How to "Acquire" a Priceless Historic Race Car for $3,000 or Less

Like Indy cars themselves, the opportunities are going fast.

If your dream has been to own an Indy 500-winning race car, but your budget only allows for 1:18-scale models, have we got a deal for you! The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has started a program dubbed Adopt-a-Car, which allows those of modest means to have their name associated with some of the tremendously special cars that have won at or been associated with the Brickyard in years past.

Here's the deal: The IMS Museum has selected a number of past Indy 500-winning cars, a few nonwinning rides, and several pace cars to participate in an adoption program. Adoptees of the vehicles pay a fee ranging from about $250 all the way up to $3,000 depending on the car, with the funds going to support the selected car's maintenance and upkeep. Adoptees will also get their name on the Adopt-a-Car wall at the museum, as well as a Pit Crew-level museum membership, a photo of the car, and a "certificate of adoption." So, no, you won't get to put the car in your own garage or drive it around the Brickyard yourself, but you can whip out your adoption certificate for bragging rights when your friends come over to watch the big race next year.

The IMS Museum selected 13 winning cars for the Adopt-a-Car program, including Arie Luyendyk's 1990 Domino's Pizza Lola T9000, Mark Donohue's 1972 Sunoco Penske-McLaren, A.J. Foyt's 1964 Sheraton-Thompson Special, and the 1911 Marmon Wasp, the winner of the very first Indy 500 at the hands of drivers Ray Harroun and Cyrus Patschke. Other notable cars include a 1912 Fiat, a 1992 STP Pontiac NASCAR racer driven by Richard Petty, and the 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Indy 500 Pace Car.

At time of writing some interesting cars remain for adoption, including the winner of the second-ever Indy 500, a 1912 National ($1,000), a 1909 Buick ($750), and the 1996 Dodge Viper GTS Indy 500 Pace Car ($250).

The IMS museum is also open to offering adoption papers for cars it owns that aren't listed on the adoption page, and is also allowing fans to adopt entire exhibits. For more on the program, visit the IMS Museum website. But you'll want to hurry, as Indy cars don't like to move slowly and many have already been spoken for.

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