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Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Auction

Pomona, CA
February 19, 2004

Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Sets New Revenue Record
at Fun, Festive Memorabilia Auction

With lively auctioneers entertaining the audience and smooth-talkin’ Dave McClelland explaining the historical significance of every item, participants at the special racing-themed memorabilia auction at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, bought it all…literally. All 113 auction items were snapped up at the February 19th event in Pomona, California, raising more than $35,000 for the Museum.

The auction featured several pieces from the personal collection of NHRA Founder Wally Parks and his wife Barbara, who were in attendance and autographed all the goodies. Historic and collectible hats, shirts, jackets, plaques and photos were donated by the Parks and others, much to the delight of motorsports collectors!

Auction items included everything from a late - ’50’s Puyallup Dragway poster to an old Irwindale Raceway jacket to, believe it or not, an 8-ft diameter Union 76 ball from Irwindale Speedway.




Rare Jacket


Showing Poster


Von Dutch Helmet

Dana Mecum of Mecum Auctions flew in to help out and brought along a great auction crew. The crowd played off the auctioneers, who kept the energy and excitement going throughout the 2-hour-plus auction. At one point, one of them attempted to prompt more bidding by telling a prospective buyer that “$50 is nothing. You spend more than that at Starbucks…”

Some of the highest-ticket purchases included a ’50’s 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.

Speaking of McEwen, he was an active participant, bidding on several items. One he walked away with was an uncut collection of photo place mat featuring racers such as Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Shirley Muldowney and, of course, McEwen. “Buy it, Goose,” joke McClelland. “Maybe you can get it autographed!”

  Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Street Sign, aluminum.  Approximately 24” x 18”, autographed by Wally Parks.

Here’s a pic of some of the auction items!


Blue leather “Cragar” racing jacket.  All leather, motorcycle style, 1960’s.


Simpson Driving Helmet, autographed in 1997 by NHRA Drivers, including Joe Amato!


Wool Melton Irwindale Raceway Jacket, original.


Buster Couch’s Chief Starter uniform (shirt & pants), NHRA Winston Drag Racing.  “Buster Couch and “Chief Starter” embroidered on the right front.


Wool Melton Fremont Drag Strip Jacket, original.


Invitation to the first “Hot Wheels Hall of Fame” induction ceremony, 2003.  Wally Parks and Richard Petty were the first inductees. Invitation is a presentation box with a limited edition Hot Wheels surf van, market “Hot Wheels Hall of Fame, 2003”.  EXTREMELY limited edition. autographed by Richard Petty, Jay Leno (host), Christopher Titus (speaker), John Force (speaker).
                 Absolutely one of a kind!


There was a tire from Art Arfons’ “Green Monster” Land Speed Record Car.   

“What a great, fun evening,” said Sam Jackson, executive director of the Parks Museum.  “I’d like to thank Wally and Barbara and all the others who generously donated memorabilia to the auction, plus those who helped put it on, including Dana Mecum, and many members of the Cal-Rods Car Club, who regularly volunteer at their ‘adopted’ Museum. This type of event really helps the Museum continue to preserve motorsports’ legacy.”

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.

The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm, PST. Current NHRA members are admitted free.  Admission for non-members is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors 60 and older, $3 for juniors 6 through 15, and free for children under the age of 5.  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