Thanks to the talent and generosity of artist Gary Dausch, enthusiasts of racing history and fine art can acquire an incredible piece of artwork and support the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum at the same time.
Dausch has created a beautiful rendering of Dan Gurney’s 1963 Lotus 29/1, depicting the legendary Californian Gurney sitting in the cockpit with car owner Colin Chapman and teammate Jim Clark at his side. Chapman is clearly deep in thought, listening to Clark’s analysis – all in the name of speed and the goal of winning.
“I see this as a portrait,” said Dausch. “The focus is on a group of like-minded people and a car, which is why I avoided the background. This tiny group ultimately changed the face of IndyCar racing. It represents a major moment in automotive history.”
The Lotus 29/1 in Dausch’s oil-on-canvas original is the subject of the IMS Museum’s 2018 Restoration Project. Years after Gurney drove the 29/1 to a seventh-place finish at the 1963 Indianapolis 500, carrying a white/blue livery and No. 93, the Ford Motor Company painted the car “British racing green” and yellow with the No. 92 to honor Clark’s 1965 Indianapolis 500 win. Ford donated the 29/1 to the IMS Museum in 1973.
The Museum is preparing to restore it to its beautiful white and blue No. 93 race livery and full running condition.
“Dan Gurney, Jim Clark and Team Lotus were racing favorites of mine,” said Dausch. “They had vision, grit, determination and smarts. As a group they weren’t loud about things, but they went out and did their work and had spectacular results with the resources they had. They spoke softly and carried a big stick.”
If the artwork sells through the Museum, Dausch will donate 20 percent of the proceeds to the Lotus 29/1 restoration project, which requires a $90,000 price tag for an engine overhaul, new fuel cell, tires, suspension, body work and paint. The price of Dausch’s artwork is $4,800; limited-edition prints of this piece are also available for $150 each.
An Indianapolis resident who spent years in art education and corporate communications, Dausch cites similar reasons why he joined Walker Racing’s IndyCar Series operation: team owner Derrick Walker’s vision, grit and pursuit of excellence without the deepest pockets in the sport. Dausch spent 13 years with Walker Racing in marketing.
Today, he commits his time to restoring race cars in his home shop and producing auto racing fine art; his works hang in the homes and offices of many notable racing personalities.
Dausch has enjoyed many years of friendship with staff at the IMS Museum, starting with longtime restoration manager, the late Bill Spoerle, who Dausch said was great friends with his father. He said it is that kinship and – of course – passion for the Lotus 29/1 that led him to support the 2018 IMS Museum Restoration Project.
Dausch came about his passion for artistry and motorsports honestly, as his great uncle was Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker, who after a brief vaudeville career became world-famous for setting hundreds of records for coast-to-coast, or point-to-point, high-speed drives on motorcycles and stock automobiles. His name is the inspiration for later “Cannonball Run” cross-country races, which inspired a book and several movies.
Baker won a race on the very first day of motorized competition at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – motorcycle racing on Aug. 14, 1909. He also finished 11th at the 1922 Indianapolis 500 in a Frontenac owned by the Chevrolet brothers, completing all 200 grueling laps without a relief driver.
Dausch’s Lotus 29/1 painting is on display in the IMS Museum gallery, and available for viewing during regular hours and regular admission price. Supporters interested in purchasing the painting should contact Jennifer Hiatt, IMS Museum director of philanthropy and membership, at (317) 492-6563 for information.
Donations to the IMS Museum Restoration Project for the Lotus 29/1 can be made via check, by calling the IMS Museum at (317) 492-6568 or online: http://bit.ly/lotus29-1
To learn more about Dausch’s artistry, visit http://www.gdausch.com/
About the IMS Museum: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is home to one of the world’s premier motorsports and automobile collections, with interpretive emphasis on the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and its role as an American icon of sporting tradition and innovation.
Located inside the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, the Museum is open 363 days a year (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas). It is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization which relies on support from admissions, tours, sponsorships, annual memberships and planned-giving for its operations, educational programming, restoration and preservation efforts, and special exhibits and events.
For more information on the IMS Museum, please visit www.indyracingmuseum.org, contact the Museum at (317) 492-6784, or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.