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Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum

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Title: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum  
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Subject: Indianapolis, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ray Harroun, Mario Andretti, List of halls and walks of fame, Rudolf Caracciola, Brickyard 400, Jimmy Bryan, S. C. H. "Sammy" Davis, List of tunnels in the United States
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Hall of Fame Museum
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
Location 4790 West 16th Street
Speedway, Indiana 46222
Time zone GMT−5
Construction cost $

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum is an automotive museum on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, which houses the Auto Racing Hall of Fame.[1] It is intrinsically linked to the Indianapolis 500, but it also includes exhibits reflecting other forms of motorsports, passenger cars and general automotive history. In 2006, it celebrated its 50th anniversary. Many Indy 500-winning cars are on display.

The museum is owned and operated by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation, Inc, a registered charitable organization.

History

The first museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was completed April 7, 1956[2][3][4] It was located on the southwest corner of the property, outside turn one of the famous oval, at the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road. Its exhibits included Ray Harroun's 1911 Indy 500 winning car, and a handful of other vehicles. Karl Kizer became the first curator.[2] When it opened, it only had six cars.[2] Within a number of years, dozens of collector cars were being donated and acquired. It did not take long for management to realize that the building was of insufficient size.[2][4]

In 1975, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway broke ground on a new 96,000-square-foot (8,900 m2) museum and administration building, located in the infield of the track.[3] The two-story white building was made of Wyoming quartz, and along with the museum, housed office space, the ticket office, a gift shop, and photography department. It officially opened to the public on April 5, 1976,[2] coinciding with the year-long United States Bicentennial celebration.[3] The original museum building outside turn one was kept intact, and converted into additional office space.

The museum, representing the entire facility, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.[4]

In the summer of 1993, the original museum building outside of turn one was demolished. In its place a multi-million dollar administration building was erected. The administrative and ticket offices were moved out of the infield museum building, and relocated to the new admin office. This freed up floor space in the museum for an expanded gift shop and other exhibits.

In 1993, the museum parking lot hosted the first Indy 500 Expo during race festivities, an outdoor interactive spectator exhibit. In 1995, it was expanded and renamed Indy 500 FanFest. It was discontinued after 1997, but in recent years, smaller displays sponsored by Chevrolet have featured former pace cars and other exhibits.

Exhibits

The museum rotates a display of over 75 cars at any given time.[2] Due to considerable space restraints, only a small portion of the total collection can be displayed.[4] Many cars are stored in the invitation-only basement, or at separate off-site facilities. Some of the cars in storage, however, are not restored to display condition. Frequently, cars are sent on loan for display at other museums, historical car shows, parades, and other activities.

The collection includes[2][3][4] over 30 Indianapolis 500 winning cars, various other Indy cars, and several racing cars from other disciplines. Other items on display include trophies, plaques, racing paraphernalia such as helmets, gloves, and driver's suits. A collection of models, photographs, toys, and paintings are also for view. One display exhibits a timeline of scoring devices.

Indy 500 winning cars


Other Indy cars

Passenger cars

Other race cars

Trophies

Selected exhibits

Basement

Due to the size of the collection, and space constraints on the display floor, a large portion of the collection is stored in the basement. Some cars are rotated into display, while others remain downstairs permanently, out of view from the public. The basement at the museum is strictly off-limits to the public, and admittance is by invitation only. The contents of the basement collection has become a source of folklore and mystique, as only a chosen few have been allowed to enter, and photography is not allowed.

Hall of Fame

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame, also referred to as Auto Racing Hall of Fame,[1] dates back to 1952. It was established and supported by the AAA and Ford Foundation.[2] It was originally the brainchild of Tony Hulman[2] who had expressed interest in starting a racing hall of fame shortly after he purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1946.[2]

The AAA dropped out of racing entirely in 1955. After being established for only three years, and after only a handful of historical, "veterans committee" inductees, the hall of fame went dormant. A year later, the first Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum opened its doors. In 1961, Hulman acquired and revived the hall of fame,[2] and incorporated it into the Speedway's museum organization.

Candidates can be nominated after at least twenty years from the first date of active participation in professional-level auto racing. A short list of eight finalists from before 1970, and eight after 1970 are placed on the ballot. Inductees must receive 75 percent of the votes of a roughly 150-member[1] panel of racing officials, living hall of fame members, and selected media representatives. Participation and accomplishments in the Indianapolis 500 are heavily weighed, but are not the lone factors in consideration. Voting is usually held annually in the spring, and members are inducted about a week before the race during a special ceremony. There is no set number of inductees for each year, and the number varies annually.

Inductees that are deceased are sometimes assigned Speedway historian Donald Davidson to accept the award in their memory. In 2004, former car owner Roger Penske accepted the award on behalf of Emerson Fittipaldi, who could not make the trip from Brazil. The current inductees are summarized below.[7]

The 2013 inductees will be driver Joe Leonard and chief mechanic Louis "Sonny" Meyer, Jr.[8]

Inductees - Drivers

Inductees - Contributors

Future

In 2007, the town of Speedway, Indiana unveiled a large redevolpment plan for the vicinity of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.[9] Some plans have included a new larger Hall of Fame Museum, located outside the track to the south. No official plans have been announced.

Gallery

See also

References

External links

  • Hall of Fame Museum official website
  • Speedway Redevelopment Commission

Coordinates: 39°47′24.75″N 86°13′50.25″W / 39.7902083°N 86.2306250°W / 39.7902083; -86.2306250

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