The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a legendary place. For more than a century, race car drivers have long coveted a win at the “Brickyard.” And fans return year after year to year after year, anxious to see who takes the checkered flag. The track has built quite a name for itself in the racing world. And for car enthusiasts like me, there’s no better place to be in the month of May.
This past Saturday was opening day at the track. More than 160 classic/vintage automobiles were on display as part of the “Celebration of Automobiles.” Each car in the exhibit had played a significant role in IMS history for one reason or another. Several had been used as pace cars. Others were ground-breaking examples of the way the automobile industry was growing.
The 1932 Indy 500 pace car, the Lincoln KB, featured a larger, more powerful 150 horsepower, V12 engine. Cars like the 1932 Graham 57 Blue Streak made a ride in the Indy 500 not only smoother, but safer. One of the first aerodynamically designed passenger vehicles to run in the “greatest spectacle in racing,” the Blue Streak was the first American car with an inside radiator cap. It was also one of the first vehicles to use safety glass.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is where automotive innovation and admiration come together. There’s a lot of history here. Several different vehicles have taken center stage at IMS through the years. But one thing remains the same. This place is all about the machines.