It’s been more than eighty years since the Indianapolis Motor Speedway went through a major renovation. Since then, the track has been used for numerous racing events and is still the home of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Now, one of the most interesting museums in the world resides in the heart of Indianapolis.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is filled with historical treasures which are on display for everyone to see. The staff and volunteers of the museum are more than happy to share their passion for cars and motorsport with anyone who visits, and it shows.
As one of the largest car museums in the world, the collection here is massive; it houses over 140 vehicles from more than a century of automotive history. In fact, the museum is so large that it has several locations including the International Speedway and the Ohio State Fair. There’s also a new location in the city which is open for the 2019 racing season. The museum even offers a behind-the-scenes tour which gives you the unique opportunity to see how things work at the Speedway.
An Important Artifact From The Past
One of the most prominent pieces of art at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is probably the first motorized vehicle displayed there – the 1902 Benz. It’s unusual for a museum to showcase such an early model, as most of the vehicles there are from more recent years, but the Benz was the first of its kind and is therefore a precious piece of automotive history.
The Benz isn’t the only unusual or precious piece of art at the museum. The museum also houses The H.O. Curtis Capper Collection, which contains over 40 pieces of artwork that are on display for everyone to see. The collection was donated to the Speedway by the founder of the Curtiss-Wright company, and it shows cars and aviation paintings by well-known artists like Frederick Kurtz and Ben Shahn. The pieces are on display and available for purchase. If you’re looking for a unique piece of art, this is one of the best museums in the world to find it.
How Many Cars Do You Need To See For Yourself?
If you’re only visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum as a tourist, you’ll most likely want to see as much as you can in as little time as possible. Luckily, the museum provides a guide which recommends and organizes the individual cars, trucks, and buses which you’ll need to see to get a full understanding of motor vehicle history. It also details the size of each vehicle’s footprint, so you know how much room you have to look around.
The guide also details important car stats such as the year it was produced, the number of cylinders, and its original list price. It also includes photographs and background information about each subject. Nowadays, the guide is available for free at the information desk, but you have to register for an account on the spot if you want to print off a copy.
A Museum Which Everyone Should See
It’s not just about seeing a lot in a short amount of time in Indianapolis – you have to make sure that you see the whole museum. The more you know about cars and motorsport, the more you’ll appreciate the unique collection of vehicles and memorabilia. The Speedway was originally built back in the twenties, and it’s been the site of many historic events over the years. Even after all these years, the passion for racing still burns brightly within the museum. It’s one of the biggest attractions in Indianapolis and should not be missed by anyone interested in cars and motorsport.
The collection at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is so huge that it could easily take a lifetime to see it all. It contains more than 140 vehicles and memorabilia which is organized into ten galleries spanning over 6,500 square feet. Entry to the Speedway is free, and even if you want to pay the admission fee to see the rest of the museum, it’s still a great value.
There’s a lot more to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum than cars and motorsport, however. The museum also contains a great deal of history about the area, and it’s well worth a visit for anyone interested in the American Biker Movement of the 1960s or Dr. Martin L. “Doc” Herpolsheimer, who established the first medical clinic in Indianapolis in 1896.
Whatever your interests are, there’s something in the museum which will pique your interest. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is located at the corner of Georgetown Road and Emerson Street in Indianapolis, and it’s open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, see the website at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.