When it comes to generating funding for motorsports preservation, nothing beats the idea of putting a historically significant racing car up for the public to bid upon. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, located at Daytona International Speedway, is doing exactly that. Full disclosure time again: I do research for these fine folks, who are my neighbors, from time to time. If you come to the speedway once the pandemic restrictions are eased, you can visit and take in a whole range of genuinely historic racing vehicles that were once wrung out thoroughly by legends of this great sport. One of them is going on the block next week as a fundraising initiative, and fittingly, it’s a historically important car. Read on.
This race car will go on the block next weekend at the huge Mecum Auctions sale at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. The car is March 82C, chassis number 1 – the first March 82C ever built – in which Hector Rebaque of Mexico scored his first and only CART victory after migrating from Formula 1 to the IndyCar ranks. It was a spectacular win, in the 200-miler at Road America of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, in 1982, as Rebaque nailed down the top spot for Forsythe Racing over a trio of MSHFA inductees – four-time Indianapolis 500 winners Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears, plus 1986 Indy champion Bobby Rahal. McLaren Engines bought the chassis from Jerry Forsythe at the end of the season, which used it as a test bed for the stock-block turbocharged Buick V-6 that would win the Indianapolis 500 pole in 1985 with Pancho Carter in the hot seat. Later, chassis number 1 became a show car for King Motorsports, owned by the NHRA legend Kenny Bernstein, which employed the late Jim Crawford – a wonderfully intriguing and very fast driver who I spent some time with at a Buick turbo V-6 media event – as the team’s lead driver. Donated to the MSHFA in the early 1990s, it still wears the Mac Tools livery that King Motorsports utilized, and yes, there’s a Buick turbo V-6 behind the cockpit. Think about this, an actual race-winning IndyCar, as the centerpiece of your collection. This 82C is set to go to the block next Saturday in Indianapolis. I’ve covered this auction for Hemmings Motor News, and it’s a terrific happening. If you can make it in person, you can register to bid online by going here.