Ray and his son, Doug Magnon, racing enthusiasts founded the Riverside. International Automotive Museum in 2006. The museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying the rich history of California’s motor sports heritage. As part of their interest in automobile racing, the Magnons began collecting automobiles. Keeping with their Italian heritage the Magnons (originally spelled Mamone) started collecting Maseratis. It was one of the oldest of the Italian automobile brands, and it had a rich racing tradition in Europe.
The museum houses several history-making race cars, and the largest and most comprehensive collection of Maserati road cars in the United States, including an example of every Maserati model that has been made available in the U.S. since 1951.
They built a 20,0(X)-square-foot facility in 2006 to house their growing collection, and opened the museum to the public in December, 2007.
Their efforts arc inclusive of not only the famous Riverside International Raceway, but all of California’s racing history. As part of our preservation efforts, we are building a massive digital archive and library of historic photos, videos, race programs and periodicals. We make this library available to share with anyone who would like to research this information.
In March 2009, with Dan Gurney as the honoree, the museum hosted the first Legends of Riverside Film Festival and charity fund raiser. In addition to showcasing popular racing films, the annual event offers attendees an opportunity to personally meet famous racing legends of the past. 2010 Carroll Shelby, 2011 Parnclli Jones, and 2012 saw Bobby Unser as the honorees. Every year there are more than 50 veteran drivers in attendance.
The museum also makes the facility available for special events and business functions.
Riverside International Raceway: The Riverside International Raceway (RIR) operated from September 22, 1957 to July 2, 1989. For most of its life, the RIR was located in an unincorporated area of Riverside County, California, just outside the city limits of Riverside, and about ten miles (16 kin) from the current location of the museum. In 1984 the RIR property became part of the city of Moreno Valley, and live years later was razed to build a shopping mall and housing development. A large part of the museum’s focus is on the history of the RIR, with many photos and mementos on display. The museum also provides background on the 1953 and 1954 Orange Empire National Sports Car Races, a precursor to the RIR, that took place at March Air Force Base, which has since been renamed the March Joint Air Reserve Base.
Ontario Motor Speedway: A second California raceway highlighted by the museum is the Ontario Motor Speedway (OMS) which was located in Ontario, California. The OMS was designed similar to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but was only in operation from 1970 until 1981.