Thursday, February 21, 2013

IMS Hall of Fame museum – 2010 visit

As promised, albeit a tad bit late; Whale Otay, extremely LATE! But Hey, what’s that saying ‘bout ringing in the New Year’s and resolutions, right? Alas, here’s my semi-quick (NOT!) recap of Juan ‘O my yearly visits to my favourite Indianapolis Motor Speedway haunt, the Hall of Fame museum! Although I’ll admit that September (2010) seems like a long-long-time-ago now; BUTT! Thanxs to Mister Carpets, I got to have another very enjoyable outing at the Speedway Shrine, even having things pointed out to me that I’d never noticed before. Along with Dave graciously offering to take some assorted photos for Mwah ‘N email them to me, as my hurriedly scribbled notes sez;


Having previously mentioned this visit in conjunction with my visit to Indy for the Moto GP  race, which became thee Sandwich ‘O my Centennial 500 Bookends - nevertheless, this story simply became suspended in the all conquering NFWHV! (No Fenders Worm Hole Vortex...) Of which I scribbled the following epic tome in

And without further adu, here’s my take upon that fleeting late summer visit...

Monday, August 30th
Dave graciously took me back to my Numero Uno favourite building on the Speedway’s grounds; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame museum... which I thoroughly enjoy visiting every time at the Brickyard, as there’s always something new to see... And once again two Yellow shirts opened the doors for me and as I prepared to pay my three smackeroos... (Unaware that the price has increased to $5.00) The nice lady at the desk told me that mine was FREE!

Entering the museum – I noticed how the ‘Ol Timer’s (Racecar’s) are simply AMAZING! As we started perusing the plethora “O nostalgia by checking out a 1925 Ralph DePalma Special; to which ironically, Dario “REO SPeedwagon” Franchitti has just surpassed DePalma and somebody named “Lone Star JR” for 11th Overall in career victories with 26; surpassing DePalma & Rutherford’s tally of 25-apiece. (Although Franchitti has since moved into a tie for 7th place overall with Sebastien Bourdais & Paul Tracy whom all currently have recorded 31-victories each as of the end of the 2012 season...)

Next up was a 1938/39 Bowes Seal Fast Special driven by Louis Meyer; before chatting with a very nice museum volunteer who was busy watching the racecars... who told us that they’re always moving the cars around – but they’re lined-up in order; telling us there’s 30-winning chassis on display in chronological order.

Janet Guthrie
Sadly, Janet’s racecar was parked alongside someone known as Princess Sparkle Pony, Err “danica-FO-manica,” Yuhs knows – DannaWho? As I guess I should type her full name? Danica Patrick; URGH!

Whale at least Janet’s chassis was parked ahead of Princesses 2005 Rahal Letterman Racing steed, replete with Danica Doll (manikin) hoping into the car – whew! At least it the Danica doll was kitted out with her entire driving uniform instead of just a swimsuit; Hya!

Then we checked out a nice montage of an early Indianapolis Motor Speedway Garage complete with two of ‘Ol Super Tex’s (A.J. Foyt) winning Indy Cars; the 1961 & 1977 Coyote.

Parked alongside it was the old IRL chassis I’d sat in way back in 2001 during the USGP, which was a “Photo-Op” racecar, that either you or the Speedway would take your picture in – although I noticed it’d had a new coat of paint slapped upon it...

Sandwiched in-between the Foyt/IRL chassis sat a George Snider car on display, (Sprint car?) followed by “Vuky’s” (Bill Vukovich Sr.) 1952-53 winner parked alongside my Old Timer stand-out; Mauri rose’s 1947-48 winning blue Crown Spark Plug Special...

Then it was off to what I affectionately denote as “Winner’s Row,” car’s I’m more familiar with; beginning with Bobby Unser’s 1968 Risoline Special, followed by Mario andretti’s replica Brawner Hawk and ‘Big Al’s Johnny Lightning Special. Next is the (“REAL”) ’72 Sunoco Special followed by Johncock’s STP Special, while the “Yellow Sub,” Rutherford’s winning Chaparral is next, with the “Flying Dutchman’s” (Arie Luyendyk Sr.) Doug Shierson Domino’s Pizza car; Hmm... Sub ‘N Pizza makes me think may be it’s time for dinner? (Hya!) While Jackie V’s 1995 mount fills out the row, as I still consider this the last true Indy 500 winner; Oh Never Mind!

Then out in the Foyer; basically the middle of the museum – which splits it into two halves, Dave pointed out a mammoth display case I’d never bothered to inspect – which turned out to be a treasure trove ‘O magnificent Rudolf Caracciola items, i.e.; trophies, Goblets, plates, buckles, coins, etc all in exquisite sterling silver. As there were goblets from Le Mans along with various trophies from the 1920’s – as I’ve scribbled down 1927 Nurburgring. As I’m guessing these were bequeathed to the Hulman family who he became friends with while recuperating from his crash at the Speedway in ’46...

Rudolf Caracciola

Really know nothing ‘bout this great racing driver – except what I’ve read... As amazingly he started off as a Dalmer-Mercedes salesman needing permission to race on weekends – provided the events were within driving distance. Yet “Carach” who was adored by the Germans, went onto win three Hillclimb Championships along with three European World Championships – the precursor to today’s Formula 1 World Championship prior to the war. (World War II) As Caracciola still holds the record today for most German Grand Prix wins at six.

After oogling the ‘Mega trophy case; it was off to what I’ve denoted as the opposite side/room of the museum... Which housed a row of Sports Cars which were preceded by a glorious pair ‘O Lotus, or is that Loti? There was Jimmy Clark’s Rookie-car with the wild Dayglo Graham Hill turbine car alongside it! As the Lotus 56 turbine car is my very favourite piece in the museum, albeit the Lotus 29 of Clark also pulled at my Heartstrings. (As I still DON’T know why I didn’t ask for a picture of it - Oh Whale, eh?)

P3Jim Clark
Clark’s No. 92 Lotus 29 “Powered by Ford” - his 1963 Rookie chassis was on static display, while his teammate that year in the No. 93 was somebody named Dan Gurney.

Clark raced 5 times at Indianapolis; 1963-67 and won the classic 500-mile event in 1965. Yet, recall that ‘63 was another controversial victory – as ‘Ol Parnelli Jones Roadster was leaking oil, but wasn’t black flagged as Clark wound up being second.

Then, Holy Mulsanne Straight – Batman! As I simply cannot believe that I’m standing directly in front of a glowing rosso Ferrari 250LM racecar... But NOT just any Ferrari; NO! It’s the 1965 24 Heurs du Mans winning N.A.R.T. Ferrari 250LM that Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt drove to the overall win – as I’m trying NOT to drool to much... (What a FREAKIN’ beautiful car!) Whilst parked alongside it is an A.J. foyt driven Mecom Special, a Maserati Birdcage and the ex-Whittington brothers Kremer K3 ’79 Le Mans winner that was recently involved in a legal Scrum that IMS was victorious in. As Don Whittington sued the IMS Foundation in 2009, claiming the car had simply been loaned to the museum and now he wanted it back... But the Courts ruled in favour of the Hall of Fame museum on April 13, 2010.

(Interestingly I cannot find the story originally published in the IndyStar available anymore... Strange, eh?)

Then a quick perusal of a 1948 Alfa Romeo plus a 1907 single seater that I believe was the Italian Grand Prix winner plus a 1912 FIAT...

Then I hear a lady speakin’ what sounds like German... Something ‘bout Herr Schumacher – as it cracks me up that the museum has positioned Michael Schumacher’s (1991) Benetton B191 line-astern with two Tin Top Stock Car ‘Bombers... As first there’s RASSCAR Star Tony Stewart’s No. 20 Home Depot, (‘05 Brickyard winner) then some Dude called The King; as in Richard Petty – with a Petty blue Pontiac Stocker (’92 STP) and Schuey’s Rookie-year Benetton forlornly in the background; Hya! As sorry Tony: you AIN’T a 7-times Champion!

After checking out DER TERMINATOR’s Benetton mount, we eyeball some wicked looking Streamliners, as there’s a Bike? That went 300+ miles-per-hour at Bonneville – looks DAMN uncomfortable + very hard to get into...

Then Dave talks me into having my ‘Mug snapped next to the Borg Warner trophy before we quickly scan ‘Ol Yeller – Ray Haroun’s inaugural Indy 500 winning Marmon Wasp as we traipse towards the exit...

Also, for more museum insight, you may wish to check out my brief visit with IMS Historian Donald Davidson in: ‘D-Squared.

To continue reading, see; IMS Hall of Fame museum – 2011 visit

Kudos to Mr. Carpets - NoFenderz ‘Offical Photographer for the day’s outing & taking pictures!

(Pictures from Top to Bottom)
1. Janet Guthrie Racecar
2. Risoline Special (1968 Indy 500 winner: Bobby Unser)
3. #2 Johnny Lightning Special
4. 1948 Alfa Romeo

All photos courtesy of ‘Offical No Fenders Photographer ‘CARPETS - taken during our 2010 IMS Hall of Fame museum visit...