While IndyCar remains one of the few motorsport disciplines that continues forward with positive momentum, interest in vintage racing automobiles is rising as well. Pairing those two together would seem like a successful combination, and that is exactly what the Vintage Indy Registry has been able to accomplish.
Self-titled the “Home of Vintage Indy Cars,” the Vintage Indy Registry is a service that dedicates itself to the history and preservation of Indianapolis championship cars (Indy cars) from the time period of 1911 through 1996. The Registry’s goal is to help ensure that these cars are more broadly appreciated and their history is correctly preserved for future generations of racing fans to enjoy.
In a highly detailed account of each machine added to its database, the Registry represents each individual’s cars carefully and accurately to provide the best representation of the “Greatest Cars in Racing.”
As founders of the Vintage Indy Registry, Ron Nelson and Mike Lashmett have paved the way for fans to enjoy these historic racing automobiles for years to come. Nelson hails from the midwest and made a career out of photography with Competition Press, covering events that included Chicago Bears football games as well as races at Indianapolis, Road America, the Milwaukee Mile and Watkins Glen.
Lashmett, a former crew member on Parnelli Jones’ Indianapolis entries, is an incredible asset to the Registry with a wealth of historical racing expertise to add.
For 2018, the duo is up to some exciting things. This weekend (January 26-28) the Registry will have A.J. Foyt’s 1971 Coyote-01 race car on display at the St. Louis Auto Show. The machine will be part of the Gateway Motorsports Park exhibit as the two entities promote the second St. Louis IndyCar race since reunification.
IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden will be in attendance on Saturday, January 27 from 11 AM to 1 PM Central to sign autographs and raffle off a car, courtesy of Bommartio Automotive Group.
Last year’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 featured some fantastic racing (including a late-race pass by Newgarden on defending champion Simon Pagenaud that set the tone for the rest of the season) and incredible crowd turnout to support the event.
In 2018, Gateway Motorsports Park and the Vintage Indy Registry are teaming up to showcase over 20 vintage Indy cars over the course of the IndyCar race weekend August 24 and 25. Cars will be on track and on display at various times through the weekend that features IndyCar, the Mazda Road to Indy and NASCAR K&N Series racing.
The Registry will also feature cars on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Indianapolis 500 race weekend this May, with cars on track early in the morning on Carb Day (Friday, May 25) as well as through the day on Legends Day (Saturday, May 26).
Some cars included in the Registry include a 1962 Olsonite Eagle (built by Dan Gurney and driven by Bobby Unser), a 1968 Lotus Turbine machine that was the child of Andy Granatelli (show above), the 1965 Indianapolis 500-winning Lotus 38 that was driven by Jim Clark, and a 1968 “Johnny Lightning Special” Lola powered by a Ford engine. That car was driven by Al Unser Sr.
To register a car with the Vintage Indy Registry, owners can pay $100 for first year membership with the annual renewal fee at $50. Annual car owner membership includes a Vintage Indy Registry hard card honored at all of the Registry’s officially sanctioned events such as the 2018 Gateway Motorsports Park companion event with IndyCar.
More events are to be announced for the 2018 season. Please visit www.vintageindyregistry.com for more information and to stay up-to-date on all of the Registry’s events. If you have the ability, get out to the St. Louis Auto Show or the IndyCar weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park to support the series as well as the Vintage Indy Registry.