Original Dan Gurney-Driven Lotus 29 Being Restored At IMS
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is in the process of righting a historical wrong with its restoration of an original Lotus 29 that Dan Gurney drove to a 7th place at the 1963 Indianapolis 500.
The car is part of the vast collection owned by the museum, and has been undergoing a full restoration this year. But it was discovered the classic green-and-gold Lotus livery it now sports is, in fact, the wrong color for chassis 29/1. When Gurney arrived with Lotus at Indy in 1963, his car was white with blue trim, made in a deal with Ford; Gurney’s teammate, Jim Clark, drove chassis 29/3 to 2nd place at the race.
Gurney was supposed to drive chassis 29/2 but crashed in practice, and had to revert to 29/1 for the race, which was repainted in white and blue. Gurney drove the car in other events in ’63 but it never raced again after that. Ford, which owned the car, donated it to the IMS Museum in 1973.
But it’s believed Ford had repainted the car in Lotus colors to celebrate Clark’s finish, rather than Gurney’s.
The car isn’t just being resprayed, however. Chassis 29/1 is undergoing a full strip down restoration, and will need fuel cells, tires, suspension and engine maintenance to return it to running condition. The project is estimated to cost $90,000 – sourced by crowd funding – and due to be finished in 2020.
*Images courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Restoration Project and Walt Kuhn