Midland, TX is home to one of the founders of Chaparral Racing, Jim Hall. We visited the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum where an entire wing is dedicated to this hometown hero. Jim Hall and his team were responsible for redesigning cars to be more aerodynamic. Their design added a downward force to cars – allowing for greater traction at higher speeds.
Most of the cars were off limits and alarmed, save for one. But they actually meant for regular people to sit in them
Previous to our visit to the museum my entire body of knowledge about oil was from the opening credits of The Beverly Hillbillies. I’m a bit more savvy now. The museum was built in 1975 and not much has changed in the oil drilling business since then. Neither has the museum displays or décor. Much like the stuck in the 70’s lake house we visited – this museum was a treat. The theater was carpeted. Even the walls were carpeted, with shag.
The interactive exhibits were clearly designed by the same manufacturer as the Price is Right games.
And the display of plastic things made from oil. Oh the joy of looking at that time capsule. Do children today know that we took our lunch to school in plastic lunchboxes which had zero insulation properties?
If only I had captured the audio of the televisions (or were they film strips) which started when you pushed a big button. The composer was heavily influenced by the action sequences of The Million Dollar Man.