The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s ongoing initiative to preserve and share historic IMS Radio Network broadcasts has produced its second and third projects: the full 1959 Indianapolis 500 Mile-Race broadcast, plus wrap-up shows of the four days of 1959 Indianapolis 500 Qualifying.
Race fans and history enthusiasts alike can download the 1959 “500” race coverage – a full 4 hours, 30 minutes – for just $9.99. The IMS Radio Network recap of qualifications, featuring the legendary “Voice of the 500” the late Sid Collins and interviews with drivers, is one hour and 58 minutes and is just $7.99 per download.
The IMS Museum previously released the 1958 race broadcast; all are available here:
www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/history/purchase-historical-race-broadcasts . The IMS Radio Network also has for sale the Indianapolis 500 broadcasts covering 1955, 1960-64 and 1966-present, all in MP3-format digital download (sorry, no compact discs).
Every purchase of the 1958 and 1959 broadcasts supports the Museum’s efforts to bring back to life additional, long-lost race and qualifying recordings.
Collins’ estate donated numerous transcription discs containing races, qualifying shows and interviews from the 1950s. The discs were cut live during “500” events, in the radio booth with Collins, using a recording lathe that created the grooves instantaneously. Although shaped like a vinyl record, the discs are made of acetate, a material that degrades over time.
IMS Museum staff turned to Memnon Archiving Services to save the one-of-a-kind recordings and enhance their quality via digital remastering.
The 1959 “Month of May” broadcasts were chosen for preservation in late 2018 since 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the “500” classic, which saw a three-way battle between Rodger Ward, Jim Rathmann and Johnny Thomson for much of the race, and Ward earning his first Indy victory in the Leader Card 500 Roadster.
That race set the stage for one of the greatest duels in IMS history: the 1960 Indianapolis 500, which saw a total of 29 lead changes, 14 of them between Ward and Rathmann.
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 Motor Speedway and its role as a global icon of sporting tradition and innovation.
Located inside the famed 2.5-mile IMS oval, the Museum is open 363 days a year (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas). It is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and relies on support from admissions, tours, sponsorships, annual memberships and planned-giving for its operations, educational programming, restoration and preservation efforts, 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.