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Car is king at Maryhill

Weekend created for auto enthusiasts

Maryhill Museum of Art founder Sam Hill was one of the Northwest's first and most vocal advocates for modern roads. He was president of the Washington State Good Roads Association and spent much of his life championing the importance of highways in the Northwest.

On Oct. 1 and 2, auto enthusiasts will gather at Maryhill Museum of Art for Car is King Weekend, a celebration of Sam Hill and of cars past and present. The weekend features a range of activities, including an open car show with classic, hot rod and muscle cars, children’s veggie car races, and vintage race cars competing in a timed climb up the historic Maryhill Loops Road, the first macadam asphalt-paved surface in the Pacific Northwest, featuring eight hairpin turns.

Admission to Car is King Weekend, which takes place on the grounds of Maryhill Museum of Art, is free.


Saturday, Oct. 1

Concours de Maryhill, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The museum's east lawn is transformed into the Concours de Maryhill with dozens of classic, sport and customized cars on view, competing for prizes such as best original, classic, hot rod and muscle car.

This is an open car show and anyone with a special car may enter. The day concludes with the presentation of the car show awards. Organized by the Goldendale Motorsports Association.

Public Drive the Maryhill Loops Road, Noon to 2 p.m.

In honor of museum founder Sam Hill, the historic Maryhill Loops Road will be opened to automobiles and the public is invited to take a spin down this majestic byway -- one of the first modern roads in the Northwest. This magnificent drive features beautiful scenery and eight hairpin curves.

Family Fun: Classic Veggie Car Races, 1 to 3 p.m.

Join in the fun at the annual Classic Veggie Car Races just for kids. Children put their ingenuity to work transforming humble veggies into fantastically engineered cars and race them on a 12 foot ramp for thrills and chills. Kids of all ages are invited to participate in this fun outdoor activity. Races start at 1 p.m. Sponsored by Carquest Auto Parts in Goldendale. On Family Fun days youth under 18 are admitted to the museum free all day with one paid adult museum admission.

Sunday, October 2:

Maryhill Loops Hill Climb, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Vintage sports cars from the 1930s to 1960s race singly in a three-mile timed race up the historic Maryhill Loops Road. Spectators can view the hill climb race from the Highway 97 Overlook and from designated viewpoints along the race route. Organized by the Society of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts of Seattle, only their approved cars and drivers will be competing.

In 1913 Sam Hill convinced the Oregon governor and legislature to visit Maryhill and see the ten miles of demonstration roads he had constructed at his own expense, as a way to experiment with road building techniques and surfaces. That visit led to the construction of the Columbia River Highway, which Hill envisioned as "...a great highway so that the world can realize the magnificence and grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge."

When it was completed in 1916, the highway was described as an engineering masterpiece; today it continues to delight travelers as it snakes along cliffs and waterfalls on the south edge of the Columbia River Gorge.

Hill was also instrumental in the construction of the Pacific Highway (Highway 99, the main north-south route through Oregon and Washington), Highway 101 along the coast, and a road to Crater Lake.


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