Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Indy 500 Memorabilia Convention

As you may or may not recall, over 30 years ago, a tiny group of racing collectible enthusiasts just had their 30th anniversary in May of this year. This group is called the National Auto Racing Memorabilia Show which has gone through a progressive advancement in those 30 years.

The year was 1979 and the place was at Howard Johnson’s Motel on Washington Street of downtown Indianapolis. This is where the Indy 500 Memorabilia Convention began. Now the happening is shown at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

The Indy 500 Memorabilia Convention is now the second-oldest automobile memorabilia conference in the country. The convention is infamous in that each year hundreds and thousands of auto racing enthusiasts descend on this convention to buy, sell and trade automobile memorabilia in which you cannot find anywhere else In the market. The NARM Show (National Auto Racing Memorabilia) of the Indy 500 Memorabilia Convention offers the best place to find crew used uniforms, one-of-a-kind hood ornaments and cars which go back to the early 1920’s.


There are things that you see and items that are for sale here that you just can’t find anywhere else in town. At one booth you might find yourself looking through IndyCar crew-used shirts; at the next booth you are thumbing through candid photos of the drivers you followed in the 60s or 70s; and at the next one you’re debating whether or not to spend the money on one of the only two pit badges you need to complete your collection. You’ll find a guy who has just put the video of the ’68 Race, complete with amateur 8mm shots of fans coming in to the track posing for the camera in their race day finest, on to a DVD. At another stop you find a vendor who recently purchased the negatives from a UPI photographer who shot Watkins Glen in the 60s and has a multitude of prints featuring Graham Hill, Jimmy Clark and Mario. This is not a NASCAR diecast get-together.

If you’ve been coming to this shindig for as long as I have you know most of the exhibitors and about half of the other people in the hall. I run in to a good amount of folks I’ve known for what seems to be half of my life. From time-to-time it’s also afforded me an outlet to sell or trade duplicate items from my collection. Nobody comes to this Show and leaves in thirty minutes. Many come back to the show for a second day.

There is more to come tomorrow of this great event.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Jacques Vaucher was schooled at Winfield France's famous racing school. Jacques found his niche in touring car endurance championships in the US and produced winning results in Limerock and Watkins Glen. He has been in automobile memorabilia for 30 years with galleries in New York and now Harper, Texas. His main site is http://www.arteauto.com/ and his auction site is http://www.arteautoauction.com. His blog is http://www.arteautoblog.com/.
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