Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum
|Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum|
|Established||April 4, 1998|
|Location||1101 West McKinley Avenue
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, is located on the edge of the historic Los Angeles County Fairplex. It houses a collection of memorabilia, automobiles and motorcycles related to the sport of hot rodding.
The museum was created by a group of long-time NHRA staff members led by founder Wally Parks, for whom the museum was renamed on his ninetieth birthday. The Automobile Club of Southern California stepped in as the presenting sponsor of the museum. Steve Gibbs, now a retired vice-president of NHRA, led the team that reconditioned a WPA-constructed 28,500-square-foot (2,650 m2) building on the grounds of the Fairplex to house the museum, which opened to the public in 1998.
Among the exhibits are one of A. J. Foyt's Coyote Indy Cars, Kenny Bernstein's first dragster to reach speeds in excess of 300 mph (480 km/h), the Bob McClung helmet and photo collection, a collection of Indianapolis 500 credentials and artifacts from early events in the history of land speed records and hot rods. Temporary exhibits have also been created to honor participants in hot rodding including Vic Edelbrock, Don Prudhomme, the 1932 Ford, Track Roadsters, Parnelli Jones, and the So-Cal Speed Shop.
In 2008, the museum began hosting a special exhibition dedicated to Gale Banks and his contributions to the sport of drag racing. The exhibit is entitled "Banks Power: The First 50 Years."
The museum is structured as a non-profit organization under the laws of the United States, section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It produces and benefits from two annual hot rod reunions. The Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion is held in Bowling Green, Kentucky at Beech Bend Park, in June of each year. The NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion is held in Bakersfield, California, in October each year. The inaugural NHRA New England Hot Rod Reunion will be held in Epping, New Hampshire at New England Dragway in September of 2013.