LALD D'ELEGANCE 2020: The Underdog

A Racing Legend

Going back to the Patriotic theme from my Friday's entry but this time going a couple years back in the past and showcase a star from the oldest operating motorsport.

This is the Watson Roadster. An Indy 500 race car from the early 60's with rather old fashioned tech compare to other competitors on the grid. While a lot of the entrants are using what is basically repurposed F1 cars with spaceframe chassis and mid-mounted engine layouts. The Watson Roadster has a chassis that was originally from a dirt track racer with a front-mounted engine layout. Propelling it was a 16 valve 4 cylinder engine with a race built 2 speed transmission from the Ford Model A.

Despite that, the Watson Roadster was able to give the rest of the grid a run for their money. The 4 cylinder produced an impressive 400hp with plenty of room left for further power enhancement thanks to high compression ratio and the usage of cooler burning methanol fuel. The Watson Roadster is capable of reaching a terrifying top speed of around 180mph.

The engine also produced a healthy amount of torque which had an advantage from the competitors at lower speeds. The car had relatively good success winning the Indy 500 in 1963 and held a record of average speed of 143.137 mph and the fastest pole speed of 151.153 mph piloted by none other than motorsport hall of famer Parnelli Jones and led to one of the greatest victories in Jones’ racing career in 1963.

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