The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is an American Memorial Day tradition. Stars from the Brickyard were household names before mobile phones, the Internet and instant information gratification. So mythical were the exploits of some, American motoring journalist Chris Economaki called the “knights of the roaring road.” While those racing legends are no longer with us to tell their tales the machines that carried them to racing immortality are. And each year at the SVRA’s Brickyard Invitational you can relive those memories up close and personal. A day spent in the “Pre-War Paddock” is a rare chance to drift back to a time when, yes, “the tires were skinny and the drivers were fat!”
The focus of this multi part series is the cars that were the stars of the show at Indy amid an overload of motoring sites and sounds at this spectacular annual event. Cars from the earliest days of racing at Indy to the record shattering Eagles of the early 1970’s can be found in the archive.
Part 8 of our series examines the 1915 Ford T Speedster.
Some 15 million Model T Fords came off the Dearborn assembly lines from 1908 to 1927. These simple machines were no frills with nothing added that was not necessary for operation. Because of that a cottage industry grew up offering a plethora of accessories to “improve” the humble “T”. Kits were available to convert a Ford T to everything from light tractors to heavy trucks and even racecars.
This car was found in Long Beach California in the 1950’s. Current owner Ed Archer acquired the car in 1967 and restored the machine one year later. It is faithfully restored to the way it last raced in 1920. That restoration is so complete it was done solely with parts from the period as Ed tells us in the attached interview.