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Bill Harrah was the founder of Harrah’s Hotels and Casinos and a serious car collector, accumulating over 1400 rare and historic automobiles over his lifetime. In 1962, he opened Harrah’s Automobile Collection in Sparks, Nevada, giving the public access to his collection. After his death, Holiday Inns purchased Harrah’s Hotels and Casinos along with Harrah’s Automobile Collection. Although Holiday Inns auctioned most of Harrah's cars, a portion of the collection was reserved and donated to the National Automobile Museum, which opened in 1989.