— story by Pete Evanow
The MPG’s popular Power Trip, led by long-time member and Social Chair Dean Case, returned on April 23rd, with a visit to two interesting sites in the Inland Empire: the private Tom Malloy Collection in Corona and the Riverside International Automotive Museum (RIAM).
Lucky MPG members who signed up in advance were treated to the private collection of businessman Tom Malloy, who warned guests that “anyone who calls this a museum will not get invited back.” Malloy said that the building and its interior served as a working shop, evidenced by several cars in a corner of the large space undergoing various levels of restoration.
Malloy, owner of Trench Shoring and more familiar to those in the racing field, Ed Pink Racing Engines, purchased the engine building operation from its founder eight years ago. He has been involved in motorsports since his father built Carroll Speedway in Gardena nearly 80 years ago. His passion is Indy Cars as evidenced by many early examples lovingly displayed in the center of his facility. To those familiar with the Speedway, tucked away in one corner was a pair of original garage doors from Gasoline Alley, their green framed windows against the white wood doors harking back to a time when the cars running the Brickyard were all front-engined, the cornerstone of Malloy’s collection.
Also displayed was a wonderful selection of helmets worn (and in many cases signed) by drivers through the generations, along with many forms of racing memorabilia. It was an incredible collection of historical pieces greatly appreciated and beautifully presented. The members considered themselves fortunate to be able to view it.
Moving further east, the next stop was the Riverside International Automotive Museum, or RIAM, a facility “preserving the memory of California’s rich motorsports heritage.” While most visitors assumed the majority of the contents were dedicated to Riverside International Raceway, in fact, many of the displays also featured Ontario Motor Speedway, as well as a special collection of Eagle race cars saluting local race champion and car/engine builder Dan Gurney.
The museum houses several history-making race cars, and what is being called “the largest and most comprehensive collection of Maserati road cars in the United States, including an example of every Maserati model that has been made available in the U.S. since 1951.” However, perhaps the most notable display is a beautiful collection of photographs taken by Christian Du Bois Larson of all the drivers who participated in the 1960 Formula One race held at Riverside International Raceway. A young Roger Penske poses pensively near Augie Pabst, who looks sideways at a knowledgeable Carroll Shelby. The beautiful color images greet you as you walk into the lobby and tell an incredible story just in the eyes and the confidence of the drivers. All photos were taken at the nearby Mission Inn, which displayed the photographs for many years before the museum was able to acquire them.
Sadly, Dean Case stated that the museum is suffering from some neglect since the passing of its founder, Doug Magnon, a little more than a year ago at the age of 55. Unfortunately, family members do not share the same passion as Doug did, and there is some doubt as to the longevity of the museum, Case explained. A donor or benefactor, or even a buyer, is being sought, so if any member has some extra cash or a connection, now is the time to preserve this incredible tribute to some of California’s greatest racing memories.
Our thanks to Tom Malloy, the folks at RIAM and Dean for setting up what was a very exciting and illuminating morning. We look forward to the next one.
— all photos by Myles Regan, click to view and scroll through album