Posted on January 19, 2012
Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum to Unveil New Mooneyes Exhibit on Jan. 27
POMONA, CA – The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum has caught Moon Yellow Fever! On Friday, January 27, the Mooneyes fever will spread as the Museum unveils its newest exhibit, Moon: Six Decades of a Hot Rodding Eye-con in conjunction with the Grand National Roadster Show.
Together with guest curator Chico Kodama, the new exhibit will feature an extensive array of rare photographs, vehicles, and other Moon memorabilia. The new displays will educate and entertain visitors on the rise of hot rodding’s most iconic performance equipment company, much on display for the first time. The exhibit provides insight into the life of Dean Moon, Moon Equipment Co. and the worldwide attention Mooneyes continues to gain thanks to new guardians Shige Suganuma and Chico Kodama.
“The Museum is delighted to be hosting this exhibit in honor of hot rod pioneer Dean Moon and Mooneyes carried by its current custodians Shige and Chico,” said Museum Director Tony Thacker. “Since I was a kid growing up in England, I was instantly drawn to Mooneyes for their innovations and of course, those funky leering eyes and I’m sure there will be more fans drawn in to this exhibit by this eye-con.”
Dean Moon’s introduction to hot rodding came at a young age and flourished when the family moved to Southern California. Dean started working on the oil rigs surrounding Pop Moon’s Café in Norwalk, Calif. Dean, older brother Buzz and members of the “Hutters” car club built numerous primitive hot rods behind Pop Moon’s Café. His first successful car, a chopped Deuce sedan raced at the lakes and Santa Ana drags, it set a Rusetta Timing Association record at 141 mph in 1950 and was featured on the cover of the Dec. ’51 issue of Hop Up magazine.
Ever creative, Dean invented a string of products starting with a fuel block which he crafted from billet aluminum in high school shop before sand casting the production version. The famous Moon discs found their way onto everything from lakes and drag cars to Denny Hulme’s ’67 Indy car to, well, the NASA Moon buggy. They can still be found on almost every land speed race car there is. Dean was instrumental in the founding of SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association and served as an original board member and past president.
After Dean’s passing in the 80s, Shige Suganuma and Chico Kodama stepped up to save the iconic brand. Mooneyes was reborn in August 1992 in the same location Dean opened in 1957 in Santa Fe Springs, CA. The exhibit will be on display through January, 2013.
For more information about this and other events at the Parks Museum visit the web site at http://museum.nhra.com or call 909.622.2133. To learn more about Mooneyes go to www.mooneyes.com
Extended Museum Hours during the GNRS:
Friday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, long a dream of NHRA founder Wally Parks, opened to the public April 4, 1998, after years of planning and months of hard work cataloging and arranging the exhibit. Housed in a 28,500-square-foot building on the edge of the historic Los Angeles County Fairplex, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum's mission is to celebrate the impact of motorsports on our culture. We collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret the vehicles, stories, and artifacts that represent our affection for, and the influence of, automotive speed and style in all its forms. We are the place to view and learn about hot rods, customs, racecars and speed records, and the West Coast's role as the historic center for their past and present development.The Museum features an impressive array of vintage and historical racing vehicles –- nearly 50 at the Grand Opening -- along with photographs, trophies, helmets and driving uniforms, artifacts, paintings, and other memorabilia chronicling more than 50 years of American motorsports. A gift shop offers a wide variety of souvenir items. The Museum is open during the annual Los Angeles County Fair. Please check the Fairplex website for hours of operation and admission prices (www.fairplex.com). Museum admission is just $1 with regular paid Fair admission ticket.
HOURS: Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Extended hours during the NHRA Winternationals and NHRA Finals. Also, hours change during the annual Los Angeles County Fair.
ADMISSION PRICES: Current NHRA members are admitted free. Admission for non-members is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 60 and older, $6 for juniors 6 through 15, and free for children under the age of 5. AAA discount available.
HOW TO GET HERE: From the 10 fwy east, exit White Avenue, proceed North, turn left on McKinley Avenue, enter Fairplex Gate 1. From the 210 fwy, exit Fruit Avenue, proceed South, turn right on McKinley Avenue. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located at Fairplex Gate 1, 1101 W. McKinley Avenue in Pomona. Call us at (909) 622-2133.
# # #