In June 2014, the Archive started sharing collection highlights in World of Speed's monthly newsletter. In the past year, we've covered Woodburn Dragstrip with jackets; evolving drag racing safety gear alongside the story of Herm Petersen; land speed records through our chance-find film and photo-based model collections; local track history through souvenir programs; the celebration of speed records through advertisements; the changing of children's racing toys over generations; the intersection between furniture and car construction and design; and most recently the integration of collection items throughout the museum's exhibits.
If you've a new member of the World of Speed community or reading down memory lane, here are a few excerpts from the Archive's newsletter articles of the past:
June 2014 (our first)
This month, we kick off our new monthly feature: Look What Katrina Found! Katrina O'Brien is responsible for curating and managing our archive, which will be open to the public and by appointment. Each month, Katrina will share a new treasure. Here is her first entry: "Much is happening in the World of Speed Archive. Each week we add exciting memorabilia that includes books, magazines, photos and a plethora of mementos..."
Sifting through the World of Speed Archive, we find some of the earliest remnants of Woodburn Dragstrip's history and some of its most recent. These orphaned jackets were donated to the World of Speed Archive along with two patches. The second 1966 class winner patch from McMinnville might shed light on who these jackets once belonged to. Have an idea of who the original owner may have been? We'd love to hear from you...
As we get ready to open our doors in April, one of the major exhibits being constructed is the rousing history of the land speed record—the ultimate test of speed. World of Speed has been assembling an enviable collection of historic models, many in large 1/12-scale. Since many models are not even commercially available, World of Speed reached out to artists Roger Jackson in England and Portland, Oregon's Randy Swann to pay tribute to these record breakers of land speed history...
A quick history of motorsport racing in the Pacific Northwest from just 10 souvenir program covers:
1. As early as 1927, the Oregon Motorcycle Club was sponsoring a hill climb in Rocky Butte.
2. Racing was popping up in small NW towns during the early 20th century, including Tillamook, OR, in 1955.
3. The Multnomah Hot Rod Council produced the first annual Portland Roadster Show in 1956.
4. In 1961, Delta Park hosted the very first Rose Cup, which is still going strong today at Portland International Raceway.
5. Roseburg, OR, found its way on the map by 1962 with Umpqua Regional Timing Association's Motorama, showcasing Tommy Ivo's "32 Cylinder Masterpiece."
6. By 1968, Sidewinders Motorcycle Club was powered up on two wheels rather than four.
7. Pacific Raceway was renamed Seattle International Raceway in 1976 before reverting back in 2002.
8. Meanwhile, Portland Speedway was being rebranded as Rose City Speedway in 1979.
9. By the 1990s, Portland International Raceway had a stronghold on NW motorsports, including the Grand Prix.
10. The Rose Cup Races celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010.
During the 1930s, Castrol Oil created a series of print advertisements highlighting the land speed records of rivals Malcolm Campbell and Henry Segrave as each attempted to out-speed the other with car names such as Blue Bird, Sunbeam and Golden Arrow. At a time when racing vehicles were not yet covered by sponsor logos and designs, Castrol Oil and other companies, such as Mobiloil, Champion and Astrolite, created advertising campaigns around record-breaking vehicles, making their drivers household names...
On hands and knees, a 1930s kid rolls a toy car version of Campbell’s land speed marvel Blue Bird over a living room floor. Thirty years later, daredevil racer Kitty O’Neil, in doll form is launched over the couch into an exciting racing adventure by an imaginative child. Jump forward 20 years and kids are putting on toy helmets with the sounds of the racetrack in their ears. And not even 10 years ago a 21st century kid rolled a brand new Hot Wheels Tiki Warrior over the living room floor...
And just as each articles ends:
Interested in donating to our archives? Contact Katrina@worldofspeed.org. She’d love to hear from you.