December 2014 News
AJ Foyt Ok

Dec 4 - Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner
A.J. Foyt, Jr. got out of the hospital today in
Houston.  He had successful open-heart
surgery Nov 12, but encountered complications
and was put on a ventilator for 8 days.

The 25 days was the longest that Foyt had ever
spent in a hospital.

Doctors expect Foyt to make a full recovery.

"We've turned a corner so everything's pretty
good. I've got a long way to go, but I'm feeling
better every day," Foyt said.

Last year, Foyt had back surgery and left hip
and right knee replacements. In 2012, he battled
a life-threatening staph infection following
surgery to remove bone spurs in his artificial
left knee.
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Rick Hendrick Picks Up First C7 Z06

Dec 4 - NASCAR Team Owner and Chevrolet Dealer
Rick Hendrick visited the National Corvette Museum
in Greensboro Kentucky on Tuesday to take delivery
of the very first production Corvette Z06. Plant and
Museum tours were followed by a few laps at the
NCM Motorsports Park.

Hendrick purchased the right to the first Z06 Corvette
Stingray off the line back in April at the Barret-Jackson
auction.  It cost him a million bucks.  The proceeds go
to the Karmanos Cancer Institute.

He ordered it black on black.  This one is for an
investment.  Hendrick bought a silver one to drive.
NYE In Indy

Dec 28 -  Indianapolis has never thrown a New Year's
Eve party, until this year.

Instead of dropping a ball at midnight, the city will be
dropping an IndyCar!

The car that will be suspended over Georgia Street.

On New Year’s Eve, the party will start at 5 p.m. with
live bands performing outdoors, activities inside
Bankers Life Fieldhouse and food trucks lining the
1968 Whoosh-mobile For Sale

Dec 31 - There had been turbines at Indy before, of
course. Boeing tried them out in the 1950s. Carroll
Shelby tried to sneak one past the scrutineers. Even
Mississippi State University worked on one. But it
was the Granatelli turbines that everyone remembers,
and not just for the electric fluorescent orangish-pink
paint jobs. The first ones were large, oblong
vegetable-looking things with the monster turbine
mounted longitudinally parallel to the driver. Parnelli
Jones almost won the 1967 Indy 500 in one of those,
dropping out on lap 197 with a minor mechanical
failure. For the following year’s race, Granatelli
enlisted Colin Chapman to build the Type 56 Lotus,
the car you see here. The design was going to be
new, with the turbine located behind the driver
instead of next to him. It was still longitudinally
mounted but now took up less frontal area and could
go faster.

Experiments with aerodynamics on race cars were
still in their early stages. Thus the Type 56 had no
wings on it, but it did have a slanted wedge shape
that, while it didn’t provide downforce, eliminated
lift, according to Clive Chapman, Colin’s son.

Clive Chapman is managing director of Classic Team
Lotus in Hethel, England, the company that did the
restoration on this car.

“I think you’ll agree that this is one of the most
extraordinary cars that has ever been,” he said when
the newly restored car was unveiled at Auto Club
Speedway in Southern California.

This is one of only a few turbine race cars in
existence and perhaps in the best condition of any of
them. It ran only that one race, with Graham Hill
behind the wheel. Hill was first out of the box during
qualifying and set a new track record. His teammate
Joe Leonard beat him to the pole in another Granatelli
turbine. Hill lost a wheel in the race, hit the wall and
was out of contention. Yet another statistic to back up
the fact that no turbine car ever won Indy. That’s the
extent of this car’s track life.
The Lotus Type 56 is remarkably simple to drive.
First, you have to fit into it. The steering wheel does
not come off so you have to slither your lower half
around it then feed your feet under the front axle of
the four wheel-drive rig and slot them into the pedals.
For that they remove the nose of the car and someone
wedges your right foot into the clamp-like gas pedal
(the better to help lift should you have to lift). You
left foot sits atop the brake pedal, which you will use
a lot.

A big battery cart is used to start the car which makes
what sounds like a jet engine whirring. It sounds like
it because it is; a Pratt & Whitney ST-6B turbine that
sounds like your own personal Lear Jet strapped to
your back.

To drive this thing, all you have to do is steer and
hold back the turbine thrust with the brake pedal. If
everything should go horribly wrong, there’s a T-
shaped handle on the left that you’re supposed to pull
that stops the turbine.

Then, whoosh, you’re off.

The car goes to auction Jan. 17 in Scottsdale AZ.