Tag Archives: motorsports

Get Your Motor Running: 25 of the World’s Best Motorsports Museums

white racecar

If you love all things motorsports, delve into the long history of racing by taking a trip to any of these museums dedicated to roaring engines and cheering crowds. You can see vintage and beloved cars up close while discovering more about worldwide racetracks and organizations.

We’ve found 25 international motorsports museums that will make you want to plan a road trip, stat.

Barber Motorsports Museum, Alabama

Racer George Barber opened the Barber Motorsports Museum in 1988. Although he preferred Porsches, that museum had already been done, so he decided to open a motorcycle museum instead. At least 650 motorcycles, some vintage and some modern, are on display. The bikes are regularly switched out so you can eventually see Barber’s whole collection of 1,400 bikes.

Eastern Museum of Motor Racing, Pennsylvania

A group of motorsports fans called the Williams Grove Old Timers would spend a lot of time together talking shop, so in 1975 they decided to take their collective passion and make a museum dedicated to racing. The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing has 40 acres of space that includes a racetrack. Sometimes, you can even see the display cars being driven.

National Motor Museum, England

In the village of Beaulieu, you can find the National Motor Museum, which mixes motorcycles with other vehicles on display. Some exhibits that you may see include World War I cars, a chronology of the British Land Speed record, an auto garage from the 1930s, the history of the Formula One and more. More than 250 cars and other vehicles comprise these displays.

Grand Prix Museum, Macau

The Macau Grand Prix is a beloved racing event. For the race’s 40th anniversary in 1993, the Grand Prix Museum became a public attraction. Celebrating a motorsports history that dates back to 1954, the museum has since undergone renovations to celebrate later anniversaries.

Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, Florida

Daytona Beach is a famed racing destination, but beyond the track you can also find the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. No matter what kind of racing you enjoy, nearly 50 vehicles are on display at any given time. You can also check out about 100 exhibits chock full of memorabilia. Play driving simulation games and watch videos highlighting the history of racing to close out your day.

old cars in a row

Musee des 24 Heures du Mans, France

A museum established in honor of the 24 Hours of Le Mans event, the Musee des 24 Heures du Mans was actually called the Automobile Museo de la Sarthe when it was built in 1961. It wasn’t until 1991 that it changed focus to the Le Mans race. When you visit, you can see car pictures and videos, race collectibles, and more than 100 vehicles that have participated in Le Mans races over the years.

Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, California

Wally Parks himself opened the NHRA Motorsports Museum in association with the Automobile Club of Southern California. Since 1998, race lovers have been able to stroll across 28,500 square feet of motorsports history. There’s a “Chrisman, Brinker Gallery of Speed” exhibit that opened in 2014 and also artwork, driving uniforms, helmets, race trophies, and almost 50 vehicles from various generations.

Hendrick Motorsports Museum & Team Store, North Carolina

Another major racing city is Charlotte, North Carolina, which is home to the Hendrick Motorsports Museum & Team Store. NASCAR fans should not miss this one, as you can learn more about the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, discovering the technology and thinking that makes these races possible. The museum is free to visit.

Spa-Francorchamps Racetrack Museum, Belgium

Another famous European motorsports museum, the Spa-Francorchamps Racetrack Museum celebrates Belgium’s rich racing history. You can see beloved vehicles such as Coopers, Porsches, Chevrons, Marches and Ferraris across the ages. As you walk through the museum’s cellar, you’ll feel like you took a step back through time when you look at documents and other old memorabilia.

Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, Florida

Whether you know him as the “King of the Dragsters” or “Big Daddy,” Don Garlits is one of the most popular drag racers in the history of the sport. The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing is his creation, and it includes 17 of his own World Championship titles and a slew of classic cars from the beginning of Garlits’ racing career in the 1950s to his retirement.

Arizona Open Wheel Racing Museum and the Motorsports Hall of Fame, Arizona

You can keep yourself entertained all day when visiting the Arizona Open Wheel Racing Museum, which shares a building with the Motorsports Hall of Fame. Steve Stroud opened the museum after customers at his Phoenix Parker Store would inquire about his memorabilia. With 16,000 square feet of space, there’s plenty of room for exhibits featuring cars from the Phoenix International Speedway, the Copper World Classic and more.

Richard Childress Racing (RCR) Museum, North Carolina

Richard Childress Racing has won 15 championships in nearly 50 years. Celebrate that heritage at the RCR Museum, which is 47,000 square feet. Any vehicle that Childress or his team drove is on display, including the Monte Carlo that won the 1998 Daytona 500, All Star vehicles driven by Dale Earnhardt between 1995 and 2000, Earnhardt’s No. 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet, and more.

Hajek Motorsports Museum, Oklahoma

Heavily featuring cars and memorabilia from Bill Elliott, Dale Earnhardt, Bob Glidden, Don Nicholson and other racing legends, the Hajek Motorsports Museum was founded by racer Brent Hajek. The museum is a repurposed school that includes the Hajek Motorsports Racing Car Collection. Don’t miss other gear from the likes of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Joe Amato, Dale Jarrett, Kenny Bernstein and more.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, Indiana

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is yet another revered US destination for motorsports fanatics. If you’re here to see a race, make sure to book some time for a trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Founded in 1956 by Karl Kizer and Anton Hulman Jr., the museum expanded in 1975 and is now 30,000 square feet. The Hall of Fame is still active, while the museum itself features vehicles of all kinds, including drag racers, motorcycles, midget cars, NASCARs and INDYCARs.

Donington Grand Prix Exhibition, England

The Donington Grand Prix Exhibition is also a must-see. You can visit any of its 130 exhibits, full of antique Williams and McLarens. The Wheatcroft Collection, created by Kevin Wheatcroft, features motorcycles and cars driven during World War II. “The time is right to open the doors to some of these treasures,” Wheatcroft said. “I have been badgered for many years to show these vehicles to the public and very much look forward to adding more vehicles as each month goes by.”

fords in museum

Hockenheimring Motor-Sport-Museum, Germany

The Hockenheimring track Baden-Wurttemberg hosts the German Grand Prix. Nearby is the Hockenheimring Motor-Sport-Museum, which was founded in 1986 and has more than 300 exhibits showcasing touring cars, bikes and Formula 1 winners. With 23,680 square feet of space, the cars that you see in the exhibits are switched out regularly. Guided tours are available.

Museu do Automobilismo Brasileiro, Brazil

If you’re ever traveling in Brazil, particularly Passo Fundo, don’t miss the Museu do Automobilismo Brasileiro, which translates to the Museum of Brazilian Auto Racing. The Prix Hotel, erected in 2012, is nearby. The museum opened in 1996 but expanded in later years. Learn more about the history of Brazilian auto racing with more than 100 cars produced in various eras.

World of Speed Museum, Oregon

A nonprofit, the World of Speed Museum encompasses all racing, including hydroplanes, NASCAR, open wheels, motorcycles, land speed racing and drag racing. Any time you visit, you can see nearly 100 cars in changing exhibits, including the 1979 Oldsmobile 442 driven by Cale Yarborough, the 1988 Chevy Monte Carlo driven by Terry Labonte, the 1974 Dodge Charger driven by Jim Vandiver, the 2000 Chevy Impala driven by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and more.

Museo Ferrari, Italy

The Museo Ferrari in Maranello is a Mecca for many and a testament to the history of this luxury car manufacturer. Test your own sharp driving instincts with interactive pit stop walls at the World Championship and Formula One exhibits. Other exhibits are changed out often, so no two experiences are alike. Watch clips of Grand Prix races through the years, take souvenir photos and drive in a Formula One virtual simulator while you check out some seriously impressive vehicles.

New England Auto Racers (NEAR) Mobile Hall of Fame Museum, Connecticut

Dig deep into New England racing history at the NEAR Mobile Hall of Fame Museum. This nonprofit relies on work from volunteer car lovers and donations from Connecticut patrons to keep running. Unlike the other museums on this list, this NEAR establishment is mobile and travels with the organization. You’ll have to check the NEAR calendar to see when the museum is coming to a town near you.

silver car

Museo Juan Manuel Fangio, Argentina

The Museo Juan Manuel Fangio honors Argentinian racing great Juan Manuel Fangio and is just a short stroll from his childhood home. A Formula One champion five times over, Fangio’s prizes are all on display, as are the 27 vehicles that he raced to achieve victory, like his 1939 Chevrolet and 1929 Ford A. Cars that belonged to other popular racers, including Edward House and Juan Galvez, are also proudly shown off.

National Motor Racing Museum, Australia

Expand your horizons as you take in the thrill of Australian motorsports at the National Motor Racing Museum. The Bathurst Light Car Club opened the museum in 1988, and the Bathurst Regional Council became owners in 1997. With 60 motorcycles and 50 cars on the museum’s grounds, it’s a good thing the building is open seven days a week.

Miller Motorsports Park Museum, Utah

Housed inside the Comfort Inn & Suites in Tooele, Utah, is the Miller Motorsports Park Museum. Created by car fanatic Larry H. Miller, the museum began as a place for Miller to teach others about Carroll Shelby’s Cobra. His collection grew to include Shelby Mustangs, Ford GT40s and more. Some of his vehicles have competed in races, like the 1966 MKII Ford GT40, the 1964 Cobra Daytona Coupe and more.

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum, Iowa

Can’t get enough of sprint cars? The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum in Knoxville, Iowa, should be your next road trip destination. This nonprofit was established in 1992 and has four stories. The 8,000-square-foot Donald Lamberti National Sprint Car Museum is on the first floor. With 25 vehicles plus various memorabilia such as helmets and trophies, there’s a lot to take in.

NASCAR Hall of Fame, North Carolina

Immerse yourself in all things NASCAR at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. When you walk in, there’s a huge video screen with a looping video introducing you to the history of this racing giant. The exhibits change during any given month, but some permanent fixtures include race memorabilia such as drivers’ uniforms, photos and original vehicles. You can learn what it’s like to be in a real NASCAR race with a virtual simulator. After you practice, climb into a NASCAR replica vehicle on a recreated track to digitally compete with others.

 

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sign114, parkland75, fillter, Wikimediaimages

True Grit: 25 Women’s Racing Organizations for Cars, Bikes and More

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Cars, bikes, racing — these aren’t men’s worlds anymore.

We’ve already written about some great women’s motorcycle clubs (twice, in fact), but now let’s shine a spotlight on some women’s car clubs and racing organizations. Ours is a world full of female gearheads and great female racers. These 25 groups below are proof of that.

Motorsports Groups

Horsepower & Heels, Nationwide

Erica Ortiz, a drag racer and the founder of Horsepower & Heels, liked racing with the men, but she wanted the respect that they so effortlessly received. So, she decided to band with other women and start her own racing organization. Together with photographer Eddie Maloney and contributors Taylor Hyatt and Kelly Morris, the team at Horsepower & Heels promote women’s racing. Ortiz still races and is a multi-time champion.

Women in Motorsports, Inc., Nationwide

Women in Motorsports, Inc. supports female racers with professional aspirations. You can link up with other racers and learn more about training, bike parts, equipment and more. If you want to become a data technician, suspension technician, chassis mechanic, crew chief or work in a similar field, this group has the connections to help you get there.

FIA Women in Motorsport, International

As a worldwide motorsports group, the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) also happens to have its own branch devoted to women’s racers called FIA Women in Motorsport. Founded in 2009, the group “aims to create a sports culture which facilitates and values the full participation of women in all aspects of motor sport.” Former rally driver Michele Mouton is the group’s president.

Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports (WAM Inc.), North Carolina

WAM is the fusion of two NASCAR organizations, the Busch Series Ladies Association and the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary. Established in 2004, the group is involved in North Carolina charities such as Royal Oaks Elementary, Jeffrey’s Toy Closet (which gives to people affected by disasters and sick children) and Mooresville Soup Kitchen.

Car Chix, Nationwide

Car Chix is a motorsports organization for women that promotes and advertises women in all aspects of racing at any skill level. Jeanette DesJardins established the group in 2010. Make sure not to miss the Drag Racing for Life Breast Cancer Fundraiser, which the Car Chix have hosted since their formation. People have donated more than $50,000 since the event’s inception. The women support other charities, including those for multiple sclerosis, children’s health and more.

Grace Autosport, Georgia

As “the first racing team driven by women,” the team at Grace Autosport in Atlanta does more than just drive. Off the track, they “promote and inspire young women to pursue their dreams within the field of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).” You can pick up some cool T-shirts, hoodies, hats or rubber bracelets to show your support.

British Women Racing Drivers Club (BWRDC), UK

Mary Wheeler founded the BWRDC back in 1962, making it one of the oldest women’s motorsports organizations around. Members participate in races of all kinds, including karting and rallying; some even join championship races. As long as you have a National or International A MSA license, you’re welcome to become a full club member.

blue car on track

Automotive Clubs

Chassis Lassies, Colorado

Founded in 1995, the Chassis Lassies was formed from original members of the Colorado Camaro Club, another all-women organization. The members typically spend their time participating in parades and cruises and attending car shows. Their big annual event is the Weekend Mystery Trip, a yearly staple on the Chassis Lassies’ calendar.

Diesel Dolls, Georgia

In the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, the women of Diesel Dolls are proving that they rule the roost. This newer group, established in 2013, lives by the slogan of “beautiful women and beautiful diesels.” They’re always welcoming interested new members who love racing and giving back to their community.

Lady Luck CC, West Coast

If you have a car from before 1969, you’re welcome in the Lady Luck CC. This group is led by its president, Betty, who owns a 1949 Kaiser Traveler. If you can’t attend any of the group’s drives, you can always check out the Lady Luck Car Care merchandize on its website; all items are environmentally friendly.

Octane Angels Car Club, California

Another group that prefers older cars is the Octane Angels Car Club. This Southern California group writes, “We love our cars, family and our friends.” If you have your own classic car, bring it around and join the club.

TBSS Ladies, Nationwide

At TBSS Ladies, it’s go big or go home. These women drive trucks instead of cars and call themselves “the most badass truck driving women out there!” This relatively new group is gaining members all the time.

Hell’s Belles Car Club, Nationwide

With branches also in Seattle and Los Angeles, Hell’s Belles Car Club originated in San Francisco, where founders Andrea “Crafty” DeHart and Mary Mack decided to start an organization for women who are passionate about classic cars. “The founders reckoned it was pretty special for a gal to own a classic car, but a testament of true love to own a sled in San Francisco,” they explain. As members relocated, other branches were founded that still exist today.

Miss Shifters, Washington

Yet another club for classic car lovers, Spokane, Washington’s Miss Shifters is for women whos rides are pre-1979. The group hosts monthly meetings where you can learn more about the organization’s objectives and planned activities. You can also pick up some Miss Shifters merch on the group’s website.

Heart Wrenchers Auto Club, California

A few women enrolled in the automotive program at Skyline College in San Bruno, California, decided to start their own organization in 2010. They called it the Heart Wrenchers Auto Club. Even though the members are still full-time students, they have developed a mentor program at area high schools and host fundraisers and other events.

woman looking back at other cyclists

Cycling Groups

Velo Girls, California

Velo Girls have members of all ages that gather from Half Moon Bay to Mendocino to Morgan Hill and beyond. Established in 2002, this group was awarded the Club of the Year title by USA Cycling in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008. Riders enjoy cruising on cyclocrossers, mountain bikes and more.

Little Bellas, Vermont

In 2007, Sabra and Lea Davison started Little Bellas, an organization in Jericho, Vermont, that teaches young girls ages 7 to 16 years old how to ride mountain bikes and eat healthily. The organization has become so popular that it’s grown beyond Vermont to other chapters across the country. Girls can join day camps or enroll in summer programs.

Women’s Cycling Association (WCA), nationwide

You don’t necessarily have to ride to be a part of WCA; as long as you care about women riders, you’re welcome here. “The WCA seeks to unify and represent women cyclists and advocate on their behalf; to sporting governing bodies, race organizers, and team management…the WCA will work towards meeting our platform goals by lobbying for equal rights for women cyclists, reviewing existing policies and advocating for changes, and networking with grassroots programs that provide support and guidance to cyclists,” the organization says.

The Amy D. Foundation, Colorado

Amy Alison Dombroski was a professional cyclist and U23 National Championship winner before her life was sadly cut short. The Amy D. Foundation was established to memorialize her. This Colorado nonprofit supports the development of female cyclists by providing equipment and mentoring to up-and-coming competitive athletes, and working with Little Bellas to inspire young riders.

PA Women’s Cycling, Pennsylvania

Established in 2007, PA Women’s Cycling seeks to unite women riders in the state and inform them about events in their area. No matter where you live in Pennsylvania, this group only communicates digitally, so you’re never too far away. Some of the teams that are part of this organization include Alliance Environmental in Southeastern, Bikeline/LWA in Lehigh Valley and CCV/Iron Hill in Chester County.

woman cyclist

Mountain2Mountain, Colorado

Nonprofit organization Mountain2Mountain seeks “to amplify the voices of women and girls through access to education, the power of street art, the solidarity of activism, and the freedom of the bicycle.”

Established in 2006, the group became a nonprofit several years later. The Global Solidarity Ride, in association with JustGiving, takes place in multiple countries. The organization also has an Afghan Cycling Program, which lets women cyclists ride in Afghanistan (Mountain2Mountain’s riders were the first to do so) to promote gender equality.

Bikefit Sunflowers, Ontario, Canada

In Canada, nonprofit Bikefit Sunflowers host bike events between May and September, going out weekly. Your skill level shouldn’t deter you from putting on your helmet and getting out there, especially considering the group always has a ride leader who has cycled for years and can help those who are less experienced. Riders are divided into two groups: the Sport Rider is more athletic and skilled while the Recreational Rider is in it for fun and to learn more.

CycloFemme, Nationwide

The women at CycloFemme have a mantra: “Honor the past, celebrate the present, empower the future.” The group is planning a big ride in May 2016, and you’re welcome to bike along with them. Do watch the short video that the members put together called “CycloFemme: One of Many.”

Wisconsin Women’s Cycling, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Women’s Cycling welcomes any woman in the state with a bicycle. Just be prepared to ride almost any time of year because the members of this group are known to bike in both the winter coldness and summer heat. In July 2016, the group will hold its annual Wisconsin Bike Festival and Women’s Century Ride Supporting the Wisconsin Women’s Fund in Cedarburg, which is known for its picturesque riding paths.

Black Girls Do Bike, Nationwide

With chapters across the US, Black Girls Do Ride’s mission statement is to prove just that. If you find that there are no chapters near you, the group encourages you to start one. You only need a lead rider (known as a “Shero” in this club), and then you can set up a Facebook page and events for your chapter.

 

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©zigf/123RF Stock Photo, Up-Free, John Trefethen, Coda2

Out on the Ice! 25 Winter Motorsports Groups and Orgs to Check Out

car in the snow

The weather’s frosty, the ice is thick and while most people just want to stay inside as much as possible it’s prime season for winter motorsports athletes.

Across the world, these inventive racers have hopped on almost anything on two or four wheels and taken it for a spin across the ice and snow. We’ve found 25 winter motorsports groups and organizations dedicated to ice karting, snowmobile racing and ice driving that prove that racing has no off-season.

Ice Karting Organizations

Xtreme International Ice Racing (XiiR)

Although the Speedway bikes that XiiR racers favor may look small, these can achieve blistering speeds due to their four-valve engine (which racers fill with nitromethane). This organization calls its brand of ice karting  “one of the fastest sports in the world.”  

Ruka Adventures

In icy Finland is Ruka Adventures, a rental agency that is your guide to the outdoors in winter or summer. While there’s ice fishing, snowshoeing, husky- and reindeer-sledding and snowmobile safaris, few activities are comparable in terms of heart-pounding thrills as ice karting. The organization reminds you that “technical skill beats speed.” And if that snowmobile safari sounds too good to pass up, you can opt for a package that bundles a short safari with a race on the ice.

Aspen Ice Karting

Colorado’s Aspen Ice Karting invites you to “get sideways” in the snow. All karts are CRG USA brand with Kold Kutter screws and Heidenau tires designed for slippery ice riding. If you happen to own your own kart, you can get it fitted with these screws and tires and then go racing.

AccessLapland

As AccessLapland way up in Rovaniemi proves, Finland truly embraces its below-freezing temperatures. Go for the gold in an open race on a 1,800-foot track where you can compete with anyone. Bring your friends and family (up to 10 people) for a private race where there’s no one on the ice but your group. Staff will take video and images of your race, and snacks are even included.

Val Thorens

A frosty ski resort in France, Val Thorens has been declared the best ski resort in Europe for years by the World Ski Awards. While you can get active with traditional activities such as skiing, you can also go ice buggying, ice driving and ice karting. The resort’s track at the Alain Prost driving circuit is a lengthy 980 feet.

ford on the ice

Ice Driving Organizations

Lapland Ice Driving

Spaced out across 1,250 acres is Lapland Ice Driving in Ipswich, England. All that space means the organization can offer 12 different courses. There’s a two-day Maserati ice driving package where you get to drive up to five times each day in the Ghibli S Q4 and the Granturismo MC Stradale. There’s even a couple’s package ideal for anniversaries or birthdays.

Below Zero Ice Driving

Since 2005, Below Zero Ice Driving has provided car lovers the chance to experience the challenge of driving on slippery terrain. The organization moved to Sweden in 2012 and now often gets traffic from Are, which has a large ski resort in the vicinity. The Porsche 911s are designed for wintry driving, as they include studded tires, an FIA integral roll cage and a 300-brake horsepower 3.0-liter engine.

Bridgestone Winter Driving School

A renowned producer of car parts and tires, Bridgestone’s Winter Driving School in Colorado has appeared in Men’s Health and Parade Magazine, and on MSNBC, HDTV, CNN and more. For everyday driving, enroll in a safety class where you can become an expert on switching gears and braking in cold weather. The performance classes are for the true speed lover, particularly the Fifth Gear Fastest Ride on Ice class. For two days, you’ll learn the same tricks that rally drivers use when racing. This class is small, with only room for eight so you get plenty of one-on-one attention.

Ice Driver Ltd

Make a whole vacation out of your ice driving experience at Norway’s Ice Driver Ltd. The Vestlia Ski Resort is nearby, and although you could ski, you’ll be down on the nearby icy lake, learning from pros in the motorsports industry. After a few hours on the ice, a hot meal will be provided before you hop back on the snowy path.

Ice Driving Canada

Another country that delights in the cold is Canada. Quebec’s Ice Driving Canada puts you behind the wheel of a Porsche Boxster as you choose from a variety of packages. The Discovery program instructs you on weight transfer impact and how to adjust your position to handle sliding. The Hot Laps program lets you see what the Boxster can do as a professional motocross driver takes you three laps around an icy track.

tracks in the snow

Kall Auto Lodge

Jamtland, Sweden, is home of the Kall Auto Lodge, which boasts a hunting cabin, fishing, and spa and health services. There’s rally racing, circuit racing and the Ice Driving Xperience, where you cruise in a Porsche 911 and learn how to drive like a pro on the ice. Once you get the hang of that, move on to the Below Zero program, where professional rally racers will guide you as you blitz past snowbanks and icy terrain. Wrap up your afternoon with a fresh meal and drink.

Evolution 2 Val d’Isere

As an adventure and skiing school that never closes down, Evolution 2 Val d’Isere is part of a ski resort in France. Learn how to drift, turn and slam on your brakes in an emergency, then prepare to feel the snow and ice under your tires as you drive a Porsche Boxster for 10 laps (Subarus are also available).

Ice Driving Center

The Ice Driving Center in Kuusamo, Finland, asks customers a specific question upfront: Sporty or classy? Depending on your choice, you can participate in a tailored ice-racing experience. The Sporty Driving School has “conditions for experienced drivers” as you select from a vehicle arsenal that includes a Lamborghini Gallardo. At the Classy Driving School, which focuses on “safety performance driving and enjoyable moments,” you can ride in an Impreza, Evolution or an xDrive.

Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds Ice Drive

Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds in Cardrona, New Zealand, began hosting ice racing on a test basis before discovering that it was an incredibly popular pastime. The Premium Ice Driving Experience blends “luxury accommodation, exquisite cuisine, and true New Zealand hospitality in a spectacular and private alpine setting.” Don’t forget, winter in New Zealand is summertime in the US, so plan your visit for July or August.

Hotel St. Michael’s Ice Driving School

Looking at the Hotel St. Michael in picturesque Livigno, Italy, you wouldn’t believe that there was an ice driving school hidden on its grounds. However, this school is a 20-year mainstay. Practice drives and races take place at the nearby Livigno Ice Arena. Choose from four different programs: the safe driving class, the sporting class for a bigger challenge, the super sporting class and the extreme class, which is the most advanced of all and welcomes those who have raced before.

snowmobile racers in a row

Snowmobile Racing Organizations

The New Hampshire Snowmobile Association (NHSA)

While the other racing organizations on this list are all about high-octane fun, NHSA wants to present snowmobiling in a different light, one that can be “a safe family recreation.” This organization has existed since 1969 and teaches safety classes, has monthly group meetings to promote the organization’s objectives, and rides in the picturesque New Hampshire snow.

United States X-Country Snowmobile Racing (USXC)

Every year since 2012, USXC in Spicer, Minnesota, has transformed ice racing, blending it with racing in the woods and ditches to make the events even more challenging. The season runs from December until March, and new members are welcome to join each year.

Utah Snowmobile Association

As a resource for trails, clubs and snowmobiling events in Utah, the Utah Snowmobile Association underscores all this fun by promoting safety above all else. The nearly 30-year-old organization is your gateway to every snowmobile ride in the state.

Wisconsin Kids Snowmobile Racing Association (WKSRA)

Who says only adults get to have fun? The WKSRA is all about the kids. Children ages 4 through 15 are welcome to race during the organization’s season, which runs from December through March. Whether a child is a beginner or they’ve practiced for years, they can join three classes: the Juniors, the 120’s and the Kitty Cats. After some training, they’ll race against others who match their age and skillset.

The Saints Snowmobile Club

In Saint Charles, Michigan, the weather gets especially frigid. That’s when the Saints Snowmobile Club comes out to play. If you want to hang with these racers, you need a vintage snowmobile.

snowmobile racing in action

Rock Maple Racing Cross Country (RMR XC)

New Hampshire group RMR XC calls itself the “most widely-recognized and respected sanctioning body for snowmobile cross country racing in the northeastern United States.” Learn the ropes with classes that some of its own racers teach, which are organized for kids and adults.

Michigan Snowmobile Association (MSA)

More than 100,000 racers outside of Michigan and more than 380,000 snowy faithful within the state are part of the MSA. They receive the publication Michigan Snowmobile News and can enroll in safety classes. Link up with other smaller Michigan snowmobiling organizations as a part of the MSA’s Adopt-A-Trail program, where you set up events for groups like the Pere Marquette Snowmobile Club, the Snow Drifters of Hamilton Co. and Wayland Snowmobile Club.

Oval Racers Alliance (OVA)

Nonprofit organization OVA is passionate about ice oval racing on snowmobiles and other vehicles. The group has aligned with other key organizations in Minnesota (the OVA itself is based in Anoka) so its riders can participate in the best events that the state has to offer. Some races on the calendar include Eddy’s Resort race in Onamia and the Winter Spectacular Alexandria.

Lucky Thumb Motorcycle Club

Although a motorcycle club by name, Lucky Thumb is based in Deford, so its riders are certainly accustomed to the bitter cold. It’s no wonder then that the group has snowmobile racing in the winter. Throughout the season, riders of various ages compete, earning points. Once the weather begins to warm up, Lucky Thumb determines a winner.

National Straightline Snowmobile Racing (NSSR)

Whether you enjoy watching snowmobile races or gliding along the snow and ice yourself, the NSSR welcomes all fans of the sport. Speed runs on tracks measuring 1,000 feet are the norm for this organization, which was established in 1986 (the same year that it held its World Record Series). This group’s racers often venture out to Canada, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and other chilly states.  

 

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Skeeze, oskaline, nabdulwa, Charles Yeager

The Thrill of the Chill: 25 Winter Races

ice race row of cars

You know the drill.

Ten minutes before you plan to leave for work, you venture outside in the freezing cold and, watching your breath form before you as you do so, get the thing warmed up. Most of us hate getting inside of cold, frozen cars.

A select group of drivers, however, embraces the cold. Many of them can nimbly handle a car or motorcycle in sub-zero temperatures, smoothly drifting over a patch of ice when, for most of us, our muscles would be too frozen to react.

Here are 25 winter races in the US and Canada where you can catch these awesome drivers in action.

Ice Speedway’s World Championship ICE Racing Series

The ICE Racing Series is one of your best chances to see ATV and motorbike races on a frozen track, which is just exhilarating stuff if you’re a racing fan.

The first World Championship ICE Racing Series at Ice Speedway took place in 1977 in Oklahoma. The first event this year took place on Saturday, January 9th, at the National US Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Illinois. The race on Saturday, January 23rd, at the Ford Center in Evansville was for the MidWest Championships.

More events will be added to the calendar soon, so be sure to check the website for details.

The Wisconsin State Ice Racing Championship in Dexterville, Wisconsin

The Central Wisconsin Ice Racing Association is all about winter bike and ATV riding. With the mild December 2015 weather, however, some of the events on its schedule had to be altered.

That said, on Sunday, February 7th, the Weyauwega Pro/Am is going forth as planned, as is the Wisconsin State Ice Racing Championship in Dexterville on Sunday the 14th. This event has a 20-year history and is one of the favorites of the CWIRA members. The group finishes February with two more races, one on the 21st at Lake Arbutus in Hatfield and the other on the 28th in Humbird.

The Adirondack Motor Enthusiast Club’s (AMEC) Ice Racing Championships in Broadalbin, New York

“Drivers refuse to put their racecar away when the snow flies,” AMEC says. Its members and volunteers have been busily working since late 2015 to prepare for this year’s Ice Racing Championships. Look for events every Sunday all winter long around the region. Times change to accommodate weather, so check the AMEC website for precise times and locations.

The Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Winter Flurry Races in Atlanta, Georgia

Just because it doesn’t get very cold in Atlanta doesn’t mean that the Atlanta Motor Speedway can’t have some winter fun. On Saturdays from February until April, you can check out the Winter Flurry Races. These exciting icy rides are a delight to watch.

The International Ice Racing Association’s (IIRA) Thunder Bay Autosport Club Races in Rochester, Minnesota

The IIRA has already had to cancel a number of events on its 2016 calendar due to unseasonably balmy weather. While that’s a major bummer, it also means that the group’s racers are just champing at the bit to go.

They’ll get their chance on the weekend of February 6th and 7th in the Don Kettering Memorial Race. The IIRA also has events planned for February 13th and the weekend of February 20th at Madison Lake, and the weekend of February 27th at East Rush Lake.

yellow car on snow

Kern County Raceway Park’s Winter Series at the Dirt Track in Bakersfield, California

Bring your jacket when you see the Winter Series at the Dirt Track hosted at Kern County Raceway Park. The first two of the four Saturday events already took place on January 16th and the 30th, so don’t miss the last two on February 13th and the 26th. A variety of cars are welcome, including b-mods, hobby stocks, American stocks, mini dwarfs and even modified vehicles.

“With the clay we have brought in and the improvements we have made to the race track, drivers will love the racing surface and the fans will be treated to some great racing during the Winter Series here at the Dirt Track,” race organizer John Piker says.

Alaska Sports Car Lions Club in Anchorage, Alaska

Few states have drivers as adept at ice racing as Alaska. The Alaska Sports Car Lions Club will host ice races all winter long from January until April. Every race is on a Saturday, so come by on February 13th and the 27th, March 12th and the 26th, and April 2nd to round out the season. All races take place on the Big Lake and start at 11 a.m. They allow caged trucks, caged studded cars, and non-caged non-studded cars to race.

Canyon Speedway’s Winter Challenge 2016 in Peoria, Arizona

Chill out, even in Arizona, when you attend the Winter Challenge 2016 at Canyon Speedway. The series takes place in late January with practices the night before each event. If you missed the Winter Challenge, the races here don’t stop. There are plenty of other events from February to October nearly every single weekend.

Cocopah Speedway’s IMCA Winter Nationals in Somerton, Arizona

Another option for Arizona residents who can’t get enough of winter racing is the IMCA Winter Nationals at Cocopah Speedway. The first night kicks off on Friday, February 5th, with modified vehicles, stock cars, sportmods and hobby stocks all vying for the top prize.

Make sure to come back for other nights of the Winter Nationals on Saturday, February 6th; Thursday, February 9th; Friday, February 12th; and Saturday, February 13th.

The Lake George Carnival in Lake George, New York

We already mentioned how AMEC will compete at the Lake George Carnival, but there’s even more to see in February. Each weekend, you can enjoy food and entertainment for kids and adults, but the real moment that everyone’s waiting for is the racing, which is different each weekend.

On the first weekend, from the 6th to the 7th, see unique outhouse racing. During the second weekend, on the 13th and 14th, there’s ATV ice racing. The third weekend, the 20th and 21st, will feature cars blitzing on a sheet of ice. Close out another successful year on the 27th and 28th with 4×4 truck racing.

foggy snow

Midwest Ice-Racing Association (MIRA) in Hayward and Superior, Wisconsin

Keep your fingers crossed for the cold weather to continue so MIRA can get its season underway. The group already had to cancel several races in early January because the weather was too warm, but now that it’s cooled off considerably, the February 13th race at Eddy’s Resort in Mille Lacs, Minnesota, and the February 27th race at Barkers Island in Superior should go ahead as scheduled.

Our Gang Ice Racing in Georgetown, Colorado

Founded in 1965, Our Gang Ice Racing started off with a few drivers who enjoyed wrapping chains around the tires of their 4x4s and racing them in wintry conditions. Nearly 40 years later, not much has changed. The group’s season started in mid-January, but there’s still time to catch the Studs & Cheaters races at Georgetown Lake on Saturdays in February and the Bare Rubber races at Georgetown Lake on Sundays in February.

American Motorcyclist Association’s (AMA) Ice Race Grand Championships in Waterford, Michigan

Michigan residents, keep your schedule open the weekend of February 13th and the 14th, when the talented AMA racers gather on an oval-shaped course at the Waterford track to determine which one wins it all.

Ken Saillant, the AMA track racing manager, spoke excitedly about the event: “Our AMA racers wait all year for this event. White Lake Racing’s partnership with the AMA offers racers a top-notch event to showcase their talents. The facility is located just outside the Detroit metro area, so we’re expecting the race to draw a lot of local fans in addition to racers and their families.”

Clear Creek County 2016 Ice Racing Championships in Georgetown, Colorado

The Clear Creek County Ice Racing Championships take place in Georgetown, Colorado. March is still frosty enough for winter racing, and on Sunday the 6th you can check out the 2016 Cheater Invitational and then witness street bare rubber cars competing for the bronze, pro street studs battling for the silver and competition studs racing for the gold.

Central New York Ice Racing Association Inc. (CYNIRA) in Dundee Township, New York

The big race is on for CYNIRA on the weekend of February 7th and the 8th. Racers start bright and early at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday when they converge at the Waneta Inn. Breakfast will be served and registration takes place at that time. The racers and their vehicles will then be unleashed upon Waneta Lake, the Black Rock Speedway and Honeoye Lake.

icy path

Discover Wisconsin Presents the St. Germain Radar Racers in Saint Germain, Wisconsin

When it comes to ice racing, you can take your pick with the St. Germain Radar Racers. There’s snow dragging on the Twilight snow track where racers cruise along on snowmobiles. Women compete on the same track in the same vehicles in another race. There’s also ice dragging on a track that’s 1,000 feet of slippery snowy fun. Stop February 12th and 13th to check it all out.

Thunder Bay Autosport Club in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

The IIRA in Minnesota, noted above, is already racing in association with the Thunder Bay Autosport Club, but this Canadian group also hosts its own events. Given its hometown, the racers are used to bitter cold. The 2016 schedule begins on Saturday, January 23rd, with races every weekend through March 13th. All races are held on the Mission Bay Ice Racing Site.

Northern Alberta Sports Car Club (NASCC) in Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

For more than 50 years, NASCC, another Canadian ice racing group, has fearlessly challenged the ice. From January through the end of March, there’s an event each weekend near a snowy lake. The traction fluctuates, but the course is designed to prevent racers from ever accelerating more than 100 miles per hour. According to the NASCC, drivers prevent about 10 percent of damage to their cars and tires when racing in the snow compared to concrete.

The Boonville Snow Festival’s Adirondack Cup Ice Oval Snowmobile Racing in Boonville, New York

The Boonville Snow Festival’s Adirondack Cup Ice Oval Snowmobile Racing normally takes place the last weekend in January, but organizers decided to cancel the 2016 event. However, they’re already getting ready for next year’s event, slated for January 27th through January 29th, 2017.

On the Saturday of the festival, including this year, there’s a Family Fun Day with snowball softball, snowshoe races, snow sledding, ice sculptures, fireworks at night and a parade with torchlights and snowmobiles.

Jaffrey Ice Racing Association, Inc. in Jaffrey, New Hampshire

Every year since 1985, nonprofit Jaffrey Ice Racing Association has hosted races on Lake Contoocook, Northwood Lake, Whitney Pond and Shallow Hill Pond. Every race takes place on a Sunday from January until March. The winner, determined by points for the duration of the season, does get a trophy.

motorcylist on ice

Merrill Ice Draggers in Merrill, Wisconsin

Claiming that it’s got “the fastest 1/8th mile drag auto racing on ice in the world,” Merrill Ice Draggers has some pretty impressive world records: One of its racers clocked a top speed of 141.6 MPH on the ice.

The group was founded in 1965 and hosts races on Saturdays in January and February. Stop by for the Memorial Race on February 6th, a standard race on the 13th, and the championship on the 20th.

District 14 Ice Racing in Highland, Michigan

A branch of the AMA, District 14 Ice Racing hosts races on Sundays from January through February. The group welcomes riders of all styles, including those with non-studded tires and studded tires. Whether you prefer watching racers on ATVs or motorcycles, District 14 Ice Racing delivers.

Oconto Falls Sno Jokers’ World Series of Ice Drags in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin

If you have some time on February 12th and 13th, do check out the Oconto Falls Sno Jokers’ World Series of Ice Drags, an awesome snowmobile racing event. For the past six years, racers have competed on four lanes of slick snow on a track that’s more than 1,600 feet long. Visitors will love the heated tent where staff sells drinks and food. Once the race wraps up, there’s live music.

Pro Vintage Racing’s Ice Oval Racing in Wausau, Wisconsin

For the past 20 years, Pro Vintage Racing and its brand of “vintage snowmobile racing” has captivated Wisconsin audiences. The Ice Oval Racing series will criss-cross Wisconsin on Saturdays in January and February and features more than 30 sled classes. On February 6th, head out to Wausau for a race. The next week, the fun continues in West Salem on the 13th before moving on to Manawa on the 20th. The season wraps up in Francis Creek at the 141 Speedway on the 27th.

Vintage Snowmobile Racing in Old Forge, New York

In upstate New York, where the snow can really fall, Vintage Snowmobile Racing lets the cold set in before beginning its races in late January. The talented racers here will participate in the 52nd Lancaster Grand Prix on Saturday, February 6th in Lancaster, New Hampshire.

All other events in February are in New York, including:

  • The Round Lake Ice Race in Altamont on the 13th
  • The Piseco Lake Ice Race in Altamont on the 20th
  • The Utica Rome Speedway race in Vernon on the 27th
  • The Inlet New York race on March 12th.

 

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History on Wheels: 22 Car Museums in the Mountain States

Whether you prefer the classic styles of a bygone era or the sleek, contemporary designs of todays modern times, cars are always great to look at.

While auto shows tend to have a good selection of vehicles, car museums will house some unique, interesting finds from forgotten periods that you typically wont see anywhere else. These 22 museums in Rocky Mountain states are all worth a visit or two.

classic cars in museum

Colorado

The Gateway Canyon Auto Museum in Gateway

“Devoted to understanding and celebrating the history, science, art and social impact of the American car,” the Gateway Canyon Auto Museum is 30,000 square feet and features two galleries, the always-changing themed gallery and the permanent fixture that is the main gallery. There are more than 50 cars between the two displays.

Shelby American Collection in Boulder

Fans of the talented Carroll Shelby, the famous racer and car designer, will love this Boulder museum in his honor. The Shelby American Collection showcases his best work and that of the Shelby American Team, including his GT350 Shelby Mustangs, Ford GT40 and Willment Coupes. In addition to the cars, you can spend a whole afternoon browsing through Shelby tributes, rare images, race records and artwork.

Vehicle Vault in Parker

Part “elite custom garage community” and part auto gallery, Vehicle Vaults Gallery Permanent Collection boasts hot rods, pre-War models, exotics, Prohibition era vehicles, custom cars, drive-ins, vehicles from the Brass Era, classic muscle cars and more. Youll want to come back again and again to check out the calendar of events that this 35,000-square foot, 20-acre building hosts.

Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver

The staff at the Forney Museum of Transportation decided to open a museum when they received a 1921 Kissel, and the collection has only grown since then to encompass more than 600 vehicles and other modes of transportation from nearly all time periods.

Just some of the vehicles include a Denver cable car from 1888, an Indian Motorcycle collection from 1913 through 1953, and even the Kissel “Gold Bug” Forney Locomotive that Amelia Earhart owned in 1923.

Cussler Museum in Arvada

Specializing in vintage cars, all vehicles (and there are more than 100 of them) at the Cussler Museum, named after founder Clive Cussler, were produced between 1906 and 1965. Note that the museum is only open from May until September each year.

Rambler Ranch in Elizabeth

As a certified non-profit museum, Rambler Ranch has a whole host of Rambler vehicles, but it also displays AMCs and Nashes from between 1909 and 1980. Most of the older cars have been restored by owners Greg Kissinger and Terry Gale to look fresh and beautiful. If you get hungry, make sure to stop at the gas barbeque and kitchen, which has more than 20 tables and delightful period décor.

Dougherty Museum in Longmont

Make it a point to visit Longmont in the summer between June and August, when the Dougherty Museum is open. This museum is stocked with cars that are more than 100 years old in some cases and can still purr if you put the key in the ignition. Patiently and precisely restored, some of these vehicles date all the way back to when manufacturers equipped cars with steam engines.

The Gunnison Pioneer Museum in Gunnison

The Gunnison County Pioneer and Historical Society helped create the Gunnison Pioneer Museum in 1906. Open annually from May until September, you can see old railroads, homes, schools, post offices and memorabilia. Dont miss the Andy Mallett Antique Car Museum, established in 2000. Mallett personally restored the 25 cars here.

inside of old red car

Nevada

National Automobile Museum in Reno

Since 1989, the National Automobile Museum has grown to become one of the most renowned car museums in the country. Its no wonder then that almost two million people have visited over the years to check out carriages, race cars and other rarities. There are 200+ vehicles to witness, and with tours and theater presentations, youll have quite a busy day. Even better, the museum is open all year, seven days a week, only closing on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Don Laughlins Classic Car Collection in Laughlin

Don Laughlin was one of the biggest names in casinos (and the namesake of this town), but theres more to do than gamble at Don Laughlins Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino. On the gaming grounds youll find Don Laughlins Classic Car Collection, which is stocked with nearly 100 cars. Laughlin also loved motor vehicles, and the ones youll see are all owned by him. This museum is free and operates every day of the week.

The Auto Collections at the Linq in Las Vegas

You also dont have to pay to get into the Auto Collection, housed in the Linq casino. The showroom stocks more than 250 cars in its 125,000 square feet of space. If you happen to fall in love with a car on the spot, you can actually buy it here. You can also trade and sell your vehicle to a hopeful buyer.

more classic cars lined up

Arizona

Dwarf Car Museum in Maricopa

Dwarf cars are more compact vehicles made famous by Ernie Adams, who produced a lot of these vehicles in his day. See the fruits of his labor at the Dwarf Car Museum. The Raceway Bar & Grill in Maricopa is the perfect way to put a capper on your afternoon, or you could venture over to the Harrahs Ak-Chin Resort.

The Franklin Auto Museum in Tucson

Thomas Hubbard of the H.H. Franklin Foundation created and runs the Franklin Auto Museum. “The museum is a means to continue his collection of classic Franklin automobiles, and to provide an opportunity to develop a comprehensive Franklin Museum covering all years of the companys production,” the museum explains. If you own a Franklin yourself and are interested in learning more about it, Hubbard actually offers a research service that will tell you more about your vehicle.

Penske Racing Museum in Phoenix

Get your heart pumping with a trip to the Penske Racing Museum. Exhibits show the entirety of Penskes rise to fame, such as a 1963 Riverside 250 driven by Roger Penske or a 1963 Pontiac Catalina that he also rode in. You can also see various Penske Indianapolis 500 cars, including some that Indy 500 winners like Sam Hornish, Jr. drove.  

Martin Auto Museum in Phoenix

Open every week Thursday through Saturday, the Martin Auto Museum is also a great place for corporate events, parties, weddings and any other social event. Mel Martin is the founder of the museum. He and his team have preserved a number of classic vehicles so that people today can learn more about these cars.

Golden Era Toy and Auto Museum in Coolidge

As the name suggests, the Golden Era Toy and Auto Museum has both toys and vehicles dating from the 1920s. Among the wind-up and cast-iron toys are 10 amazing vehicles, including a 1937 Packard. The museum is open yearly from January until May.

restored cars bling

Utah

Browning Kimball Classic Car Museum at Ogdens Union Station in Ogden

Ogdens Union Station includes an old train station, two galleries and four museums, one of which is the Browning Kimball Classic Car Museum. All cars date back to the Golden Age between 1901 and 1930, and makes include classic Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles and more.

Barbara and Matt Browning first bought a 1930 Packard Model 733 Standard Eight Dual Cowl Phaeton back in 1971, and the two grew the museum from there, acquiring and restoring old cars. These vehicles are sometimes brought out and used for city events, too.

Price Museum of Speed in Salt Lake City

Another museum with rows and rows of winning racecars, the Price Museum of Speed is one of the only places to see vehicles that have won events at Mille Miglia, the Indie 500, the Gordon Bennett Cup, Daytona Beach, the Briarcliff Cup, 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Grand Prix and more. Some of the first cars youll spot on arrival are a 1907 Renault Vanderbilt Racer and a 1904 Peerless Green Dragon.

Classic Cars International Museum in Salt Lake City

If youre visiting Salt Lake City, the Classic Cars International Museum is close to Salt Lake City International Airport. The proceeds from admissions go to the Utah Homeless Boys Ranch. There are always 75 of nearly 250 cars displayed, and fresh ones are always being switched out. Some of the favorites include a 1957 Rolls Royce, a 1926 Pierce-Arrow Roadster and a Stutz Bearcat from the same year. Other cars at the museum were produced from 1913 until 1980.

Lakeside Petroliana Museum at AAA Lakeside Storage & Museum in Provo

At first glance, the AAA Lakeside Storage & Museum doesnt look much like a museum at all, despite its name. Primarily a storage facility for high-tech equipment, if you visit on Mondays through Saturdays, you can check out the Lakeside Petroliana Museum on the grounds. With an old-school gas station, dozens of road signs from yesteryear and of course some classic cars, this outdoor display is quite a memorable one.

white car museum

New Mexico

Unser Racing Museum in Albuquerque

The Unser Racing Museum is owned by the legendary Unser racing family. Youll learn plenty as you watch the early days of racing evolve to the modern sport that it is today. Older vehicles have been restored to pristine glory, and theres even a trophy room, one of the newer additions that the museum added when it expanded recently.

Russells Truck and Travel Museum Gallery in Glenrio

If youre already cruising down Route 66, you should make a pit stop at Russells Truck & Travel Center, where youll find Russells Truck and Travel Museum. Absolutely free, this Route 66-themed space includes memorabilia, road signs, old gas station items and antique cars shining under the bright florescent lights. Its a wonderful slice of Americana.

 

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