A.J.Foyt, A Legendary Exhibition On Display At The IMS Museum

The A. J. Foyt Exhibition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. [Joe Jennings Photo]

The A. J. Foyt Exhibition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. [Joe Jennings Photo]

by Joe Jennings

INDIANAPOLIS – A. J. Foyt, a legendary exhibition, has opened at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, and it runs until October 31, 2017. Basically, the exhibition is a living history presentation of America’s greatest driver and whether viewers are Foyt fans or not, they should find it highly informative and walk away feeling fulfilled.

The exhibition contains 30 of the most famous cars that Foyt raced over his many years of driving and ownership. The cars mostly came from collectors and two of them came from Foyt’s personal collection. The exhibit is displayed in three large rooms on the main floor of the museum.

The cars range from midgets, sprint and dirt-track machines, sports cars, stock cars, a IROC winner and of course, Indianapolis 500 winners. Complementing the car display are dozens of photographs, trophies, programs, helmets and other racing paraphernalia. The walls are adorned with large action photos and paintings.

The exhibition was conceived, researched, developed and produced by Ellen Bireley, director of the museum. After coming up with the idea, Ms. Bireley wrote to Foyt to seek his approval. The four-time 500 winner quickly gave his approval and invited her to his Texas shops to see what could be borrowed.

It took several months to put together and once complete, Foyt was invited in for a walk-through. Reportedly, he was awed by what he saw. Some of these cars, the racing legend hadn’t seen in years and one in particular, the Bowes Seal Fast midget was last seen when he raced it years ago.

While the Foyt exhibition is visually and professionally presented, fans can have a close-up look at several dozen 500 winners in space immediately adjacent. Walking through the exhibition reminds one that he or she of being in one of the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D. C.

The exhibition is highly recommended with one caveat – sufficient time must be set aside to absorb it all.

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