27 Aug 2015

World of Speed Museum

Wilsonville,Oregon about 20 mins drive on the freeway south of the Portland CBD is definitely not on the tourist trail but a motor sport museum,the World of Speed, opened there earlier this year.See World of Speed
It's in a former large Chrysler dealership on an industrial estate and showcases the personal collection of a local couple-the Banys- augmented by some very interesting cars on loan including a number of Mickey Thompson's world speed record Challengers. The emphasis is on hot rods,NASCARS,world speed record cars and local motor racing.
I heard about the museum quite by chance whilst staying in Portland earlier this year and I soon found time to drive down there. I must have been their first Australian visitor.
The facility is great and the staff are very helpful.I had a personal tour with one of the knowledgeable volunteeer guides,Peter Linsky,who happens by coincidence to be a writer for the American Porsche magazine,Excellence.
I have mixed feelings about car museums and particularly motor sport museums as I prefer my cars running and live but I did enjoy this one.
My soft spot for hot rods and dragsters comes from me reading Hot Rod magazine from the US in the early 1960s. I particularly remember an article on a bugeye Austin Healey Sprite into which a hot rodder had shoehorned a 7 litre Cadillac V8. I had not seen Hot Rod for years but came across a mouldering pile of 1960s copies for sale in a secondhand shop in Oregon on this trip. I took a look at one and I quickly realised how much magazines and magazine design have advanced over the years. Did I really once enjoy reading that tiny type and looking at those small fuzzy photos?
Just a few photos to give an impression of the museum.

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