Located in the heart of Albuquerque site sits a museum complex that has been on Ron’s Bucket List for some time, and we took time while in Albuquerque this year to visit it – the Unser Racing Museum.
As a youngster growing up in Salem, Indiana, Ron frequented the racetrack there, and remember a racer named Unser (he thinks it was Jerry, Jr.).
The Unser immigrated from Switzerland, settling in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The family began making news when in September 1915 they rode a motorcycle and sidecar to the summit of Pike's Peak, a mountain previously declared to be unscalable. Soon after this conquest, the Colorado City police hired the three Unser brothers to teach them how to ride motorcycles, and in 1916 after a road was built, Spencer Penrose officially staged a "Race to the Clouds", a 12.4 mile race to the peak, which continues as an annual event to this day.
In 1936, the Jerry, Sr. relocated the family to Albuquerque. In addition to having their home base there, they also owned a repair garage. Members of the family still make their home there.
The museum, commemorating the family’s racing history throughout 4 generations, is a 2 building modern facility with multi-media exhibits.
Out front on display is a racecar from the 20’s and another against an Indy simulated wall.
Inside the two buildings, the displays range from the earliest Unser racing vehicles to the most modern.
There is even a simulator where you take a spin at being in the driver’s seat. (We both enjoyed the realistic experience.)
The second building contains a locked room with glass walls containing many of the various trophies collected by the family members.