‘Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!’ – Celebrate the history of the Indy 500 at the 2016 AutoShow

TORONTO, Ont. (February 4, 2016) — For more than a century, every Memorial Day weekend in the United States has seen open-wheel cars racing 500 miles around a 2.5-mile oval track known as “The Brickyard.”

This annual event — which took a break during both World Wars — has become so synonymous with motor sports that the host city shares its nickname with both the race and race series that will this year be running the 100th installment of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. To celebrate this milestone, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum is bringing six cars from its collection to the 2016 Canadian International AutoShow.

“The Indy 500 is not only iconic in the world of motor sports, but it has transcended into pop culture,” says Betsy Smith, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation. “Who hasn’t heard in some form or another the traditional opening command to ‘Start your engines’? We are excited to be coming to the Canadian International AutoShow to help celebrate the 100th running of the Indy 500.”

Two significant pieces of Canadian history will be on hand. A replica of the Reynard 95i driven by Jacques Villeneuve in 1995 when he became the first (and only) Canadian to capture the Borg Warner Trophy as winner of the Indy 500, and the 1992 Lola Mackenzie Financial No. 15 car driven by Scott Goodyear to second place in the 1992 Indy 500. Finishing .0043 of a second behind winner Al Unser Jr., it was the closest finish in the storied history of the race.

This exhibit will also feature a unique collection showcasing some of the most iconic vehicles that have traversed the oval in Indianapolis since the first Indy 500 was staged in 1911 as well as highlighting the Canadians who have pursued racing glory in this fabled contest.

Among the cars coming to Toronto are:

  • 1914 Duesenberg
  • 1935 Ford V8 Miller
  • 1950 Cummins Diesel
  • 1968 Lotus Type 56 “Wedge” Turbine
  • 1968 Rislone Special
  • 1979 Norton Spirit

Stars of the Verizon IndyCar Series circuit Conor Daly and Canadian James Hinchcliffe will be at the Indy 500 booth on the 100 level of the North Building on opening day of the AutoShow, Friday, February 12th. The drivers will meet with the media and fans and sign autographs between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

“The popularity of Indy car racing is huge, and Toronto is a big piece of this racing legacy and culture,” says Ivan Cropper, Senior Director of Marketing for the Verizon IndyCar Series. “The Indy 500 has a strong following in Canada, and the Honda Indy Toronto is an important jewel in our racing season thanks to a passionate and dedicated fan base. Canada has also produced a number of incredible drivers that have a special place in the history of racing, including Jacques Villeneuve, Paul Tracy, Scott Goodyear and James Hinchcliffe.”

“We’re delighted to welcome the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum to our city,” says Jeff Atkinson, President of the Honda Indy Toronto. “Canada indeed has a proud heritage in motor sports and we’re sure the exhibit will be a favourite among the many visitors to the AutoShow. We invite everyone to soak in the history and then to join us in the writing of new history at the 2016 Honda Indy Toronto.”

The AutoShow is offering discount tickets to the 2016 Honda Indy Toronto. Please visit autoshow.ca/tickets for more information.

Please be sure to visit autoshow.ca for more information. Follow us on Instagram @cdnintlautoshow, Like us on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter @autoshowcanada with the hashtags #YourMove and #CIAS2016.

The Canadian International AutoShow will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre between February 12th and 21st.

About the Canadian International AutoShow

With more than 650,000 square feet of exhibits, displays and attractions at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Canadian International AutoShow is not only the largest automotive expo in Canada, it is also the country’s largest consumer show. Boasting more than 1,000 cars, trucks, SUVs, concept cars, exotics, classics, motorcycles and alternative energy vehicles, the AutoShow is a leader in lifestyle, technology and all things automotive. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit www.autoshow.ca.