The start of a new day was dominated by an old tradition at the Indy 500 this year, as vintage race cars took to the track for Legend’s Day, honoring Roger Penske.
With cars dating all the way back to the first Indy 500 in 1911, going right through to vehicles from the 1990s, old and new timers alike gathered to ogle the shiny chassis and engines still in mint condition.
Buffed, polished, and fine-tuned by adoring owners, machines including the Kurtis Kraft Bardahl Special, the 1959 Epperley Bowes Seal Fast Special, Huffaker-Offys, Watsons, Eagles, Kuzmas, Penskes, Lolas, and Marches were all on display.
Click on the image below to take a tour of some of the more eye-catching cars.
I also agree that providing more history and background on these vehicles would be interesting. And I am certain that most of the owners could provide a whole lot of words, far more than this blog is intended to support. So there are undoubtedly major logisic ocstacles to implementing that suggestion.
About race car safety: If you want safety, stay at home on your couch and read a dull book!
(at this point I deleted a major rant about safety)
As a lifetime car enthusiast, I find it very interesting to thoroughly look over old race cars on display when attending professional motorsports events. It's fun to see the motor and chassis arrangements from back-in-the-day. The display plaques usually give a nice summary and brief history. I recognize many of the cars, but can't identify them by name.
These pics bring back a lot of memories for me. First, the Indy cars raced at the Dayton Speedway (OH) once a year back in the 50's. It was very exciting to see the speed of these on a 1/2 mile high banked track. Very fast with the drivers head and shoulders above the body of the car. A simple rollover could be fatal. The Sprint cars were slightly smaller and slower than the Indy cars and we saw many a serious injuries and a few deaths in them. It is really great the advancements they have made in driver safety, and the races are still just as exciting.
In the 60's I lived in Indianapolis for a few years, but never made it to a race, but went to many practice sessions and was priviledged to see Jimmy Clark drive. He was breaking in an engine running around the center of the track, out of the groove, doing 150 mph while that pole speed that year was in the 160's. What a great time for open wheel cars.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.