Public life has changed drastically since spring of 2020. Museums were among the hardest hit during the COVID crisis, and automotive museums were certainly no exception.
Even before the pandemic drastically reduced the amount of time we were willing to spend mingling with strangers, car museums were seeing attendance dwindle. But long shutdowns brought those attendance numbers to zero, and more museums fell by the wayside.
One unfortunate casualty was the World of Speed in Wilsonville OR. The small but well-appointed museum was host to exhibits from across motorsports, from boating to NASCAR and IndyCar to land speed record attempts.
The museum also offered shop space to local students. But after almost 14 months of COVID-imposed closure, the museum announced in May it would not reopen its doors.
The museum’s assets will be sent to other museums and nonprofit organizations throughout the state, so sadly there will be no opportunity for you to snag a 1933 Studebaker or the Challenger 2.
Other facilities are doing whatever they can to maintain interest while their doors must remain closed to visitors.
But a giant like the Petersen can survive for years without any revenue from folks walking in the door. Sadly, it appears that most smaller independently owned facilities will soon be going the way of the great American drive-in theater.
So take some time and click around to some of the fantastic online offerings, and donate if you can.
But we’ll save that sad story for another day.