AACA Museum Night at the Museum. Photo by Mark Usciak.
Each year, the AACA Museum’s Night at the Museum gives supporters a chance to enjoy the facility after hours, while dining on gourmet food and bidding at the charity auction that raises money for the museum and other local causes. For 2017, the museum is adding a new charity, the Children’s Miracle Network at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, along with a new annual award presented to a leader in the collector car community. On October 4, during the 2017 Night at the Museum, Bobby Rahal will be honored with the inaugural AACA Museum Automotive Heritage Award.
Bobby Rahal celebrates his 1986 win at the Indy 500. Remaining photos courtesy Bobby Rahal.
The Automotive Heritage Award is designed to recognize someone who has made “an exceptional contribution to the hobby by preserving antique automobiles and motorsports vehicles, exhibiting their vehicles, promoting the hobby, engaging in sustained, noteworthy activities that have positively impacted the hobby, and using his or her position in the hobby for philanthropy and service to others.” The broad pool of potential candidates comes from all aspects of the collector car hobby, including owners, writers, car designers and others demonstrating leadership within the hobby, which extends to vintage racing.
With his three PPG Championship Cups.
During an IndyCar racing career that spanned 18 seasons, Bobby Rahal amassed 266 starts, 24 victories, three series championships and an Indy 500 win. His driving CV also includes an SCCA National championship behind the wheel of a Ford-powered Formula B race car, a partial season in Formula One, a full season in Formula Two, a single NASCAR Winston Cup start and wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. A team owner since 1991, Rahal’s helped to further the open-wheel careers of drivers like Ryan Hunter-Reay, Buddy Rice and Danica Patrick.
2004 Indy 500, with race winner (and Rahal Letterman driver) Buddy Rice.
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan team is active in sports car racing, too, and with BMW sponsorship earned American Le Mans Series championships in 2010 and 2011. Today, the squad competes in the GT Le Mans class of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, where its BMW M6s are up against the Corvette C7.R, the Ford GT, the Porsche 911 RSR and the Ferrari 488 GTE.
When not focused on his racing teams (or vintage racing his own cars), Rahal operates the dealerships of the Bobby Rahal Automotive Group, serves as president of the Road Racing Drivers Club, is chairman of the International Motor Racing Research Center Governing Council and heads the Bobby Rahal Foundation, which focuses on children’s causes.
The 2017 AACA Museum Night at the Museum will begin with an optional 5:00 VIP cocktail reception, giving guests a chance to meet and greet Rahal, followed by the regular program beginning at 5:30. The night’s events include dinner and the award presentation, followed by the live auction presented by the Katz Family Foundation.
For additional information, or to purchase tickets to the event, visit AACAMuseum.org.