World of Speed Honors Portland Speedway’s Drive-In Theater

World of Speed Honors Portland Speedway’s Drive-In Theater

 

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Did you know that the framing of the large projector screen at World of Speed is designed to replicate the drive-in movie theater that was a quintessential part of Portland Speedway?

Check out photos of Portland Speedway alongside images from the museum as well as range of items from the World of Speed Archive’s collection highlighting the Speedway’s 75 years of racing before closing in 2001.

 

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The drive-in theater at Portland Speedway opened on August 30, 1946 and using the fields within the track, could handle roughly 600 cars!

 

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Portland Speedway Artifacts & Images in the World of Speed Archive

 

 Midget racing at Portland Speedway, 1940s   

Midget racing at Portland Speedway, 1940s

 

 1949 Portland Speedway program    

1949 Portland Speedway program 

 

 1952 series of program that covered Portland Speedway and Portland Meadows   

1952 series of program that covered Portland Speedway and Portland Meadows

 

 1952 NASCAR "tropy dash" trophy   

1952 NASCAR "tropy dash" trophy

 

 1961 poster complete with weathering and staining from the elements   

1961 poster complete with weathering and staining from the elements

 

 1968 Pacific Coast Championship poster    

1968 Pacific Coast Championship poster 

 

 1970 PCC Feature trophy won by Palmer Crowell   

1970 PCC Feature trophy won by Palmer Crowell

 

 1973 program with images of famed PNW drivers of the time   

1973 program with images of famed PNW drivers of the time

 

 1976 program celebrates 50 years of Portland Speedway   

1976 program celebrates 50 years of Portland Speedway

 

 1979 program for when Portland Speedway was shortly re-branded as Rose City Speedway   

1979 program for when Portland Speedway was shortly re-branded as Rose City Speedway

 

 1989 flyer includes local '80s NASCAR legend Hershel McGriff   

1989 flyer includes local '80s NASCAR legend Hershel McGriff

 

 1991 trophy includes names of the last ten individuals named Portland Speedway's Sportman of the Year    

1991 trophy includes names of the last ten individuals named Portland Speedway's Sportman of the Year 

 

 1995 model car of NASCAR Camping World Truck series winner Mike Skinner, at Portland Speedway   

1995 model car of NASCAR Camping World Truck series winner Mike Skinner, at Portland Speedway

 

 2000 began the digging up of Portland Speedway to create a dirt track when the horseshoe was found   

2000 began the digging up of Portland Speedway to create a dirt track when the horseshoe was found

 

 2000 asphalt track was ripped up for the new dirt track   

2000 asphalt track was ripped up for the new dirt track

 

 2000 World of Outlaw came to Portland Speedway for its 75th anniversary   

2000 World of Outlaw came to Portland Speedway for its 75th anniversary

 

 2001 Banquet of the Stars was the last of its kind before Portland Speedway closed its doors the same year   

2001 Banquet of the Stars was the last of its kind before Portland Speedway closed its doors the same year

 

 Hundred of thousands made their way to the Portland Speedway over its seventy-five years open to the public.     

Hundred of thousands made their way to the Portland Speedway over its seventy-five years open to the public.  

 

 For more items connected to the Portland Speedway, visit our  collection catalog .

For more items connected to the Portland Speedway, visit our collection catalog.

 

From portlandspeedway.com, as it was published and left up after the closing of the track in 2001:

For over seventy-five years, Portland Speedway has been a vibrant automobile racing facility in the heart of a city known for its love of motorsports.

Originally constructed as a clay oval track, Portland Speedway has a rich and storied history dating back to the mid 1920’s when its creators carved the original 5/8-mile surface out of a north Portland field. In Portland Speedway’s early years, it was a popular destination for aficionados of the rapidly-growing sport of automobile racing, and played host to Big Car, Midget, and Stock Car races through the start of World War II. In 1946, the track’s operators paved and shortened Portland Speedway to a half-mile oval, riding the growth of sedan racing on asphalt in post-war America.

In 1984, Western Speedways, Inc. acquired the lease for Portland Speedway, and the track solidified a sanctioning agreement with NASCAR. In the fifteen years to follow, Portland Speedway experienced tremendous growth, in terms of competitor participation and spectator attendance. Similarly, the sponsors and advertisers affiliated with Portland Speedway experienced significant gains in the return on their promotional investments at the track.

Responding to the explosion of dirt stock car and open wheel racing in America, Western Speedways, Inc. successfully converted Portland Speedway back to its original clay surface in the year 2000—a triumphant accomplishment that quickly led to a coveted sanctioning agreement with the country’s fastest-growing short track touring series, the Pennzoil World of Outlaws.

As the Portland Speedway enters the new millennium, the enduring facility stands tall — empowered with the most popular motorsports entertainment, generations of loyal fans, and a seventy-five year success story.

 

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