INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, Indianapolis, IN - November, 2000
We were in Indianapolis to attend the Saturday wedding of one of Michelle’s former college roommates and sorority sister. It was a very nice wedding and we enjoyed the reception.
(Jennifer and Mike’s wedding Saturday November 4)
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY – TOUR
Sunday afternoon we toured the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The grounds are accessed using a tunnel under the track. The entrance to the tunnel is off of 16th street.
The City of Indianapolis was a leader in the fledgling automobile industry when the speedway was build as a combination race track and testing facility in 1909.
We have a certificate to prove we completed one lap on the track. That sounds impressive doesn’t it! Now, we have to tell you, we were on a bus. You would have been able to tell from the photographs anyway. We didn’t even reached 30 MPH - but – it was a good tour with a very informative taped commentary.
The Hall of Fame Museum is located on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Hall of Fame was created in 1952 for the purpose of perpetuating the names and memories of outstanding personalities in racing and the development of the automobile industry. The museum has an interesting and varied collection of cars. Don’t miss the 18-minute video of the track's history. They show it on the hour and half-hour
You purchase tickets for the museum and the bus tour inside the museum lobby. Admission to the Hall of Fame Museum was $3 per person and the bus tour
for the lap on the track was also $3 per person. As with any attraction,
traveling in the off-season made for a very light crowd. The day was unseasonably
warm making it a beautiful visit.
This postcard shows the track and speedway layout. The track has been a 2.5 mile oval since
it was built in 1909. While the
speedway has had an up and down history, it has been mostly up since WWII. They
recently added a road course and the future looks very bright as auto racing
continues to draw huge crowds.
Postcard photo by Dave Willoughby
Postcard photo by Ron McQueeney
Originally a stone and oil track, it was soon improved to a track made of 3,200,000 brick pavers each weighing nine pounds. Thus, the name "The Brickyard". The pavers were covered with asphalt in 1937 except for the straight-away which was not asphalted until 1961. They have retained a 36" strip of the original brick at the Start/Finish line.
This photograph of a photograph in their display shows the start of the first Indianapolis 500 race held in 1911.
The following photographs show the winning cars of the 1911 and 1998 annual Indianapolis 500 races.
The 1911 Indianapolis 500 race was the first known use of a running start and pace car to begin a race. This 1911 Stoddard Dayton pace car was used for that race.
This 1934 Charlie Allen midget, is said to be the first midget racer built. This midget racer was a really sharp little car – smaller than it looks in the photographs .
The 1932 Cadillac (V-16) pictured here has an interesting history. It was purchased by Milton Nacker as a gift for his wife. She died very soon after the purchase. The car has only 143 actual mile on it. The guide, who used a cloth to open the door to avoid touching the door handle with his bare hand, said it was worth $1.25 million.
In order for the passenger to be an effective "back seat driver", the car was equipped with a speedometer in the passenger area.
Fred found the tread pattern on some race car tires interesting. They only put tread on the outside half of the racing tires in some years. This Firestone "dipped rubber" tire obviously had "non-skid" qualities.
This 1931 Cummins Diesel powered racer was the first car to finish the "500" without a pit stop.
A 1967 race car had a side mounted engine.
This is the car that started the whole thing. This 1886 Benz - Patent Motor Car was patented on January 29,1886.
We could take you on a tour of more of the cars we saw and found interesting. We have more photographs but will restrain ourselves so you can go and enjoy the vehicle displays for yourself.
We recommend a visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to anyone with even a slight interest in racing and automobile development. While the tour book says you should allow an hour, an hour will not be enough for many people. Mary Lou has a hidden passion for fast cars and fast boats and was very interested in the history of the speedway and the cars. We were there for about three hours.
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