Living Legends

Located within the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Hall of Fame Museum is a must-see destination for all motorsports fans. This nonprofit facility, which opened its doors in 1956, features displays from the speedway’s storied past. The museum also pays homage to other significant racing and passenger cars throughout history.

We stopped in during the SVRA race weekend and were greeted with a fantastic exhibit paying tribute to Dan Gurney and his All American Racers team. Many iconic Gurney-designed machines were on display, including his Formula 1 car that won at Spa in 1967. The display also included a replica of the old Indy garages, including a set of genuine garage doors that were salvaged when the track was renovated.

Period artwork and photography line the walls of the Hall of Fame Museum, taking the visitor on a 100-year journey through the speedway’s amazingly rich history. For those who’d like to bring a bit of Indy home with them, there’s a photo archive on the second floor. Visitors can browse through hundreds of thousands of images from throughout the race track’s history. All of these images are for sale in a variety of sizes.

Expert curators are always on hand to answer questions and offer anecdotes. Many of them are retired fans of the speedway who have relocated from around the country just to work here and be part of the Indianapolis tradition.

Want to get out on track? Bus tours of the famed oval are available for just $8, and full grounds tours are available for just $8 more. They may even let you kiss the bricks if you ask nicely.

Open every day of the year– except for Christmas and Thanksgiving– the Hall of Fame Museum offers a unique glimpse into the hallowed past of this cathedral of speed. The trip should be on every automotive enthusiast’s bucket list.

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Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
1/7/16 10:58 a.m.

Indy is a place unlike any other. Every gearhead should go least once. This year will be the 100th running of the 500---- so it's a good year to go if you never have.

racerdave600 SuperDork
1/7/16 3:19 p.m.

I've been to a lot of race tracks, and there is something special about that place. I've been to the 500 and a couple of F1 races there, and it doesn't matter what race. You feel it just walking in. If you've never been there, even getting a sense of the size is difficult.

The only other track I've felt that was Darlington, and I'm not even a big Nascar fan. We raced there a few times however, and while not quite as special, you do feel the history there.

lasttr Reader
1/7/16 3:55 p.m.

We went to the Indy 500 last year and visited the museum a couple of days later. I wish I could have gone to the 500 back in the '60s when I used to listen to it on the radio. It's still a pretty cool experience, but not the same with all identical cars. To have been there when the front engine roadsters were battling with the new rear engine cars and every race season brought big changes...

Kramer Dork
1/9/16 9:16 p.m.

My dad and I sat behind Tom Carnegie when his screen popped up showing the Penske team was bumped entirely from the 500. I knew it happened before Tom made the announcement!

I also shook Richard Petty's hand and met a mustache-less Dale Earnhardt there (he went scuba diving earlier that week).

Not many tracks in the world have the history and tradition of Indy. I dream of the day the magic returns, and I'll visit whenever possible until that happens-I don't want to miss anything. Of course living in Indy helps!

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