The Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska, is a non-profit corporation founded in 1992 by "Speedy" Bill and Joyce Smith. This 150,000 sq. ft. museum was formed to present a continuous chronology of automotive Racing Engine and Speed Equipment development.... also to preserve, interpret, and display items significant in racing and automotive history. The collection results from the Smiths' personal involvement in racing and hot rodding, and their lifelong passion for collecting and preserving racing and automotive history.
Bill and Joyce had first hand knowledge of racing and performance history as they actively raced and sold speed and power equipment for over 60 years. Bill's six decades of experience began in the 1940's when he raced roaring roadsters on half mile county fair tracks. In the 50's and 60's he raced dragsters, stock cars, NASCAR, modifieds and sprint cars.
The 1970's was a memorable decade for Bill as he raced Champ dirt cars and sprint cars with drivers known as the original "Outlaw" racers. They won races from coast to coast including the Sprint Car Nationals and the Hulman Classic. Bill's winning ways continued during the 1980's and 90's when he raced AIS Indy cars, Pikes Peak cars and Bonneville Streamliners. Driving legends such as Tiny Lund, Jan Opperman, Larry Dickson, Ron Shuman and Doug Wolfgang were some of the 90+ drivers to have raced the "4x" car for "Speedy" Bill Smith.
Thousands of laborious hours have been spent, as Bill put it; "turning over rocks" and chasing countless leads to build a collection of this magnitude. Mix in some clever deal making and Bill's uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time and you have some idea as to how he made this automotive museum a dream come true.
Speedway Motors is a proud supporter of the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed. Known as America’s Oldest Speed Shop, Speedway Motors was founded in 1952 by “Speedy” Bill and Joyce Smith. Their four sons Carson, Craig, Clay, and Jason continue to run the family-owned business.
The Smith family at the Museum of American Speed. Front Row (L to R): Speedy Bill and Joyce. Back Row (L to R): Clay, Carson, Craig and Jason
"Speedy" Bill during his racing days in the late 40's
“Speedy” Bill circa 1964
Lloyd Beckman & the Speedway crew during the 1963 season
Jan Opperman on his way to winning the 1976 Hulman 100
Lloyd Beckman backs it in at Midwest Speedway in 1983
Don Droud Jr. running at Midwest Speedway in 1985