Here are a few more that are a mystery (to me anyway). Any ideas?
Barney Navarro's Special, a Watson 64 with Navarro's AMC Rambler TC 6-cyl engine.Originally Posted by Ovalmeister
Michner Petroleum had a #60 Gerhardt at Indy in 1967 in which Mickey Shaw made one attempt which was flagged off after 1 lap. I don't know the origins of the Gerhardt.Originally Posted by Ovalmeister
Indy 1967 again? If so, it's the one-year-old Weinberger Homes Gerhardt that Norm Brown used as a backup during May. It had topped 161 mph unofficially by 18 May but no attempt was made.Originally Posted by Ovalmeister
This is an interesting car. The number 20, STP logo and Plymouth stickers identify it as the Gerhardt that Art Pollard used during practice at Indy in 1969. It had a 318 ci Plymouth engine. From this photo I'd say it's the same '69 Gerhardt Wedge that Pollard drove as the #57 later in the year.Originally Posted by Ovalmeister
Rutherford's Patrick Petroleum '67 Eagle-Offy turbo in 1969?Originally Posted by Ovalmeister
Sorry I'm coming late to these but Muther did drive a #76 at Indy. This is the G. C. R. Inc (Jim Rathman) entry at the 1967 Indy which arrived 7 May and was on track 15-21 May but did not make an attempt. It was a 1966 Gerhardt with turbo Offy.Originally Posted by Ovalmeister
What type of engine is in this car? Offy's had their exhausts on the left side of the car. Fords of this era had their exhausts come out of the top of the motor with the snake nest configuration leading to two pipes. This motor looks like an older Ford design or something else. Also, the fuel tank is mounted on the right side of the machine, most cars that expanded the fuel load capacity had the tanks added to the left side to help with cornering.Originally Posted by Ovalmeister
[IMG][/IMG]If you look around the cockpit, this appears to be a modified 1968 Lotus with the Plymouth inserted where the turbine had been. This would make sense since this is not the #57 Gerhardt.Originally Posted by Allen Brown
Above is a comparison between the #57 Gerhardt wedge and the modified '68 #40 Lotus. The Lotus has air intakes on each side of the cockpit and the Gerhardt does not. In the original photo you can see the air intake that the seat belt is drapped accross.
Last edited by Rick Jones; 12-07-2009 at 11:22 AM.
Granatelli built a pair of Lotus 56 copies to take the Plymouth. Maybe this is one of those. The Daily Trackside Report in 1969 gives chassis types (unusually) and lists the #20 as a Plymouth/STP/4 (i.e. Plymouth engine, STP chassis and 4WD). Hungness (p39) calls it "the STP Plymouth" so I'm not really sure why I list it as a Gerhardt.
Saw your edit after I posted that. The #40 is also listed as a STP ("TCO/STP/4") and I believe that was also a Granatelli copy of a Lotus 56. Or at least I let Doug Nye convince me they were both copies! In "Team Lotus" (p238), he quotes Granatelli saying that the piston cars were "perfect Lotus copies". Granatelli said they were crushed, and yet both his Lotus 56s were preserved...
Good points. I lazily wrote turbo Offy but my notes actually say supercharged, not turbo. Would that explain what you're seeing?Originally Posted by Rick Jones
It looks like a stock block Chevy. There are exhaust pipes on both sides of the car if you look closely. And the magneto is sticking up beyond the cowling at the rear of the engine. This car may have been converted to an Offenhauser once the Month of May got started but it looks like it arrived with a V8 Chevrolet. And I would imagine that the fuel tanks were at least as large on the left side of the car. Standard practice was to spread the load across both sides. Does anyone have a photo of this car later in the Month? Also, this car was entered by GCR Inc. which was made of Jim Rathmann (R) and his astronaut buddies Gus Grissom (G) and Gordon Cooper (C). Cooper was actually a somewhat accomplished SCCA racer in his own right racing Corvettes among other cars.Originally Posted by Rick Jones
Edit: This car did run with a supercharged Offenhauser in 1966 and Art Pollard drove it but it still looks like a Chevy in the photo. Also, the expanded fuel tank was likely added to the right side of the car because of the assymetrical suspension (much longer on the right) of the Gerhardt. There probably wasn't any room on the left side of the car to add capacity without violating the USAC bodywork width rules.
Last edited by indyrjc; 12-07-2009 at 01:41 PM.
Yes, and all reports are that these two cars ended up chopped up. BTW, Vel's Parnelli Jones also built at least two Lotus 56 copies of their own and tried to run them with turbocharged Fords (mounted backwards) with some small success. Both Al Unser and Joe Leonard drove one of these cars at one point or another. Some years back one of the copies was sold at a Parnelli Jones auction. It was subsequently converted to run an Allison turbine in the configuration of the Leonard Pole car of 1968. It shows up at vintage meets regularly.Originally Posted by Allen Brown
IIRC, Andy NEVER put the Plymouth in a Lotus 56. In '69 they ran a turbo-offy (#40) in the Lotus. The Plymouth appeared in '69 in a radical wedge shaped chassis (not sure of the chassis, but not Lotus 56) painted white, but was given up on for the Lotus offy. The plymouth finally ended up in the gerhardt. I think that was the car Pollard won with twice later that year
Please visit the tribute to my longtime friend Mel Kenyon
.....'Allen, 'It is really great to see you come in here and offer your expertise. But, I think the reason why your notes show that the #20 STP car is a Gerhardt is because.........it was a Gerhardt! I would offer that Andy Granatelli didn't build a pair of Lotus 56 copies, they were instead the cars that he commissioned Fred and Don Gerhardt to build in their shops in Fresno (CA). To avoid misinformation and confusion, an easy rule-of-thumb to remember is, Andy made it a point that the genuine Lotus cars (other than Andretti's Lotus 64) never carried any number other than an even number; i.e. #20, #40, #70, etc. for the 1969 season. Although the Gerhardt chassis did run even and odd-ball numbers. Because they ran a lot of different engine and chassis configurations that year.........note: 'Still insist along with indyrjc that the engine in the #76 car is a normally aspirated, stock-block Chevy.Originally Posted by Allen Brown
The Gerhardt/Plymouth car still exists today. It sat in a museum in Bedford, Indiana for many years. The owner of the car, Eddie Evans, died in 2006 and his entire collection of indy cars was sold at the Kruse auction in May 2008 in Auburn, IN.
The first time I saw it in the museum I thought is was the Lotus that was modified to use the Plymouth engine. The sign that was next the car stated it was the car that Art Pollard won a race (Dover?) in 1969.
You can see another picture of it here.
Offenhausers could be set up with the exhausts on either side...Originally Posted by Rick Jones
How interesting. Who is it who owns this car?Originally Posted by indyrjc
I was sent a copy of the auction flyer and both Parnell-Lotus copies were for sale at the auction. I don't know where the second one went.
Avon Aero of Avon, Indiana. I believe the nose that came with the car had the #3 on it so that was consistent with one of the Ford cars that Vel's ran in 1969. Someone else told me that they were at the auction and the cars were listed on the brochure as being Lotus copies. Is that what your flyer states? Here's the link to Avon Aero (click on the picture of the car on the page for more info):Originally Posted by Allen Brown
Gordo got into big trouble with NASA for his racing activities; Pete Conrad didn't, but Gordo was trying to race bigger-bore cars than Pete, who was racing Formula Vs. (It's said that Pete was the guy who clued Bill Simpson in to the use of Nomex for racing suits, but that's another story.) It came to a boil when Gordo tried to enter the 24 Hours of Daytona as a driver; I think Deke Slayton actually stepped in and made him withdraw his entry. But they couldn't stop him and Gus from being part-owners of a car with Rathmann.Originally Posted by indyrjc
And, as we all know, Gus was killed in the Apollo 1 fire in 1967, the apparent year of the photo.
"Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang
"If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio
Here's a few more I took with my trusty InstaMatic when I was around 10 years old or so.
Mel Kenyon. (maybe his last attempt at Indy?)