News & Multimedia

Celebration Of Automobiles Expanding In 2012

The second annual Celebration of Automobiles, scheduled for Saturday, May 12 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will feature an expanded lineup of events that continues to pay tribute to the rich heritage of automotive development at the track for more than 100 years.

A Vintage and Historic Car Show featuring some of the most beautiful and rare cars from 1920-70 once again will be the focal point of the 2012 Celebration of Automobiles, with an Emerging Tech Showcase also being integrated into the event. The new addition is an Automobile Festival, featuring hundreds of current and late model vehicles, and displays from aftermarket accessory and automotive product companies.

“It’s a great thrill for everyone at IMS to welcome back an expanded Celebration of Automobiles,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. “Last year’s inaugural event during the 100th Indianapolis 500 was such a rousing success with car owners and enthusiasts that we wanted to grow this event into another wonderful annual tradition of the Month of May at the Speedway.”

The Celebration of Automobiles takes place from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Opening Day for the 96th Indianapolis 500, with the new IZOD IndyCar Series car also making its IMS competitive on-track debut. All activities are included in public gate admission of $10, with children 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

All three components of the Celebration of Automobiles offer intriguing sights and sounds for car fans of all ages:

Vintage and Historic Car Show: This year’s show will feature 200 vehicles from 1920-70 produced by manufacturers participating in the Indianapolis 500 during that era and other manufacturers. Vehicles on display around the Pagoda Plaza area will include winners from prestigious Concours competitions at Pebble Beach and Amelia Island.

Owners of cars from such marques as Alfa-Romeo, Auburn, Bentley, Bugatti, Buick, Chrysler, Dodge, Duesenberg, Ferrari, Fiat, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Stutz and many more have been invited to participate. Special tribute will be paid to passenger cars from Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus, the three engine manufacturers participating in the IZOD IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 starting in 2012.

Question-and-answer sessions with vehicle owners and legendary Indianapolis 500 winners will take place throughout the day.

A panel of judges, including classic/vintage car experts, past Indianapolis 500 winners and other auto racing legends, will evaluate each car in an automotive beauty competition. Awards in various categories will be presented at a gala dinner Saturday evening, open to participants and a select number of public enthusiasts. Legendary Indianapolis 500 team owner Roger Penske will serve as the honorary head judge and also be a special guest at the awards gala.

Winning cars and other vehicles of distinction will be displayed and take a special lap of honor around the IMS oval Sunday, May 13.

Emerging Tech Showcase: This event, which moves to the Celebration of Automobiles after taking place a week earlier in 2011, features many activities showing the future of automotive sustainability.
Competition – a hallmark of IMS since it opened in 1909 – will be seen in the Purdue Collegiate evGrand Prix. The event, sponsored by IMS and Purdue University, will feature many teams of students from colleges and universities across the United States competing in electric-powered karts on a course near the IMS Hall of Fame Museum. Teams from the United Kingdom and Ireland competed in this event in 2011 and may return this year.

Owners of electric-powered passenger cars can participate in the EV Rally, which includes driving their cars on a lap around the famous IMS oval.

Manufacturers of electric-powered cars also will offer Ride and Drive opportunities for consumers interested in taking these unique vehicles for a spin at IMS.

Automobile Festival: This exciting new segment of the Celebration of Automobiles will feature hundreds of current and late model vehicles on display in manufacturer- and model-specific groups inside Turn 4 of the famous IMS oval.

American sports, muscle and pony car models on display will include Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. Foreign cars will include models from BMW, Porsche, Lotus, Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Honda, Volkswagen, Jaguar, Mazda and more.

Rare, exotic and unique marques and models also will take center stage, including DeLorean, Corvair, Mini and Smart Car.

Many automotive aftermarket and accessory companies also will display their products at the Festival, creating an incredible corral of activity for car buffs.

For more information on the 2012 Celebration of Automobiles, visit


2012 Indianapolis 500 tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 96th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Children 12 and under will be receive free general admission to any IMS event in 2012 when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.

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Celebration Of Automobiles Expanding In 2012
Celebration Of Automobiles Expanding In 2012
The second annual Celebration of Automobiles, scheduled for Saturday, May 12 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will feature an expanded lineup of events that continues to pay tribute to the rich heritage of automotive development at the track for more than 100 years.
Read More
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