I diecast and went to heaven at Gearheads
Monday, February 20, 2012 10:00 PM by Steve Slosarek
It was the dead of winter, but it felt like the middle of racing season. Every step I took inside Gearheads Auto Racing Store, I was surrounded by cool auto-racing paraphernalia. Thousands upon thousands of diecast cars -- stacked low to high in this large, converted house at 10249 E. U.S. 136 between Brownsburg and Clermont -- satiated my need for speed. And to think, the schedule at neighboring Lucas Oil Raceway doesn't even commence until late April. Gearheads has all the racing-related collectibles you need, in or out of season. It carries more than 2,500 diecast cars, from $1 to $600. From the minute I walked into the bricked porch area of the store, I knew it was something special. Top fuel dragster diecast cars, Johnny Lightnings, Hot Wheels, magazines and programs jammed the entire porch. These were nothing compared to what awaited me inside. As I walked from room to room on the creaky wooden floor, I was astounded by the variety of diecast cars in every conceivable color. The hallmark of Gearheads is that it does not discriminate against any form of auto racing. It prides itself as the only store in the state that offers wide diecast selections of IZOD IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula One, drags, sprints, midgets, sports racing, MotoGP, muscle cars, hot rods, streetcars and trucks. The diecasts ranged from big to small. A 1- to 2-foot Dario Franchitti 2010 Indianapolis 500 champion car was one of the largest cars I saw. A handy magnifying glass allowed me to check the details of the smaller vehicles. Lines include Minichamps, AutoArt, Carousel 1, GMP, Greenlight and Motorsports Authentics. New releases come in all the time, yet the classics remain in vogue here, too. For instance, a 1:18-scale 1911 Marmon Wasp arrives in April to accentuate the impressive existing collection. Gearheads, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, offers much more than diecast cars. Some of my favorite items were the sharp-looking racing jackets, shirts, caps, posters and signs. Let's not insult the bobbleheads, including one of A.J. Foyt that practically called out my name to purchase. Years of experience have shaped the inventory. After opening in 1996 in Broad Ripple, Gearheads moved to its current Hendricks County location in 2005. The store also buys or sells your merchandise. This was one revved-up shopping experience that I won't soon forget, and one any racing fan should experience.