Favorite Engines of Indy – Part I

Recently the Indycar world seems a bit of a tempest in a teacup and to soothe my angst over the happenings and direction of the sport looking toward 2012, I felt the need to recall things that made me fall in love with the sport.


As far back as I can remember, one of the primary modes of interaction with this sport was through intense sound. The visual form and movement was always exciting but something about that deep rumble of a powerful automobile motor strikes more deeply, especially in person.


In keeping with some themes within this blog, I now present to you my Favorite Engines of Indy. Our first submission is the Ford V-8 Engine that was mated to the famous Lotus 38 driven by Jim Clark. In this video form 2010, Sir Jackie Stewart does the honors of warming up that beastly V-8 for a trip around The Goodwood Festival of Speed:



Despite the limitations of this video equipment, there’s no mistaking this motor as it is a truly signature sound from Indys past.  Other links can be found on YouTube and I also recommend one by Road and Track which shows an interview with Dario Franchitti and driving the famous Lotus 38 at Indy. This is the actual vehicle driven by Jim Clark to victory at Indy in 1965. If you can make it through the advert at the beginning, you will hear one of the greatest sounds ever at IMS. Enjoy!

Favorite Cars of Indy Part II

1965 Lotus

(photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway)


What a gorgeous car and what a terrific driver Jim Clark was. What a revolution took place at Indy when the Lotus (and Cooper Climax before it) came to the Speedway.

Change and innovation were not exactly hallmarks of Indy at the time and but none so rapidly ushered change as when the little Lotus was driven to victory lane in 1965.  The car had already become an sensation for its innovative design, but had yet to prove itself by winning.  The likeable Scotsman, Jimmy Clark, had crossed the Atlantic with his Formula 1 constructor and Lotus founder Graham Chapman in 1963, winning in only his third try.

With the dominance of the rear-engined, small, lightweight chassis, the days of the classic and venerable Watson roadster chassis were all but done.  Some lamented the change brought about by the foreigners from ‘across the pond’, but the change became the new standard, bringing about a revolution in thought, design, and competition to the Indy 500.