Story Via Autoweek
Photos: Gregor Halenda
In the corner visible from the Interstate are hung four classic stock cars on the museum’s own 31-degree, 44-foot-wide Daytona banking: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2000 Chevy Impala, Jim Vandiver’s 1974 Dodge Charger, Terry Labonte’s 1988 Chevy Monte Carlo and Cale Yarborough’s 1979 Oldsmobile 442. On the ground in front of those four sits Richard Petty’s Monte Carlo from the 1979 season.
There’s an open-wheel racing display of midgets and champ cars lined up under a 50-foot-wide mural of a midget race. The motorcycle section includes a long row of flat track TT bikes of the kind that used to race at nearby Sidewinder racetrack (the site of Dave and Sally Bany’s first date, by the way).
There’s even a replica speed shop called Bucky’s with the real office remnants of Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins.
Only half of all the museum space will be taken up by cars. The rest will serve the purpose of education. Remember the shop classes you took as a kid? Those don’t exist anymore, so the museum will offer all manner of automotive-related shop classes in a facility that includes 10 lifts left over from the Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership that used to occupy the building, along with all the tools and machinery an aspiring grease monkey could dream of.
Racing 101 and Racing 201 will teach the fundamentals of car control before setting the kids loose in three onsite simulators: a NASCAR rig, an Indy car open-wheeler and a drag racing “Christmas tree.” Design, Build+Race will have kids penning their own race cars. In all, 10 classes will fill out the summer. More are planned for the fall, with the goal being to get school credits.
More of the huge space in the former Town and Country Dodge dealership includes a mid-century lounge and an area for up to 1,000 guests (book your wedding now!). It sounds like a great museum, well worth a trip to the Great Northwest to see. It’ll be open six days a week from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Mondays.
ETA: The museum is located in Wilsonville, OR! (We can’t believe we left that out!)