World of Speed brings motorsport vehicles, artifacts, music, videos and interactive elements together to create unique exhibits offering that offer engaging and educational experiences for all ages.
The museum’s gallery includes roughly a dozen unique exhibits; some are permanent, while others are rotating or temporary. Whether you have an interest in local racing history, want to learn more about vehicle construction, are intrigued by the culture surrounding cars and motorcycles, or have a favorite race series or style, World of Speed’s collection of exhibits has something for everyone. With nearly 100 displayed cars, bikes, and boats on loan and artifacts constantly being donated, loaned, or acquired by the museum, World of Speed’s dynamic gallery makes each visit a fresh new experience.
AMERICAN MUSCLE CARS
The '60s and '70s were a glorious period in American car culture. The era of the muscle car started when Pontiac's John DeLorean stuck a big engine into a mid-sized frame, calling it the Pontiac GTO — and the rest of Detroit followed suit. It was the era of huge engines and wild paint jobs, of drag racing and cruising down the highway. It was the era of Mustangs and Trans-Ams and 'Cudas. At World of Speed, relive the heyday of American car culture with some of the most iconic rides of the decade.
They're some of the fastest things on two wheels. Explore the history of road-racing motorcycles, the engineers who designed and built them, and the fearless daredevils who rode them. Learn about the history of modern motorcycle racing, from the venerable British bikes ridden by the "café racers" in the postwar years, to the rise of Japanese motorcycles and Ducati's superbike dominance.
Road Race Motorcycles
Women in Racing
Meet the women of drag racing, whose cars and motorcycles have been roaring down the drag strip from the beginning. From local heroes like 40-year veteran Sue Mitchell to national stars like three-time champion Angelle Sampey, learn about the women who have left their mark on drag racing’s past and the ones who will carry the torch into the future. See their trophies, awards, photos, and the other artifacts and memorabilia that tell their stories. Every year, the Women in Racing exhibit will highlight a new group of women — whether local or national racers, and across classes and sports — and their impact on and off the track.
View stock cars driven by legendary NASCAR drivers — like 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 famous 31° banking of the Daytona International Speedway. You’ll also find race suits, helmets, championship rings, images, and other memorabilia from over a dozen early and modern NASCAR racers, like Richard Petty, Tiny Lund, Tim Richmond, Cotton Owens, and Jeff Gordon, and others. Nearby, check out Suits Up! — a collection of race suits and helmets of NASCAR legends that celebrates their accomplishments, and footage of early NASCAR races.
Zero to 1000
Take in the rich history of speed, from the very first land-speed record to the daredevils pushing the limits today. Walk along the boardwalk and take in record-breaking moments in motorcycles and automobiles over the decades, and see the impact of land-speed courses like the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. Unique one-of-a-kind scale models and period-proper toy cars show the evolution of land-speed vehicles, and books, photos, programs, and other memorabilia of the time show the impact they had on culture. Discover Mickey Thompson’s fleet, including the Assault 1, Attempt, and Challenger, as well as tributes to his Pontiac Catalina and two-cylinder dragster with the original engine. This exhibit is sponsored by Castrol.
Wall of Sound
Walk down memory lane as music and cars from the ‘50s through the ‘80s converge. Start with the Oldsmobile-inspired “Rocket 88,” — considered the first rock and roll song ever recorded — and move all the way to ZZ Top’s “Eliminator,” complete with roadster-shaped LP and album cover. Motion-detecting speakers let you watch and listen to music videos that span decades. Radios, televisions, record players, and 8-track players that brought racing into the home and music into the car are at your fingertips to explore. Album covers celebrating the sounds of racing, bands that brought car culture to the masses, and the soundtracks of classic racing movies blanket the entire display wall.
From the original partnership and the very first race in 1961 to Woodburn Dragstrip's current owners and events, this exhibit has it all. Learn about the racers and races that helped to establish this track as a Northwest icon. See pictures from the past and the present as well as old-time slips, trophies, winner jackets, and the very Christmas Tree that started so many of the great races.
Pacific Northwest Hot Rod and Drag Racing
Find out all about the racers, clubs, and cars that put the Pacific Northwest on the map. Explore the great period of drag development during the ‘60s and ‘70s with the introduction of funny cars and pro stocks. Learn about the first local car clubs, such as the Slo Poks and Ramblers, and the construction of the first local drag strips, like Madras and Shelton. See dragsters of all kinds from mid-century to the present day, alongside stories of the cars and drivers that brought ingenuity and creativity to racing and got crowds flocking to the strip. Don’t forget to check out the nearby viewing zone, which plays interviews of local drivers, designers, and builders.
Speed Shop and Garage
Peer into Bucky’s Speed Shop and jump back into the world of early speed shops, where parts made specifically for dragsters and hot rods from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s are all on display. Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins’ original shop-office furniture sheds light on the innovative engine designer and the ingenuity of the times. Step back even further in time to post-war America in the late ‘40s and ‘50s with tools, machines, and other memorabilia consistent with the era. The garage also includes a tribute belly-tank race car as well as video of belly-tanks on the Bonneville Salt Flats during the famous land-speed locale’s early days.
Photo Infinity Cove
Racing isn’t just for landlubbers! See some of the best racing boats the Northwest has to offer. Admire the scale and the power of some of the world’s most dangerous racing vehicles, including Miss Budweiser, Slo-Mo-Shun, and Miss Century 21 (formerly Miss Thriftway), while watching footage of these amazing machines in their heyday. Rotating hydroplane loans are made possible through the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum in Kent, WA.