100th Indy 500 champ must stay at IMS Museum after auction

Dallara in which Alexander Rossi claimed 2016 Indy 500 win is to go under hammer – but ultimate buyer at Monterey sale cannot do whatever they like with it…

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The Dallara IndyCar that won the 100th Indianapolis 500 is to be auctioned at Monterey, with the condition that it spends at least three months annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Mecum Auctions is scheduled to sell the No. 98 blue-and-white machine that in 2016 Alexander Rossi drove to one the most dramatic wins in the famous event’s history. Rossi not only triumphed in the milestone race as a rookie – becoming only the ninth debutant ever to win the Indy 500 – but he did so by achieving astonishing fuel mileage. Against most expectations he completed the final 36 laps without a pitstop.

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In addition, the original race-winning Honda engine will be returned to the chassis in 2020. The auction is to take place on Saturday August 25.

But this is no ordinary sale, even over and above the car’s unique status – as the machine’s current owner Bowen Motorsports has stipulated that the new owner has to loan the car to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum for display every April, May and June. In addition, the Museum is hopeful that the new owner will consider a longer-term loan of the car or even a donation.

‘It’s a common misconception that the IMS Museum, or the Speedway, automatically receives the winning cars from the Indy 500,’ IMS Museum curator of vehicles Jason Vansickle said. ‘The Museum owns 33 winning cars, spanning a total of 37 race wins, but we have to rely on the generosity of private collectors to donate or sell them to us at below-market cost.’

He continued: ‘We cannot thank David Bowen, and Bowen Motorsports, enough for allowing us to house and display the No. 98 NAPA car in its rightful place.’

The IMS Museum is a not-for-profit entity, which is separate from the for-profit Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Museum does not have funding available to bid into high-end auctions.

Bowen also allowed in the sale conditions that the IMS Museum can loan the car to the Heritage Museum in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where it is on display as part of an Indy 500-themed exhibit.

What do you think? Should the new owners of certain special cars be obliged to donate or loan their new purchases year round, or exercise the right to do what they feel like with them? Tell us in the comments below.

Images courtesy of LAT Archive

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