The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has announced the opening of two new exhibitions, “1956” and “Our Collection, Your Favorites,” presented by Shell. The exhibitions are now open, and showcase collection highlights through two unique storytelling designs.
“1956” celebrates the origin of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. In 1956, the original Museum opened in what is now the location of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Administration building. This exhibition features the first 13 vehicles, including the Marmon Wasp and Indian Motorcycle. Collection items, including the Wheeler-Schebler trophy that was showcased for guests in the early days of the Museum, are complemented with narratives on the evolution of the Museum and those behind its original inception.
“Our Collection, Your Favorites” presented by Shell, puts the guest in the role of the curator. In March, guests, members, and fans could vote for cars in the Museum’s collection they wanted to see on display. After an online vote, the top 15 vehicles were selected. Collection items featured in this exhibition include over 30 diecast cars, vintage games, and racing suits.
“We wanted to pay homage to the first years of the Museum,” said Jason Vansickle, the Museum’s vice president of curation and education, about “1956.” “To see how it began as a modest display and has grown to be the largest collection of winning Indianapolis 500 cars is a testament to the vision of Tony Hulman, Wilbur Shaw, and Karl Kizer.”
In “1956,” guests will learn about the first curator of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, Karl Kizer, and how it has evolved into the independent, non-profit organization it is today. Visitors can sign the famed guest book before leaving the exhibition, similar to how they would have done in the original Museum.
“The concept for ‘Our Collection, Your Favorites,’ is inspired by the requests we would receive from guests asking when we were planning to display a certain car,” said Vansickle. “Everyone has their favorites they want to see featured, and we decided to let them curate this exhibition. I hope the guests enjoy seeing if their favorite made the exhibition.”
Various vehicles in the Museum collection hold significant meaning to race fans for many reasons: their favorite driver, the design, nostalgia, and more. When completing the online vote for “Our Collection, Your Favorites,” guests were asked to share why they selected the cars as their favorites. Some guests may discover their own words incorporated into the exhibition through those notes.
With the opening of these exhibitions, the Museum has unveiled a record eight new exhibitions in the last 18 months. The exhibition is open now through November. Admission is free to members and included in general admission.