Fun, festive and free events surrounding the upcoming NHRA CarQuest Auto Parts Winternationals are taking place at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, Feb. 10 and 11.
First up is the third annual racing memorabilia auction on Thurs., Feb. 10. Historic artifacts from the roots of hot rodding, including period jackets, uniforms and other clothing, nostalgic posters, trophies, vintage publications and photos, programs, magazines and more are included in the 100 items to be auctioned. Just added is a real rare item: the late Mickey Thompson's mini dragster, which, according to Greg Sharp, curator of the Parks Museum, he drove through the pits in the early years of NHRA national events.
On Fri., Feb. 11, the Museum will hold its semi-annual Night of Champions event where a major announcement will be made: The honorees for the 14th Annual NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, will be named during the night's festivities. The Night of Champions brings together racing fans with some of the drivers competing at the nearby Pomona Raceway in the CarQuest Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals (Feb. 10-13) and past champions of the event. It's just one more example of the Museum's "living history" project, said Sam Jackson, executive director of the Parks Museum, which is presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California.
"All proceeds from the auction will go to support the ongoing programs at the Museum," Jackson said. "Thanks to those who have generously donated memorabilia, this auction will allow the Museum to continue to preserve motorsports' legacy."
The third annual fundraising event, which runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (a preview is set from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.), is open to the public and free, but for those who wish to bid on items, there is a $10 nonrefundable bidder's fee. For more information, visit museum.nhra.com.
"There are going to be some truly historic items on the auction block," Jackson said, "so if you're a collector, you don't want to miss this event."
And the Night of Champions promises to be "a party," Jackson added. "The Hot Rod Reunion honorees to be named are living legends," he said. The 14th annual NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Bakersfield, Calif. The event annually attracts thousands of hot rod enthusiasts to Kern County to honor the pioneers of the sport. The honorees speak at a Friday night reception and receive the "Wally Award" at ceremonies on historic Famoso Raceway.
Named for the founder of the National Hot Rod Association, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California houses the very roots of hot rodding. Scores of famous vehicles spanning American motorsports history are on display, including winning cars representing 50 years of drag racing, dry lakes and salt-flat racers, oval track challengers and exhibits describing their colorful backgrounds.
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST. Current NHRA members are admitted free. Admission for non-members is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors 60 and older, $3 for juniors six through 15, and free for children under the age of five. The Museum is also available for private parties, meetings, corporate events, weddings and special group tours. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located at Fairplex Gate 1, 1101 W. McKinley Ave. in Pomona. For further information on special exhibits, museum events or directions, call 909/622-2133 or visit http://museum.nhra.com.