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BOTCON  -  SORTA  NEAR  CHICAGO
(griffin's 2015 BotCon adventure)


- FRIDAY 12th JUNE - Indianapolis  Raceway  Museum - Part 1 -

This wasn't a priority of mine on this trip, as it was more for filling in a day while in Indianapolis (the Transformers Exhibit was the reason for being in this city), but it proved to be a worthwhile day in the end, even with the overcast and sometimes raining day.
Ultimately I ended up seeing a large number of sports cars that were worth millions of dollars, and several cars that had Transformers Toys based on them.

For those in Australia that are unfamiliar with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it is like Bathurst.  They are both like a holy ground for petrol-heads.
It was first built in 1909 as a racetrack and testing track for the local automotive industry, and by the time the first endurance race of 500 miles (the Indy 500) in 1911 the racetrack was paved with bricks... giving it the nickname of the brickyard.
Between 1937 and 196 it was progressively resurfaced with asphalt, leaving just a small band of bricks as the finish line in honor of its brick history.
So the last few years have been celebrated for their milestones...
2009 was the 100th anniversary of the racetrack.
2011 was the 100th anniversary of the first Indy 500 race.
2016 will be the 100th running of the Indy 500 race (some years were missed during the two Wars).
 

1pm...
The taxi from the hotel slowed down to enter the main gate but the attendant stopped him and told him to head to main office further along, as a ticket was needed before anyone could enter the grounds today.

So further up the taxi dropped me off at gate 1 and two signs nearby said "Pedestrian entrance 1 block east".
No arrows or anything to say which direction... just "east" as if people are expected to have a compass on hand.

To the right of that gate above was the head office, so I went in there to ask where east was, or more specifically, where the pedestrian entrance was, and he pointed to the direction of where my taxi was first trying to drive in.
I said that I was only wanting to check out the museum, but he said that since they had a car show on today, I would have to buy a ticket to get onto the grounds.
I didn't like the sound of that, as I'm not a car enthusiast, so I didn't think that I would have any interest in it, and didn't want to be paying extra for just the Museum.
Fortunately the cheapest admission was $15, and Museum admission was $8... and it ended up being a good thing that there was a car show on, as it was more interesting than I had expected, while the Museum itself was less impressive than I had expected.  If it was just the Museum open, it would have felt like a bit of a wasted day, as I only ended up being in there for 40 minutes, but the car show had me there for a couple of hours.

The map I grabbed from the ticket desk in the head office.
Gate 1 (where I was dropped off) is bottom right at grandstand E.  The entrance for the cars was at gate 2 (at black 2 on the right), and the museum was a little to the left of that gate (grey rectangle).

So after I got my ticket, I proceeded "east" to gate 2, and showed it to the attendant who stopped my taxi a little earlier.
Walking up the driveway that goes under that part of the grandstand, I was at the Museum.

Looking back at the massive ring of grandstands.

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Inside the Museum, it was just on 1.30pm when I got my ticket.

The map of the Museum. I basically went clockwise from A (the entrance is at the bottom).

Since there are signs for the more important things, and I don't know much about cars, let alone Indy Cars, there won't be a lot of commentary on this page... so scroll through and read what you can.

Trophy cases... apparently all from the one guy.

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Looking to the right of the entrance, with about 30 of the winning race cars over the last 99 Indy 500 races (yes, next year is the 100th race of the Indy 500... even though the 100th anniversary of the first race was 2011, because there were years during the world wars that didn't have races).

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An aerial photo of the race track, with the museum in the foreground (and the gate that I entered below that).  Over on the left is the finish-line and Tower.

So starting from the left of the Museum, a special exhibit of Racer Dan Gurney and his various cars. He was a professional racer for 15 years, winning 51 major races.across a variety of forms of vehicles, from 1955... and then was a race team owner for 30 years after that.

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This one was interesting, as the design is similar to a Transformers car called Daytonus... which was also named after the Daytona 500 Race, which featured these GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) race cars, that were unique with their rectangular shape from above.  The Daytonus toy was a different model of GTR as this is a Toyota, but the original toy was first designed back in the early 1990s for the Generation Two toyline when the GTR race cars were looking like this, but that toy didn't end up getting released until 2001 (in Robots in Disguise).
It is a very unusual car to see in person.

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Now we are in the section on the museum of vehicles that were made in Indiana... which it might surprise some people to know that at one time, Indiana was producing more cars than Michigan (where Detroit is located, which is now considered the motor capital of America).

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Now the section of the Museum of "Select race cars from other racing series".


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Up in the back corner I saw this unusual object... it's actually a trophy, from a long time ago, and as you can see on the side, it was the trophy for quite a few races.

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Along the far wall (noted as J on the map) was dedicated to Hall of Fame inductees and model cars over the last century.

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Something near the toilets at the back.

And now the right-hand side of the museum on the map, featuring winning cars and speed record holder cars.

100 years of race winners, with the mustard coloured one being the winning car in the first year of the race (in 1911), and the orange/white one being the winner in the 2011 race.
They are next to each other to show the difference 100 years makes with car racing.

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And the winning car in the second year of the race (1912).

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Continuing through the cars chronologically, from oldest to the most recent, to see the evolution of the race cars over time.

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And back to the start with the most recent winning car in the collection.

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We also get a look at the old and new in terms of engines as well.
Here is the engine on the 2011 winning car...

And the engine on a 1903 car... which was actually quite a big and advanced motor at that time (just like the 2011 motor would be for a modern day car).

We are now in the section on the far right of the Museum (on the map) that had an assortment of cars that held records for various things... but not for this racetrack.

That car that was above was amusing, because it was built for a car race in New York in 2004, but it was too heavy to be allowed, so they tried to remove as much from the car as possible, including drilling holes in the metal frame, but was not able to get under the maximum.

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A racing engine from the early 1920s.  Very tall and thin.

Four spare tires... very unusual.

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The trophy for the race since the 1960s. The winner gets a smaller replica of the trophy, and, they get their face added to the trophy.

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This was the trophy they used in the early years, and it was around for a few years before the race-track was even built.

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And along the wall (at G on the map) are an assortment of various trophies over the years, of various race tracks.  There are some odd ones in there.

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Finally, along the right-hand wall (at H on the map) is a pictoral timeline of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (I didn't photograph the whole thing, just the start and anything interesting).

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That was it 2.20pm, and I headed right towards the tower, and passed by this memorial (I rhink).

The next part deals with the Car show and Auction.


Go to Part Two
 

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***All pictures in this convention report are mine unless noted. Any that are borrowed, have the source credited/noted.  If you want to use/borrow any of my photos, please credit the source as well. I try to take as many of my own photos as possible, and usually only resort to using others if I failed to get something, or my photo wasn't clear enough.

OZFORMERS - The Australian (and Asia) Transformers Fansite for News and Interaction (started way back in 1996)
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BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
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To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au