NASCAR, trophy queens, vintage motorcycles and the 75th anniversary of the Model 40 Ford are all part of the excitement coming to the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by Automobile Club of Southern California, the second half of 2008. Here's a brief checklist of what's ahead:
- New exhibit: NASCAR: A Salute to 60 Years of Racing opens Aug. 6 and runs through Mar. 1, 2009.
Authorized by NASCAR, exhibit will feature racing memorabilia and photos, along with a selection of race cars, including one of the most famous, Dale Earnhardt's 1998 #3 Chevy Monte Carlo courtesy of Schroeder Racing Products.
- New exhibit: Trophy Queens, a photo exhibit honoring the glamour girls of racing, runs Aug. 27 through August 2009.
Included in the dozens of rare shots of models presenting racing trophies from the '50s through the '70s are images of a 19-year-old Raquel Tejada, later to become Raquel Welch and Barbara Huffman, i.e., Barbara Eden star of the long-running "I Dream of Jeanie." Also highlighted is the most famous trophy queen of all, Linda Vaughn, known as the "First Lady of Motorsports."
- Special event: Indian Day, honoring the 100th anniversary of Harley-Davidson racing, Oct. 25, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Presented by Duke Video USA, this annual event features scores of vintage motorcycles, especially Indians. Plus, Sam Wheeler, owner/driver of the 355-mph E-Z-Hook motorcycle, will host a special seminar. Attendance free to those who bring a pre-1965 motorcycle.
- New exhibit: The 75th Anniversary of the Ford Model 40 goes from Dec. 3 to spring 2009.
Exhibit, sponsored by Steve's Auto Restorations, highlights one of the most popular hot rod platforms around, the 1933-'34 Ford. Among the cars in the exhibit will be three of the most famous: the Billy F Gibbons' ZZ Top Eliminator, the Pierson Brother's Coupe and the Pete & Jake's California Kid. Also on display will be the Super Bell Coupe, Big Al and the Mooneyham & Sharp 554 car.
Currently on display at the Parks Museum:
- "A Tribute to American Ingenuity," honoring the 60th anniversary of Honest Charley Speed Shop as well as the 50th anniversary of Coker Tire: through Nov. 16.
- Celebrating 60 Years of Hot Rod Magazine: through October 2008
- Bakersfield: A Salute to the March Meet
- 50 years of Racing: through August 2008
- 70th anniversary of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California: A retrospective of the historic association which continues to sanction land speed record racing. Through June 2008.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary and named for the founder of the National Hot Rod Association, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California houses the very roots of hot rodding. Scores of famous vehicles spanning American motorsports history are on display, including winning cars representing 50 years of drag racing, dry lakes and salt-flat racers, oval track challengers and exhibits describing their colorful backgrounds.
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST. Current NHRA members are admitted free and Auto Club members enjoy a $2 discount. Admission for non-members is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors 60 and older, $5 for juniors six through 15, and free for children under the age of five. The Museum is also available for special group tours. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located at Fairplex Gate 1, 1101 W. McKinley Ave. in Pomona. For further information on special exhibits, museum events or directions, call 909/622-2133 or visit http://museum.nhra.com./