A visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum

In the infield of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you’ll find one of the finest auto museums in the world. Here’s the cook’s tour with a big photo gallery. 

 

The Hall of Fame Museum in Indy is one of MCG’s all-time favorite car destinations. He’s such a hopeless Speedway geek. Even in the dead of winter, he gets goosebumps driving up 16th Street and seeing those big silver grandstands glinting in the sun. He lost count long ago of the number of visits he’s made to the Museum. Many of the cars in display here are practically old friends:

+  The Boyle/Shaw Maserati 8CTF, winner of two straight Indy 500s in 1939 and 1940, and featured previously at Mac’s Motor City Garage here.

+   The fearsome and wondrous 1903 Premier racer built by Carl Fisher, who co-founded the Speedway a few years later.

+   The Reynard-Cosworth 94I, tuned and polished like a Stradivarius by the brilliant Dr. Who, Tim Wardrop, and driven in 1996 by Arie Luyendyk to the fastest lap ever turned at the Speedway, 239.260 mph.

+   The 1911 Marmon Wasp, an amazing machine now over a century old and surely one of the most historically significant race cars in the world.

 

The Museum owns far more cars than it has room to display, so they’re rotated through the exhibit floors on a regular basis to keep things fresh. For our most recent visit this May the emphasis seemed to be on former Indy 500 winners, so you’ll find plenty of those in the accompanying slide show.

The Museum is also home to a number of significant non-Indy related cars, including a Mercedes-Benz W196 and the original Corvette SS factory racer (also featured here at MCG).  During our latest visit, there was also an entire exhibit devoted to the cars and career of 1963 Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones, featuring his own fabulous collection. Actually, everything was perfectly awesome, just as it always is. Gallery below.

 

1968 Autolite Lead Wedge Bonneville racer Jerry Kugel
1950 Kurtis-Offy Indy 500 winner Johnnie Parsons
1911 Marmon Wasp first Indy 500 winner
1984 March 84C Cosworth Tom Sneva
1970 Harley-Davidson streamliner Cal Rayborn
1903 Premier valvegear
1962 Watson Indy 500 winner Rodger Ward
1994 Reynard-Ford Arie Luyendyk
1912 National Indianapolis 500 winner
Hall of Fame main floor
1968 Eagle-Offy Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser
1972 Parnelli Offy
1928 Miller 91 Indianapolis 500 winner
1903 Carl Fisher Premier racer
1950 Cummins Diesel Special
1966 Ford GT Mk II
1971-72 Stroppe Bronco Baja racer
1946 Indy 500 winner Sparks-Thorne Special
1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 cockpit
1969 Hawk-Ford Indy 500 winner Mario Andretti
1954 Mercedes-Benz W196
1953 Kurtis-Offy 53-54 Indy 500 winner
1965 Ferrari 250LM
1951 Belanger-Offy Indy 500 winner
1964 Lotus-Ford
1960 Watson Indy 500 winner Jim Rathman
1961 Trevis Indy 600 AJ Foyt
1939 Maserati 8CTF 1939-40 Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw
1995 Reynard-Ford Jacques Villeneuve
1957 Salih 57-58 Indy 500 winner
PJ Colt-Fords 1970 and 1971 Indy 500 winners
1978 Lola-Cosworth Indy 500 winner Al Unser, Sr.
1932 Hartz-Miller Indianapolis 500 winner
1909 Buick Indianapolis racer
1941 Wetteroth-Offy Indianapolis 500 winner Floyd Davis
1922 Duesenberg Indianapolis 500 winner
1982 Patrick Wildcat VIIIB Cosworth Indy 500 winner
1907 Itala Grand Prix Racer
1955 Kurtis Indy winner Bob Sweikert
1972 McLaren-Offy Indy 500 winner Mark Donohue
1913 Delage winner 1914 Indianapolis 500
2011 Dallara-Honda Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon
1966 Sonic I LSR racer Craig Breedlove
1964 Waatson Inddy 500 winner AJ  Foyt
1967 Coyote-Ford Indy 500 winner Aj Foyt
1992 Pontiac Grand Prix NASCAR Richard Petty
1957 Corvette SS
1968 Lotus Turbine
1947 Novi Kurtis Special

1968 Autolite Lead Wedge Bonneville racer Jerry Kugel

1950 Kurtis-Offy Indy 500 winner Johnnie Parsons

1911 Marmon Wasp first Indy 500 winner

1984 March 84C Cosworth Tom Sneva

1970 Harley-Davidson streamliner Cal Rayborn

1903 Premier valvegear

1962 Watson Indy 500 winner Rodger Ward

1994 Reynard-Ford Arie Luyendyk

1912 National Indianapolis 500 winner

Hall of Fame main floor

1968 Eagle-Offy Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser

1972 Parnelli Offy

1928 Miller 91 Indianapolis 500 winner

1903 Carl Fisher Premier racer

1950 Cummins Diesel Special

1966 Ford GT Mk II

1971-72 Stroppe Bronco Baja racer

1946 Indy 500 winner Sparks-Thorne Special

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 cockpit

1969 Hawk-Ford Indy 500 winner Mario Andretti

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196

1953 Kurtis-Offy 53-54 Indy 500 winner

1965 Ferrari 250LM

1951 Belanger-Offy Indy 500 winner

1964 Lotus-Ford

1960 Watson Indy 500 winner Jim Rathman

1961 Trevis Indy 600 AJ Foyt

1939 Maserati 8CTF 1939-40 Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw

1995 Reynard-Ford Jacques Villeneuve

1957 Salih 57-58 Indy 500 winner

PJ Colt-Fords 1970 and 1971 Indy 500 winners

1978 Lola-Cosworth Indy 500 winner Al Unser, Sr.

1932 Hartz-Miller Indianapolis 500 winner

1909 Buick Indianapolis racer

1941 Wetteroth-Offy Indianapolis 500 winner Floyd Davis

1922 Duesenberg Indianapolis 500 winner

1982 Patrick Wildcat VIIIB Cosworth Indy 500 winner

1907 Itala Grand Prix Racer

1955 Kurtis Indy winner Bob Sweikert

1972 McLaren-Offy Indy 500 winner Mark Donohue

1913 Delage winner 1914 Indianapolis 500

2011 Dallara-Honda Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon

1966 Sonic I LSR racer Craig Breedlove

1964 Waatson Inddy 500 winner AJ Foyt

1967 Coyote-Ford Indy 500 winner Aj Foyt

1992 Pontiac Grand Prix NASCAR Richard Petty

1957 Corvette SS

1968 Lotus Turbine

1947 Novi Kurtis Special

 

7 thoughts on “A visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum

  1. Man, look at them. That’s what race cars are supposed to look like! The worst thing that happened to racing was the science of aerodynamics. Curses to Jim Hall and all of his followers.

  2. The cars and photography are beautiful. The Mercedes W196 should be illegal!

  3. There’s a section of land in Bucks County Pa. in a town by the name of Warminster that is or was called the speedway tract. I heard many years ago this land was the original proposed spot for building what we all know as the Indynapolis Motor Speedway. Has or does anyone know of this?

  4. I checked on the proposed speedway in Warminster and it is fact. The track was begun in 1914 and the depression ended it. I got my original information fron an old friend who lived in the Warminster Pa. area and he told me the deed to his property read Speedway tract. Interesting subject known by very few even race fans.

    • It’s unfortunate for me that it never came to fruition. I would have attended many more 500s if that had been the case.

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