STP Turbine Indy Car

1968 Lotus 56

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2015

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

In 1967, Andy Granatelli entered the turbine-powered STP-Paxton Turbocar in the Indianapolis 500. The car nearly won the race at the hands of Parnelli Jones but a transmission bearing failure with eight laps to go ruined those plans.

Team Lotus took note of this impressive performance and they designed the Lotus 56 around a modified version of the Pratt & Whitney ST6B used in the Turbocar. The STN 6/76 made 500 horsepower in the 56. This car also has four-wheel drive.

So it dominated qualifying, with Joe Leonard taking the pole in one of three 56s entered for the race (a fourth was built, but was destroyed in Mike Spence’s fatal crash in testing). This car was raced by Graham Hill in the ’68 500. He crashed in turn two on lap 110, resulting in a 19th place finish. None of the 56s finished the race, but Joe Leonard was leading with nine laps to go when his fuel pump broke.

This car was owned by Richard Petty for many years and it has been restored to working, race-day condition. For the past year, it’s been on display on at the Speedway Museum in Indy. It’s an awesome piece of machinery and Indianapolis 500 history. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Barrett-Jackson’s lineup.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,200,000.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2016.

Shelby Turbine Indy Car

1968 Shelby Turbine Indy Car

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 14-16, 2014

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Everyone remembers Andy Granatelli’s STP turbine indy cars from 1967 and 1968 – back in the day when the Indianapolis 500 stood for speed and innovation. The STP-Paxton Turbocars were driven by Parnelli Jones and Joe Leonard and dominated the races but always failed prior to the finish.

Well in 1968, Carroll Shelby also built a similar turbine-powered open-wheel racer and entered it in the Indy 500. The team practiced two cars – this one was driven by Bruce McLaren. USAC changed the rules surrounding turbine cars and while the STP cars were still legal, the Shelby cars were not able to compete and were withdrawn prior to qualifying.

The powerplant here is a General Electric T-58 shaft-drive turbine putting out a crazy 1,325 horsepower. This car is pristine and is currently on display the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum in their Turbine Indy Car exhibit. It’s a pretty cool opportunity that should command a pretty princely sum. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $450,000.