis Sander needs to do is raise the $200 million to build it.

Sander, who teaches architecture, said he would turn to car lovers and car-making companies for the money needed to construct his dream - a new museum in Le Mans, France, site of the 24-hour race known around the world as the pinnacle of sports car racing.

"For everything (the Le Mans event) has given over the years to the auto industry, it's a good thing for the auto industry to give back," Sander said.

The 24-hour marathon race draws 350,000 to 400,000 people each June for a thrilling duel of Ferraris, Porsches, Maseratis and other top-performance machines.

Sander first formally pitched the idea of an expanded museum - there currently is only a small one - to the race's governing board in July 2004.

Board members also approved his design, a 540,000-square-foot facility that includes two IMAX theaters, eight smaller theaters and space for Le Mans collectibles.

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