BOTCON - SORTA NEAR CHICAGO
(griffin's 2015 BotCon adventure)
I wasn't actually sure where the car show was, as people and cars were on both sides of the Museum, so I just decided to head over towards the finish-line tower. At least if I chose incorrectly and couldn't be bothered walking to the other side, I would see the main track and Pitlane... and head out the Gate 6 exit (at the "Paddock" grandstand on the map below) to go to the nearby stores later.
While walking over to the finish-line, every couple of minutes there
would be a fleet of tow-trucks and emergency vehicles doing a lap in formation.
I saw this stretch limo that looked like it had been stretched with
I had been walking for almost 10 minutes among parked trucks and support
vehicles, so I was worried that I was walking where pedestrians were not
permitted, but as I came to the pit-lane, I saw that there were people
and cars in the distance, so that looked hopeful.
This is behind the pits, with the doors on the left going into where
each car's team would be located. On this day, people showing off
their cars, and racing them throughout the weekend, were located inside
The massive air intakes that run under the car to feed the engine at
the back of the car.
I cautiously ventured out onto the actual pit lane, as I wasn't sure
if it was off-limits.
There were still vehicles doing laps on the main race-track, so there
was no way I was going to try to go out there... but for me, this was good
enough. This was like walking pit lane at Bathurst, and that's just
as good as walking on the actual track (because the race cars drive on
If Dispensor transformed into a race car... and changed soft-drink brand.
This car had the same colours of the unreleased original Daytonus toy
For some reason this car reminds me of Gen1 Tracks... but it's a completely
different car model.
Once I had wandered along the pits, I saw that there was another area
that had fancy cars and people, so I had to check it out.
I found out that it was a car auction... and not just any cars... these
were rare and expensive collectable cars.
I didn't stick around for the auction, but did wander around and took photos of cars... especially the ones that Transformers toys were based on or inspired by.
This is a Porsche 930, which is very close to the original series Jazz
toy, which was a 935.
Some other Porsches, which have the same familiar style to them as Jazz.
This was the most exciting one for me... a Lambourghini Countach 5000
The original series Sideswipe toy was a 500 S, and the only significant difference was that this one had a bigger engine, and the front of the car was slightly bigger to accomodate it. But everything else on the exterior was essentially identical to the Sideswipe toy.
I still get chills looking at these photos. It's like looking at a real live Transformer... or just an oversized version of a toy I've had for nearly 30 years.
The disappointing thing was that a yellow light was shining on the car,
making it look pinkish in the photos.
Yes... it's estimated that it could sell at the auction for about half
a million dollars.
This next one also looked very familiar, but I had to look it up later.
I ended up realising that it was the Actionmaster car for Wheeljack that was based on this car... as well as the Throttlebot Chase, but it looks a little deformed, so wasn't as obvious to me.
Not the same model of race car, but damn... doesn't this just make you
think Mirage. It's probably closer to the RobotMasters Mirage in
design than the original series Mirage... but who cares, because it looks
The car used for Soundwave in the 2011 Transformers Movie, expected
to sell for about US$150,000.
Laserbeak is extra.
I didn't end up getting the entire yellow car in the photo, but it made
me think of Alternators Sunstreaker.
This one seems very familiar, but I haven't figured it out yet if it
was a Transformers toy... maybe I'm just thinking of Windcharger/Tailgate.
Some really old cars in the show-room.
This was the oldest car in the auction, an REO Model G from 1908, and
was listed as still in running condition.
This one is a recreation of a record-setting car. Must be pretty authentic
to the original as it was valued at almost US$400,000.
But wait... there's more.
I walk out of that showroom to find that the building next to it was
also housing cars for the auction.
These were the lesser value cars, but by no means less interesting.
This here is a Ferrari 308 GTB... the type of car that Wildrider was
based on. So if you count the Lambourghini as Breakdown, we have
two Stunticons here today, in disguise with different colours.
This is also a Ferrari 308, but this time a GTS... with a lowered back
cover that had me thinking Overdrive, who is a 365.
This one just had me laughing... the door is at the front of the car,
and it is is actually an electric car from the 1950s. And it's a
Another funny car... this time with just 3 wheels, which was done to
avoid paying as much tax, as the tax was based on 2 or 4 wheels.
Since it didn't have 4 wheels, it fell into the 2-wheel tax bracket.
There were a couple of other "Transformers" cars that were there but
not in my photos.
I had picked up one of the booklets at the door of the auction room (they had heaps, so didn't feel bad that I wasn't a potential customer), and photographed some of the pages.
Artwork was also for auction.
On the left page at the bottom is a Datsun 280Z. Datsun was Nissan
in some countries, and the 280Z was the predecessor of the 280ZX (Bluestreak,
Prowl, Smokescreen), so are very similar in appearance, and both were called
Fairlady Z (which was the number plate on Bluestreak).
The yellow car on the right page was the one that made me think of Alternator
Sunstreaker in the showroom, but seeing it with everything closed, it doesn't
look much like it.
Lot 147 on the left page is a modified early predecessor of the Ford
GT car that was used for the Alternator Mirage toy.
At 3pm I left the auction room, as they were closing up to start the auction, and I didn't want to be caught inside, or accidentally win something.
I headed for the finish-line tower, and found a roadway that went under
the track, so went through and went up into the stands to take some photos
of what people would be seeing of the races from this position.
And the brick strip at the finish line.
I walked out of the Speeday at 3.10pm (just over 2 hours there, which
was better than the half hour I would have had if it was just the Museum),
and later in the day when I was passing back past the racetrack, I saw
this water tower nearby, reminding everyone that Indianapolis is the Speedway
Racing capital of the world.
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OZFORMERS - The Australian
(and Asia) Transformers Fansite for News and Interaction (started way
back in 1996)
BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website
To contact me --> griffin @ otca.com.au