Club Member Ted Knorr Has Racing Display at IMS
By: Josh Duke / Wests Indy Star
(The following is Josh Duke's article from the Dec. 22nd
issue of the West Indy Star about club member Ted Knorr's toy
display at the Speedway.)
At 70, Ted Knorr still loves toys.
And what better time than Christmas to share his passion at
one of the most famous venues in the world?
race-related collection of more than 200 toys owned by Knorr
and his wife, Cathy is on display in the main lobby of the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
It's the first time the museum, known for its world-class
collection of automobiles, has featured a display of toys. Knorr,
who grew up as an amateur racer and Indy 500 enthusiast, considers
having his toys in the museum an honor. "It is a thrill
to have my toys inside a world-class museum with all these histocic
race cars." said Knorr, a Speedway resident and retired
Indiana State Police trooper. "To be on the cutting edge
of something at the Speedway is neat too."
An avid toy dealer and collector, Knorr's love for toys began
as a child while helping in his father's hardware store in Rensselaer,
IN. His love for racing grew during his teenage years, and he
talked his dad into taking him to his first 500-mile race in
"Troy Ruttman won that race, and they came out with a
toy replica of his car." Knorr recalls. "I got one
for Christmas that year and just loved it".
Like any young boy, Knorr damaged his original No. 98 Ruttman
replica by playing with it, but after he began collecting toys
as an adult, that car remained special to him. He found another
one in pristine condition at a toy store and bought it.
Knorr later got it autographed by Ruttman before he died.
That piece has become the signature of the collection.
Visitors to the museum also will see three display cases full
of toys ranging from the 1920's to the 1990's. Some of the items
include a board game from the 1920's with little cars, a G.I.
Joe race car driver figurine from the 1976's, vinyl records of
Indianapolis 500 race broadcasts from the 1950's and even a 1962
Sears Christmas Catalog opened to a page showing an Indianapolis
500 slot car set.
"People can relate to most of the stuff in this display"
Knorr said. "I just wanted it to look like vintage toy store
windows, and I think it really hit the mark."
Ellen Bireley, museum director, wanted to create a toy display
to appeal to families and children. Although the display was
intended for Christmastime only, the musuem has invited Ted to
keep his collection their indefinitely.
Knorr said he has at least another 100 race-related toys the
museum didn't have room to display. He has so much memorabilia
in addition to the toys, that some of his neighbors have compared
his basement to a museum, he said.
Having some of his collection in the actual Indianapolis 500
Museum is one of the best moments of his life, he said. "It
is great for the hobby, and I just hope my toys will make people
grin when they see them." Knorr said.
(See more display photos below)
The following is a piece from the May/June 2008
issue of the Vintage Motorsport International Magazine.
As of May 2008