The Racing Capital
of the World
Jul 23, 2017
April 13, 2017 | By Paul Kelly, IMS
Racing fans can enjoy a walk through the incredible career of four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt by visiting a new exhibit that opens Friday, April 14 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
A.J. Foyt: A Legendary Exhibition, presented by ABC Supply, is a limited-run celebration that traces the superstar’s rise from the dirt tracks of Texas to the pinnacle of auto racing history. The exhibit runs until Oct. 31 at the IMS Museum, located in the infield of IMS between Turns 1 and 2 of the famous oval.
IMS Museum Director Ellen Bireley worked tirelessly with Foyt to gather and curate this incredible collection of cars and memorabilia in honor of the 40th anniversary of Foyt’s record-setting fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in 1977.
Nearly three dozen cars that Foyt drove in competition will be on display, including all four of his Indianapolis 500-winning machines, the 1961 Bowes Seal Fast Special, the 1964 and 1967 Sheraton-Thompson Specials and the 1977 Gilmore Coyote.
Some of the other cars in the exhibit, many on display for the first time, include:
* The Kuzma roadster Foyt drove as an Indianapolis 500 rookie in 1958. That car also won the famous “Race of Two Worlds” at Monza, Italy, with Jimmy Bryan behind the wheel.
* The Meskowski dirt car that Foyt drove to his first IndyCar victory in 1960 at DuQuoin, Illinois.
* The Scarab sports car Foyt drove to victory in the 1964 American Challenge Trophy race on the road course at Daytona International Speedway.
* The Meskowski dirt car Foyt drove to win the pole in 1965 at the Milwaukee Mile, topping many rear-engine cars. Many observers think this was one of Foyt’s greatest performances.
* The experimental Oldsmobile Aerotech car in which Foyt drove to a closed-course world speed record of 257.133 mph in 1987.
A vast array of memorabilia from Foyt’s incomparable career – he is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans – also will be displayed, including:
* The plaque versions of all four of Foyt’s spots on the Borg-Warner Trophy, as his victories pre-dated the “Baby Borg” miniature versions of the trophy presented to winners.
* The 24 Hours of Le Mans trophy Foyt earned for his victory in 1967 with Dan Gurney, on loan from the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.
* The trophy from Foyt’s Daytona 500 victory in 1972.
* The checkered flag displayed to Foyt when he won the 1967 Indianapolis 500, signed by the starting field that year.
* A copy of Foyt’s first USAC license application.
Fans also should visit a display of artwork of Foyt throughout the eras in the new multipurpose room of the Museum. Other unique memorabilia from Foyt’s career also will appear in the original Hulman & Company grocery display cabinets in the Museum, another must-see for fans.
Foyt holds many Indianapolis 500 records, including the first driver to win “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” four times, 35 career starts, 35 consecutive starts, 13 races led and 4,904 laps/12,272.5 miles completed.
The IMS Museum is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through October. Adult tickets are $10, youth 6-15 are $5, and children 5 and under are free. Visit indyracingmuseum.org for more information, and like the Museum on Facebook at www.facebook.com/imsmuseum/ and follow the Museum on Twitter at @IMSMuseum.