The Henry Ford’s ‘Driven to Win’ Racing Exhibit to Open March 26

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation at The Henry Ford in Dearborn has always had numerous race cars on display but starting next month they will be curated to tell the story of motorsports in America.
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Driven to Win: Racing in America exhibit
“Driven to Win: Racing in America” presented by General Motors covers several forms of American auto racing. // Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation at The Henry Ford in Dearborn has always had numerous race cars on display but starting next month they will be curated to tell the story of motorsports in America.

“Driven to Win: Racing in America” presented by General Motors Co. is the museum’s first comprehensive exhibition covering various forms of American auto racing, including stock car, sports car, drag racing, Indy car, hill climb, and land-speed racing. It will open March 26 for museum members and March 27 for the general public.

The 24,000-square-foot exhibition will provide visitors with an in-depth look at the people, experiences, culture, spectacle, risks, and the innovations centered in the world of American motorsports.

“This is the first exhibition of its kind, giving our guests a front row seat to the world of racing,” says Patricia Mooradian, president and CEO of The Henry Ford. “From the smell of the tires, the sound of the vehicles starting their engines, the innovative advancements that have been made over the years to the various tracks these vehicles have raced on, our staff and partners have certainly brought this exhilarating sport to life on our museum floor.”

Built on The Henry Ford’s collection of historically significant race cars and artifacts, “Driven to Win” explores more than a century of auto racing history throughout multiple interactive zones. It tells the stories of the “passion, inspiration, and innovation” that propels drivers, their cars, and teams to victory, including those of racing legends Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt, Wendell Scott, Lyn St. James, Bobby Unser, Barney Oldfield, the Wood Brothers, and more.

“Racing is the embodiment of American innovation in the world of sports, but its reach has long stretched beyond the track to our showrooms, our roads, and our culture,” says Mark Reuss, president of General Motors. “Driven to Win documents and celebrates those contributions, with an exciting and comprehensive presentation of the past, present and future of motorsports.”

Each of the exhibit’s interactive zones gives visitors an insider’s pass to the various worlds of auto racing.

For example, inside the Sports Car Performance Center presented by Multimatic, with support from Ford Motor Co. and Brembo, visitors will see actual data used from race day that helps engineers problem-solve and plan for the next year’s race, the evolution of the design process from clay model to race day ready, and how closely the Ford GT production car resembles the one on the track.

Visitors can test their skills in the Motorsports Performance Training zone where they can see the physical and mental training drivers go through before getting behind the wheel.

Accompanying the exhibit is “Fueled by Passion,” is a 15-minute film that gives a behind-the-scenes look at those who live and breathe racing every day. It includes exclusive footage and interviews with drivers and crew members from the various motorsports disciplines. Inside the multisensory theater, visitors will feel they’re at the tracks, inside the vehicles, in the pits, and at the starting line as they follow each journey before and after some of the most notable races of the season.

The In the Driver’s Seat Simulators presented by Brembo, allow visitors to drive the world’s fastest cars on racing’s most challenging tracks during a 15-minute virtual ride on six interlinked full-motion racing simulators. Visitors will experience all the realism without the risks during a five-minute qualifying session followed by wheel-to-wheel competition. In The Winner’s Circle presented by Rolex celebrates driver achievements and the vehicles that embody stories of key moments in American auto racing.

Driven to Win is a permanent exhibition that is included with museum admission. The simulators require an additional fee. For more information, visit here.

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