Parnelli type designations
Posted 25 February 2001 - 10:46
VPJ4: F1 car of 1974 and 1975
VPJ4B: F1 car of 1976
VPJ6: Indycar of 1975, first Cosworth DFX car
VPJ6B: Indycar of 1976, 1977 and 1978
VPJ6C: Indycar of 1979, Foyt's first Cosworth car
What about the 1972 Indycar, VPJ2? And the 1973 'truck', VPJ3? Was the Colt VPJ1? And what was VPJ5?
Posted 28 February 2001 - 21:43
The VPJ1 was the 1972 Phillippe-designed car (the Colts had been Lola-based). The VPJ2 took over from Texas (April 1973) - one of these cars was used by Andretti for his 214.148mph lap of Texas in 1973; later became a show car and is still owned by Parnelli. The VPJ3 was the failed 1974 car which was briefly revised for 1975.
My source for all this was Jim Dilamarter in August 1992.
The VPJ5 chassis designation was allocated to the team's planned F5000 car, based on the F1 VPJ4 and intended for Andretti to use in the 1975 series. The project never got off the drawing board - indeed Dilamarter doubts that it ever got on it!
Hope that helps.
Posted 28 February 2001 - 22:11
About the VPJ3, was it ever raced? I know Andretti and Jan Opperman (of all people) raced a Parnelli in 1974, but I've seen pictures from Ontario and Indianapolis that seem to show the 1973 car. Did the VPJ3 look the same or was it the VPJ2?
Posted 01 March 2001 - 18:59
You're stretching me here! The entire text of my phone note with Jim on this subject is as follows:
That suggests it only raced once, at Trenton in 1974. At the time, I could have clarified that, but I can't remember anything more than I wrote down. I phoned so many people in those days chasing down old racing cars, I'm sometimes surprised to discover I ever spoke to certain people!
The new VPJ3 debuted at Trenton in Andretti's hands and finished ninth. It was his intended car for Indy but he could not get it sorted and eventually qualified Al Unser's back-up Eagle. The team stuck with the Eagles for the rest of the season and Al Unser won at Michigan in September to take fourth place in the championship. Andretti, with the distractions of the F1 and F5000 projects, could only manage a third place in the final round in Arizona. A revised VPJ3, modified along McLaren M16 lines, was tried out in February 1975 with the intention of running it at Ontario. Both Andretti and Unser preferred their usual Eagles and, with the team only competing the 500s in 1975, the VPJ3 was abandoned in favour of the new Cosworth-powered VPJ6.
Posted 02 March 2001 - 15:46
Posted 02 March 2001 - 17:11
Posted 03 March 2001 - 01:24
Posted 03 March 2001 - 13:32
Posted 12 May 2009 - 20:12
Velco 'Vel' Miletich, American of Serbo-Croatian (I know Wolf will hate that word...) descendant, was a big Ford and Chrysler (?) dealer who teamed up with Rufus Parnelli Jones to field and build Indycars in 1969/70. Will have to look up further details, if interested...
Yes I am interested...
Posted 12 May 2009 - 20:57
Vel Miletich was a long time friend and associate of Parnelli Jones. They were partners for the entire ten or so year run of the Vel's-Parnelli Jones Racing Team. Hence the VPJ designation of the Parnelli cars. Indeed, Parnelli's son P.J. Jones' actual name, IIRC, is Parnell Velco Jones, after his dad and Vel Miletich. Vel adn Parnelli were business partners in other ventures outside of racing. Sadly, Vel Miletich passed away a number of years ago.
Edited by RA Historian, 12 May 2009 - 21:00.
Posted 13 May 2009 - 02:42
Posted 13 May 2009 - 21:13
Posted 13 May 2009 - 22:10
I will tell you, Jim, that back in the 60s I did keep an eye on stock cars, both nascar and USAC. Even went to a nascar race at Beltsville, Md., in August, 1966. That was when you could tell a Ford from a Chevy, and when many different makes raced. I lost interest when the nascar juggernaut began steamrolling racing and when spec cars began coming into play. Now of course, your implied supposition of my feelings towards nascar is quite correct.
Vel Miletich backed Parnelli's career from much earlier. Vel had a Ford dealership in Torrance, California (Vel's Ford). I know he backed Parnelli in Stock Cars (I'm sure Tom will appreciate knowing that ;) )