Friday, March 1, 2013

IMS Hall of Fame Museum: 2012 visit - The Sequel

Spirit of America (DOB Photos)
Tuh Duh! Here’s the final installment in the overly delayed posting of the multiple part story of this IMS Hall of Fame museo trilogy, albeit there could be a fourth part  if I tried recollecting hard enough my 2009 visit. (My debutant Indy 500...) As I decided to bookend the 2X Centennials by attending the Moto GP race instead; (as previously noted) but Nah, I think most of its gone, although I’ve got a bunch ‘O pictures from that trip floatin’ around here somewheres in the No Fenders scrap heap; CRIKEYS!

And it was shocking how much difference a lone year made, since the museum was the most crowded since I’ve begun this now yearly tradition; Hmm? Perhaps it was the HEAT? Although it’d cooled down somewhat from the scorching temperatures ‘O raceday, it was still HOT-HOT-HOT! (Outside; yeah, that’s gotta be duh ticket...) As I smiled to myself thinking ‘bout how the museum’s attendance had gone from nearly deserted just a scant three years ago - where I bumped into some chap named William Power! The day after the race, to over filled with way too many ‘Gawkers...

And may be it’s the economy? Or Jeffrey “I’m the Walrus” Belskus’s ever tightening financial grip? But not only was I basically ignored - the museum’s staff had the audacity to charge me attendance this time! (After having let me precede for free the past two year’s in-a-row; SHEEZ! I mean I kind of enjoy getting in for FREE! (Although it’s NOT like the 5-bucks admission fee killed me, right? I just like the preferential treatment my white cane sometimes affords me...)

And repeating that most belabored phrase here at NoFendersville - the day’s outing at Mother Speedway’s most excellante museuo is fast slippin’ away - as Tomaso continues to play! Hey, its summertime in Seattle and there’s actually been a whole lotta Uhm? Bright stuff; Hya! (‘Whale at least when I originally scribbled this, since we’ve just had the mother ‘O all rainstorms the Monday prior to Thanksgiving...)

Lotus P1!
Yep! Lotus was actually P1 as we walked into the over crowded museum’s main floor... As it was a REAL Lotus greeting us, as in Team Lotuses 1964 T-34 that Jimmy Clark put on the Pole for Indy that year before ultimately winding up second; as it was the sophomore season of Colin Chapman’s attack upon the Speedway, which we all know was victorious the following year.

Thus, in what has now become a common theme, I asked ‘CARPETS if he would take a picture of this beautiful racecar... And we waited ‘N waited for a clearing among the crowd, but finally gave up as there were simply too many people hovering around this sharp lookin’ Lotus...

All conquering 1966 Ford GT 40(Mk II (DOB Photos)
Sports Car Row
Think this is where we went next? As I’ve forgotten the exact sequence of viewing...  As I became dumbfounded over the marvelous brown? Ford GT-40 sitting parked in a stunning row of wicked Sports Cars. Asking Dave what it was?  As surely it’s a GT40, right? Dave said it’s a Mark I-I... NO buddy, that’s one of the baddest BAD ARSE Sports Cars of all time. The all conquering Ford GT-40 MarkII which crushed the competition at le Circuit de la Sarthe (Le Mans) in 1966!

While parked alongside I-T was la Scuderia’s final overall winner, the NART 1965 Ferrari 250LM, with another car I’d never seen before; a super narly lookin’ Corvette SS which I believe was from the Zora Arkus-Duntov era. A 1957 ‘Vette, perhaps? As I tend to recall there were five or more ‘Tin Tops lined up in Le Mans slanted starting position of the early 1960’s, when drivers actually ran across the track to their awaiting mounts to start the race, as I still recall watching some film of drivers hurtling themselves into awaiting cockpits - with Sir Stirling Moss or Jimmy Clark actually mangling their chassis in the process... 

VPJ Dihedral wing (DOB Photos)
(Pic-1) Ex-Lotus F1 Designer Maurice Philippe also designed cars built for Vel's Parnelli Jones "Super Team" in 1972 - which were tested with much secrecy employing side mounted dihedral wings...

’Ol Rufuses Private Collection
This was ‘kOOL! As the museum had a bunch ‘O Rufus Parnelli Jones private collection on hand, as we started with another batch ‘O cars I’d never seen, the Viceroy “Smokey-Smoke” (cigarette) chassis of the Vels Parnelli Jones Superteam era; when the team featured a three-driver lineup of ‘super Mario, ‘BIG AL and Joe Camel; Err Leonard as Mario Andretti and Al Unser Sr’s teammate.

VPJ Standard wing (DOB Photos
(Pic-2) After considerable experimentation prior to the first weekend of 500 qualifications by the Vel Miletich & Parnelli Jones (VPJ) team, it was determined the cars ran better with a standard rear wing...

There were two Viceroy Cars on hand, and one of them featured a very strange wing - I believe this is the Dihedral car designed by Maurice Philippe I’ve read about recently in Donald Davidson’s Autocorse History of Indianapolis book. (Which ‘CARPETS photos & borrowed captions above seem to confirm...)

And I think there was one of the BAD ARSE ‘Ba-Jah (Baja) Bronco’s - you know the Powered by ‘Oly winner... Hey, everybody from my generation up here knows that Oly stood for Olympia beer which was brewed in Tumwater, Washington - which its slogan was: It’s the Water!

And then there were the beautiful PJ-Colts, or as ‘CARPETS noted: WINNERS! As the brace ‘O ‘BIG AL’s 1970-71 Johnny Lightning Specials were parked side-by-side, and yeah, they’re two separate chassis... And can’t recall if the Joe Leonard turbine car was part of this grouping of insane vehicles or not - also previously having read how Lotus sold one of these unique chassis to Rufus in 1969...

Spirit of America
Obviously I wasn’t expecting to see this most unusual car? Err, rocket-sled on display at the Hall of Fame museum no less! As I very briefly know the history of Craig Breedlove, who was the first person to exceed 400, 500 and 600 miles-per-hour; Aye Karumba! All of these feats being accomplished in his various Spirit of America vehicles - yet when I think of Breedlove, I flash back to his ill-fated attempt to beat the BLOODY BRITS to the speed of sound upon land in which he failed miserably... Experiencing a wicked spin and crash when his crew miscalculated the Black Rock desert’s wind speed - along with destroying one of his few jet engines when a loose bolt was left inside of I-T! Thus licking his self-inflicted wounds, Breedlove’s camp could only watch dejectedly as RAF Wing Commander and F4U Phantom jet fighter pilot Andy Green went supersonic aboard Thrust SSC in 1997 with a two-way average speed of 763mph!


No. 54 Novi (DOB Photos)
Other Notables
Unfortunately I didn’t take any notes (once again) and thus I really cannot recall all of the Gems we saw - as I don’t even remember gawking at the Novi; YIKES! As this is surely one of the coolest; ‘Whale, Uhm? Definitely LOUDEST! Indy Cars of all time with its staccato supercharger furiously screaming towards maximum revolutions ensuring the V-8 engine it sat atop melody to be heard ALL the way ‘round Mother Speedway!

As there were other Pre-war racecars interspersed with various winners, like the Nalley Valley Potato Machine; Err, sorry inside joke there. As Nalley’s used to be a home grown affair... It was actually thee Rachel’s ’98 Eddie Cheever winner, etc. As it was fun seeing the Rachel’s-mobile parked alongside a different era’s mount in order to notice the stark characteristics of tyres, wings, etc. May be the Bobby Unser 1968 Risoline?

And I think The Flying Dutchman’s Pizza-mobile was there, along with ‘Gordie’s (Gordon Johncock) ’73 STP Eagle, as the traditional grouping of what I commonly call “Winners Row” was redistributed throughout the museum.

Also quickly PEAK’ed at one of the Cummins Diesel Special’s, as the original version is currently on loan in Tacoma, WA at LeMay-America’s Car Museum... While I got to briefly drool over Joe Leonard’s pole-winning Lotus 56 turbine-car.

Please forgive me for omitting any of the other treasured race cars on hand - have just forgotten them, as it always seems like a bit ‘O sensory overload when visiting the museo...

DannyBoyz Mount
As we gravitated back towards the Jim Clark Lotus to take my picture - a sudden roar of people excitedly moving about the museum washed over us... Perfect timing for a Photo-Op, as the museum’s staff was rolling in the 2011 Indy 500 winning Bryan Herta Autosports entry driven by the late Dan Wheldon, to which I told Dave I wanna pic of I-T!

But Dave said there were too many people around it, so we walked off to view the other suddenly forlorned raceing cars on display, whilst I recall while circling back a woman was trying to take a picture of another racecar to which Dave said: She’s trying to take your picture... NO she’s NOT, silly! To which the woman replied to me: How do you know, may be I am?

And with the crowd having now vacated Wheldon’s car, I had ample time to examine the No. 98 somewhat up close, as I sure do like those ‘Ol CRAPWAGONS; Hya! Actually I’ve never really been that bothered by them and I still prefer them OVER the new DW-12, (which Derrick Daly hit a home run recently upon Autosport Radio by referring to I-T’s rear flanks as Kardashian humps...) albeit it didn’t look as horrific as I’d thought previously when checking out Helio’s Showcar at the airport. But I sure wish DannyBoy ‘SPIKE Wheldon was here, albeit I’m glad that thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown got the ride...

(All Photos Courtesy of No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer ‘CARPETS)

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