Growing up, I lived in what is now referred to as the Inland Empire area of Southern California, about an hour east of downtown Los Angeles. It was a great place to be a car guy; I was surrounded by legedary racetracks. Ontario Motor Speedway, Irwindale (the original, dedicated to drag racing) Pomona, and the greatest among them, in my mind and heart, at least, RIR – Riverside. We all know what happened to Riverside, swallowed up by one of the area’s many development booms in the late 1980s. Today, its a pretty crap looking, only partially occupied shopping center – I think its time we reverse the tide, tear down the damn mall, and built a racetrack!Thanks to a father and son team named Magnon, Riverside lives on in spirit at the Riverside International Automotive Museum (RIAM). The Magnons are real estate developers, and serious car collectors, and saw fit to honor RIR giving up a corner of one of their commercial/industrial/R&D buildings to house the RIAM as well as their personal collection of Maseratis and all other manner of really great cars.
Its a relatively small but mighty place, you can see it in an hour, or linger all afternoon. If you have plans to be in the area, stop in and visit — the photos, poster, programs, and other memorabilia make it worth it, not to mention all the cars you’ll see. If you’re really lucky, and really nice, Doug Magnon himself may just show you around. Magnon is a to-the-bones car guy, and deeply knowledgable and committed to RIRs history. Or attend one of the many events held at RIAM; the attendeees usually resemble a list of primarily road racing’s “heros, legends, and friends.”
Don’t waffle, just go.
And thanks to my buddy Dan Newton, for these cool photos; it’s only appropriate, since he and I spent many great and fun hours at Riverside Raceway.
The Riverside International Automotive Museum(RIAM)
815 Marlborough Avenue #200
Riverside, CA 92507
Main Office and General Information Line: