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Coyote (1970) is a faithful replica, in limestone, of the 1970 Indy 500 car driven by AJ Foyt. Rendered in actual scale, the detail indicates the sponsorship of many companies like Ford, Firestone, STP. The car number is “7”. The sculpture was a gift to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Architectural Stone Sales and the Evans family of Bedford, Indiana.
A.J. Foyt (1935- ) is a legendary race car driver, the only one to have won the Indy 500 (four times), the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona race, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans races plus the 12 Hours of Sebring race. He has been inducted into numerous racing sports halls of fame.
The Coyote was a brand of race car chassis designed and built by Foyt’s team for him to race. It was used from 1966 to 1983, with Foyt himself making 141 starts in the car, and winning 25 times. Two of those wins were at the Indy 500 race, in 1967 and 1977. Later, driver and race team owner Eddie Cheever obtained permission from Foyt to use the Coyote name for his new Daytona prototype chassis, debuting in 2007.
Louis Chevrolet Memorial
This memorial, also known as Founders Plaza, features a bust of Louis Chevrolet on a pedestal in front of a curved marble seating area with four bronze reliefs of some of the founders of the car/racing industry, including Henry Ford (1923); Gaston Chevrolet (1920); Tommy Milton (1921); and Louis Chevrolet (1911).
The memorial, designed by Fred Wellman and sculpted by Adolph Wolter, was created during 1968–1970 and installed in the spring of 1975. Wellman conceived his idea for a Louis Chevrolet memorial in 1964 after visiting Chevrolet’s grave in the Holy Cross and St. Joseph Cemetery in Indianapolis, and realized that he was under-recognized for his contributions to the auto and racing industries.
The centerpiece of the memorial is a bronze bust of Chevrolet wearing a racing cap and goggles; it rests on a marble and granite square base. The relief panels show Chevrolet and William C. Durant, founder of General Motors, with the first Chevrolet Classic Six touring car in 1911; Chevrolet’s first winning car at Indianapolis 500 in 1920, driven by his brother Gaston, with four Speedway pioneers in the background, Carl G. Fisher, James A. Allison, Lem H. Trotter and T. E. (Pop) Meyers; Chevrolet’s second Indianapolis winner in 1921, driven by Tommy Milton, with Capt. Edward V. Rickenbacker, Col. Arthur W. Herrington, Louis Schwitzer, and Cornelius W. Van Ranst; and Chevrolet’s 1923 Barber-Warnock Fronty-Ford, which placed fifth driven by L. L. Corum, with Henry Ford at the wheel, flanked by Barney Oldfield, Chevrolet, and Harvey Firestone.
Novi Special (1949)
Novi Special (1949) is a faithful replica, in limestone, of a car housing the Mighty Indy Novi, a dual overhead cam supercharged V8 engine used in the Indianapolis 500 race from 1941-1966. The engine’s design caused it to emit a characteristic sound, consisting of both a “scream” and a deep roar: this sound became associated with the Indy 500 and pleased many racegoers, not only because of its volume but also because it signified the type of power that could result in an exciting crash during the race.
The 1949 Novi Special #54, driven by Duke Nalon, occupied the pole position that year and was favored to win; however, Nalon crashed on the 24th lap while leading the race.
The sculpture was a gift of the Evans family of Bedford, Indiana, in memory of Eddie Evans.
On The Map
Created by artist Eduardo Mendieta, and situated along Speedway’s historic Main Street, this mural honors the city’s century-long love affair with auto racing. The car depicted in the mural is the Blitzen Benz, and it sits atop a map of Speedway featuring the iconic oval of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The child in the upper left hand corner represents the joy of discovering “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and finding it here in Indianapolis.
The Blitzen (Lightning) Benz was the first car to be purpose-built to break speed records. It was produced in an edition of 6 vehicles in 1909. The car appeared in an exhibition run at the first Indy 500 race in 1911, just a month after it broke the land/air/water vehicle speed record of 141.7 miles per hour at Daytona Beach.
The mural was one of 46 murals commissioned by the Arts Council of Indianapolis as part of its nationally renowned 46 for XLVI mural initiative. Read more about the initiative here.
Eduardo Mendieta lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, and is a muralist and graphic designer. His work appears all over South Florida in art fairs, gallery shows, and in public spaces. Read more about his work here.
Seeds of Light
Seeds of Light is located in Speedway Trailhead Park along the P&E Trail and honors the history, traditions and values of the Town of Speedway as well as its relationships with its two Sister Cities, the motorsports towns of Motegi, Japan and Varano de’ Melegari, Italy. The trailhead is an iconic space welcoming both students from its Sister Cities exchanges and all international visitors to the town.
From a distance, Seeds of Light appears as a tall, single-stemmed, flower-like structure approximately 18 feet high. Its form was inspired by heracleum maximum; a native plant known variously as cow parsnip, Indian celery, or Indian rhubarb and which appears in the trailhead’s landscaping. Each lit “floret” symbolizes the exchange experience of Speedway’s Sister Cities students, their connections with their hosts, and their potential as global citizens. The floret’s interconnected, three-part form also references the students’ growth in terms of head, heart, and hands, and the three connected Sister City communities of Speedway, Motegi, and Varano.
In addition to the Sister Cities symbolism, Seeds of Light also honors Speedway’s industrial heritage, with its embedded LED lights and reflective dichroic glass symbolizing its commitment to new technology and its forward-facing attitude. At the same time, the overall shape of the piece refers to the quiet, natural beauty of a common Indiana flower.
The artist, Arlon Bayliss, is based in Anderson, Indiana. Originally trained as a studio glass artist and the former founding director of the glass program at Anderson University, since 2014 he has moved his practice to architectural-scale projects in metal, glass, and light.
Seeds of Light was commissioned by the Town of Speedway as part of its participation in Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’s 2016 IPL Project GreenSpace, which created Speedway Trailhead Park. The Arts Council of Indianapolis provided funding and project supervision.
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