The Indy Revolution on the Lawn at Pebble Beach
The Indy Revolution heads to the 18th Fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links this August
Front-engine Roadsters and Rear-engine Racecars to Compete at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
It was the early 1960’s, a time of change, and at thethe Indianapolis Motor Speedway aka The Brickyard, the motor racing revolution in the US was underway.
The composition of a racecar was being totally re-envisioned, with the engine moved from front to rear.
In 1961, Jack Brabham’s new rear-engine Cooper made its way onto the track at the start of the 45th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes—and finished 9th, besting many of the more powerful front-engine competitors by virtue of its superior handling.
Just 2 years later, Jimmy Clark piloted a Lotus, 1 of 4 rear-engine cars in the race, to 2nd overall. And another rear-engine car placed 2nd the following year.
The writing was on the wall.
The Roadsters with their big, front-mounted Offenhauser engines outnumbered rear-engine cars by nearly 2 to 1 in Y 1964, and a roadster driven by AJ Foyt won. But that victory was short-lived and the Roadster -era was over.
European F1 expertise radically change a American tradition.
Dan Gurney convinced Lotus Founder Colin Chapman to build an all-new rear-engine car for the Y 1965 race, and Ford Motor Company provided a powerful new 4-cam V-8, a now 27 of the 33 cars that started this Indy 500 were rear-engine cars.
The Lotus-Ford described here is featured above.
This 1965 Lotus-Ford 38 permanently resides in The Henry Ford Museum, it was the 1st of the revolutionary rear-engine cars to win the Indianapolis 500.
Here, the restored car makes its North American premier at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In the Y 2010 picture is Edsel B. Ford II (middle) and legendary drivers Bobby Unser and Dan Gurney beside him
But the Lotus 38 created by Chapman, powered by Ford, and driven by Jimmy Clark scored a convincing victory, recording what was then the highest-ever average speed at 150.686 mph.
The rear-engine racecar was here to stay.
“At first, Indy traditionalists scoffed at these light and lithe new cars, but they proved to be significantly faster than the old roadsters, and once they could be reliably raced, it was obvious that the rear-engine configuration was the only way to go,” says Ken Gross, Pebble Beach Concours Selection Committee member and Chief Class Judge.
The Indianapolis Revolution will be celebrated with a special class on the competition field of the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on 26 August. Front-engine cars will battle once again with a wonderful variety of of rear-engine cars, including the historic 1965 Indy winner.
The 2018 Concours will also feature Motor Cars of the Raj, Rollston Coachwork, Postwar Custom Citroën, Sporting Vintage Cars and Tucker and organizers also promise more surprises to be unveiled this Summer.
We hope that you join us for the 68th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 26, 2018
See you there.
Have a terrific weekend.