A Campaign to Reimagine our Museum for the Future
What is the "Stories Behind the Spectacle" Campaign?
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum preserves the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500. Since 1956, the Museum’s collection has grown from a modest display of cars and artifacts to one of the world’s premier motorsports and automobile collections.
As we look to the future of the Museum, there is a need to reimagine our space to display vehicles and objects better, protect our collection, and inspire the next generation of engineers, technicians, drivers, and fans. Through meaningful storytelling, we will capture the essence of the Speedway and honor the history and culture of the Indianapolis 500 and the racing industry.
Pictured: A rendering of the planned updated exterior of Museum
Transformation of our Space
Remaining within our current footprint, the Museum will be reconfigured to improve the guest experience from the moment you step inside. Reconfiguring the space while staying within the same footprint allows us to provide a more intuitive layout that offers an orientation to the history of the Speedway and an immersive experience recreating some of our favorite Indianapolis 500 traditions.
Beyond aesthetic and experiential changes, essential infrastructure elements must be addressed to ensure the sustainability and safety of our collection. Improved air and humidity control, museum-grade storage systems, and controlled lighting will preserve our vehicles and artifacts for years to come.
Pictured: A rendering of planned “Gasoline Alley” gallery that will display the evolution of the Speedway since its inception which will include cars, artifacts, audio, and visual elements.
Inspiring the Next Generation
Beyond displays of vehicles and artifacts, we plan to use digital and analog interpretation tools to give guests of all ages a hands-on experience at the Museum. The qualifying space will feature activities like a “pit-stop challenge” and the always popular racing simulators. A dedicated STEAM classroom will host field trips or educational programs, teaching students the engineering and technology aspects of the racing industry.
In collaboration with K-12 and higher education institutions, we plan to develop a true education program creating robust STEAM-based offerings that meet Indiana state educational standards. We hope these students will be exposed to career opportunities within the racing industry and realize the job potential in central Indiana.
Pictured: A rendering of planned “Qualifying Experience” space that will feature hands-on interactive elements including pit-stop challenge, deconstructed car, and racing simulators.
Familiar Favorites Will Remain
While there will be a lot of improvements and new features, many of the fan favorites will still be found within our Museum. The Borg-Warner Trophy will have an updated display worthy of holding one of the most unique trophies in sports. Winning Indy 500 cars will be displayed throughout the Museum with improved lighting and placards. The lower level will still feature some of the rarest vehicles in our collection, but now it will be included with your admission ticket—no need for an additional purchase.
One of the most popular things we offer, track tours, will continue to be a mainstay. The addition of a track tour lounge allows visitors to reserve times, explore the digital map of the Speedway, and even grab a quick beverage before heading out to “Kiss the Bricks.” It’s the perfect way to finish your day at the Museum.
Pictured: A rendering of planned “Winners Gallery” that will feature winning Indy 500 cars and the famed Borg-Warner Trophy.
Ways to Support
Support of The Stories Behind the Spectacle Campaign can be made in a variety of ways. Whether you wish to make a one time donation, a pledge committment, or a legacy gift, your contributions are vital our success. To learn more about your options of giving, please contact Bridget Sutton, Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: A rendering of the planned STEAM Classroom that will allow for educational programming and events.
Frequently Asked Questions
The re-imagining of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum will cost approximately $89 million. $64 Million is earmarked for the complete transformation of the interior of the IMS Museum building. Part of the second phase of the project will be a new $15 million automobile and equipment restoration facility. The IMS Museum will also dedicate $10 million toward the creation of an endowment, allowing the Museum to acquire additional artifacts that fulfill its mission of celebrating and preserving the history behind the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy 500.
Construction will begin in October 2023, with the closing of the basement area. The Museum will close completely in November 2023 and will be closed until April 2025.
The Museum must undergo a comprehensive infrastructure and technology renovation throughout the entire building to allow us to bring unique, immersive experiences to our visitors. Closing the entire Museum will allow us to complete the renovation more quickly.
Our hope is that residents and visitors will be able to see IMS Museum displays at area cultural institutions and visitor destinations. We will post more information on our website and social media channels as soon as it is available.
Yes, visitors will still be able to take track tours around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during our closure. We will update our website with more information on tour offerings very soon.
Access to the Museum is just one of the many benefits you receive as a Museum member. Favorite programs such as the Speaker Series and Fuel up Fridays will continue, just in different locations throughout the city. You can still use your discounted tours and member discounts at the IMS retail shop or IMS photo shop.
We hope you continue to keep your membership during our closure. Membership support will allow us to continue offering these programs and events as well as plan exciting new activities in the renovated Museum.
Stay tuned to your member newsletter for even more information about upcoming member events.
We anticipate reopening in April 2025.
Visit storiesbehindthespectacle.com and follow all of our social channels (@imsmuseum) to keep up on the latest news.