'World of Speed' to celebrate Oregon's history of racing

'World of Speed' to celebrate Oregon's history of racing

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by KGW.com staff

kgw.com

Posted on August 7, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 7 at 7:11 PM

PORTLAND -- A new motorsports tourism attraction in the works for Oregon called World of Speed, celebrates Oregon’s long history in all types of racing.

A Northwest private collector wants to celebrate that history with a showcase of race and performance cars that includes almost everything with an engine.

NASCAR, Indy cars, land-speed racing, drag racing, open wheel cars, motorcycles, and muscle cars are all part of the World of Speed’s exhibit that’s been in the works for a while.

It's taken a year to find a location but now it will be housed in the Town and Country Jeep and Dodge dealership just off Interstate 5 when the dealership moves to a new facility in Wilsonville.

It will take tens of millions of dollars to transform the 80,000 square-foot facility.

“We want to build something really different, so that everybody who visits can get in to a car can maybe experience a ride in a car, certainly touch feel, turn things. (It’s) and OMSI for automobile enthusiast,” said Tony Thacker, executive director of World of Speed.

There are several historic racecars in the collection including a car Danica Patrick raced. There is also one from Dale Earnhart Jr.

The exposition will be interactive and hands-on. Visitors will be able to sit in the cars and find out how they're made and learn about the various carriers associated with motorsports and the auto industry.

It will take about a year to build out. The museum is expected to open next fall.

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KGW business reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.

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