In 30 years of working at OLD CARS WEEKLY I went to many car museums. I thought all of them were great, but the Indianapolis Motor Speedway “Hall of Fame” was always my favorite. The first time I visited there was actually 1973, when I made my first cross-conutry trip in a dark green ’53 Pontiac seda that I wrote about earlier. At that time the car museum was in the old building on 16th Street and it was very small. By the time I returned in the ’80s as an OLD CARS WEEKLY staff memeber, the current museum was built and it was a fantastic place to soak in automotive history. I got to know museum director Jack Martin quite well, along with photographer Ron McQueeney. I went there many times, including attendance at one Indy 500 and a visit to the pace car doings when the Pontiac Fiero had that honor. In the spring of 2008, before I quit at OLD CARS WEEKLY, I found out the Speedway was looking for someone to do its centennial book. I drove there in another ’53 Pontiac–my yellow Catalina–and visited a fellow named Dan Skiver who was in charge of that project. I told him as how I had come there years earlier in one ’53 Pontiac and that I was now back with another one to clinch a book deal. In the end, we got the contract and I arranged for Ralph Kramer (another former Hall of Fame director) to write that book for OLD CARS WEEKLY. It’s a beautiful hardcover that honors the Speedway’s 100th birthday and it’s sure to be a collector’s item someday. I bought a bunch of copies, because I was very proud to be involved with a book about one of my favorite automotive historic sites. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is simply hallowed ground for any enthusiast.
Gunner’s Garage with John Gunnell
"Gunner" is one of of the most prolific authors and most visible characters in the old car hobby. He has written dozens of books about old cars for Krause Publications and is the former editor and publisher of Old Cars Weekly. His collecting pursuits range from old Pontiacs, to MGs, to retired police cruisers, to Indian motorcycles. He remains a frequent contributor to Old Cars Weekly and owns and operates Gunner’s Great Garage, a classic car restoration and gift shop in Manawa, Wis.
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