Speedy Bill's penchant for "wheeling and dealing" discovered his early pieces of speed equipment, which included a Hal overhead-cam conversion for a Model A four-banger. It was discoveries like this that got Speedy Bill into truly scrutinizing these early speed parts and developing a true appreciation for the ingenuity and engineering of the early pioneers, like Robert Roof, Joe Jagerberger (Rajo), and George Riley.

Bill will tell you, "When you consider what those guys did, it was really amazing. They didn't have much money or the backing of some big corporation, but they had the desire and resourcefulness to create products that made mass-produced engines more powerful and efficient. These guys literally laid the groundwork for the entire performance aftermarket industry."

It doesn't take you long to realize that Bill's racing career and the promotion of his business afforded him the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the country. It was during this time Bill found numerous pieces, but also made the personal contacts that have served him well over decades of collecting.

Bill tells us, "Back in the '50s, '60s, and '70s, a lot of these old parts and engines were considered obsolete junk. People were throwing some of this stuff away. But I could see the historical value and significance in these items. I felt it was important to save and preserve them so we would have a record of where the industry came from."

Bill and Joyce are no strangers to the likes of Hershey and numerous other well-known swap meets. He's an avid reader of national classified ads; any form of communication that would lead to a vintage piece of speed equipment has Bill's attention. As Bill's collection of engines and parts grew, his collecting became more deliberate.

It should be noted there are specific days and hours the museum is open; once-weekly tours on Fridays at 2 p.m. from October through April; from May through September there are daily 2 p.m. tours Monday through Friday. It's best to call and make an appointment and there's a $10 charge per person for a guided tour, plus the museum is available for special club and group events throughout the year. You will be hard pressed to get more for your money anywhere else than this two-hour tour will provide.

We spent a day and a half and still felt as if there was much more we should have looked at more closely. The attention to detail within the museum is truly amazing and it is here the real car enthusiast will want to spend his or her time. Enjoy visiting the past like no other place can offer.

SOURCE
Museum of American Speed
402-323-3166
www.museumofamericanspeed.com