Monday, January 17, 2011

Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Names Former Fairfax High School Student As Chairman

The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, is located at 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Bldg. 3A, in Pomona, California 91768, USA. It houses a collection of memorabilia, automobiles and motorcycles related to the sport of hot rodding. Among other exhibits are one of A.J. Foyt's Coyote Indy Cars, Kenny Bernstein's first dragster to reach speeds in excess of 300 mph (480 km/h), the Bob McClung helmet and photo collection, a collection of Indy 500 credentials and artifacts from early events in the history of land speed records and hot rods. Temporary exhibits have also been created to honor participants in hot rodding including Vic Edelbrock, Don Prudhomme, the 1932 Ford, Track Roadsters, Parnelli Jones and the So-Cal Speed Shop. In 2008, the Museum began hosting a special exhibition dedicated to Gale Banks and his contributions to the sport of drag racing. The exhibit is entitled "Banks Power: The First 50 Years." The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. except on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks

Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Names Former Fairfax High School Student As Chairman

On December 20 2010, Speed Shop Founder and Hot Rod Icon Alex Xydias wthe as been named Chairman of the Board of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California located at the LA County Fair Grounds, Pomona.

Born in Los Angeles on March 22, 1922, Alex Xydias developed a love of customizing cars early in life. Alex' first hot rod was a '29 roadster he drove to Fairfax High School.

By the time WWII came along, Alex had built two more hot rods, one a '34 coupe and the other, a beautifully customized '34 cabriolet which he found in the lower basement garage at the Ambassador Hotel (now the location of a Taj Mahal of a school complex) in Los Angeles.

The So-Cal Speed Shop Team makes the cover of Hot Rod magazine, 1949, & The So-Cal Speed Shop 'Belly-Tanker' today on display at the 60th Pebble Beach Concours D'Elegance 2010. Image Credit: Federico de California

He is most remembered for starting the first dedicated speed and custom parts shop for remaking cars to look good and go fast which he established the minute he was out of the military, in Burbank, California after the world war ended. In 1946, Xydias opened the So-Cal Speed Shop in Burbank, CA and established the So-Cal Speed Shop Racing Team. The Team received countless accolades but perhaps none greater than for The So-Cal Special Streamliner, one of the first hot rods to go over 200 mph and featured on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine in January, 1949.

Image Credit: The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California

“It’s a great honor to be elected as Chairman,” said Xydias. “My longtime dear friend Wally Parks had tremendous vision and passion for the sport. As Chairman, together with the other board members, I’ll strive to continue Wally’s legacy to develop a museum that is vital to the motorsports community.”

Alex Xydias and board members Thomas K. McKernan, Dave McClelland, Peter Clifford, Gary Darcy, Wayne McMurtry and Steve Gibbs will oversee all Museum activities including the planning and growth of Museum exhibits, fundraising and the popular NHRA Hot Rod Reunions. They will guide, support and advocate for the mission and vision of NHRA Motorsports Museum.

Control central and the Media Center behind the starting line at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks

We all look forward to what new exhibits Alex and the board he heads will bring to the museum in 2011. Make sure to drop by the next time the NHRA runs at Pomona for the 51st annual Kragen O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals Thursday - Sunday, February 24-27, 2011 at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California.

... notes from The EDJE

No comments:

Post a Comment