Twenty automotive attractions were nominated by a panel of experts, which includes a combination of editors from USA TODAY; editors from 10Best.com; relevant expert contributors; and sources for both of these media and other Gannett properties. The attractions ranged from car museums and factory tours to behind-the-wheel driving experiences and live auctions. The public was invited to vote daily over a four-week period for their favorite. Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed earned the most votes, scoring the number one spot as Best Attraction for Car Lovers for 2021.
Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, is home to more than 150,000 square feet of display space over three levels. The museum was formed to present a continuous chronology of automotive Racing Engine and Speed Equipment development and to preserve, interpret and display items significant in racing and automotive history. Founded in 1992 by “Speedy” Bill and Joyce Smith, the collection results from their personal involvement in racing and hot rodding, and their lifelong passion for collecting and preserving racing and automotive history over the past 100 years.
The museum also features many other displays including the largest collection of vintage pedal cars, gas-powered miniature race cars, automobile-themed toys, fine art, lunchboxes and more.
“The collection is always growing through regular acquisitions, donations, and loans of special vehicles and engines,” said Tim Matthews, curator of Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed. “We are lucky to have so many relationships with friends of the museum who consist of donors, collectors, racers, hot rodders, and other men and women who have helped shape the automotive industry. These relationships—combined with a team of passionate employees and volunteers who are committed to excellence—culminates in a spectacular place where automotive history, and the history of American ingenuity is on full display for visitors to experience.”
The Smiths started collecting in 1952 — the same year Speedway Motors was founded. Speedway Motors has long been a supporter of the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed. Known as America’s Oldest Speed Shop, Speedway Motors was also founded by “Speedway” Bill and Joyce Smith. Today, their four sons Carson, Craig, Clay and Jason, continue to run the family-owned business.
“We are so proud the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed received this national recognition,” said Clay Smith, President/Owner Speedway Motors. “We’ve always heard from visitors how impressed they are by the collection. This recognition helps put Lincoln on the map as a destination for automotive enthusiasts.”
Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed will be hosting a free admission day on Friday, Aug. 6 with extended hours from noon to 6 p.m. to celebrate with the local community and thank everyone who voted for the museum.
“We are thankful for the support of the community and Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau over the years,” Smith added. “We’ve always been proud to call Lincoln our home.”
For more information about Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed, museum hours or displays, visit www.museumofamericanspeed.com.