Friday, April 19, 2024

Vintage IndyCar’s Invade the Beach!

Mark Donahue’s winning 1972 Penske Sunoco #66 McLaren on display at IMS Hall of Fame museum. (The Tomaso Collection)

As I just wish I could Hear this amazing cacophony’s soundtrack of vintage Indy Cars live!


Ran across Marshall Pruett’s Racer article titled Great Cars from IndyCar’s past prepare to take to the Streets of Long Beach recently, and wondered what’s that all about, Eh?


The article details the this weekend’s Historic Motor Sports association (HMSA) running of 17 vintage Indy Cars from the past’s Glory Years…


As Marshall notes that the oldest is a 1966 AAR Eagle built by Dan Gurney’s All American Racers of nearby Santa Ana, California.


The car is owned by Rob Dyson of Dyson racing fame, and will be piloted by ‘lil Stevie Johnson’, aka Stefan Johansson.


Pruett also notes the variety of IndyCar chassis taking part include one of ‘Ol superTex’s’, nee A.J. foyt’s 1977 Coyote’s, having just finished it’s restoration. An ex-Sebastien Bourdais ’05 Lola and Mario Andretti’s former March 85C to mention just a few.


With the “newest” vintage IndyCar being an ex-Oriel “suitcase” Servia 2007 Panoz DP01 chassis.


But I have to say I’m most intrigued by the mount former IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan’s piloting this weekend, being from the McLaren Heritage Collection.


As TK’ will be behind the keyboard of Lone Star JR’s 1974 Indianapolis 500 winner. An McLaren M16 powered by the ubiquitous Offy’ lump’. With Pruett noting how these turbocharged inline four cylinder engines were routinely producing 1,000 Horsepower “Back in-the-Day!”


Which it’s hard to believe I scribbled the following two part No Fenders tome about McLaren at Indy Wayback’ in Gory Ought Eight!


Whilst Y’all can listen to another entertaining TK’ interview, with Kanaan discussing this adventure with Pruett on the following Podcast…


Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a current HMSA entry list for the weekend’s event, with their website still having last year’s Formula 1 cars listed instead…


As I’d hope that Bryan “High Speed Hurdles” Herta would be running His 1998 Laguna Seca winning Reynard 98i Ford/Cosworth chassis, that son Colton gave Him as a birthday present last year. Before the duo ran it prior to Laguna Seca’s IndyCar season finale last September.


As the HMSA grid will run 20 minute race sessions on both Saturday and Sunday, which should be worth the price of admission alone!


During Friday’s first IndyCar practice session. IndyCar Radio Driver Analyst Davey Hamilton mentioned that the 1977 Coyote was actually a backup chassis that was never built originally! Whilst cannot remember if He said the restorer had the help of A.J. foyt enterprises or not? And that the restoration took four years to completely build the car from scratch.


Meanwhile, Y’all may enjoy Marshall Pruett’s brief Paddock video showing off a few of the vintage racecars below.