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IMS Museum moves historic cars, motorcycles to temporary home

IMS Museum moves historic cars, motorcycles to temporary home

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some of the most treasured cars in Indianapolis history are moving into a new home for the next year-and-a-half.

It’s all part of an $89 million renovation project that includes adding seven permanent and three rotating galleries, as well as a racing simulator, to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

“The cars down here are fantastic and some of the most iconic IndyCars and passenger car brands,” Jason Vansickle, vice president of curation and education at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, said.

These rare and one-of-a-kind cars and racing artifacts were in the museum basement but few people ever got the chance to see them.

“For the longest time, they were off-limits to the public. Recently, we have offered a limited exclusive tour of this location, but with the newly renovated and reimagined museum, this will be a public area when we open in April 2025,” Vansickle said.

According to Vansickle, these cars range from 1886 through 2011. This includes race-winning cars, Indy 500 pace cars, pre-war motorcycles, and more.

Vansickle says that there’s a lot that is required to move the vehicles out of the building and transport them to the off-site storage facility. Vansickle also says depending on their size, a semi can carry three to seven cars at one time.

“We want immense care when it comes to removing these vehicles no matter if it was the storage or the typical day in and day out, but this is a little bit unique as we’re moving them off-site,” he says.

He says there will also be a new automobile and equipment restoration facility for race fans to enjoy for years to come.

“We won’t be able to display some new cars, more vehicles than what we currently do, but as part of this overall plan we look for an off-site restoration storage location that will be open to the public, so you can see vehicles that are typically down here on display there.”

The IMS Museum will close completely on Nov. 5. Staff says they plan to reopen in April 2025.