The “roadster era” of Indy Car racing is among the most celebrated and romanticized. These front engine cars eventually gave way to the likes of the mid-engine Lotus and other designs but they had their time and place in history. By the time they were phased out in the middle 1960s they had basically evolved to their technological end. This car is pretty amazing and dates to the height of roadster fun at The Speedway.
According to the seller, who also restored the car, this machine attempted to qualify for the 1957 race but failed. There’s not a bunch more racing history in the ad outside of that but the plot twist here is that after the car was no longer a competitive design for an Indy competitor, someone stuffed an Olds 303ci V8 into it! We’re guessing that the thing went dirt track racing at that point, maybe as a sprint car or something? Some of you guys more familiar with the history of that style racing can fill us in, perhaps.
The restoration of the car is awesome and the dude selling it has been in the business for decades. He’s 76 years old and has amassed a load of stuff that he is now parting with, which is understandable. The car has to sound great barking out of the short exhaust pipes that protrude through the body. We’re guessing that the original engine in the race car was an Offy but that’s a total guess.
Interestingly the ad states that the 1957 Indy 500 was a points gathering race for the Formula One season, meaning that this thing may be able to run as a vintage F1 car at meets because it was there and attempted to qualify for the race. How neat is that?!
We’re in love and being that the 500 is just days away, we’re in a roadster kind of mood today.