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Indy 500 trivia and tidbits


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#31 Russell Sheldon

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:21 PM

That Eagle is beautiful, but Swede Savage's 1972 Eagle has to be the ugliest Indy car ever built!

 

Indy_Swede_Savage_Eagle_1972.jpg


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#32 Steve Deiters

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:40 PM

The Antares.  It was supposed to be the next big thing. it didn't cut it. I believe it was designed by Don Gates who designed the Chap. 2J if I'm not mistaken.  Not only is the shape of the car unusual, but the front suspension links are a little on the strange side also.

 

I think the guy with the curly hair, printed shirt, and sport coat is Pat Patrick who I think Savage was driving for that year.


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#33 Tex

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:41 PM

attachicon.gif57-1973-graham-macrae-sto-lola.jpg

What is interesting about the last picture car/driver?

 

Was it the last Granatelli Indy effort?


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#34 TSR

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 01:37 PM

That Eagle is beautiful, but Swede Savage's 1972 Eagle has to be the ugliest Indy car ever built!

 

Russell,

 

That Antares, designed by Don Gates, the guy who also designed the Chaparral 2J "sucker car", is not a 1972 Eagle and in fact, has little to do with any Eagles except that at one time, one of the three cars built used the rear suspension of a 1970 Eagle in an attempt to make it work.

 

The cars are entirely original even if the first two used parts of the tub of a 1968 Eagle, and I mean, FEW parts, for convenience.

 

Here is some of the history of this failed attempt at going faster:

 

Pat Patrick and Lindsey Hopkins commissioned Don Gates/Mike Pocabello to build 5 cars. Only 3 were initially constructed. Criticized by some in many of these sorts of posts...they do hold a unique place in F1 and Indy history. They were the first of the Indy/f1 cars to be designed on a computer. First to use on board instrumentation and telemetry. First to use composite construction and assembly techniques...And were one of the first designs to employ unique early "ground effects" devices on and under the car. These were brought over by Don Gates and Mike Pocabello from the Chevrolet and Chaparral racing programs at GM (Paul Van Valkenburgh's book on "Chevrolet Racing: 14 years of Raucous Silence") has a great history on these guys and how sharp they were. Mike Pocabello indicated to me that the techniques and technology they (the Antares partners) were accustomed to in other forms of racing and the auto industry, didn’t readily cross over to the Indy Cars of that era. They faced resistance from the general Indy Car community to many of their ideas. Some probably justified, others not.

As I understand it the McCluskey car stayed with Lindsey Hopkins after the 500. Non-chassis specific parts were taken one by one and used for other cars. Eventually one of their crew members (and one of the original fabricators of the steel components), Jim Robbins, ended up with the car. He had hoped to convert it to a rear engined sprint car. USAC rules changes eliminated that option. He sold it to an attorney from So Cal. It bounced around the west coast...and was eventually restored to a show car condition by Rolla Vollstedt, his son Kurt and Tony Eby.

The Dallenbach car and the Savage car, I've been told, were shipped back to Antares...It is at that point where the mystery is to me...who did the modifications that were done during this time?

The now modified cars re-appeared in 1975 in an adv. -- Ed Finley, Gary Miller, and Keith Shuck purchased the two cars, the original drawings and the assorted items for the two never assembled chassis.
Miller and Schuck further modified the chassis, lengthening the wheelbase by several inches and renamed them the Miller Mantas. Gary Millerth” chassis. The modified Savage car was initially run with a 305 small block Chevy built by Keith Schuck. They partnered with Ken Mahoney and Doug Beiderstedt until 1978. Beiderstedt and Mahoney ended up with the chassis (minus engines). When Frank Weiss approached Mahoney and Beiderstedt about running the cars in the '79 500...they agreed and Weiss found a turbo offy with the help of Eldon. Eldon completely redesigned the rear suspension of the cars and rear wing mounts for Frank. When Eldon had problems with his Rascar-Foyt, he jumped in the Antares on Bubble Day. The changes seemed to work as he was able to run flat and fast enough to qualify. The 4th Miller constructed chassis was apparently destroyed in a nasty accident that Frank W. had a year or so later. If you are interested go to Keith Schuck's website, www.fasiautomotika.com and you can find some great pictures of the cars in the mid-70's.

The two remaining chassis were eventually sold to an individual in Michigan. The complete car (as practiced by Bob Harkey) is now in Bob McConnell's collection. The Savage chassis and the remaining original spares bounced between several other indycar collectors.


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Philippe de Lespinay
 
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#35 TSR

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 01:49 PM

 

TSR, on 22 May 2013 - 06:40 AM, said:snapback.png

TSR, on 22 May 2013 - 08:40 AM, said:
The March-Cossie is a 2002 car, so I'd guess it's Michael in it at Heeennndeee.


My Autocourse Yearbook says... Lola T700, Cosworth, Mario. 1983 "500".

 

 

Mick,

In 1983, the new Lola T700 was problematic and Mario attempted to qualify that 1982 March on your picture. That failed and Mario reverted to the Lola only to crash it during the race. It's all in the Hungeness Indy year book.

 

As far as Andy Granatelli, he fielded cars through 1991 with his brother Vince before retiring.


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#36 John Gorski

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 01:55 PM

FLASHBACK! Mid 1960's I won the Indy 500

we had at Flemington Raceway in Flemington N.J.

on a crossover hillclimb. Dynamic Chassis, Blue Lenz 16D motor,

Champion of Calif. Rear tires, Cox gears & green MRC Controller.

Now how can I remember that

and not the things that happened a week ago? :D 

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CIMG5561_zps9452d9cf.jpg


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#37 TSR

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 01:59 PM

John, who are the geeks next to you?  :)


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Philippe de Lespinay
 
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#38 MG Brown

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:46 PM

In 1983, the new Lola T700 was problematic and Mario attempted to qualify that 1982 March on your picture.

 

Not that I am arguing, mind you, but this photo of Mario at the wheel of a Lola T700 (albeit at Michigan) clearly shows the yellow "Lola" emblem on the nose, yes?

mario-andretti-in-the-lola-t700-at-the-michigan-150-photo-405898-s-1280x782.jpg

The previous photo (which I assume is a speedway official post-qualifying photo) shows the emblem on the nose but not so clearly.


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#39 MG Brown

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:56 PM

Was it the last Granatelli Indy effort?


Graham McRae took his 1973 rookie test in the 1972 Lola T270 shown previously. He instead qualified Gordon Johncock's backup Eagle-offy (Chassis 7219) that he used to win the 1973 "Rookie of the Year" award. It was Graham's one and only time racing in the "500".

 

McRae's Eagle was completely restored in 2012 to its 1973 Indy "500" STP-Patrick Racing livery and was offered by Mecum Auctions at Monterey CA, but failed to meet reserve.

 

CA0812-134383_1.jpg?lastmod=081812205643

In 1973 McRae Cars Ltd. (U.K.) was sold to one Roger Penske as they needed the facilities for their F1 program... and the rest as they say is history.

 

Footnote: Last I heard, Graham McRae has been fighting a serious illness. I hope that he will be able to recover fully.


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#40 TSR

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 07:40 PM

The previous photo (which I assume is a speedway official post-qualifying photo) shows the emblem on the nose but not so clearly.

 

Good question because that is definitely a March nose and body panels... let me search what was going on there.


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Philippe de Lespinay
 
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#41 MG Brown

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 07:52 PM

I believe one of the big differences between the March 82c and the Lola T700 would be the area where the top suspension arms attach to the tub.
 
This photo of Steve Krisiloff's Lola T700 shows that area more clearly.
 
KrisiloffAMI43-83.jpg
 
Compared to Tom Sneva's Race Winning March 83C
 
1983_251739.jpg
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"Doc, just set them fingers sose I can hold the wheel"James Hurtubise, June, 1964


#42 TSR

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:04 PM

I know that they had all kinds of problems with the T700 aero, so I will have to make a couple of calls because there are not enough clear explanations on the Indy yearbook.


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Philippe de Lespinay
 
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#43 MG Brown

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 02:09 PM

Freedom 100 Finish earlier today:
 

 
Heart-stopping!

Freedom 100 2013.png
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#44 John Streisguth

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 02:21 PM

Wow!!!!


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#45 A. J. Hoyt

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 02:29 PM

I caught myself gasping and had goose bumps! The guy that won was... well, watch it!

 

This is why auto racing is so cool - a chess game where a half dozen people get to play and any and all can make moves at any time - all at the same time if they wish!

 

Will the 500 be this good? Last year's last laps were pretty sensational, too!

 

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#46 TSR

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 03:36 PM

They are NASCARizing the 500 more every year to ensure an artificial "tight" finish as needed. It's called "debris"...


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#47 MG Brown

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 11:06 AM

2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kannan on Late Night with David Letterman:

 

 

Tony tells an amazing story of his good luck charm and shows off his Indy 500 prize.


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#48 MG Brown

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 02:28 PM

KV Racing and 2013 Indy "500" winner Tony Kannan welcome new sponsors on board for TX.

BMBFMGsCQAE83i9.jpg-large.jpeg


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#49 TSR

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 04:20 PM

Success brings $$$.

Those Dallaras are some of the ugliest racing cars ever built... we NEED prettier Indy cars, what was wrong with the Panoz, the Swift, the last Lola or Reynard used by CART? And they were faster too, for less money.

Oh well...

At least it is good to see Tony winning the 500 at last after so many tries.


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#50 Michael Rigsby

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 06:53 PM

I really love the threads on the old Indy races, and love the pictures of the older cars, particularly those from the mid-1950's to late 1970's. Those were the best years of racing at Indy, and I was lucky to be able to go a few times during that time period.

 

To me, the modern Indy 500 doesn't interest me, the cars are so bland that I don't even consider them race cars anymore. They have no "soul" to them. I don't like "cookie cutter" racing, which is why I don't even care for modern day "NASCAR" anymore, it's just not like it was in the golden years.

Thank you all for these great stories, and for the fantastic pictures, they are much appreciated.


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#51 TSR

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:06 PM

Michael,

I cannot agree more with you.  Indy was a great place for innovation, but that was strangled by years of mismanagement. Now it has lost a lot of its character... and audience. And that is very sad.

 

lucienbianchivollstedtfef8.jpg


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Philippe de Lespinay
 
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#52 MG Brown

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 11:44 PM

Very interesting that this photo was posted as I just recently had a discussion about the "Jim Robbins Co." of Troy Michigan.... in regard to some late 1960's injection molded plastic (auto) pieces apparently farmed out from Chrysler Corp. to JRC.
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#53 Steve Deiters

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 08:10 AM

I came across this photo on a Facebook page and it caught my attention.  I always thought the Watson 1965 rear engine Indy car was very cool looking although it didn't really accomplish much on the track. Pointy, pre-wedge body form and overall smooth lines powered by a Ford 4 cam driven by Don Branson until I saw the attached picture.  It seems as though there was at least one powered by a normally aspirated Offy.  It was owned by Bob Wilke as was the Branson car.  This picture is from a 300 mile race at Atlanta in 1966.  Sam Sessions finished 12th with it winning $1050(!) with it.  Mario Andretti won the race and $12,000 (!!) in the Brawner Hawk-Ford.  Interesting stuff. 

 

Final note. I think Lancer made a great body of the Ford version of the Watson car in that awesome series of Indy car bodies they came out with in the late '60's.

 

Watson Rear Engined Offy-Sam Sessions-Atlanta 6.66-6.5.13.jpg


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#54 TSR

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 10:26 AM

The story is that there were two cars like that, built by AJ. Ward failed to qualify his at the 500, and it was later converted to run an Offy. Incredibly, it was then converted to a rear-engine sprint car, just like the horizontal-radiator Huffaker Indy cars were! Not sure if it survived in any condition today.


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