Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

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Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
IMS HOF Museum.jpg
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is located in Indianapolis
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Location in Indianapolis
Established 1975
Location 4790 West 16th Street
Speedway, Indiana 46222
Coordinates 39°47′25″N 86°14′01″W / 39.790298°N 86.233597°W / 39.790298; -86.233597
Type Automotive
Website Official website

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is an automotive museum on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, United States, which houses the Auto Racing Hall of Fame.[1] It is intrinsically linked to the Indianapolis 500, but it also includes exhibits reflecting other forms of motorsports, passenger cars and general automotive history. In 2006, it celebrated its 50th anniversary. Many Indy 500-winning cars are on display.

The museum is independently owned and operated by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation, Inc., a registered 501(c)(3) organization.[2] The museum dates back to 1956, and moved to the current building in 1976. It is located in the infield of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race course, and is open year-round.


Image of the original Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum building
Entrance of the museum, 2015

The first museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was completed April 7, 1956[3][4][5] It was located on the southwest corner of the property, outside turn one of the famous oval, at the corner of 16th Street and Georgetown Road. Its exhibits included Ray Harroun's 1911 Indy 500 winning car, and a handful of other vehicles. Karl Kizer became the first curator.[3] When it opened, it only had six cars.[3] Within a number of years, dozens of collector cars were being donated and acquired. It did not take long for management to realize that the building was of insufficient size.[3][5] According to Speedway publicist Al Bloemker, by 1961, the museum was seeing an average of 5,000 visitors per week (not including month of May crowds).[6]

In 1975, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway broke ground on a new 96,000-square-foot (8,900 m2) museum and administration building, located in the infield of the track.[4] The two-story white building was made of Wyoming quartz, and along with the museum, housed office space, the ticket office, a gift shop, and photography department. It officially opened to the public on April 5, 1976,[3] coinciding with the year-long United States Bicentennial celebration.[4] It officially operated under the name Hall of Fame Museum, but was known colloquially as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. The original museum building outside turn one was kept intact, and converted into additional office space.

The museum, representing the entire facility, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.[5]

In the summer of 1993, the original museum building outside of turn one was demolished. In its place a multimillion-dollar administration building was erected. The administrative and ticket offices were moved out of the infield museum building, and relocated to the new admin office. This freed up floor space in the museum for an expanded gift shop and other exhibits.

In 1993, the museum parking lot hosted the first "Indy 500 Expo" during race festivities, an outdoor interactive spectator exhibit. In 1995, it was expanded and renamed "Indy 500 FanFest". It was discontinued after 1997, but in recent years, smaller displays sponsored by Chevrolet have featured former pace cars and other exhibits.

In 2016, a revitalization and modernization project began, to expand the museum floor and add interactive displays. In addition, in April 2016, the facility was officially renamed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.


The museum rotates a display of over 75 cars at any given time.[3] Due to considerable space restraints, only a small portion of the total collection can be displayed.[5] Many cars are stored in the invitation-only basement, or at separate off-site facilities. Some of the cars in storage, however, are not restored to display condition. Frequently, cars are sent on loan for display at other museums, historical car shows, parades, and other activities.

The collection includes[3][4][5][7] over thirty Indianapolis 500 winning cars, various other Indy cars, and several racing cars from other disciplines. Other items on display include trophies, plaques, racing paraphernalia such as helmets, gloves, and driver's suits. A collection of models, photographs, toys, and paintings are also for view. One display exhibits a timeline of scoring devices.

Indy 500 winning cars[edit]

Harroun's 1911-winning Marmon "Wasp" on display at the museum.
The winning cars of Arie Luyendyk (30), Jacques Villeneuve (27) and Eddie Cheever (51) on display at the museum in 2008.
A. J. Foyt's 1977 winning car

Other Indy cars[edit]

1925 Miller Junior Eight on display at the museum.

Passenger cars[edit]

Rubens Barrichello's SF02 on display at the museum.
Sid Collins exhibit
PPG Trophy for the Brickyard 400

Other race cars[edit]


  • Permanent home for the Borg-Warner Trophy
  • The Wheeler-Schebler Trophy, which pre-dates the Borg-Warner
  • Permanent home for the PPG trophy, awarded to the winner of the Brickyard 400
  • Historic Race of Two Worlds trophy
  • Display case of historic trophies and medals from a broad range of racing events

Selected exhibits[edit]

  • Indianapolis 500 picture wall including winner's portrait and car photograph of every Indianapolis 500 winner from 1911 to 2014
  • Various paintings and photographs from noteworthy artists
  • Speedway photography department, including over 4 million images
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network exhibit, including antique radio equipment
  • The Tony Hulman theatre, showing a short film about the history of the race
  • An additional admission includes a bus tour of the track
  • Louis Chevrolet Memorial


Due to the size of the collection, and space constraints on the display floor, a large portion of the collection is stored in the basement. Some cars are rotated into display, while others remain downstairs permanently, out of view from the public. The basement at the museum is strictly off-limits to the public, and admittance is by invitation only. The contents of the basement collection has become a source of folklore and mystique, as only a chosen few have been allowed to enter, and photography is not allowed.

Auto Racing Hall of Fame[edit]

The Auto Racing Hall of Fame

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame, also referred to as Auto Racing Hall of Fame,[1] dates back to 1952. It was established and supported by the AAA and Ford Foundation.[3] It was originally the brainchild of Tony Hulman[3] who had expressed interest in starting a racing hall of fame shortly after he purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1946.[3] As of 2015, there have been 150 inductees enshrined into the hall.

The AAA dropped out of racing entirely in 1955. After being established for only three years, and after only a handful of historical, "veterans committee" inductees, the hall of fame went dormant. A year later, the first Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum opened its doors. In 1961, Hulman acquired and revived the hall of fame,[3] and incorporated it into the Speedway's museum organization.

Candidates can be nominated after at least twenty years from the first date of active participation in professional-level auto racing. A short list of eight finalists from before 1970, and eight after 1970 are placed on the ballot. Inductees must receive 75 percent of the votes of a roughly 150-member[1] panel of racing officials, living hall of fame members, and selected media representatives. Participation and accomplishments in the Indianapolis 500 are heavily weighed, but are not the lone factors in consideration. Voting is usually held annually in the spring, and members are inducted about a week before the race during a special ceremony. There is no set number of inductees for each year, and the number varies annually.

Inductees that are deceased are sometimes assigned Speedway historian Donald Davidson to accept the award in their memory. In 2004, former car owner Roger Penske accepted the award on behalf of Emerson Fittipaldi, who could not make the trip from Brazil. The current inductees are summarized below.[10]

The 2016 inductee was Paul Goldsmith.

Inductees - Drivers[edit]

Inductees - Contributors[edit]


In 2007, the town of Speedway, Indiana unveiled a large redevolpment plan for the vicinity of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.[12] Some plans have included a new larger Hall of Fame Museum, located outside the track to the south. No official plans have been announced.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kelly, Paul (2010-04-28). "Davidson, Travers, Coon Comprise 2010 Class For Auto Racing Hall". IMS LLC. Retrieved 2010-04-29. 
  2. ^ Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Official Blog
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k ."1996 Indianapolis 500 Official Program". Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 1996-05-26. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Hall of Fame Museum". Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Museum displays auto racing history". 2007-05-07. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  6. ^ Fred Agabashian 1961 Interviews
  7. ^ Davidson, Donald; Loscar, Mary Ellen; Bireley, Ellen; Shunck, Steve (2011), The Ultimate Indianapolis 500 Winning Car Collection, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum: Weibel Design Inc. & Brad Hoffner Designs Inc. 
  8. ^ a b c "Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum Sends Three Cars to Darlington Historic Racing Festival". 2009-07-20. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  9. ^ "Indy 500 Pace Car Reunion Bringing Classic Autos To IMS This Weekend". 2006-05-18. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  10. ^ "2002 Record Book: Indianapolis 500". Indianapolis Star. 2002. 
  11. ^ Meyer, Leonard To Be Inducted Into Auto Racing Hall Of Fame
  12. ^ "Speedway Redevelopment Commission". Speedway Redevelopment Commission. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 

External links[edit]