Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum - 5/24/2021


Ich bin ein Kartoffel
Feb 14, 2007
Mustang SVO - Frontier Pro-4X - BRZ
I had the opportunity to visit the IMS Museum while in Indianapolis. The cars/exhibits change often, so what I saw this time, isn't necessarily what will be seen if I go back later.

This time there was a section dedicated to past winners (this time including the first ever winner), a history on Rick Mears and Andy Granatelli's careers. Of course since the race is this upcoming weekend, there was all sorts of things going on, but we were pressed for time and could only get to the museum.

In the Rick Mears section it was interesting to watch the evolution of the cars from the late 1970s into the 1990s. The Andy Granatelli section had several innovative cars on display, including a couple turbine cars. There was even mention of a planned rotary powered car, but the USCA cut the displacement in half for those engines, making it noncompetitive, so they dropped the idea.

I was really interested in the turbo cars and spent lots of time studying the setups.

I didn't take photos of all the cars, but here's what I did snag (thumbnails, click to embiggen).

The Rick Mears exhibit showcased several of his non-Indy exploits as well. I really liked the look of this sand buggy, but there were also a desert truck and hill climb vehicles on display.

This is 1972 AAR Eagle was a Penske entry driven by Mark Donhue in the 1973 race. It qualified 3rd, but was sidelined by a burnt piston during the race to place 15th.

1982 winner piloted by Gordon Johncock, WIldcat chassis, 161 cubic inch (~2.64 liters) turbocharged Cosworth V8.


Only ZR1 C4 Corvette I have ever seen, this was a one of 7 (?) Meyers Special Edition.

1968 winner, Bobby Unser, Eagle chassis, Offenhouser engine. This car seemed unrestored (some cars looked better than new, others looked in as used condition), it was neat to see that the number and logos were hand painted.

100 Years of Indy car evolution here. The car in the foreground was the 2011 winner, driven by British driver Dan Wheldon in a Honda powered Dallara (as all cars where that year). While the car in the background is the inaugural was the 1911 winner, a Marmon Wasp driven by Ray Harroun (USA).


1971 winner, AJ Foyt. Notice the reverse flow naturally aspirated engine.


Al Unser piloted this turbo Ford V8 Colt chassis to the 1971 victory.


Reverse flow turbocharged Foyt V8? Yes, please. This was the 1977 winner, driven by A.J. Foyt, Jr.


John Zinc entered several cars over the years into the race, but this is the only one that took the win for him. I thought it was of interest since the John Zinc Co was something I heard about while growing up in Tulsa, but never knew they used to race as well.

This is one of the Granatelli Racing's turbine powered cars.

Since we were there the day after qualifying and a few days from the actual race, there was quite a bit going on. The museum is located on the south side of the infield of the 2.5 mile (~4 km) oval, close to turn 2. I wanted to see the Pagoda that was built just ahead of the 2000 F1 race, but this was as close as I could get without getting a tour (which I didn't have time for).


Spotted this pacecar as we were walking back to our vehicle. I don't think it's one that will be used on the track, just one of the clones that will be sold.