1961 Chenowth-Chevrolet Indianapolis
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | May 22, 2021
Once upon a time, there was a company called San Diego Steel Products, and they made exhaust headers. It was owned by a guy named Chuck Chenowth, and he wanted to go racing at Indianapolis. He built an Indy roadster and stuffed a 4.2-liter Chevrolet V8 up front in an era when an Offenhauser-powered Anything dominated each race. Bold move.
It’s got Hillborn fuel injection and a Lehman front-drive unit to operate the fuel and water pumps as well as an Offenhauser gearbox and Halibrand wheels. The body was actually designed by Don Kuzma, another legendary name of the period. The Chenowth name is still around, although primarily associated with off-road racing today.
Unfortunately, this car never made a 500. It failed to arrive for the 1960 race and failed to qualify in 1961. It was more successful on the USAC short-track circuit, where it was driven by the likes of Tom Sneva, Mike Magill, and Greg Weld. It was restored near Cincinnati in the 1980s and is now offered with an estimate of $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $156,800.