Southern California is renowned internationally as a prime tourist destination because of the region’s Mediterranean-like climate and dozens of miles of white sandy beaches. However, as Wally Parks NHTA Motorsports Museum proves, Southern California is also a hotspot for aficionados of professional motorsports. Located at the eastern end of the Los Angeles County Fairplex, the Wally Parks NHTA Motorsports Museum is home to a vast collection of motorsport artifacts, as well as historically significant motorcycles and automobiles.
Created by a group of veteran NHRA employees, the Pomona, CA museum was founded by Wally Parks and renamed in his honor on the celebration of his 90th birthday. The Automobile Club of Southern California took over sponsorship of the museum, which retired Vice President of the NHRA Steve Gibbs led to develop and execute plans for refurbishing a nearly 30,000 square-foot building on the Fairplex property. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum opened to the public in 1998.
- J. Foyt’s Coyote Indy Cars highlight the exhibits on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. The priceless cars driven by the legendary Indy driver sit near the first dragster to exceed 300 miles per hour in a competition. Visitors get to see the Bob McClung helmet and photo collection, as well as an extensive inventory of Indianapolis 500 driver and press credentials. The museum presents valuable memorabilia documenting the early events that set land speed records. During the summer of 2008, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum unveiled a permanent collection of exhibits honoring hot rod racing, including racing artifacts donated by Don Prudhomme, Vic Edelbrock, and Parnelli Jones.
On the first Wednesday of every month except in September, the Wally Parks Motorsports Museum hosts Twilight Cruises. The popular event introduces visitors to hot rod vehicles by giving you the opportunity to drive one of the vehicles around an oval track. Sponsors of the monthly event schedule live music and recruit food vendors from popular local restaurants. Twilight Cruises hours run from 3 pm until 7 pm, with museum admission only three dollars after 3 pm. All of the proceeds generated from Twilight Cruises go the museum, which operates as a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization.
We encourage Holiday Inn Burbank guests to visit the museum during the week when attendance is lower than it is during weekend visits. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum opens at 10 am and closes at 5 pm every day except Tuesday when the facility is closed to the public. Located at 1101 West McKinley Avenue in Pomona, California, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum sits about 25 miles due east of Holiday Inn Burbank.
Take Interstate 5 to California State Route 134 east, which eventually meets Interstate 210 heading east. Exit the 210 south on California State Route 57 and then head east on Arrow Highway, which runs into Fairplex Drive. Take Fairplex Drive south until you reach McKinley Avenue. Once you start on McKinley Avenue, you are close enough to the museum to start searching for parking.