The NASCAR Archives Center is a treasure-trove of racing history, boasting an impressive collection of motorsports photography, trophies, cars, and other memorabilia dating back to the early 1900s.
Fans are able to visit the NASCAR Archives Center as part of a Daytona International Speedway “VIP Tour” that provides race fans an opportunity for an intimate, exclusive look behind-the-scenes at the history of the “World Center of Racing.”
You will be guided by Daytona International Speedway’s knowledgeable staff on this walk through history, complete with informative videos and a spacious van to transport you to the “World Center of Racing” for a comprehensive tour of the facility. Among the thousands of rare, vintage items and a number of special display areas, a few stand out as must-sees during your visit to the NASCAR Archives Center.
Bill France Sr. Replica Office
Take a step back in time as the original office of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. has been re-created to a remarkable level of authenticity.
In addition to a genuine desk and leather chair, notable features include original ISC stationery and business cards, a wall-mounted 50-year-old stuffed snook that Bill Sr. caught, a rare collection of France family photos and antique awards and racing books. The era-appropriate television, vintage office globe, turquoise rotary phone and wood-paneled walls all serve to complete the classic 1960s look and feel.
“The Fight” Replica Cars
Another exciting new addition to the garage are two replica cars – Donnie Allison’s No. 1 Oldsmobile and Cale Yarborough’s No. 11 – each showing the damage sustained in the final-lap crash that allowed Richard Petty the 1979 DAYTONA 500 victory and caused “The Fight” between Yarborough and the Allison brothers after the race. The 1979 DAYTONA 500 is considered to be one of the seminal moments in racing that helped launch NASCAR into the national consciousness.
Marvin Panch No. 20 Car
The ISC Archives garage also houses the car driven by the late Marvin Panch to his 1961 Daytona 500 victory. The 1960 No. 20 Pontiac took Panch to his first lead of the race with only 13 laps remaining, holding on to take the checkered flag 16 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
1967 Firebird Pace Car
The fourth car on display is a 1967 Pontiac Firebird that served as a pace car here at Daytona International Speedway. It is signed by dozens of drivers and riders who ran at DAYTONA in 1967, including racing legends Bobby and Donnie Allison, Junior Johnson and Bobby Isaac.
The archives’ garage also has an original workbench used in the garages at Daytona International Speedway until 2003. The bench, in use at the garages until recent renovations, surely saw the tools and gear of countless legends and DAYTONA 500 champions placed upon it as race preparations were made.
While the ISC Archives & Research Center features shelf after shelf of priceless racing artifacts, photographs, programs, collectible cars, racing gear and trophies, its two side-by-side display walls near the front of the facility stand out above the rest.
The DAYTONA 500 wall of artifacts, past champion trophies, driver memorabilia, historic images and more celebrates the history of the “Great American Race.” Among the highlights are the first DAYTONA 500 program, the Pat Purcell Trophy awarded to the top rookie finisher in the DAYTONA 500 and images of DAYTONA 500 champions such as Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Richard Petty.
The beach racing wall includes trophies, vintage gear and exclusive images of a bygone era of racing. Figures like Sir Henry Segrave and Sir Malcolm Campbell can be seen, along with all of the unique cars that made Daytona Beach a land-speed record hotspot.
One of NASCAR’s most significant families is honored with its own corner, filled with memorabilia from each of the members of three generations of the racing family. This assemblage came together thanks to a thoughtful donation from a Central Florida family whose late patriarch had collected Earnhardt memorabilia for several decades.
ISC Archives Library & Perpetual Trophies
The largest room in the ISC Archives & Research Center is the library, which houses nearly a century of motorsports literature, including magazines, programs, media guides, race reports, and rule books.
Front-and-center inside the room you will find a number of massive trophies encompassing the history of American motorsports, including perpetual championship trophies from the NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Sprint Cup eras of NASCAR. The Sprint Cup perpetual stands complete with an elegant sterling silver top produced by artists at Tiffany & Co., serving as the centerpiece of the impressive display.
Admission to the VIP Tour is $55 per person and advanced reservations are encouraged as availability is limited. Reservations can be made in person at the Daytona International Speedway Ticket Office or by calling 877-306-7223. VIP Tours take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays beginning at 1 p.m.
What do you most look forward to seeing on the VIP Tour? Let us know in the comments below!