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#1 cabianca

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 17:47

In 1969, there was a Lotus-Plymouth 4WD car run in at least one USAC road race. Was this merely a redo of the turbine car or a completely different type. I think entrant was Granetelli.

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#2 ray b

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 19:53

:cool: was a Petty driving????
at indy that year chapman had 3 new lotus 4wd cars
but hubs broke in the turbo fords do to bad parts
so M A won in a non lotus backup car that was rear drive
after crashing his lotus 4wd
probaly one of those cars remotored with a stock block

#3 cabianca

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 20:32

Lotus 4WD-Plymouth was run at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Brainard, Kent and Riverside. All road courses with Sam Posey. STP sponsorship.

#4 Yorgos

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 21:47

Here's the story from Sam Posey's autobiography "The Mudge Pond Express" (Putnam 1976):

After the USAC restricted the size of turbines allowed in race cars (following the crushing demonstration of the turbine Lotus/ STP at Indianapolis) Chrysler supplied highly modified Plymouth engines to Granatelli for use in the STP Lotus. The car was converted to the new engine and the 4wd system was retained.

Peter Hutchinson who was behind the project at Chrysler persuaded Granatelli to hire Posey to drive the car in the 4 road races of the 1969 USAC Indy cars calendar.
Posey saw the car for the first time at Indianapolis Raceway Park "The car looked like a ClaesOldenburg version of a doorstop,painted dayglo orange and liberally dotted with STP stickers......The lotus bristled with technical innovation including an automatic transmission developed by Chrysler. The essenece of my job was to come to grips with the mysterious 4WD system...The Lotus was very different from other cars. There was no problem in the first phase of the turn,when the tail was sliding out but as soon as I steered into the slide and applied power, the car would plunge straight off the outside of the road........
In the first race at IIRC I drove carefully and brought the car home in fifth.It was the first race the Lotus Plymouth had ever finished.
In time I became familiar with the car and could drive it hard but I realised that it was not going to be a winner. Rain was what I needed."
Posey's 3rd race was at Seattle. In the first heat it started to rain during the 2nd lap and he had a fight with Gurney for the lead until rain stopped and Gurney "was out of sight when the heat ended".
The second heat was also run in the wet and Posey finished 3rd behind Al Unser and Andreti and ahead of Gurney in the 2nd heat. He was classified 3rd overall.

At the end of the season, 4WD cars were banned by the USAC.

Unfortunately there is no photo of the car.

Yorgos

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 21:50

Originally posted by ray b
:cool: was a Petty driving????
at indy that year chapman had 3 new lotus 4wd cars
but hubs broke in the turbo fords do to bad parts
so M A won in a non lotus backup car that was rear drive
after crashing his lotus 4wd
probaly one of those cars remotored with a stock block


Not if Doug was right in "Motor Racing Mavericks" - he says the three remaining team cars were hidden and never raced. And Andretti's car was burned out, so I think we can safely assume it wasn't that one.

A rebuilt 56? Or maybe something earlier with the 4WD system from a 56?

#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 21:58

Ah - Yorgos beat me to it! So it was a modified 56 ....

#7 Allen Brown

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 22:05

In "Team Lotus", the Andrew Ferguson book completed by Doug Nye, Doug quotes Vince Granatelli saying the the Lotus 56s were preserved in original turbine spec and new "perfect Lotus copies" were built for the Offy and then Plymouth projects (see p238).

Allen

#8 Yorgos

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Posted 24 July 2002 - 22:53

At: http://www.autoracem...ng2001color.PDF
there is a small photo of a Gerhardt-Plymouth stock block Indy car (alias STP Gasoline Treatment Special) which was driven to victory at the 1969 Delaware 200 by Art Pollard, for Andy Granatelli.
Is this the same car?

Yorgos

www.autoracemuseum.com/PDFNEWSLETTERS/ NewsletterSring2001color.PDF

#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 July 2002 - 22:51

As far as I can recall the Plymouth powered STP cars were a mix of formerly gas turbine powered Type 56 4WD chassis and the wacky-racers styled rear-drive chassis constructed either by the STP Corporation or their sub-contractors, Fred Gerhardt and - I believe - Grant King. According to the 1970 Indy Media Book, Fred Gerhardt "built five new cars of wedge design. Two were for his own driver Gary Bettenhausen, one was for Gordon Johncock, one for Andy Granatelli, and one for Myron Caves". His workshop was at 2680 South Orange Avenue in Fresno, California, and his company was named the Commercial Body Sales & Manufacturing Company.

During the 1969 season Art Pollard's win at Dover Downs was in a rear-drive STP Plymouth confection, it would appear, but somewhere I have more info on the true Lotus 56s' 'afterlife'. I recall asking Vince Granatelli about the cars and him seeming most reluctant to give any credit to Lotus for their design, engineering, construction and preparation even when the originals were in fact designed, engineered, constructed and prepared either by Lotus at Hethel, Norfolk, or by Lotus personnel in the garages at Indy. This was a considerable contemporary bone of contention between the Granatellis and Chapman, Lotus and the Lotus lads of the Indy team. Vince told me that STP built 'exact copies' of the Lotus 56s which carried the Offy and Plymouth engines - the inference being that the gas turbine cars were retained in store while these 'copy' cars were campaigned. That does not sound very cost effective, and I doubt if this was literally the case, but I am fairly confident that look-slikes were indeed constructed and indeed raced alongside the Lotus-built/STP and affiliates-cobnverted, originals.

Someone should contact the Granatellis at Hanford (?) and ask for enlightenment...

DCN

#10 cabianca

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Posted 26 July 2002 - 18:25

Posey said today:
#20 STP car he drove in 1969 was a Lotus. He said it was 4WD each time he drove it, although they had the balance set to about 15% front, 85% rear by the time they got to its last race at Riverside 69.

Pollard car was different. A 2WD built by Fred Gerhardt.

#11 Don Capps

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Posted 26 July 2002 - 19:17

Michael,

That is pretty much the conclusion I was coming to, especially ref the Pollard car, but I was still poking around some. However, I have always had the nagging suspicion that there was at least one Grantatelli Lotus copy other than the car(s) Fred Gerhardt built. Somewhere in the back of my mind is the thought that Grant King made either a copy or a rebuild of one of the Lotus cars. Doug's comments set those thoughts in motion again.... :confused:

#12 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 July 2002 - 21:46

Don - I think I'm with you, Grant King fits into the equation somewhere, somehow... He later built those chinese copy McLaren M16s... I have gen on these things somewhere, but can't raise the steam to start digging just now.

DCN

#13 arttidesco

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 20:16

Granetelli must have kept his parts manager busy in 1969 running the :-

Gerhardt Offy TC for Williams,
Gerhardt Plymouth for Pollard,
Hawk Ford TC for Andretti,
Lotus Ford TC's 2WD (?) for Andretti, Hill and Rindt,
Lotus Offy TC 2WD (?) for Pollard,
Lotus Plymouth 4WD Posey,

Has any other team topped that for a diverse selection of chassis, engines and drivers in a season ?

Has any other team ever run with 3 past present and future world champions and had two of them fail to qualify for the Indy 500 ?

Edited by arttidesco, 17 November 2010 - 20:16.


#14 Henri Greuter

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 08:18

Granetelli must have kept his parts manager busy in 1969 running the :-

Gerhardt Offy TC for Williams,
Gerhardt Plymouth for Pollard,
Hawk Ford TC for Andretti,
Lotus Ford TC's 2WD (?) for Andretti, Hill and Rindt,
Lotus Offy TC 2WD (?) for Pollard,
Lotus Plymouth 4WD Posey,

Has any other team topped that for a diverse selection of chassis, engines and drivers in a season ?

Has any other team ever run with 3 past present and future world champions and had two of them fail to qualify for the Indy 500 ?


Lotus Ford TC's 2WD (?) for Andretti, Hill and Rindt, these were 4WD's, the infamous tyoe 64.


Henri


#15 arttidesco

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 09:08

Thanks for the clarification Henri :up:


#16 Henri Greuter

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 11:25

Thanks for the clarification Henri :up:


You're welcome.

By the way, I read the remark but it has been said about the STP team that year that it was a mess: In total they had entered some 10 or 11 cars, many of those much different from another and the one car that gained them the glory was one that got the least attention of all from the Granatelli's since Clin't Brawner took care for it....

And of all those 10 or so cars, only a few actually made the race.....
OK, one of those was the winner...


Henri


#17 Pullman99

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 14:41

As this thread is primarily concerned with the cars of the STP Corporation, I wonder if anyone knows if any of the 1970 McNamara built Indy cars have survived in the USA or, indeed, here in the UK?

There is a link from the TNF McNamara thread whoich shows a photograph of one taken, supposedly, at Silverstone (?) in the mid-1970s. I remember seeing one, trundled around by STP in Europe I believe, at The Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in 1977. Possibly this was a showcar but it seemed a bit late in the day to be promoting an unsuccessful Indy car seven years after the event!

McNamara pic from TNF McNamara thread

Edited by Pullman99, 19 November 2010 - 14:42.


#18 Henri Greuter

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 14:59

As this thread is primarily concerned with the cars of the STP Corporation, I wonder if anyone knows if any of the 1970 McNamara built Indy cars have survived in the USA or, indeed, here in the UK?

There is a link from the TNF McNamara thread whoich shows a photograph of one taken, supposedly, at Silverstone (?) in the mid-1970s. I remember seeing one, trundled around by STP in Europe I believe, at The Race of Champions at Brands Hatch in 1977. Possibly this was a showcar but it seemed a bit late in the day to be promoting an unsuccessful Indy car seven years after the event!

McNamara pic from TNF McNamara thread




Gee what a great shot! Always liked that car!

Maybe you are one year off and that it was in 1978 you saw it? There was a USAC race with Indycars at Brands in the fall of 1978 to promote...
(Also a race at Silverstone by the way)


henri

Edited by Henri Greuter, 19 November 2010 - 15:00.


#19 Pullman99

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 15:48

Maybe you are one year off and that it was in 1978 you saw it? There was a USAC race with Indycars at Brands in the fall of 1978 to promote...(Also a race at Silverstone by the way) henri


Yes, that's true. I attended both. Silverstone was wet and interrupted (won by A J Foyt) and Brands was dry and sunny and was won by Rick Mears. Spectator numbers for both events was very poor but the promotion was pretty good for the day and the drivers were all delightful and really made themselves available to media and spectators alike.. Still have AJ's (and others) autographs in the programme! There was even a specially commissioned Ford Capri Pace Car!

However, I do believe that it was at the ROC in 1977 that I saw the McNamara. Looking very "dayglo" in its STP livery. Didn't take a pic unfortunately. The race was won by James Hunt after early leader Mario Andretti retired the Lotus 78. But...I may be wrong!!!


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#20 Pullman99

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 17:04

More on the McNamara from a German website that also contains the "Silverstone" pics. Thinking back, it was a very sunny day (not something that you usually associate with Brands in October!) so I think on refelction that it probably was the USAC round in 1978 when I saw the McNamara although I don't recall seeing it at Silverstone the week before.

McNamara Indycar from Gernman website

Edited by Pullman99, 19 November 2010 - 17:04.


#21 T54

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:05

I was talking to Jim Dilamarter (Al Unser's crew chief at Vel's Parnelli) this Thursday at the presentation of the new Lotus Indy car engine program, and he told me that not only did Andy and Vince Granatelli built some Lotus 56 copies, but Vel's Parnelli also had TWO lotus 56 replicas built, and that they raced them in 5 races or so in 1969. I will get more details and pictures from Jim as he promised to let me have some. Not sure what they look like and I di not look any further at this time.

I am also in touch with the son of Rick Salvino who worked for Andy Granatelli, and his dad asked Andy on my behalf a while ago, on what happened to the four "Type 56" Lotuses after they were done racing. He said that Richard Petty has the Joe Leonard car that set pole in 1968, that the Art Pollard car from the same race is probably the one in Parnelli's museum, and that both the Mike Spence car and the Graham Hill car returned to England, the Hill car because there were some unsettled bills with Chapman. He said that contrary to what is said in the Gerard Crombac book, "Turbine Grand Prix', it was the Hill car that was made into the F1 model now on loan (?) to the Donington collection. The Spence car was supposed to have been rebuilt and returned to Andy, who eventually had it auctioned and is now supposedly in the IMS museum, in which I have not put my feet since Tony George ran the show in 1995 and damaged it so much by his over-inflated ego. Now that he is history, I will be back next May and have a good look of what happened in the past 11 years there...

He also said that the Bruce Linsmeyer car currently running in vintage events simply cannot be one of the original 56's and must be either one of the STP copies or one of the Vel's Parnelli cars. I simply don't know.

Now this is quite confusing and there are simply too many of these cars around!

So let me see now...
1968: Hill, Spence, Pollard and Leonard have the rides on the 4 chassis. Spence unfortunately loses his and get killed by the right front wheel. The car does not look too damaged from the pictures after the crash, just a very unlucky accident for the poor Spence. In Crombac's book, the quote is "There was a chassis laying at the factory, the one in which Mike Spence had been killed in practice for the 1968 500 Miles. It had been repaired and was adapted to Formula One".
So now we have a contradiction, who is correct, Crombac or Andy?

In 1969, we have that STP contraption with the Plymouth used in practice by Pollard (car # 20), that he ditched in favor of another car in Andy's squadra. While the car has Lotus (or Lotus-like!) wheels and some hints that it could be a Lotus tub with weird body panels, detail inspection shows it to be a copy supposedly built by Vince Granatelli and his team.

The same year, Carl Williams drives another lotus copy built by Gerhardt and powered by an Offy.

On page 20 of the rare Carl Hungness Indy Year book (1969 through 1972), is a picture of Al Unser in what APPEARS to be a copy of a "56", possibly one of the Vel's Parnelli copies as described by Dilamarter?

On page 24 is another picture showing the then current Indiana senator sitting in another "56" (copy or real) of Andy that does not appear to be the same as that driven by Pollard. It looks like it is powered by a V8, so another Plymouth???

On page 35, we have Art Pollard's car, a "new Lotus", and if indeed it LOOKS like a highly modified Lotus fitted with an Offy, what is it really?

What is sure after consulting all this stuff is that right through 1971, the influence of the design of both the "56' and "64" is huge amongst American car builders...






#22 Gerr

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:47

I was talking to Jim Dilamarter (Al Unser's crew chief at Vel's Parnelli) this Thursday at the presentation of the new Lotus Indy car engine program, and he told me that not only did Andy and Vince Granatelli built some Lotus 56 copies, but Vel's Parnelli also had TWO lotus 56 replicas built, and that they raced them in 5 races or so in 1969. I will get more details and pictures from Jim as he promised to let me have some. Not sure what they look like and I di not look any further at this time.


Try this thread, post #59...Lotus 56 turbine 1968 G. Hill


#23 T54

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:57

Uh, this thread has 23 posts... ??? did you mean to post a link?

#24 Tim Murray

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 09:49

This would be the thread, I think:

Lotus 56 turbine 1968 G. Hill

and this is post 59:

The page 18-19 article from Competition Press & Autoweek - May 31, 1969. These are the only photos that accompany the article.

Posted Image

Posted Image

In regards to the sourcing of the Dick Wallen Roar From the Sixties box score statistics, here is what he writes on page 590 under the heading Research Notes:

"Source material is rich in statistical data used to develop the championship box scores for 1960 through 1969. USAC Yearbooks tabulate the results of every championship race, while National Speed Sport News and Autoweek provided supportive data, such as reasons for elimination and race sidelights.

Bob Mount was instrumental in verifying and compiling the chassis and engine information. This was of significance due to the evolution of the race car chassis from the front engine roadster to the rear-engined configuration. Keeping track of all the builders during this period was a challenge.

USAC's Dick Jordon contributed lap leader data and made available the records of the sanctioning organization to resolve questions that arose from time-to-time. Donald Davidson, USAC's historian, proofread the printed box scores to assure accuracy."

With that in mind, I confirmed (The Unfair Advantage and Mark Donohue: Technical Excellence At Speed) that the Mark Donohue 1969 7th place Lola at Indianapolis was indeed four wheel drive and it is not reported in that manner in the box scores previously written about above. So there is at least one glaring mistake and that leads me to question other, more obscure cars being reported accurately.

Let me know how I may be able to help as this continues forward. All the best, Brian



#25 Charles E Taylor

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 12:32

The Lotus 56 Turbine.


This may add some more recent interest. They have some interesting cars and look like they do good work.

I wonder why they did not want to fit a PT6 when they restored the Type 56?


Look Here


and Here






Charlie

#26 RA Historian

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 13:56

He also said that the Bruce Linsmeyer car currently running in vintage events simply cannot be one of the original 56's and must be either one of the STP copies or one of the Vel's Parnelli cars. I simply don't know.

When that particular car was at Milwaukee for an exhibition run before the Indy Car race about 2007 or so, I was told directly that it is a car built up from spares and not one of the originals.
Tom

#27 T54

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 03:22

Thanks for the article. It shows that at least, the story of the two Lotus 56 copies being built by or for Vel's Parnelli holds. What ever happened to these cars?

Now...

I was told directly that it is a car built up from spares and not one of the originals.

OK. Lifted from this website:

Purchased from Parnelli Jones. This chassis is believed to be the original Lotus 56 that was the # 60 STP turbine car that was in the 1968 Indy 500 and later was retro fitted with a 4 cam Ford engine.

Uh? What? The only one I know of that was modified has an Offy. Which had a 4-cam and when? When one adds all this up, there are a few too many cars here.
Andy would have sold an (assumed Lotus) tub and a whole bunch of spares to Parnelli Jones? When and why?
So what are we to believe?

#28 Gerr

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:23

Thanks for the article. It shows that at least, the story of the two Lotus 56 copies being built by or for Vel's Parnelli holds. What ever happened to these cars?

Now...

OK. Lifted from this website:


Uh? What? The only one I know of that was modified has an Offy. Which had a 4-cam and when? When one adds all this up, there are a few too many cars here.
Andy would have sold an (assumed Lotus) tub and a whole bunch of spares to Parnelli Jones? When and why?
So what are we to believe?


The two Parnellis (Lotus 56 clones, lighter and specifically designed for turbo-Fords) were sold at Vel's estate auction, late 1998ish.
Avon Aeros photos show the Parnelli transaxle in the car. I believe it was one of the 1969 Parnellis from the auction.
It is not Joe Leonard's 1968 Lotus 56, that car is in PJ's museum.
http://www.vpjracing...r_Photos.html#2

AFAIK:
Lotus built four 56s, all with CP&W PT6 turbines.
Vel's-Parnelli built two Lotus 56 clones, both with T/C Fords.
STP built (or had built) at least one and probably two Lotus 56 clones, raced at various times with T/C Offy and Plymouth engines.


#29 T54

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 17:13

That's my opinion too; 4 clones, 4 real cars, plus the one built my Linsmeyer, possibly from one of Parnelli's clones.

What a mess! :drunk:

#30 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 04:10

That's my opinion too; 4 clones, 4 real cars, plus the one built my Linsmeyer, possibly from one of Parnelli's clones.

What a mess! :drunk:



To confuse this further, here are links to two sites discussing the Linsmeyer car, claiming it 56/1, the #60 Leonard car, but bought from Jones:

http://www.conceptca...56/default.aspx

http://www.avonaero.com/STP%20CAR.htm


I recall reading somewhere that the Jones/Granatelli tubs were riveted differently from the Lotus tubs.



#31 RA Historian

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 15:51

When that particular car was at Milwaukee for an exhibition run before the Indy Car race about 2007 or so, I was told directly that it is a car built up from spares and not one of the originals.
Tom



OK. Lifted from this website:


Uh? What? The only one I know of that was modified has an Offy. Which had a 4-cam and when? When one adds all this up, there are a few too many cars here.
Andy would have sold an (assumed Lotus) tub and a whole bunch of spares to Parnelli Jones? When and why?
So what are we to believe?



That's my opinion too; 4 clones, 4 real cars, plus the one built by Linsmeyer, possibly from one of Parnelli's clones.

What a mess! :drunk:


Even Linsmeyer's people seem to have their stories mixed. As I mentioned above, I was told directly by a crew member on the Linsmeyer car that it was not an original, but was built up from spares. Regardless of who is telling the story, I think that the truth of the matter is that the Linsmeyer car is not original. Don't know if it was built entirely in his shops, or from parts from one of the VPJ clones, but it seems fairly certain that it was not built in Chapman's shop...

As for whatever claims are being made for the Linsmeyer car, it would behoove Linsmeyer to get all his people on the same page! If one is going to spin a story, make sure it is the same story!

Tom


#32 arttidesco

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 18:21

The Lotus 56 Turbine.


This may add some more recent interest. They have some interesting cars and look like they do good work.

I wonder why they did not want to fit a PT6 when they restored the Type 56?


Availability I suspect, I have no idea how expensive a turbine engine is, but I suspect they earn big bucks on the leasing circuit when not sitting around idle in race cars.

Edited by arttidesco, 23 November 2010 - 18:21.


#33 Gerr

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 19:54

Availability I suspect, I have no idea how expensive a turbine engine is, but I suspect they earn big bucks on the leasing circuit when not sitting around idle in race cars.


I think it is question of size...
The Allison turbine that Avon Aero istalled is much, much shorter than a PT6. Less than half the length.
...and because the chassis is a Parnelli (not a Lotus 56), the rear bulkhead is flat across the tub. A Lotus 56 has an arched rear bulkhead to clear the accessory drives of the PT6.
...and because Avon used the bulky Parnelli transaxle, clutch and centre diff, the space in the engine bay was reduced further.

#34 pete3664

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 17:30

One of the Parnelli's is being restored with the turbo 4 cam Ford .as it was originally built.

#35 RA Historian

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 17:35

One of the Parnelli's is being restored with the turbo 4 cam Ford .as it was originally built.

Please clarify. Parnelli as in the line of VPJ-x race cars built by the Vel's-Parnelli Jones team? If so, what is the connection to this thread about Lotus 56s?

#36 Michael Oliver

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 13:56

Please clarify. Parnelli as in the line of VPJ-x race cars built by the Vel's-Parnelli Jones team? If so, what is the connection to this thread about Lotus 56s?

Tom

I took it to mean that one of the Vels-Parnelli built Lotus 56 'copies' is being rebuilt.

Pete3664: I would love to hear more about this, can you tell us any more? Is the car in the US?

I am with Gerr on this one - looking closely at photos of the chassis of the Linsmeyer cars it appears to be one of the Vels-Parnelli creations, built in 1969...but I could be wrong!

Michael

#37 pete3664

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 22:45

It is one of the 4wd cars mentioned in the Comp Press article shown above. It is in the US but I don't feel I should disclose the owners name without permission, but after having seen the tub with the engine and the 4wd mechanism, it certainly is an impressive bit of engineering.

#38 jj2728

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 00:14

When I attended the Indy 500 a few years back, Vince Granatelli did a demo run (believe it or not) in a turbine powered 56......I wonder which one that was.