Monday, February 06, 2017

quite bizzare, but true, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has some cool things that were donated, but never went into its museum, and they are finally tired of storing them, so it's auction time in 5 weeks

No, they don't seem to have any one with the motivation to take a single decent photo, even with a cell phone... but they are going to get these sold to go to a good home... so, there's that.

One old steam pumper, and a real 1826 praire schooner. The Consetoga wagon was prevalent in the east for heavy hailing, but the schooner was the choice of pioneers in the west for it's light weight when winching up mountains and crossing rivers... it was nearly a boat on wheels, an they sometimes had to float.

The pumper is an American LaFrance

Americana Auction
 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, Indiana
Saturday, March 11, 2017 @ 10:30 a.m.

Digging a bit I find that the reason these are coming out of deep long term storage and getting sold is that the museum wants to double in size  now that it has a new head honcho exec director who was realized the 1970s era museum that hasn't been ungraded in decades, and has 300 cars that can't get displayed because the museum is too small.

“The lighting, the technology, it’s vintage 1976,” said Betsy Smith, who is in her second year heading the nonprofit foundation that operates the museum. “We’re a racing museum, but nothing in here moves. Except the trophy.”

She nodded toward the Borg-Warner Trophy, the 5-foot tall Indy 500 winner’s trophy, which was rotating slowly on a lazy Susan. “I’d like to get some interactive technology in here and some video so that visitors could really experience racing,” she said.

Now, about 60 cars (1/5th of all their inventory) are displayed in the museum’s 30,000 square feet. The foundation owns 300 additional cars that for lack of space gather dust in the museum’s basement. “You never want to display your entire collection all at once,” Smith said, “but (with the expansion) we could display maybe 150 and rotate them more often.”

Instead of visitors simply inspecting parked cars, she wants to do a better job of telling the stories of the cars, possibly with video tablets placed around the vehicles that show the race cars actually racing or by other high-tech methods. “Like a hologram of Donald Davidson that you could ask questions to,” Smith said. Davidson is the Speedway’s encyclopedic historian who is known for having the most minute detail at his fingertips.

Visitors come from all over the world to see the Speedway’s museum, but total attendance, 127,000 last year, is 1/3rd the Indy Museum of Art and 1/10th of The Children’s Museum (about 1.2 million a year).

Doubling the size of the Speedway museum is a tall order of about $100 million, but unlike other museums, it has no endowment fund, no corporate sponsorship and until recently no members. It has relied on the Hulman-George family, which owns the track and allows the museum to stay in its building rent-free, and on gate receipts that amount to about $1 million a year.

Until now, the museum has never in its history tried to raise any money.  Seriously, how does it think it's representing 100 years of innovation in racing with 60 cars? No videos, no interaction, and nothing upgraded from the 70s? Hell, I've done a better job with this blog of telling Indy 500 history!

These items are being sold as non-collection assets unrelated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation's mission because they do not relate to racing or automobiles in any way, and were never intended to be displayed in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

 "The spectacular items in this one-of-a-kind auction tell important stories about life in America in the days of our grandparents and great grandparents, and deserve to be displayed and used in an appropriate setting. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum was never intended to be that setting and it is time they find a home where they can be enjoyed as treasured examples of American life of 75 to 100 years ago, or more" said Betsy Smith, executive director of the nonprofit Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation that operates the museum.

No comments:

Post a Comment