Jump to content


Photo

Parnelli type designations


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 25 February 2001 - 10:46

I have the following type designations for the Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing cars:

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?

Advertisement

#2 Allen Brown

Allen Brown
  • Member

  • 4,924 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 28 February 2001 - 21:43

Michael

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.

Allen

#3 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 28 February 2001 - 22:11

Thanks Allen!

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?

#4 Allen Brown

Allen Brown
  • Member

  • 4,924 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 01 March 2001 - 18:59

Michael

You're stretching me here! The entire text of my phone note with Jim on this subject is as follows:

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.

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!

Allen

#5 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 11,829 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 02 March 2001 - 15:46

I know that Parnelli Jones was a driver, but who or what was Vel's?

#6 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 02 March 2001 - 17:11

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...

#7 Gerr

Gerr
  • Member

  • 687 posts
  • Joined: April 00

Posted 03 March 2001 - 01:24

At Indy '74 Jan Opperman drove same Parnelli that Al Unser drove there in '73. That should be a VPJ2. At Pocono the car number was the same(51). He also drove at Milwaukee. I don't he drove at Ontario that year.


#8 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 03 March 2001 - 13:32

The Ontario picture showed Andretti, obviously in VPJ2. At Milwaukee Opperman apparently drove a different car for a different owner, a Mongoose, according to Phil Harms.

#9 HistoryFan

HistoryFan
  • Member

  • 2,637 posts
  • Joined: November 07

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...

#10 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,434 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 12 May 2009 - 20:57

If memory serves, the seldom raced VPJ-3 looked a lot like an Eagle of the day. Perhaps somebody can post a photo, as I have none in my archive.

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.

Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 12 May 2009 - 21:00.


#11 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,187 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 13 May 2009 - 02:42

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 ;) ) and I've seen photos of Parnelli in a San Diego Racing Association Modified Sportsman (Super Modified) with a large Vel's Ford logo on the car.

#12 HistoryFan

HistoryFan
  • Member

  • 2,637 posts
  • Joined: November 07

Posted 13 May 2009 - 15:02

Thank you!

#13 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 13 May 2009 - 21:13

Seeing old threads that I have started so many years ago resurface is a bit like meeting a former girlfriend again...

:D

#14 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,434 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 13 May 2009 - 22:10

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 ;) )

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.
Tom