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World of Speed Museum expects to open in April

Move fills key role for Wilsonville motorsports museum


Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Four NASCAR cars used by famous drivers will be part of a Daytona 500 mockup at the World of Speed motorsports museum in Wilsonville. The museum is set to open in April 2015.World of Speed, the Wilsonville motorsports museum set to open in spring, has announced that John Amschler has signed on as director of education.

Amschler will lead the museum’s education mission, celebrating the science and history of automobiles. He will also develop educational curriculum to prepare students for careers in the auto industry, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to grow by more than 60,000 jobs in the next seven years.

“The opening of World of Speed is right around the corner, and I could not be more thrilled to have John join our team of bright and passionate motorsports enthusiasts,” said World of Speed executive director Tony Thacker. “John brings a wealth of experience in educational programming, which he will integrate into the curriculum he shares with World of Speed visitors.”

World of Speed broke ground on construction of the 80,000 square foot museum this past year in a building formerly occupied by the Wilsonville Dodge and Chrysler dealership. Initially planned for October, the opening date was pushed back to April 24, 2015, following construction delays.

Amschler has a bachelor’s degree from Maryville University St. Louis and has since worked as an education and outdoor adventure instructor for nonprofit camps, retreat centers and education programs. He previously served as the director of education and camping for a Northern Colorado education program and outdoor program director for Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

He is passionate about mechanics and auto-racing, with a particular interest in race-related history and the machinery behind the famed stories. In his new role with World of Speed, Amschler looks forward to teaching others about performance vehicles, and getting the next generation excited about automotive careers.

“World of Speed will provide an important and exciting educational experience in a one-of-a-kind motorsports setting,” he said. “Students of all ages and abilities will benefit from the automotive and mechanical programs at the museum.”

From the beginning the educational segment was key to World of Speed’s plans for the museum. It hosts two state-of-the-art classrooms and a full-service shop.

The two 900-square-foot classrooms each seat up to 30 students. One even has audio and video connections and a smart board.

The shop, meanwhile, features seven 600-square-foot service bays with car lifts. It will also have the ability to handle light fabrication, machining and welding, and can handle two separate education groups at the same time.

Further, a separate 3,800-square-foot space will be available for the education program and will have interactive tools such as an eight-lane, 55 foot Pinewood Derby track with timing equipment and a 30 foot by 40 foot oval race track for younger guests to drive electric Formula One-style race cars.

The main section of the museum will showcase up to 100 past and present race vehicles from NASCAR, land speed racing, drag racing, open wheel, sports cars and motorcycles. Several historic racecars are in the collection, including Mickey Thompson’s famous record-breaking Assault, Herm Petersen’s Northwest Terror and the Gaines Markley/Rob Bruins National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel Championship Car from 1979.

For more information, visit www.www.worldofspeed.org.

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