Yours: An (almost) Indy winner

The Texas oilman and bon vivant John Mecom entered two cars in the troubled 1966 Indianapolis 500, marred by the pileup on the initial start that kayoed a third of the 33 starters. Mecom’s pair of new Lola T-90-Fords survived the mayhem. One, driven by Formula 1 champion Graham Hill, was ultimately declared the winner. The other one, driven by rising F1 legend Jackie Stewart, had the race won until the oil scavenge pump quit while he was leading by two laps with eight laps to go. Despite the heartbreak, Stewart was named the 500’s Rookie of the Year and took this car, chassis SL 90/2, to a win from the pole in a USAC race at Fuji, Japan. In yet another example of a fascinating Monterey buying opportunity, this piece of Indy history is being offered for sale by Gooding & Company.

The car went through the hands of historians and collectors Phil Henny and David Uihlein and for a time, was mistakenly believed to be the winning car that Hill drove. The consigner undertook research that proved the Lola’s true identity, and commissioned Walter Goodwin, the acclaimed owner of Race Car Restorations Inc. of Indianapolis, to bring it back to 1966 specifications and correctness, including a proper four-cam Ford racing V-8. This is one of only three T-90s ever produced by Lola, just two of which, the Mecom cars, were powered by four-cam Fords. Fittingly, the pre-sale estimate from Gooding is $1,000,000 to $1,400,000.

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