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posted: 3/26/2013 12:39 PM

NASCAR great Bobby Allison to visit Elmhurst Historical Museum

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  • Fred Lorenzen, left, with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison.

    Fred Lorenzen, left, with NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison.
    Courtesy of Elmhurst Historical Museum

By Patrice Roche
Elmhurst Historical Museum

It's not every day racing fans have a chance to encounter a NASCAR Hall of Fame driver of Bobby Allison's caliber.

Named one of the 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time, Allison has many accolades to his name: 85 NASCAR wins, three-time winner of the Daytona 500, six-time winner of NASCAR's Most Popular Driver award, 1983 Winston Cup Series Champion, and more than $7 million in career winnings.

Area residents can mingle with the legendary driver during a meet and greet with Bobby Allison from 5 to 7 p.m. April 4 at the Elmhurst Historical Museum, 120 E. Park Ave., Elmhurst.

Allison will be in the museum's first floor research library, where he will sign official autograph cards (provided by the museum for $5 each) and pose for photos.

The driving force to bring Allison to the Chicago area for a rare visit is the Elmhurst Historical Museum's exhibit, "On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen." Allison is a longtime friend of "The Golden Boy," with the friendship dating back to the start of Allison's career in the 1960s.

"Fred Lorenzen and Bobby Allison were kindred spirits," said Lance Tawzer, curator of exhibits at the Elmhurst Historical Museum. "Fred was a mentor to Bobby when he was getting his start in racing. Lorenzen served as Allison's team manager for his first two races for Holman Moody, and they won both of them. It was a brilliant start to an amazing career for Allison and a lifelong friendship for the two drivers."

Allison's appearance at the museum was made possible by the Lorenzen family.

Tawzer added that Allison has been highly supportive of "the On the Road to Glory" exhibit from its inception. Allison narrated the original documentary that plays in the gallery, and he provided many anecdotes and insights on Lorenzen's career to help develop the storyline of the exhibit.

Admission to the meet and greet with Bobby Allison is free, but donations are welcome. Limited on-site parking is available. The $5 autograph cards will be available for sale in the museum gift shop during the event. No additional merchandise will be signed by Allison.

The "On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen" exhibit will be open through May 19. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free. For more information, contact or (630) 833-1457.

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