Neon and the American Road Exhibit Opens May 2

Posted on February 27, 2012

The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California has collaborated with the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) to open a new exhibit, Neon and the American Road, on Wednesday, May 2 during the monthly Prolong Twilight Cruise. The exhibit is dedicated to automotive-related neon and their illuminating presence across American highways.

Located in the Museum’s Hall of Champions, the exhibit explores the history and development of neon signs along American highways, and how neon changed the look of the nighttime highway scene.

“This new exhibit in partnership with MONA will be enlightening for visitors of all ages. To be able to educate visitors on the unique connection between the American road, neon and the automobile is going to be a treat,” said Museum Executive Director Tony Thacker.

The exhibit will feature auto-related neon signs from MONA’s permanent collection as well as from other private neon collectors.

Some of the iconic neon signs featured in the exhibit are:  

  • The Pep Boys (Manny, Moe and Jack)
  • Animated porcelain enamel United Motors gas station sign
  • The OK Chevrolet used car sign
  • A Lincoln Zephyr window sign

 Kids Neon Workshops
A neon fabricating workshop will be built as part of the exhibit display to provide ongoing demonstrations on sign restoration. During the Los Angeles County Fair in September, neon fabricators will conduct neon workshops for all visitors. Live neon demonstrations will also be conducted during the Twilight Cruises, every first Wednesday of the month.

“Neon fascinates people of all ages because of its brilliant colors and its appearance of being “alive” when viewed close-up,” said MONA Director Kim Koga. “The exhibit is a great new addition to the Museum and will relate to the golden era of neon and American highways, roads and streets.”

During the Prolong Twilight Cruise, admission to the Museum and Cruise are free, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Stay for the entertaining monthly gathering of some of the coolest hot rods, customs, classics and everything in between. More info about the Cruises on http://museum.nhra.com/cruise.asp

Neon and the American Road Exhibit will run through December 2012.

For more information about this exhibit and events, visit the Museum website at http://museum.nhra.com or call 909-622-3389.

The Museum of Neon Art (http://www.neonmona.org/) encourages learning and curiosity through the preservation, collection and interpretation of neon, electric and kinetic art. MONA is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit art organization. MONA is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. 

Founded in 1998 and named for the founder of the National Hot Rod Association, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by Automobile Club of Southern California 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, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST. Current NHRA members are admitted free and Auto Club members enjoy a $2 discount. Admission for non-members is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 60 and older, $6 for juniors six through 15, and free for children under the age of five. The Museum is also available for 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 http://museum.nhra.com.

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