Speedway Motors, founded in 1952 by “Speedy” Bill Smith, is the quintessential American dream story. After graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a degree in education, Smith’s long-time passion for everything automotive led him to forego pursuing a career in education and start Speedway Motors. Initially, the business focused on hot rods and street-driven rides and was heavily involved in the local racing community.
From humble beginnings in a small building on the main drag of Lincoln, Nebraska, the business quickly outgrew that space, expanding to a 5,000 sq. ft. building in 1954. The quick growth of the business early on was just the beginning. By 1962 it expanded to a 20,000 sq. ft. building with a storefront and warehouse as well as a full service-engine and muffler shop. The additional space also allowed for the expansion into manufacturing fiberglass parts including T buckets, sprint car bodies, and a full line of fiberglass racing parts. With an extensive line of racing parts and the ability to build cars in house, it was only natural that Speedway Motors continued to solidify its presence in the racing community.
The growth of Speedway Motors continued at an exponential rate over the next several decades and was not isolated to its presence in the world of racing, although it did log countless wins on the track over the years. As the business continued to grow, so did Smith’s involvement within the aftermarket automotive industry, serving on the board of directors for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) in 1977 and ’78. Around the same time, Speedway Motors expanded its physical location once again, this time to a 75,000 sq. ft facility. The additional room set the stage for rapid expansion with Speedway Motors purchasing several businesses over the years, such as the Mr. Roadster company, Beverly Hills Pedal Car and Safety Racing. The acquisition of these companies allowed the company to diversify and bolster its product offerings.
To no surprise, Speedway motors was on a roll and the growth and success continued in the same fashion at a larger scale. Whether it was the partnership with GM to build the $1 million ’32 Ford Roadster powered by a helicopter turbine engine, the 326.17 mph record-setting run at the Bonneville salt flats, or its involvement in the legendary Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Speedway had its hand in a little bit of everything when it came to the automotive industry. And like many hot rodders, “Speedy” Bill had a thing for collecting cars. With the newfound space thanks to continual expansion, his collection was formally organized into the Smith collection, a federal recognized museum which is now in a three-story building across from the 520,000 sq. ft., 46-acre facility that is its most recent expansion.
After six decades in business as America’s oldest speed shop, Speedway Motors has recently begun to carry MagnaFlow products. When asked what prompted the addition of MagnaFlow to its vast catalog of product, Marketing Director Betsy Grindlay had the following to say, “MagnaFlow is a well-respected name in the aftermarket exhaust world and was an excellent addition to our exciting premium exhaust offerings. As gearheads ourselves, we know that proper exhaust is crucial to performance and sound for any auto enthusiast. As we continue to grow we’re always on the lookout for new brands that will expand our customers’ options and allow them to pick the best product for their needs and application. MagnaFlow provides a quality product that is a great fit for many applications that are popular with our customers.”
While Speedway Motors roots are based in the rodding and racing culture, its goal is to continue to support those hobbies while supplying a wide variety of auto enthusiast with the parts they need. Whether you are looking for a part for your street car, race car or truck, Speedway Motors is sure to have the part you need and a team of amazing staff ready to help answer your questions and get your product to you in no time!