Today I had a list of three museums to visit. My first choice (mostly because it was opening the earliest) was the Penske Racing Museum in Scottsdale. There are lots of towns around the city of Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Surprise, and they all kind of meld into the one.
I had been to the Penske museum back in ‘07 and it was nice to return. The same lady was there to greet me at the reception desk. Although she didn’t recognize me, it was OK. A lot of people don’t.
The museum is a showplace in typical Penske fashion. If you look up perfection in the dictionary Penske is right next to it.
Even though it was pretty much the same as the last time I was there I still enjoyed it.
The cars are displayed to perfection.
The one new addition was this Porsche from the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Porsche and Penske have a long and successful history together.
Taking a close look at this car you can really see the work that went into the aerodynamics.
Notice the vents above the front tires.
You can see a similar treatment on the Chaparrals of Jim Hall.
The front fenders over the tires are one of the most challenging aspects of race car body design from an aerodynamic standpoint.
There were many cars at this museum that have a great history behind them. One of the most interesting ones was the Pontiac stock car that Roger Drove in the early 1960’s.
Roger was a top driver when he decided to change careers and move into team management.
There is a very special section devoted to Mark Donohue. Here is the Indy 500 wining car:
Mark had incredible talent as a driver and had training as an engineer. He and Roger made a formidable team. Just look at the attention to detail on the Penske race car:
It is a thing of beauty.
Next to it is the Formula 1 car built by Penske Design. It was raced by Mark in 1974 and 1975 when Mark was tragically killed during practice.
Here is the Porsche that Mark won the first ever IROC (International Race of Champions) back in 1973.
Then there is the second floor where there is a NASCAR car on display.
Being able to get up close you can see some of the key features such as NACA ducts on the side windows to allow airflow in with little or no disruption to the aerodynamic pressure wave.
Notice the panels on the roof. If the car spins and goes backward they flip up to prevent the car from going airborne.
This is a really impressive museum and the admission is – zero. How can you beat that?
The third Saturday of the month they have their very own Cars & Coffee car show. Believe me, they will serve iced coffee in this weather. It was 111 today.