Roger Penske is a legendary name in racing in the US and around the world. He has enjoyed successes in sports cars, Can Am, IRL, ALMS, the Indy 500, F1, and many other venues. Some of his racing team roots can ironically be traced to northeast PA in the early 1970s. His continuing efforts will certainly ensure more success in the future. A visit to Scottsdale, AZ had me looking around for places of automotive interest. It turns out that I was staying just a few miles from his Racing Museum and this provided an opportunity for a quick visit. The Museum is actually not a free-standing building. Rather, it is located in the midst of one of his multibrand dealerships. In this case, Bentley, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, etc. Posh surroundings indeed, and I had to be very careful not to pick up a Continental as an impulse purchase on the way out. Roger Penske is a very successful business man.
There are not a lot of cars in the museum, but those that are there are all interesting race winners. A trio of the Marlboro cars was on display which combined a Penske chassis with Mercedes/Ilmor engines. There were also a couple of pace cars including a nice Oldsmobile 442 from the 1970s. It was interesting to see how many chassis, engine, and manufacturers that Penske has used to create winners. Chassis variations from March and Lola, and of course Penske’s own. Engines from Chevrolet, Ford, Mercedes/Ilmor, and Cosworth. Manufacturers like AMC, Ferrari, GM, and Porsche. And he has the trophies to show for it. The second floor has cabinets of trophies from a variety of racing series and venues. Everybody in racing likes to win, but Penske seems to have few arenas that he has entered where he didn’t end up on top after a relatively short while. You get the sense that he could be competitive in Grand-Am with a Chrysler K car, and an engine from a Renault 2CV. What it really suggests is that his skill is in putting together a competitive package, and running a racing team.