The ghosts of the past loom everywhere at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. You feel their presence wherever you step. I always get chills walking across the track on race morning, imagining who made a daring pass here, who lost control and hit the wall, what it would look like in a car at the start of the race. This weekend the ghosts came alive.
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association made their third visit to IMS. I made my first visit to this meeting. For those who love old cars, not just old race cars, this is a must see event. It is a museum come to life. You can walk through the garages and see the cars. Then you take a seat in the stands and watch them race. Saturday’s main race was a pro-am event featuring former 500 drivers paired with an amateur driver. Robby Unser won in this Cobra.
The group has race meets all across the country in a season that begins in February. In addition to IMS, they also race at Sebring, Road America, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Sonoma, and Fontana. Cars are grouped according to type, year, and engine displacement. The people I talked to from the organization are passionate about what they do. As a fan who loves the history of the sport, I appreciate their dedication to preserving the past.
The Motostalgia Classic Car Auction took place Saturday evening. Classic passenger cars and race cars were available for bid. I escaped without making a purchase. Here are a few of the beauties that I was just a few thousand dollars short of getting:
I had seen many of the cars race at the Speedway. Seeing the evolution of technology unfold so graphically was the highlight of the show for me. One garage row began with a 1911 National that raced in the inaugural 500. Walking further down the row, there were roadsters from the 50s and 60s, early rear engine cars, and the cars of the 90s.
My favorite car of the show was not an Indy Car. the Brian Redman Formula 500 machine ( below). At one time it was converted to a Can-Am spec before restored to this version. Redman’s autograph is just below the Year in Goodyear. I thought this just screamed, “I’m a race car!” I never saw an F5000 race live, but I can imagine the noise and the vibration of the ground.
Tomorrow I will post more photos. I took way too many to put in one post.
I hope this show returns to IMS next year. I will definitely return. Next up on my bucket list summer is Road America next weekend. I plan to post something each day and a race review by Tuesday.
Note- Thank you all for the overwhelming response to Friday’s post. I was very touched by your thoughts.