1956 Snowberger-Offenhauser

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 13-21, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Russ Snowberger competed in 15 Indianapolis 500s as a driver between 1928 and 1947 with one pole position and a best finish of fifth (two years in a row). He was the king of the “junk formula” that debuted in the 1930s that required stock-ish engine blocks.

He built and entered some of his own cars, including this Hupmobile-powered roadster. After his career as a driver ended, he became the chief mechanic for the Federal Engineering racing team based in Detroit. This lasted until 1961 and included prepping this Federal Engineering Detroit Special in 1956.

The chassis is based on a Kurtis 500C, and it’s powered by a 4.2-liter Offenhauser inline-four. No specific competition history is listed, but it was driven in period by Tony Bettenhausen, George Amick, Billy Garrett, and Tom Pistone. It’s currently owned by Ray Evernham, who is thinning his collection a bit at Mecum in Indy. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $220,000.

The Hupp Comet

1932 Snowberger-Hupmobile

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2016

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Russ Snowberger is a name that has been associated with the Indianapolis 500 since the 1920s. Snowberger was a very talented mechanic and engineer – but he was also a skilled driver. He competed in the Indy 500 15 times from 1928 through 1947. His best finish was 5th (twice) – one of those was in this very car.

Snowberger was interesting in that he built his own cars. Not very many drivers have entered a car at Indy with a chassis bearing their own name. Not even Louis or Gaston Chevrolet. All of the Snowberger chassis that competed in Indy were Studebaker powered. Except one. This one.

Hupmobile made a sponsorship deal with Snowberger to use a Hupp engine at Indy. This was the only Hupmobile-powered car to ever run the 500 as the company ran out of marketing dollars and Snowberger had to return the engine (which later made its way in a Bonneville land speed car). John Snowberger, Russ’ son, later acquired the engine and restored the “Hupp Comet” to as you see it today.

This is a rare chance to acquire a famous Indy 500 race car from one of the race’s early legends and owner/drivers. You can read more about it on Mecum’s site here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $310,000.

Update: Not sold, Mecum Kissimmee 2017, high bid of $270,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Indianapolis 2017, $205,000.