–Thanks to Fritz Frommeyer for this first-person account. He’ll have more about the exhibit in his Jan/Feb 2020 Vintage Motorsport column.
Speedway, IN — The curated diversity of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s collection was on display Tuesday evening during a preview of the museum’s newest exhibit, “From the Vault,” for museum members and the news media. With its limited floor space, the museum must keep many of its vehicles and artifacts in secure storage in its basement (vault), so this is an effort to bring seldom-seen artifacts into public view.
“This exhibit is special because it shows that potpourri of the 350 cars that we have in the collection,” said Jason Vansickle, the museum’s curator of vehicles. He pointed out that those include race cars, pace cars and passenger vehicles.
The 1938 Bowes Seal Fast Special was up from the basement. Originally powered by a supercharged straight-eight of Miller lineage, it contended for the lead in 1939’s Indianapolis 500 with Louie Meyer. Tazio Nuvolari was pictured in the car and Rex Mays put it on the pole in 1940.
A big attraction Tuesday evening was the large number of highly polished trophies, many of which were shown out of display cases, creating a more three-dimensional setting that better shows their artistic shapes. Trophies ranged from early U.S. racing to examples from the Rudolf Caracciola collection and later U.S. tokens of achievement.
The depth of the Museum’s collection also was shown by a selection of hats worn by famous personalities and by racing games, including an Atari 2600 with “Pole Position.”
“From the Vault,” supported by a grant from Bank of America, runs through April 20, 2020.