World of Speed Announces Permanent Closure

Wilsonville, OR — The board of directors for World of Speed Motorsports Museum in Wilsonville, Ore., announced Tuesday (May 12) that it will close permanently due to lost revenue and other factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: World of Speed

The museum would fall into Phase 2 or 3 of Oregon’s statewide reopening plan under the Oregon Health Authority’s current guidelines, potentially pushing its ability to reopen into 2021.

“Many of our guests, volunteers, students and docents fall into the category of most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, which means efforts to keep everyone safe could push reopening further, even after OHA restrictions are lifted,” the museum said in a statement. “After much deliberation, our board determined it would be unable to maintain the facility during such an extended closure.”

As required by Oregon law, World of Speed’s assets and funds will be distributed to 501(c)(3) museums and schools throughout the next three to eight months, allowing the museum’s collection of historic race cars, boats and motorcycles to live on for future generations to enjoy.

Opened by Dave and Sally Bany in 2015, the museum featured world-class exhibits that told the story of America’s motorsports culture. It also showcased the racing history of the Pacific Northwest, including Portland International Raceway and other tracks, along with legends of the sport such as Indy race car builder Rolla Vollstedt. Over the years, the museum hosted several motorsport legends, including Mario Andretti, Janet Guthrie (whom Vollstedt hired as the first female Indy 500 driver in 1977) and Herm Petersen.

World of Speed also worked with local high schools to provide accredited automotive classes.