Rodding Around
By Brian Brennan
red gear icon Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed Voted #1
Museums and hot rodders go hand-in-hand. It’s our history and it gives us a look into the way things were and the way things were done back in the day. Unfortunately, the majority of us don’t have the wherewithal to have a museum somewhere close by. While there are a number of interesting museums across this country there’s one in particular that should make any hot rodder extremely happy.

The Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed was recently recognized as one of the 10 Best Reader’s Choice–Best Attraction for Car Lovers. We would have to agree wholeheartedly.

Located in Lincoln, Nebraska, it’s the home to over 150,000 square feet of display space covering three levels. For those of you who have been there you know that once isn’t enough as you can’t spend the time you want just staring at all of the mechanical genius that’s on display. The museum came about in 1992 as a lifelong dream of “Speedy” Bill and Joyce Smith. (It should be noted that Speedy Bill had been collecting all manner of racing and speed equipment since 1952.) You will see racing and speed equipment but you will also see collectibles that represent both of their interests outside of racing. Absolutely fascinating.

Aside from 100-plus years of automotive history there are also displays that include the largest collection of vintage pedal cars, gas-powered miniature race cars, automobile-themed toys, fine art, lunchboxes, and dioramas (my favorite) that depict board track racing and so much more.

“The collection is always growing through regular acquisitions, donations, and loans of special vehicles and engines,” Tim Matthews, curator of Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed, says. “We are lucky to have so many relationships with friends of the museum who consist of donors, collectors, racers, hot rodders, and other men and women who have helped shape the automotive industry. These relationships—combined with a team of passionate employees and volunteers who are committed to excellence—culminate in a spectacular place where automotive history, and the history of American ingenuity, is on full display for visitors to experience.” 

For more information about Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed, museum hours, or displays, visit

view inside the Speedway Motors Museum
wall covered with vintage racing boxcars
a professional racing display at the Speedway Motors Museum
Modern Rodding
VOLUME 2 • ISSUE 12 • 2021