Indianapolis, IN — Officials from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation — the non-profit organization that operates the IMS Museum and owns the Museum collection — announced Friday (June 19) that they will implement a strategic deaccessioning program to enable the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum to focus directly on its mission of celebrating the thrill, innovation and adventure of motor racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Indiana’s rich automotive heritage.
An accepted best practice among museums, deaccessioning is the term for the process of removing an item from a museum’s permanent collection. The IMS Foundation is undertaking the process with automobiles and motorcycles that are not related to the Museum’s mission, and proceeds will be used for future acquisitions directly related to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 and Indiana automotive history, and for the direct care of the Museum’s collection.
The future sale of the items is part of an ongoing, multi-year initiative established in 2015 by the IMS Foundation Board of Directors that was followed by a study of the vehicle collection initiated in 2018. Sales will not include any Indianapolis 500-winning cars or other historically significant race cars in the collection, such as the 1954/55 Mercedes-Benz W196, 1964 Ferrari 250LM or 1966 Ford GT40.
Jason Vansickle, the museum’s curator of vehicles, explained the process to this point:
“Over the past 60-plus years the Foundation acquired, by purchase and donation, a wide variety of automobiles and motorcycles, many with no connection to auto racing, the Speedway, or the Indiana auto industry. With the 2018 study, the Foundation began a process of defining what its collection should be, in terms of the collection’s scope and priorities in each focus area.
“Our curatorial and collections staff have reviewed our collection over the past two years, and vehicles that do not help the Foundation serve its mission or are duplicative of other, better examples were recommended to the Board for deaccessioning.”
The IMS Museum is preparing to reopen July 7, and IMS track tours are scheduled to resume July 6. The popular exhibit, “From the Vault presented by Bank of America,” has been extended until March 21, 2021, and a new exhibit scheduled to open Aug. 1 will be announced soon.