BORG-WARNER ON DISPLAY AT NAIAS
Pricey Indianapolis 500 trophy on display at Detroit Auto Show
$3.5-million racing symbol is alongside Honda/Dallara IZOD honoring Franchitti's win
By Mike Brudenell I Detroit Free Press Sports Writer
The Stanley Cup has been stolen, lost and ended up in a swimming pool.
The Borg-Warner Trophy might never have taken a dunking, but it disappeared aboard a ship a few years ago.
The Borg-Warner, presented to the winner of the Indianapolis 500, was misplaced in the bomb rack of the SS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York, much to the horror of Terry Gunter, one of trophy's two minders who travel with it around the country.
This week, the Borg-Warner -- all 120 pounds of it and worth about $3.5 million -- is on display at the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center.
It stands next to the red Honda/Dallara IZOD Indy Car at the Honda Racing complex.
Last May, Scotsman Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) won the Indy 500, his third victory in the race, with Honda power. Franchitti will be in town later in the week for a special trophy presentation from the BorgWarner automotive company, headquartered in Auburn Hills.
Gunter, who is assistant director and curator at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, and his traveling mate, Brian Spurbeck, don't expect any problems holding on to the trophy while they are in Detroit -- "unless Roger Penske tries to take it and hide it in a cupboard," said Gunter, jokingly, on Monday.
But he did break a sweat when the Borg-Warner went missing for about half an hour on the SS Intrepid.
"I was pretty flustered, I can assure you," said Gunter, who has been handling the cherished racing trophy for about 10 years. "It was being transported aboard the ship, starting off in the bomb rack and finishing somehow in the McDonald's restaurant in the museum there. I was a little worried."
Gunter and Spurbeck drove the Borg-Warner Trophy from Indianapolis to Detroit in an unmarked Chevy van.
"It felt funny pulling into gas stations, knowing what we had in the back of the van," Gunter said. "I've always said if I lose the trophy or it is stolen while I'm on guard, I'm heading to Canada. I certainly won't be going back to Indy."
Contact Mike Brudenell: 313-222-2115 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mikebrudenell.
More Details: Showtime
What: North American International Auto Show.
Where: Cobo Center, Detroit.
More info: naias.com
Through Thursday: Media and industry previews — closed to the public.
Friday: Charity preview. For tickets, go to charitypreview.com or call 888-838-7500.
Saturday through Jan. 27: Open to the public.
If you’re going …
Tickets: $12 for adults, $6 ages 7-12 and 65 and older, children under 7 free with parent or guardian.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. all days except Jan. 27 (9-7).