Jump to Navigation

Cars: The Need for Speed

CarsKansas Museum of History
Special Exhibits Gallery, 2010
Support for this exhibit was provided by Wal-Mart

Cars fuel people's need for speed. They touch every part of our lives. From lodging to food to entertainment, cars drive American culture.

The Need for Speed considered how cars have affected our food, entertainment, and buildings. It also explores every aspect of racing, sanctioned or non-sanctioned, including dirt track, hot rods, drag racing (NHRA), road racing, and NASCAR.

"Racing is in your blood."--Jennifer Jo Cobb

Kansas' fascination with car culture has a long history. Walter Chrysler grew up in Ellis, the National Hot Rod Association held its first national event in Great Bend, and today there are NASCAR races at the Kansas Speedway racetrack.

"I race to put smiles
on people's faces."
--Troy Baumgartner

Cars also have influenced other aspects of life in Kansas besides racing:

The Need for Speed celebrated this rich history!

What's Your Speed?Play the What's Your Speed game.

Cars featured in The Need for Speed:

  • Great Smith made in Topeka, 1908--one of only five known to exist!
  • Junior dragster that appeared in the Disney movie, Right on Track
  • NASCAR stock car driven by Jennifer Jo Cobb
  • Midget racer from 1946

Objects on display:

  • Uniforms worn by race car drivers, including Chase Austin
  • Early Kansas drag racing items
  • Antique road signs & maps