World of Speed is a new motorsports museum in Wilsonville, Oregon, set to open this coming April. As it builds out the museum, it just suspended four former NASCAR competitor cars on its Daytona-themed, banked display.
“The DAYTONA 500 is one of the most prestigious races in the world, and we’re thrilled to have a replica of the Speedway turn exhibited on-site at World of Speed,” said World of Speed executive director Tony Thacker. “This collection represents one of many permanent displays World of Speed visitors will experience when the doors open on April 24, 2015.”
The World of Speed Daytona display is a 15 foot-tall, 44 feet-wide exhibit with the exact inclines of the original speedway — a 31 degree banking in the turns — and as of this week, will feature four vehicles from various NASCAR eras
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2000 Chevy Impala
2000 was Dale Jr.’s breakout year in NASCAR. He competed for the Raybestos NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award that year, and finished second to Matt Kenseth in the season-opening Daytona 500. Earnhardt Jr. scored his first win in the DirecTV 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in 2000, breaking the record held by his father, Earnhardt Sr., for fewest starts by a driver to earn his first victory in NASCAR’s “Modern Era” by winning in just his 12th start. 2000 was also the year when he competed with his father and half-brother Kerry in the Pepsi 400 at Michigan International Speedway. That occasion was only the second time that a father had raced against two sons. Lee Petty and his sons Richard and Maurice were the first.
Jim Vandiver’s 1974 Dodge Charger
Jim Vandiver isn’t a household name today, but he was a top NASCAR competitor in the 1960s and 1970s, despite limited sponsorship as an independent. He was also one of its most colorful competitors. At the 1973 Southern 500, Vandiver inexplicably stopped in Turn 3 after a checkered flag, jumped from his car, scrambled up the banking and over the wall, and disappearing into the crowd.
Two Darlington County deputy sheriffs showed up in the pits with a summons for Vandiver for failing to appear in divorce court. Vandiver hitchhiked to his home in Monroe, North Carolina from the track.
Terry Labonte’s 1988 Chevy Monte Carlo
1987 and 1988 marked Terry Labonte’s first and second years with Junior Johnson. In 1987, he earned four pole-position starts and won the Holly Farms 400, finishing third in the final standings. His second season with Johnson was nearly as successful, with a fourth-place points finish. This 1988 Monte Carlo marked a brief exit from driving GM products, as he drove a Ford Thunderbird the next two seasons.
Cale Yarborough’s 1979 Oldsmobile 442
Cale Yarborough is one of only two drivers in NASCAR history to win three consecutive championships. He was only the second NASCAR driver to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In 1979, he scored a sponsorship from Busch Beer, as the car on display shows. It was also the year that Yarborough brawled with Donnie and Bobby Allison after the Daytona 500, It was the first NASCAR 500 mile race to be broadcast on live television in its entirety, and is the race that many point to as the beginning of NASCAR’s national appeal.
World of Speed is set to open on April 24, 2015. For more information, visit the museum’s website.