The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Bill McGuire, Mar 19, 2013.
A.J. ends his first roadster ride in da grass.
A 'non' Indy, Indy roadster. What has got to be the only purpose built oval track specific roadster built outside the U.S. Figuring it was better to switch than fight, for the 1958 Monzapolis race the Ecurie Ecosse team built, essentially, a Indy roadster copy using a modified Lister frame with a Jag 3.8 motor.
Winners from 1958-1964 in color...
1958, Jimmy Bryan...
1959, Rodger Ward...
1960, Jim Rathman...
1961, A.J. Foyt...
1962, Rodger Ward...
1963, Parnelli Jones...
1964, A.J. Foyt...
Notice the Cummins Diesel photo, post 428. Open trailer with common truck compared to today's racing, multiple closed purpose built enclosed trailers and spare cars and engines. I read Smokey Yunick flat towed some of his race cars to Indy. Simpler times for sure.
Very nice color photos of the winners Rick.
I've read that Watson's cars were essentially copies of Kurtis', differing significantly only in the design of the nose, but that nose! IMO the design of the Watson nose makes those cars the most beautiful of the classic Indy roadsters.
This is an interesting piece. Any idea if it still exists in this form, or was it recycled into something else?
It still exists Tony, this was taken @ Goodwood recently...
Very cool indeed. In one of the earlier pictures, it appears to have a removable metal "tonneau cover" over what would presumably just be the driveline. Wonder why?
Here's a shot of its guts. Looks like it was just used to access the tranny etc. (?)
Looks like the body is aluminium.
1963 controversy...Parnelli developed a leak from the side oil tank and probably should have been black flagged. Agajanian was going ape shit and being the powerful figure that he was in USAC at the time, the flag was never thrown. Eventually the oil level dropped below the crack and Jones cruised to victory...
Look closely under the tank, there is still oil residue on the bottom panel...
You all heard the argument from Colin Chapman and the Lotus Ford(Jimmy Clark) that was in 2nd place catching PJ with enough laps left to pass and win. But the track got too slick from leaking oil and he lost out.
More of Quinn Epperly's handiwork was the Maxson roadster of 1969. Probably the ultimate in roadster design it was a few years too late to attempt to challenge the R/E revolution. Monocoque chassis, irs, ifs with a turbo Offy.
Actually, It was quite a scene at the starting line, with Chapman whining in Harlan Fengler's ear to pull Parnelli off the track and Aggie, in Fengler's other ear, telling him not to mess with Parnelli.
Fortunately, Fengler let the race play out....
Fact is that Parnelli and Clark were both racing on the same slick track.... Had the oil been gushing out of Parnelli's oil tank as much as Chapman claimed, it would have been all over Jones' left rear tire and he would have spun out....... or, he would have run out of oil and blown up his engine. Neither of those things happened and Parnelli won the race by 34 seconds(half a lap) so it wasn't really that close.
Nice try Colin! Can't blame Chapman for going for the cheap win.
mac miller in INDY
I can read about this stuff all day. Love it.
their is more to the oil story. Fengler the chief steward had stated the day before the race that any car laying down oil would be black flagged so Chapman was at the starting line pleading his case when Aggie showed up & argument & innuendo began. All this was thought quite comical afterward until the next day when at a celebatory event Eddie Sachs called out Jones & was promptly decked by the latter . Jones was in no mood to have his victory fouled in any way after so much heart break at Indianapolis.
Pretty swoopy... but I don't think I've ever seen it before. I like it! Gary
It only ran limited races in the 69/70 seasons and never did qualify for the 500. Ziggy Snider did finish 7th at Phoenix though and our own Denny Zimmerman attempted to qualify it at Ontario. I suspect it probably still exists but really don't know.
Also one of the last gasp "roadsters" the Jim Hurtubise Mallards...'67/68 in the background, and in the foreground the
last roadster entered @ Indy in '71. (non-qualifier)
Actually Herk kept entering the Mallard through the 1970s. IIRC in 79 the USAC officials wanted him to pull it out of line for qualifying because they knew he had no chance. This resulted in a big brouhaha and ended up with USAC having him banned from the Speedway until after qualifying.
^^^I stand corrected...
The last Kurtis roadster design was the 500L of 63. Cutting edge for its time with irs/ifs/r&p steering just not very fast and kinda ugly imo.
I like this one from May 1978 Sports Illustrated:
Appears it was 78 not 79 but here's the story on his "dispute" with the USAC officials.
Jim Lattin owns the car today. He has a good story about Quinn and Nye Frank showing up at his place to reassemble the car.
That was my first 500, and Pat O'Connor was my first racing hero. I had met him in southern Indiana while selling NSSN at a short track in the late 1940s.
We were in Grandstand B and had a great view of the battle early in that race between Russo's Novi and Pat in the Ansted Rotary Special. Also a great view when Russo blew the right rear tire and went into the wall in the first turn. There was a loud bang and flash when he hit, which someone later explained was caused by the magnesium wheel scraping the wall at high speed.
What impressed me most was the way Paul Russo, after getting to the inside of the track, stepped back out to salute O'Connor when they came by under the yellow.
This, of course, was in the days before they closed up the field. Everybody just slowed down and maintained their spacing until the green came out again. Some fudging on this later in the 60s brought about the pacer lights, and eventually the closing up behind the pace car.
Damn I miss those days.
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