POMONA, CA — Race fans and collectors recently raised more than $35,000 for the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, at the museum’s Feb. 19 memorabilia auction.
The auction featured 113 items including several pieces from the personal collection of NHRA Founder Wally Parks and his wife Barbara, who attended the auction and even autographed their items. Auction items included everything from a late-’50s Puyallup Dragway poster to an old Irwindale Raceway jacket to, believe it or not, an 8-foot diameter Union 76 ball from Irwindale Speedway.
Some of the highest-ticket purchases included a ’50s era racing helmet painted by famous hot rod artist Von Dutch, which sold for $2,500; Kent Fuller’s 1961 Fremont jacket with his 8.20 ET world record embroidered on the back ($3,000); and the 1999 chrome-plated ground-breaking shovel from Las Vegas Motor Speedway ($3,000). An invitation to a Hot Wheels Hall of Fame event, which included a die-cast car and that was signed by Jay Leno, Wally Parks, Richard Petty, John Force and Christopher Titus, brought in $1,300, while a Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen jacket went for $350.
Named for the founder of the National Hot Rod Association, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum 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.