I had heard of Carl Marchese before. He was the rookie of the year in ’29 at Indy and in the early 50’s he designed his own chassis for the same race. He was widely known to be a bit of a loon with more intelligence that he knew what to do with… In other words, he was ahead of the curve. I had not, however, seen or heard of the “Marchese Special” pictured above (and below in hi-res).
I stumbled upon the picture while flipping through a vintage archive I have and immediately went into research mode. I didn’t find much… The car first ran at Indy in 1938 with an unblown Miller 122 and finished 7th with Harry McQuinn at the wheel. After taking a few years off, the car then placed 9th with a blower motor and Paul Russo at the wheel in 1941. Eventually, the car was rebuilt to compete on the dirt and crashed.
Frankly, the above historical perspective is all “mumbo jumbo” to me. I just love the car and the forward thinking behind it. This has got to be the first car to compete at Indy with side pods housing radiators – right? And its also has to be one of the first cars running an attempted air foil out front.
Yep. Settled. Marchese was a loon.