Addicted to speed? Just want to learn more about the history of motorsports? Or perhaps you want to expose your children to career opportunities in racing. All of that can be accomplished April 24 when the new World of Speed Museum opens in Wilsonville Oregon, located just outside of Portland.
According to Ron Huegli, the museum curator, the museum will be “telling the stories of heroes, many of whom got their start in the Northwest.”
The museum will showcase racing and performance cars from various motorsports, including NASCAR, land speed racing, drag racing, open wheel racing, sports cars and even some motorcycles, and of all makes, models and years.
One of the purposes is to provide an environment in which young people can explore the world of motorsports and the many career opportunities it offers. The museum plans programs geared on the history, art, culture, science, and technology of motor sports.
Nearly 100 cars will be on display, some owned by the museum and others on loan. Some of the cars will be open for visitors to sit in and explore the car and really get a feel for what it is like to be in one of those cars.
One of the special exhibits is a 15-foot tall, 44-feet wide display built to the same banking as the original Daytona International Speedway (18 degrees at the start/finish and 31 degrees in the turns). On that display will be Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2000 Chevrolet Impala, Jim Vandiver’s 1974 Dodge Charger, Terry Labonte’s 1988 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, and Cale Yarborough’s 1979 Oldsmobile 442.
The museum will feature such classic performance cars as Mickey record-breaking car Assault, Herm Petersen’s Northwest Terror, and the Gaines Markley/Rob Bruins NHRA Top Fuel championship car from 1979.
A Zero to 1000 mph exhibit will showcase the history of the land speed record, featuring a Triumph Castrol Rocket motorcycle and Thompson’s Assault 1 and Attempt.
The museum will offer three race car simulators— a 1962 Lotus Formula Racing simulator, Adrian Fernandez’s 1995 Lola Indy Car and Johnny Benson’s 1998 Ford Taurus. The simulators will be used for entertainment, educational and fundraising purposes.
The museum will also offer professional instruction on its simulators. This will include either a road course or oval, different driving and environment conditions, and the opportunity to test world famous racing tracks and circuits.