Tag Archives: Andy Granatelli

Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1971 PJ Colt, Joe Leonard

Replicarz goes bigger, produces winner with Joe Leonard’s championship car … 1971 PJ Colt, Joe Leonard driver

Joe Leonard was a heck of a racer, on two wheels and four.

He not only won three motorcycle championships, the hard-nosed driver also moved up to Indy cars and won the 1971 USAC championship running virtually the same car as his teammate, Al Unser, who won the Indianapolis 500 in a sister car that year.

Replicarz honors Leonard, who died earlier this year, with its release of a 1/18-scale PJ Colt, a replica of the car Leonard drove to the USAC title decked out in its yellow and blue Samsonite-sponsored livery.  Replicarz had created a limited edition 1/43-scale model of the car previously, along with Unser’s 1970 and 1971 Indy winning Johnny Lightning racers.1971 PJ Colt, Joe Leonard driver

The History

Leonard won three A.M.A. Grand National Championships between 1954 and 1957 and set a record with 27 wins. By 1961 though, he turned his attention to auto racing and debuted in USAC, then the top-level open-wheel racing series.  In 1964 he reached its top level, racing Champ cars, those that ran in the Indianapolis 500. He won his first race, the Milwaukee 150, in 1965 aboard a Gurney Eagle.

Leonard raced for several teams and had several good results at Indy, finishing third in 1967 and sixth in 1969 when he was wheeling Smokey Yunick’s doctored Gurney Eagle. In between he put Andy Granatelli’s famous wedge turbine on the pole at Indy and was leading with 9 laps to go when a part failed. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1971 PJ Colt, Joe Leonard

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Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1964 Indy Smokey Yunick sidecar racer

PRE-RELEASE REVIEW:

Sidecar racer unique, weird, unsuccessful, but a cool die-cast model …Replicarz 1964 Smokey Yunick sidecar racer

The mid-1960s were a wild and revolutionary time for race car design and technology at the Indianapolis 500, the predominant race in the world at the time.

The era saw roadsters with their engines in the front replaced by racers, such as Lotuses, with engines in the rear. There were a variety of engines from Offenhausers to Fords to Chevys, plus some jet turbines that darned near won, twice.

Then there was the sidecar roadster created by master mechanic and designer, Smokey Yunick, who had already taken on the stock car world at Daytona and entered several cars over the years at Indianapolis, including a 1962 roadster with a giant wing over the hood and driven by 1960 winner Jim Rathmann.Replicarz 1964 Smokey Yunick sidecar racer

But by 1964, a pivotal and also disastrous year for Indy due to its worst and most terrifying crash that killed two drivers, Smokey had created what was commonly known as the sidecar racer, his Offset Roadster with sidecar. It carried his usual gold and black color scheme, and now Replicarz is creating it in 1/18 scale resin for us diecast collectors. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1964 Indy Smokey Yunick sidecar racer

Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1968 STP Chevy C10 & tandem race trailer

Truck, trailer and ‘Mr. 500’ make racy display …Replicarz Chevy pickup, trailer

Collectors who like to create scenes for displaying their models will be thrilled by three new items from Replicarz, a 1968 Chevy C10 pickup and tandem race trailer, plus a figure of Andy Granatelli. All are sold separately, so you can create your own diorama to fit your display needs.

Best of all, these are all in STP trim, which means the shocking Day-Glo Orange that STP used on so many of its sponsored racers in the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, Replicarz has created at least four Indy Cars that fit the trailer and time period. There’s the new Paxton STP Turbine model, Mario Andretti’s 1969 Indy 500 winner along with the 1973 Eagles of winner Gordon Johncock and his teammate, Swede Savage.

The History

Unlike today when race teams haul their cars and other equipment to racetracks across the country in giant semi-trailers that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, in the 1960s and 1970s, many teams still used a pickup and trailer. Some even stuck with station wagons and trailers until about 1980.Chevy C10 and Andy Granatelli

The Chevrolet C10 pickup was standard fare and would easily pull a tandem trailer and car from say, Indianapolis to Milwaukee, Wis., or Trenton, N.J. you could pile your tools and extra parts in the truck bed and put spare tires on the trailer’s front rack and be on your way. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1968 STP Chevy C10 & tandem race trailer

Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1967 Paxton (STP) Turbine

STP’s 1967 Indy 500 Turbine is a sure winner this time!

Replicarz 1967 Indy 500 Paxton Turbine Indianapolis 500 Parnelli Jones STP Andy Granatelli, Silent Sam
Replicarz nails the iconic STP turbine that Parnelli Jones nearly drove to victory in the 1967 Indy 500.

Say turbine car and Indianapolis 500 and most car lovers and race fans will picture the 1967 STP-sponsored day-glo red racer that Parnelli Jones darned near drove to victory that year.

It was nicknamed Silent Sam and the Whooshmobile for its turbine power that sounded like a jet whooshing by at 160+ mph while all the other Indy racers grumbled and roared with their internal combustion engines. The car set the racing world on edge, threatened the establishment and yet was a fan favorite.

While a plastic model was made of the car almost immediately at the time, Replicarz now is the first diecast car maker to deliver a high-quality detailed 1/18 scale version of the car Jones drove to within 4 laps of an Indy win. It took a while, but the wait was worth it. And the Indy icon appears just as the Indianapolis 500 is set to run its 100th race this May. Timing could hardly be better.

The History

The STP-Paxton turbine was the brainchild of designer Ken Wallis and Andy Granatelli, a former racer and then head of STP, a division of Studebaker Corp. Granatelli had championed the powerful Novi racer for years and always was looking for an advantage to help him win the Indy 500. Replicarz 1967 Indy 500 Paxton Turbine Silent Sam, Parnelli JonesThat led him to buy Ferguson Formula 4-wheel-drive to first team with the Novi engine and for 1967, Wallis’ turbine power, a Pratt & Whitney Canada ST6B-62 turbine. It ran in a space frame chassis with the turbine mounted on the left side of the chassis while the driver’s cockpit was alongside on the right. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1967 Paxton (STP) Turbine

Chasing Classic Cars: The STP Turbine

stp-turbineI am totally jealous!!!!!!!!

Mark and I get to drive some really cool cars but never the STP Lotus Type 56. An AutoWeek reporter did. Boy there’s not much we wouldn’t do to get a ride in that bad boy. I loved the STP turbines and Andy Granatelli. I am also a big fan of Parnelli Jones who came just a couple of laps shy of winning the 1967 Indy 500 had it not been for a $6 part. This really freaked out the Indy establishment that an engine with no pistons could win their race and slapped on some intake restrictions so it couldn’t do it again. That didn’t bother Granatelli who called on Colin Chapman to build the Type 56 Lotus, the car you see here. Unlike the ’67 turbine where the turbine sat next to Jones, the design had the turbine located behind the driver instead of next to him making the Lotus go faster.

You could drive it but….

You’d have to come up with at least a half a million bucks because that’s the neighborhood the gavel will drop at the Barrett-Jackson Auction January 17th in Scottsdale, AZ. Even if Mark and I both sold our homes and everything else we would still be short of the winning bid. Plus, if we did win it, we’d pretty much be sleeping by it in some storage shed. Bummer.