Our July cover features Tim Matthews, museum curator for Speedway Motors, seated in an Ardun Flathead-powered custom 1932 Ford Roadster.

If you live in Lincoln and haven’t seen Speedway’s Museum of American Speed, you should. Trip Advisor rates the three-story showplace that attracts over 13,000 visitors each year as Lincoln’s No. 1 tourist attraction.

The late Bill Smith and his wife, Joyce, initially opened the museum in a building on Van Dorn Street that was much smaller than the current 150,000-square-foot location on the Speedway Motors campus.

The Smiths’ mission to preserve, interpret and display physical items significant in racing and automotive history has led to many interesting stories. For example, one of the first cars donated to the museum was a 1930 Duesenberg formerly owned by Cotton Club operator Owney Madden, reputed to be a gangster known as “Killer.” Madden was often in the company of Mae West on her trips to New York, so there is a good chance that West was once a passenger in that car.

Another noteworthy museum acquisition is the Wood Brothers Purolator Mercury No. 21 car that David Pearson drove to a crazy, winning finish after crashing with Richard Petty in the 1976 Daytona 500.

See John Mabry’s cover story on this website to learn much more about this local attraction. We thank John F. Keller for shooting this month’s cover photo.

Other highlights in this issue

Other local destinations to visit are Lincoln’s craft breweries – and a cidery. Also on this website, titled "Lincoln's newest craft brewery and cidery, Part 2, Larry Kubert continues with his series on newer local craft breweries by highlighting Green Flash Brewery and Eatery, 1630 P St., and Saro Cider, 1746 N St.

If you like short road trips, the annual Sip Nebraska Festival at Mahoney State Park is definitely worth checking out each year. Two years ago, local craft beers were added to the festival, which was traditionally a Nebraska wine-tasting event. Last year, spirits from Nebraska distilleries were added. This year’s event offered more tastings of everything. See more details and photos on this site.

In your summer travels, you might want to consider adding memories to a vacation with a behind-the-scenes factory visit. Traveling writer Jim Winnerman gives examples – Celestial Seasonings in Colorado, Jelly Belly in California and Wisconsin, John Deere in Iowa and Illinois, Ben and Jerry’s in Vermont and others. See details and photos on this site.

I appreciate your ideas

I’d like to know what kinds of stories you want to see and any other suggestions you have for L Magazine. Please email those to mschwaninger@journalstar.com or call me at 402-473-2644. As always, I appreciate your “Likes” and comments on the L Magazine Facebook page as well.


L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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