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The legendary Wally Parks formed the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) in 1951 with a goal to “create order from chaos”. The rigorous safety rules and performance standards he introduced helped legitimize the sport of hot rodding, turning both law enforcement officials and skeptical motorists into believers. Today there are more than 200 hotly contested classes of NHRA racing in addition to others that rose to prominence for a brief period of time then faded into history. Now in its 60th year, the NHRA embraces diversity like few other organizations and the only universal requirement among competitors continues to be an enthusiasm for the sport and a drive to excel.

The Petersen Automotive Museum exhibition NHRA: Sixty Years of Thunder celebrates the individuals that contributed to the longevity of the NHRA and illustrate its history with an array of important cars ranging from the Stone, Woods and Cook Willys gasser to Kenny Bernstein’s Budweiser Top Fuel Dragster, the first ever to reach 300 miles per hour during a run.