For car enthusiasts, especially those with a love of racing and the Penske company, the racing museum in scenic Phoenix, Arizona is a must visit. Visitors can see many original, race winners as well as replica cars and trophies from some of the nation and the world’s most competitive races.
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In 2002, the Penske Racing Museum was opened. Located in a complex with car dealerships, these two stories, over 9000 square foot facility highlights over 20 automobiles along with a variety of other memorabilia from the Penske team. While some of the displays rotate in and out of public display, the focus is on Indy 500 and NASCAR related exhibits. There are also a few F1 related cars and memorabilia pieces, as well as an occasional sports car racing display. Admission is free to the museum.
The greatest draw at the racing museum are the cars on display, allowing guests to glance at a piece of history.
March 86C - The car that Al Unser Senior won the Indy 500 with in 1987 is a big lure at the museum, featuring a 700-brake horsepower engine. Yellow and attention stealing, the March 86C labeled with the number 25 once reached just over 223 mph.
Dodge Charger - 2005 was the last year that Rusty Wallace competed in the Nextel Cup, and the Dodge Charger that he drove, with 800 brake horsepower, is on display, still painted with the “Last Call” painting scheme that was chosen for the NASCAR event.
Penske PC-6 - The Indy 500 was won by Rick Mears in 1979 with this beauty. Red on the top, blue on the bottom, and labeled with the number 9, this car with its 800-brake horsepower Ford engine was also driven once by Mario Andretti.
March 84C - Another yellow stunner, the March 84C was driven to the win in the 1984 Indy 500 by Rick Mears. It was his second victory. The car wears the number 6.
Hurst/Olds Cutlass - This 1972 vintage car was the pace car at the Indy 500 the same year it was introduced. Although it only features 300 brake horsepower, its allure is in its design and exterior.
Porsche IROC - In the 1973 inaugural IROC road race, this car was driven to victory by Mark Donohue. Topping out at 316 brake horsepower, the Porsche RSR is a must see for any automobile enthusiast.
McLaren M16B - The replica of the car that sped Mark Donohue to victory at the Indy 500 in 1972 is on display, displaying the 850-brake horsepower engine that brought Penske Racing its very first win there.
Penske PC-9B - Bobby Unser drove the real version of this 600-brake horsepower replica to the win in the 1981 Indy 500, which was the 3rd Penske Racing victory there.
In addition to the vehicles and replica vehicles on display, there is also a multiple of racing trophies and other memorabilia for guests to peruse at their leisure.
The racing museum is available for rental for special events. Hosting anything from casual events like birthday parties to more elaborate affairs like weddings, receptions or holiday parties, the museum will work with guests to plan their perfect event. The second floor also has a collapsible glass wall that can be taken down to allow for both indoor and outdoor space for the event, as long as the weather cooperates. Food and beverage options, as well as test climbs in the onsite Land Rover experience, are all offered at an additional charge. Contact the museum for more information.
The racing museum also offers several benefits throughout the year to help support charities - like Mission: Able (a charity helping paralyzed veterans). They also play host to the Cars and Coffee gathering of car enthusiasts, which happens on Saturdays throughout the year. Check the website or their Facebook page for additional and up to date information.
Shopping and Dining
Located on the second floor of the museum is The Boutique, selling different souvenir options to commemorate a visit. Visitors can purchase a die cast car, books on automobiles and racing, and a variety of apparel for all ages. There are also car parts, some of them signed, as well as Penske related gifts.
For visitors who get hungry during their visit, check out Turn 4 Cafe for breakfast as well as lunch choices sure to satisfy any appetite.
Penske Racing Museum, 7125 East Chauncey Lane, Phoenix, AZ, 85054, Phone: 480-538-4444