Volunteer Spotlight: John Williamson

Q: When and how did you become a motorsports enthusiast?
A: I can recall watching NASCAR races on “Wide World of Sports” when I was ten years old, and that was almost 50 years ago! It just whet my appetite for it. I think it was even further back than that — when I was about five years old, I wanted a Corvette Stingray. That was my ultimate dream car. I was always a fan of watching motorsports and attending races. I have even done the fantasy Richard Petty experience a couple of times.

Q: What kind of influence has that had on your life?
A: It’s hard to say. I love driving, and I‘ve extensively read magazines and books regarding car racing and cars themselves. My mother used to always say I have two interests in life: cars and dogs. I just love driving. I love the sound of cars and the mechanics of cars. It’s kind of hard to put a finger on exactly how it affects you. I’m glad they opened this museum, because I feel like I have a little skin in the game as far as being an enthusiast goes, since I’m a frustrated non-racer. In a nutshell, it’s just a deep interest I have had all of my life.

Q: What do you enjoy about volunteering at World of Speed?
A: I like the camaraderie and meeting folks who have had some racing background. It’s just fun to be around. I get to explain the knowledge I have of auto racing to the public and hear back from them. It’s sort of a back and forth. It feeds my jones for motorsports.

Q: If you could choose a vehicle to be displayed in the museum, what would it be?
A:I have always been partial to the gold ‘65 Indy car that’s on display. I think that was the most romantic era of open-wheel racing during my lifetime. And if they could ever get their hands on an old Ford GT 340, I think those would be the two cars to have in here — and that’s coming from a Mopar fan.