Explore the headquarters of this automotive empire and meet legendary race car driver Al Young. Full details below, courtesy Atlas Obscura.
Join Al Young and the team at Bardahl for this exciting, first-of-its-kind tour of the Seattle Bardahl headquarters.
Operating in the heart of old Ballard for over 80 years, the Bardahl Manufacturing Corporation has helped fuel the world. Founded by Norwegian immigrant Ole Bardahl, who came to Seattle in 1922 with just 26 dollars to his name, Bardahl blossomed into a motor oil company that led the industry by the 1950s and continues to this day. Known for engaging, mob-style advertising campaigns featuring menacing characters such as “Dirty Sludge” and “Sticky Valves”, and its iconic neon sign that has held court in the Ballard skyline for decades, Bardahl remains a family owned and operated company with deep roots in racing, including the NASCAR and Grand Prix Formula One circuits. In Seattle, Bardahl helped morph the Green Lake Aqua Follies into the Seafair spectacle on Lake Washington, where the Miss Bardahl boat dominated the hydroplane races for years.
One of our hosts for this event will be National Hot Rod Association Hall of Fame drag race driver Al Young. We’ll watch products being bottled on the line in the historical plant, see a vast collection of trophies, photos, and artifacts from Bardahl history, and observe the lab where company engineers continue to innovate. Then we’ll watch Race: The Al Young Story, a short documentary about Al’s career as the first Asian-American World Champion race car driver and the obstacles he overcame to get there. Finally, we’ll join Al as he shows us one of his race cars, his world famous ’73 Plymouth Roadrunner, which will be brought to Bardahl for the occasion.
Participants will be able to see and sit in the car, enjoy the opportunity to take photos, and take home a collectible GreenLight toy replica of Al’s championship Dodge Challenger, signed by Al himself.
- There is free street parking in the area, but it is highly competitive. Plan accordingly and consider taking public transportation.
- With the exception of viewing the film, where we will be seated, this is a walking tour. The area is mostly flat but will include a few staircases. There is no elevator.
Email Tamara Bunnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.