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Tue, 12 Dec 2006, 08:27 AM

Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Announces 2007 Calendar of Events
Courtesy of Bill Groak

POMONA, Calif. --

If you thought the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, was a beehive of activity and events in 2006, just wait 'til 2007. That's the word from Tony Thacker, the Parks Museum's executive director who announced the overflow slate for the coming year.

According to Thacker, there will be four new exhibits, educational seminars, a full season of Twilight Cruise Nights, panel discussions and two Nights of Champions. Also on tap are the two wildly successful Hot Rod Reunions (in Bakersfield, Calif. and Columbus, Ohio) which the Museum produces. In short, it's a year long on family-fun motorsports and hot rod- related events and attractions.

"I didn't think we could top 2006, but 2007 will definitely be an exciting year for fans of the Museum," said Thacker. "There will be something for everyone all year long."

The 2007 Museum schedule includes:

New Exhibits:

* Deuce's Wild: A Salute to the '32 Ford, Feb. 17-June 18: Exhibit is in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the '32 Ford, the seminal hot rod.
* Barris Kustoms: Tribute to George Barris, July 11-Jan. '08: Exhibit spotlighting the iconic custom car builder.
* 50th anniversary of the 392 Hemi, Aug. 29-Feb. '08: This powerful exhibit's definitely got a Hemi!
* 70th anniversary of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, Nov. 7-June '08: A retrospective of the historic association which sanctions land speed record attempts.

Twilight Cruise Nights

Back for its 9th season, it's hot rod heaven at the Museum. Nine Twilight Cruise Nights take place on the first Wednesday of each month from April- December (except September due to the LA County Fair), in the Fairplex parking lots. Dates are:

Apr. 4
May 2
June 6
July 11 (moved due to 4th of July holiday)
Aug. 1
Aug. 29 (2nd cruise replace Sept. event due to LA County Fair)
Oct. 3 
Nov. 7
Dec. 5 (annual toy drive). 

Hundreds of cool pre-1970 rods, customs, classics, street rods and muscle cars are on display. The free events, which run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and are hosted by the Cal Rods car club, attract nearly 1,500 people and include raffles, prizes and a huge 50/50 drawing.

Celebrity judges scour the ranks to find the five "Budweiser Picks of the Show," which win a worthy prize - a victory lap at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona during the Auto Club NHRA Finals. All who attend receive complimentary Museum admission.

Hot Rod Reunions

The Parks Museum also produces two annual Hot Rod Reunions:

The 5th annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion in Columbus, Ohio, June 15-17, 2006 at National Trail Raceway

The 16th annual California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, Oct. 12-14 at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif.

Both Reunions are 3-day festivals of speed, hot rods and American automotive enthusiasm. The Reunions are part of the museum's "living history" philosophy, which works to bring to life the sights, sounds and people who made history in the early days of drag racing, land speed racing and the golden age of American car culture. The Hot Rod Reunion offer hot rodders and racers the opportunity to reunite with old friends and reminisce about "the good old days." They include competition on the racetrack, a car show, a chance for fans to meet the legends and stars of the sport and the highly popular "Cacklefest," which involves historic front-engine dragsters being push-started, then all gathered together on the drag strip with engines 'cackling."

SAE Educational Seminars & Panel Discussions

For many years, the Parks Museum has featured informative (and fun) panel discussions with motorsports and hot rod heroes. Now the Museum has added special SAE-sponsored educational seminars to mix.

Jan. 27: Free SAE seminar with hot rod/motorcycle builder Jimmy Shine, automotive designer Thom Taylor and Parks Museum executive director/author Tony Thacker, 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Open to the public.

Jan. 27: Deuces Wild panel discussion with Roy Brizio, Robert Genat, Larry Erickson, Tony Thacker and Roger Morrison, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Free event is open to the public.

Feb. 17: Free SAE seminar: Drag Racing.

Mar. 17: Free SAE seminar: Women in Motorsports.

Night of Champions

The popular, free admission Night of Champions, which begin at 5:45 p.m., brings together racing fans with some of the drivers competing at the nearby Pomona Raceway and past champions of the event. Dates of the 2007 Night of Champions are:

Feb. 9 (during the CARQUEST Winternationals)

Nov. 7 (during the Auto Club NHRA World Finals)

Current exhibits:

"50 Years of American Racing Wheels," through Jan. 28. The half-century history and impact of the innovative wheel company is highlighted with various race cars, company artifacts and memorabilia.

"Faster: 1960s Photographs of Pomona Drag Racing," through Aug. 25. Dozens of dramatic vintage drag race images shot by National Dragster photographers examine a remarkable, head-on confrontation between two technologies that have shaped the Southern California psyche: cars and cameras. Exhibit was originally developed by the California Museum of Photography and is presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California.

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 $6 for adults, $4 for seniors 60 and older, $4 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

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