Tag Archives: Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational

Celebrating Louis Chevrolet

If you are in Indianapolis for an auto event like the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA Show, Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, or another automotive enthusiast event, I would like to share two must see sights celebrating Louis Chevrolet.

Louis Chevrolet Memorial
Louis Chevrolet Memorial

Your first stop should be the Louis Chevrolet Memorial just west of the main entrance to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. This memorial, erected in spring 1975, celebrates Chevrolet’s exploits as an early racer, the designer of the first of the more than 125 million cars that bear his name built in 1911, and the first car builder to win two Indianapolis 500 mile races.

The four bronze panels depict Chevrolet and W. C. Durant, founder of General Motors, with the first Chevrolet passenger car in 1911; Chevrolet’s first winning car at Indianapolis, driven to victory in 1920 by brother Gaston; Chevrolet’s second Indianapolis winner, driven by Tommy Milton in 1921; and Chevrolet’s 1923 Barber-Warnock Fronty Ford at the Speedway with Henry Ford at the wheel. Most any time I visit the Hall of Fame Museum I stop by the memorial to think about these early days at the Speedway.

Chevrolet brothers memorial
Chevrolet brothers memorial

Next, head south to the Chevrolet brothers’ memorial at Holy Cross & St. Joseph Cemeteries at 2446 S. Meridian St. At the intersection with Pleasant Run Parkway N. Dr., turn west and go about two blocks. Then turn north at the cemetery entrance and proceed to the flag pole to find their gravesites at the fork in the road. Gaston was buried here in November 25, 1920, six months after winning the Indianapolis 500. Louis was buried here June 6, 1941, after complications from a leg amputation. Louis’ sons Charlot and Charles L. are buried just north of the bench. Arthur’s son also named Arthur, was also buried here in 1931 in the grave miss-marked as Arthur 1884-1946 (senior). Arthur senior is buried in Slidell, Louisiana. Sometimes when you visit the gravesites, they may be marked with a checkered flag or toy Chevrolet Camaro.

Close associates and fellow workers described Louis Chevrolet as fearless and daring, but never reckless; persevering, but quick-tempered and impetuous at times; a perfectionist who took pride in his work, with very little patience for the mistakes of others; and a dedicated innovator who deplored any and all social amenities which interfered with his customary 16-hour work day.

The next time you are visiting Indianapolis on an auto-enthusiast adventure I encourage you to visit the Louis Chevrolet Memorial and the Chevrolet brothers’ memorial to celebrate our car culture.

For more information about Louis Chevrolet, follow this link.
emorial

Put the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational on your bucket list for 2017

From a historical perspective the Inaugural Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational has to be one of the best motorsports events in the country. Where else can you get an up-close view of over 600 vintage race cars from the early 1910s to the present in addition to watching the racing and exhibition events?

Two of the earliest entries were the 1911 Nationals built here in Indianapolis. Imagine the sound of these 450 cubic-inch behemoths. It was like being transported back to that era 105 years ago.

1911 Nationals
1911 Nationals

For Indy 500 roadster aficionados, there were numerous examples from pre-war offerings up to a 1964 Sheraton Thompson Special tribute car of the last winning front-engine roadster. Probably my favorite roadster was the 1960 Dowgard – Watson roadster.

#2 Dowgard roadster
#2 Dowgard roadster

The cars were on display on the infield and open to all fans, providing up-close access to the race cars. The owners and crews were very welcoming in sharing the stories of their particular cars. I was able to relive many stories from my Indy 500 memories.

Speedway infield shop
Speedway infield shop

For all you vintage racing enthusiasts, you have to put the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational on your bucket list for 2017.

For more information on our automotive heritage follow this link.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway to host vintage race cars

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host more than 500 of the world’s finest vintage race cars as part of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational on June 15-19.

This event will feature a historic oval track reunion and a full slate of SVRA Sprint and Endurance races taking place on the 2.43 mile road course. Vintage oval-track competitors will also have a chance to drive the historic 2.5 mile oval. SVRA’s open access to the paddock, race cars, and drivers make this event one of the most fan friendly events ever held at the Speedway.

Vintage Indy cars at the
Vintage Indy cars at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans appreciate and enjoy the history of racing and welcome this event to IMS is the perfect way to celebrate racing history with cars that have competed in all different classes and many different venues over the last 107 years. SVRA events are incredibly fan friendly, offering everyone the rare opportunity to get close to the historic racecars, talk to the owners and drivers, and trade stories about racing’s heritage.

“We are confident that the incredible heritage and geographic location of the Speedway will make the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational the largest vintage event ever held in the United States,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella.

The event will begin with a test day on Wednesday, June 15, with racing throughout the weekend. Racing at IMS will be virtually non-stop each day from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The cars will be on display in the infield and open to all fans providing up close access to the racecars.

Start making your plans now for the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on June 15-19. Come to Indianapolis to celebrate racing history at the world’s oldest continuously operating race course.

Indianapolis hosting new automotive events

In 2014, Indianapolis was voted the #1 convention city in the U. S. by USA Today. I believe part of this recognition is because Indianapolis continues to host new automotive events.

1932 Ford Speedster
1932 Ford Speedster

The Indianapolis Museum of Art is presenting Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas, a major exhibition featuring rare concept cars from the 1930’s to the 21st century, from May 3 – August 23, 2015. Dream Cars showcases some of the most unique vehicles ever created by top names in the automotive field. If you’re like me, it’s styling that draws me to automobiles. Plan now to visit the Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas exhibit, and experience how these designs envisioned new ideas for transportation.

1963 Agajanian Willard Battery Special
1963 Agajanian Willard Battery Special

Another example: last June 5-8, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted the inaugural Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational. This event was the largest collection of race cars to compete in one place in the United States. The special Oval Track exhibition class featured open-wheel race cars with Indianapolis 500 or other historic racing experience.

There was something for every car enthusiast with 11 groups of competition ranging from Mini Coopers to open-wheel race cars up to 2008. The cars were on display on the infield and open to all fans, providing up-close access to the race cars. I believe every car enthusiast has to put the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational on their bucket list for 2015. This year’s event is June 11-14.

In November 2014, the Speedway announced that it will host the Bloomington Gold Corvette show, June 25-27, 2015. The nation’s prestigious and longest-running all-Corvette show will include a gigantic one-of-a-kind display of Corvettes. The event has grown substantially through the years, with 5,000 Corvettes expected to appear at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In December, the Indiana Convention Center continues to host the annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show. I believe the PRI Trade Show has to be the number one event for this industry. Performance racing vendors from around the world demonstrate their wares. Exhibitors ranged from sanctioning bodies to parts vendors and everyone in between. I was amazed at the presence of Indiana breath at this show.

It’s great for everyone in the hospitality community to shine the light on Indianapolis.

I am working on a number of unique occasions to augment visitor’s experiences celebrating car culture during these events. Let’s work together to share Indianapolis’ uniqueness as a destination.