NHRA Motorsports Education - Passion and Drive Fueled by Education

May 1, 2007

Highland High School Tour - Auto Program  


The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum provides an exciting educational experience for all visitors that step foot into the Museum. Through our exhibits, interactive displays, seminars and events, the museum is able to provide an understanding of the automobile, particularly motorsports, and how it has evolved in American culture. We offer unique guided tours and lesson plans for various age groups. Please contact the Museum at (909) 622-2575 or email, themuseum@nhra.com.


The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is a wonderful resource for bringing classroom exhibitis alive! Our Exhibits provide a fascinating story of the far-reaching changes motorsports and hot rodding has provided modern society. From humble beginnings to today’s top dollar drags, from a hobby sport to mainstream professional drag shows; motorsports and designers/drivers/engineers has changed our everyday practices.


Tours are available year round Wednesday through Sunday from 10AM to 5PM. Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discount admission rates. Tours can range form 45 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Each tour includes a guided tour of current exhibits, an in depth look at our permanent collection, and the history behind the museum. We also offer a self-guided scavenger hunt. 

Tours can be custom tailored to the specific interests of your group, call our Educational Manager to book your visit today.


Each year the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum partners with the Los Angeles County FairKids Discovery Club Field Trips to bring thousands of students to explore the Fair. The FairKids Field Trips program is a California State standards-based field trip. It is for preschool through 8th grade students, public, private and home schools, and admission is absolutely free of charge. The field trip gives FairKids three hours on the grounds without the public. As part of the 2012 FairKids program, the Museum will introduce Neon and the American Road Exhibit with hands-on activities and an interactive curriculum. Featuring automotive-related neon, live "how neon works" demonstrations, history of neon along American highways and roads and vintage photographs. 


Previous exhibits:

  • Drag Racing 101 (2008 and 2009)
  • Axes and Axles: The Art of Building Cars and Guitars, Part 1 (2010)
  • Axes and Axles: The Art of Building Cars and Guitars, Part 2 (2011)

For more info and to participate in the 2012 FairKids Field Trips, please visit http://www.lacountyfair.com/2012/educationcommunity/fairKids.asp




Thanks to the sponsors of Wally's Garage.  Please visit their web sites by clicking on their names:

A and E Design Contractors, American Shine Products, Classic Industries, Grant ProductsHot Heads Research & Racing,  Injen Technologies, Pyrotec E3, RaceDeck, Zendex Tool Corporation-GoJak

New interactive area allows visitors to watch and learn about car restoration

 Rattler Rebuild
The Howard Cams Rattler was the first car scheduled for work in Wally's Garage seen with a young apprentice learning about front-engine dragsters from some long-time racers and car restorers.

“Museums shouldn’t be dusty places full of stuff just sitting around, kind of like an abandoned yard sale. Museums should be lively, interactive places where old stuff is used to learn new things.” Those are the words of Tony Thacker, executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Auto Club of So. Calif. That’s why he’s excited about Wally’s Garage, the just-opened interactive area within the Museum.

 Wally's Garage - Rose Dickinson, NHRA photo
 Work begins at Wally's Garage. Photo by NHRA Museum.
According to Thacker, “the idea behind Wally’s Garage was to have a place in the Museum where our staff could work on vehicles that needed minor restoration and where, when appropriate, the public could come and watch and be involved. They can ask questions but not lift wrenches!”

The first vehicle being worked on is the famous Howard Cams Rattler. “It’s one of the original nine California Hot Rod Reunion Cacklefest cars and was hugely successful in the late sixties at southland strips including Riverside where Larry Dixon Sr. won the 1969 Hot Rod Magazine Championship,” said Thacker. “The car was donated to the Parks Museum by Danny Porche in 2000 and was in need of some resuscitation. Now it’s being assembled in Wally’s Garage where part of the rebuild will be filmed for Jimmy Shine’s new TV show, Hard Shine. The car will also be featured in an upcoming issue of Vintage Fuel magazine.”

Thacker added that “involved companies would be invited to use Wally’s Garage as a place to host product introductions, demonstrations and even news conferences.”

Thacker said A and E Design Contractors of San Bernardino, Calif. approached the Museum about installing a garage model. “They are car guys who wanted to do something exciting for the Museum,” Thacker said.

Other companies involved include Snap-On Tools, Grant Products, Checker Schuck’s Kragen and JNK Products.

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