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Prolonged shutdown due to pandemic forces Wilsonville-based motorsport museum to close its doors permanently

PMG FILE PHOTO - A previous Porsche exhibit at the World of Speed.The World of Speed is permanently closing because of restrictions to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The motorsports museum in Wilsonville announced the closure Tuesday, May 12. It opened five years ago as a place for enthusiasts from all walks of life to come together and share their mutual love of all things race-related.

"Voting to close the museum permanently was an extremely difficult decision for the board," said Sally Bany, co-founder of World of Speed. "As with other Oregon establishments, World of Speed has been temporarily shut down since March 16 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As currently outlined, the museum would fall into Phase Two or Three of Oregon's reopening plan, pushing our ability to reopen potentially into 2021. After much deliberation, our board determined that we are unable to continue our mission for such an extended closure period."

The museum featured many permanent and rotating exhibits, and also hosted numerous motorsport legends, including Mario Andretti, Janet Guthrie and Herm Petersen, just to name a few. Through interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, the World of Speed offered visitors a behind-the-scenes view of many aspects of motorsports, including drag racing, road racing, land speed racing, motorcycle racing, open wheel, NASCAR and hydroplanes.

In addition to being a world class motorsport museum, World of Speed hosted local high school students in conjunction with Clackamas Community College. Students were taught accredited automotive classes, providing the opportunity to learn skills needed in the automotive industry while receiving dual credit for high school and college.

The museum is located in a remodeled auto dealership at 27490 S.W. 95th Ave., in Wilsonville, and was funded by income from sponsorships, foundations, admissions, corporate and individual memberships, and from events held at the museum.

All of the museum's assets will be distributed to other 501(c)(3) museums and schools throughout the next three to eight months, as required by Oregon law, allowing World of Speed's collection to live on for future generations to enjoy, the announcement said.

You can learn more about the World of Speed at www.worldofspeed.org.


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