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History Classic Indy roadsters: Most beautiful oval racers ever?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Bill McGuire, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. OMG!!! I've wanted this thread for awhile! Subscribed!
     
  2. Green Rodz
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 495

    Green Rodz
    Member

    I used to share a shop with Ralph Wilke and his families midget team back in the early 2000's. Yeah, pretty neat to be sharing the same space every day with guys WHO WON THE FREAKING INDY 500 THREE TIMES....yeah.

    Also, a friend of mine, Bill Wendt, and a couple of his buddys got together last summer and built a Bonneville replica of The Leader Card Special (which was the Wilke family business). One of his buddys just happen to be this guy...can't quite remember his name......uh,,, A.J. Watson!

    They raced it at Bonneville a couple months ago and set a record.
    Bunch of old guys.
    Pretty cool.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  3. Green Rodz
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 495

    Green Rodz
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    Ranchero59 likes this.
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  4. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,452

    aircap
    Member

    Gorgeous stuff.
     
  5. fatkoop
    Joined: Nov 17, 2009
    Posts: 711

    fatkoop
    Member

    Every time you go out to your shop and make a bracket, or mount or anything that you think is really cool, think about what these guys built 50 years or more ago, without TIG, or MIG, or CNC mills. Makes most of our hot rods look pretty lame by comparison.
     
    flatford39 and hotrodtom like this.
  6. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,559

    hotrod40coupe
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  7. mac miller
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 519

    mac miller
    Member
    from INDY

    You may be interested in my Indy roadster website and some of the cars that I build.
    mac miller in INDY
     
  8. mac miller
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 519

    mac miller
    Member
    from INDY

    .

    If you would like to read the whole story about building this car, check it out at the following quick link.
    http://indyroadsters.webs.com/buildingabadass.htm
     
  9. Green Rodz
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 495

    Green Rodz
    Member

    Yeah, that's it!
    I see Bill Wendt once or twice a week. He always has the pictures with him.
     
  10. mac miller
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 519

    mac miller
    Member
    from INDY


    Here is a great photo of A.J.Watson and a group of notable Indy roadster owners and restorers checking out the car during the build in my shop.
     

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  11. 15ASedan
    Joined: Mar 16, 2010
    Posts: 198

    15ASedan
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  12. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,912

    Dreddybear
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    Booyah. Unsuccessful and brief. But completely badass.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. joemarsicano
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 188

    joemarsicano
    Member
    from Palmyra PA

    Mac, how many Watson cars have you built?
     
  14. I absolutely love the old Indy roadsters. I remember listening to the races on my transistor radio as a kid. I lost interest in Indy as they moved away from the roadsters. Today I could care less about Indy, not unlike NASCAR.
     
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  15. NickJT
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 640

    NickJT
    Member
    from S.E. PA

    I remember it didn't work out for them but I don't know details. Not just what broke but why did they "give up"? I'll have to research this and/or wait for further comments from those who know more about it.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. mac miller
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 519

    mac miller
    Member
    from INDY


    .
    I have built three.... Started on the fourth one last week.
    I have been involved with the restoration of 5 or 6 real Watsons and have built around 40 sets of Watson bodywork over the past 20 years, including probably six bodies for A.J.Watson, himself.......

    mac miller in INDY
     
  17. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 7,678

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Qualified 19th, broke a hub on lap 40 and spun out.
     

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  18. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 942

    Rex_A_Lott
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I remember as a kid one of my favorite books was " Indy 500 mechanic" by Clint Brawner. I read it several times.
    Looking forward to following this one, Thanks to all who have posted so far.:)
     
  19. OldSchoolRodz likes this.
  20. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Love it. I'll be watching this one.
     
  21. afaulk
    Joined: Jul 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,187

    afaulk
    Member

    These are the cars that fired up my imagination as a youngster. Indy cars since these are just missing the point. It's not all about how fast you can go. It's at least partly about how you go fast. These are the some of the last really cool Indy cars.
     
  22. Exactly. As I said in the piece, there's a generation of gearheads for whom, when you say "race car," they picture an Indy roadster.
     
  23. Nik
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 584

    Nik
    Member

    I'm all for driver safety, but you have to just admire the nads it took to get in one of these things with the fuel tank right by you and tire inches from your head.
     
    hotrodtom likes this.
  24. deuce354
    Joined: Feb 9, 2005
    Posts: 304

    deuce354
    Member

    I saw this car run at Loudon, NH . Other than a top fuel car, this roadster is the loudest car i have ever heard. really cool
     
    OldSchoolRodz likes this.
  25. Dan Warner
    Joined: Oct 25, 2004
    Posts: 557

    Dan Warner
    Member
    from so cal

    My all time favorite race cars. Many good memories of my Dad and I listening to Sid Collins call the race on the 500 radio network. Blessed that I grew up in the Glendale, CA area at that time.

    Mac Miller,

    Are AJ and the others laughing at the SCTA mandated cage?

    DW
     
  26. skot71
    Joined: Oct 30, 2010
    Posts: 153

    skot71
    Member

    I was born in December of '64, so I missed out on seeing them run, but they're by far my favorite cars. Love the Roadsters.

    Guffey, is the Bob Estes car the one Lew Morgan used to own? If so, I sat in that car once. Wild to imagine being so close to the outside wall while in the driver's seat you could reach out and touch it. I think it had an Alfa or Toyota engine in it then. Sounded awesome though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  27. 1965 AJ Foyt leads a field of rear engined cars with his Roadster!
     

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