A Close-Up View of Auto Racing History
Clean your windshield, check your tires and take hold of the steering wheel. Don’t race, but drive safely to the Penske Racing Museum in Scottsdale, Arizona. As you approach 7125 East Chauncey Lane, just off of Loop 101 in the north part of Scottsdale, the first thing you will notice is a series of luxury car dealerships. The Scottsdale 101 Collection is an expansive group of Penske dealerships that sell cars most of us can only dream of owning.
When you set foot on the grounds of the 41 acre Penske complex, you can hardly be blamed if you stop to admire the Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Ferraris that you can spot for as far as the eye can see. You’ll have plenty of time to browse through all of the cool cars that you can buy, but first, head on in and explore the Penske Racing Museum.
Comprising 9,000 square feet of space on two levels, the main floor is used to display some of the actual cars that were used to win a record 15 Indianapolis 500 races. While Penske has been a major player in other top NASCAR and Formula 1 races, most of the cars are Indy cars. About 20 Team Penske cars are on display at any one time, along with engines and other racing equipment and gear. In order to show off the entire collection, cars are rotated on a regular basis. On the second floor, you will find scale models of some of Penske’s most noteworthy race cars as well as a display of trophies and awards that the racing team has won.
Also on the second floor is a restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. The Turn 4 Café houses those trophies and serves up some excellent food. The Turn 4 Café is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00AM to 3:00PM. You can dine in the Café or choose to dine outside. From the outdoor mezzanine area, you can enjoy the views of the test track and Land Rover off-road course while eating your breakfast or lunch.
If you would like to bring back a souvenir or memento of your visit to the Penske Racing Museum, head on over to The Boutique. Just a short distance from the Turn 4 Café, The Boutique is a nice little gift shop that sells Penske merchandise. You can find apparel for men, women and children, die-cast cars, books, and many other small gifts. You can even buy a one-of-a-kind piece of a car or auto part that is signed by a Penske Team driver.
Speaking of drivers, there have been some great ones that have been crucial to the success of the Penske Team. A rundown of the drivers who have at least one Indianapolis victory on their resume reads like a Who’s Who of Racing list. Included on that list are such well recognized names as Al Unser Sr., Al Unser Jr., Bobby Unser, Rick Mears, Emerson Fittipaldi, and Helio Castroneves.
Roger Penske has been involved in competitive auto racing for more than 50 years. At age 77, he runs an empire of auto dealerships out of the Bloomfield, MI headquarters of Penske Automotive Group. In 2013, the Penske Automotive Group was ranked 203 on the Forbes 500 list of largest corporations with over $13.6 billion in annual revenues.
Admission to the Penske Racing Museum is always FREE. Hours of operation are 8:00AM – 4:00PM from Monday through Saturday and 12:00PM-5:00PM on Sundays.
If you are looking for something fun to do in Scottsdale for an hour or two, the Penske Racing Museum is the place to go. If you want to take a test-drive in a bright red Ferrari, and maybe make a deal to take it home, you’ll have to stay a little longer.
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