Tag Archives: Performance Racing Industry Trade Show

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.

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.