I recently had the opportunity to visit the World of Speed Motorsports Museum as well as meet with other writers of this paper. Without much advance planning, I took the bull by the horns and committed. It was going to be an incredibly packed Saturday morning. `
The Museum, on 95th Avenue in Wilsonville was (and still is) hosting “Mario Andretti: Racing Royalty.” The Museum set out and delivered on honoring the most successful American race car driver of all time with their displays of (1) not only Mario’s first car but (2) the GT-40 he co-drove to win the 1966 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The GT 40 was the poster on my teenage bedroom wall. Seeing this car in person was an incredible opportunity for me. It is the first car you see as you enter the museum floor. Bright yellow, the KarKraft T-44 4-speed ‘’eyes’’ you with those racing-lens lamps, low, sexy stance, and competition provenance. Bruce McLaren (of Can Am racing fame) paired with Mario to win in this very 427 cubic inch Ford V-8 fitted with a trans axle. It was Ford’s 1-2-3 sweep that year. Oh, the history!
Back to Mr. Andretti’s wins; Pikes Peak, The Indy 500 — you get the picture. Unless if you are one of a rare few, whom are not knowing of Mario’s fifty years of motor sports endeavors. I am not one for statistics, and therefore will not enumerate any further on his successes. Needless to say, you should get to the museum before the chance to see this fine exhibit escapes.
The World of Speed Motorsports Museum also hosts a “Cars and Coffee” each Saturday morning, year round. It was packed when we visited. On hand were another two examples from my ‘coveted car’ list – both green – as in British Racing Green. I will only mention them (an AC Cobra and a big-block 1967 Corvette Stingray) as you will find out more about them in this issue.
(See page 4 for Steve Beireis’ story)
I was truly ‘’green with envy’’ of the original-owner vehicles that were parked in front of me. Was every Saturday like this? Cars parked here and there in 4 parking lots. Too much to take in, and share this all with Veltman and Beireis. And visit the museum.
It was Alex Mills Day that Saturday. Celebrating his 35 years on the planet, Alex was taken too soon by cancer. One of the first Portland Cars and Coffee Volunteers, his Dodge Viper stood in silent salute to his automotive efforts. Alex was instrumental in bringing the United Kingdom’s Top Gear television program to the United States via his ‘Final Gear’ web presence.
Back to inside the building: Mr. STP (Andy Granatelli) has his life in motor sports showcased. So do the “Women In Racing” (a rotating driver exhibit) Simulators for Lotus Formula, Lotus Indy and a NASCAR Taurus, along with a true replica of the 31 degree incline that makes up the Daytona Banking Wall. You may have seen the NASCAR vehicles through the windows of the museum if you cruise I-5 in Wilsonville.
Stop instead of passing by, pick any day (except Mondays when the museum is closed) and check it out. Just don’t stop on a nice day in the summer like I did without committing to a full morning of cars, racecars, stockcars, drag cars.