3198 Speedway Blvd., Talladega, Alabama
Established by Bill France, the founder of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), this impressive complex owned by the state is a racing enthusiast’s dream.
Adjacent to the museum is the fastest racetrack in the world, Talladega Superspeedway. Home of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the AMP Energy 500 race, this speedway draws shoulder-to-shoulder crowds during race weeks. Enormous showrooms display over 125 racing machines, all in mint condition and valued at more than $15 million.
In addition to record-setting cars raced by legends, the collection features muscle cars, antiques, and classics, as well as assorted motorsports memorabilia dating from 1902. From Sam Packard’s 1940 Mercury to Bill Elliott’s 1985 Thunderbird, the cars offer a riveting trip through racing history.
A special room honors the men and women behind the wheels, with biographical profiles of more than 100 International Motorsports Hall of Fame inductees—including Henry Ford, Enzo Ferrari, Mario Andretti, Jackie Stewart, and Bobby Unser—as well as the winners of the coveted Driver of the Year Award.
Serious racing devotees will want to take a detour to the McCaig Wellborn Research Library, the most complete motorsports library in existence, housing more than 14,000 books and periodicals, over 10,000 photos, plus a state-of-the-art computer system that is able to retrieve even the most obscure racing facts in a flash.
Beyond cars there’s the Cougar Cat Gentry Turbo Eagle, a 54-foot offshore powerboat acclaimed for setting a world-record speed of 148.238 miles per hour in 1987; Bobby Allison’s Aerostar, a one-of-a-kind plane powered with Allison turboprop engines; and the Budweiser Rocket Car, a missile on wheels—39 feet long and just 20 inches wide—that broke the sound barrier in 1979 with a record run of 739.666 miles per hour. A combined admission-tour ticket includes a guided van tour of the world-famous Superspeedway, unless the track is closed for testing or racing events.
–Open year-round except major holidays. Admission charged.