Historic cars representing the 100-year history of the Indy 500 gather on the grid. (LAT photo)
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum staged a photo shoot Tuesday to commemorate next May's 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500, featured 33 winning cars of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
“It's probably been our biggest undertaking,” said IMS Hall of Fame Museum director Ellen Bireley. “We've never emptied out the museum, to my knowledge.”
The photo, had 32 winning cars (Mario Andretti's 1969 winner is in the Smithsonian Institution, but a replica was on hand as the next-best thing).
“It's pretty amazing to have this many iconic cars here,” said track historian Donald Davidson. “We have 33 cars here and every one of them has won the race at least once. I think it represents 37 victories, because there have been four cars to win the 500 in consecutive years and they are all here today. I could probably do 30 minutes on just one car here and we have 33 of them.”
Davidson and Bireley helped select the field of cars used and helped bring in the six cars from private collections. From there, they invited 16 qualified people, ranging from Hall of Fame Museum staff to veteran IndyCar mechanics, to move the cars from the museum to the track side garages used by Firestone Indy Lights and MotoGP teams during race weekend. Then, in the early morning hours, the group pushed the cars into the traditional 11 rows of three.
The front row consisted of the 1911-winning Marmon Wasp, Dario Franchitti's 2010-winning Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda-powered Dallara and A.J. Foyt's 1961-winning Bowes Seal Fast roadster, but iconic cars from the race's first 99 years were spread throughout.