A bright green 1976 Chevy Monza isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when we think of drag racing. It’s fast, sure. It maxes out at over 200 mph, even. In fact, it’s so fast the front wheels rise off the ground as it blazes down the drag strip. But we expect our drag racers to look like stripped-down stock cars instead of, well, funny. Tiki Warrior looks kind of like a life-size Hot Wheels car—probably because Mattel has made a Hot Wheels of it.
Funny cars are a combination of American creativity and our love of going really, really fast. And World of Speed, just off I-5 in Wilsonville, has some of the finest, funniest cars ever to compete on the drag circuit, including the aforementioned Tiki Warrior, Jungle Jim and others.
These cars have burned rubber at the Woodburn Dragstrip and others across the nation. They’re more than just a part of drag racing history, they’re a reminder of the automotive culture and ingenuity that makes the Pacific Northwest so special.
Since opening its doors in 2015, World of Speed has been dedicated to the education and celebration of motorsports in all its forms, from NASCAR® to hydroplanes, and the Pacific Northwest. There are cars. Lots of cars. There are permanent exhibits. There are featured exhibits for a limited time only, like the current “Heroes and History,” which commemorates the 100th running of the 500 this year. There are even special interactive exhibits like the Daytona display, Wall of Sound, Oregon Sidewinders Motorcycle display, three racecar simulators and much more.
There are also opportunities beyond the motorsports themselves. Maybe you want to be Portland’s next Rolla Vollstedt or maybe you just want to get to know your car better. World of Speed offers STEM, career and technical learning opportunities through their Automotive Learning programs and special series of workshops building and fixing the cars you love.
World of Speed Motorsports Museum isn’t just for “Gear Heads”, it’s a place for the whole family. The Learning Center is filled with activities ranging from hands-on workshops and summer camps to gallery talks and lectures by world famous racing icons. Families can discover the rich history of motorsports with interactive exhibits and displays that are sure to keep everyone captivated. Whether you have motor oil running through your veins or you don’t know your way around an engine, the World of Speed Motorsports Museum has something for you!
For more information, visit www.worldofspeed.org.