Unconfigured Ad Widget

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rahal’s 1986 winning car

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rahal’s 1986 winning car

    With the IMS Museum having finally acquired Bobby Rahal’s 1986 “winning” car, I got looking a bit more closely at that car and its history and how I’ve never quite thought the car presented many times as the winner looks quite right.

    What I’ve uncovered has left me even more confused than I was before so maybe someone here can help me out.

    Truesports had two cars entered for Rahal on 1986 - Car #3 (roll hoop #73) and Car #3T (roll hoop #3). The DTR from 1986 reports Rahal was fastest all week in his backup 3T. On Pole Day, Rahal qualified through 3T for the 4th position. Qualifying photos from Pole Day and the DTR confirm it was the 3T (roll hoop #3) that was qualified. Later in the month, a rather random entry in the DTR further confirmed 3T (the “backup”) was roll hoop #3 and car 3 (the primary) was roll hoop 73.

    HOWEVER, all pictures from race day of the car on track show Bobby drove car the primary car in the race. I know car numbers are changed all the time, but I’m not aware of any instance where USAC would have changed a roll hoop number. But several photos exist, most notably in Victory Lane, that clearly show roll hoop #73 on the winning car.

    How can this be? Anyone have any ideas? I’d like to be convinced the car just acquired by the IMS Museum and that has been presented many times over the years is indeed the actually winner. Short of seeing the chassis number plate and comparing to the original entry list, I’m not sure how else one could confirm that.

    One finally superficial note… there are obviously now a lot of missing decals from what was actually part of the race day configuration in 1986. Furthermore, the 3 on both the nose and the engine cowl is much smaller than on race day - much more similar to how it looked on qualifying day. These differences are what originally sparked my curiousity.
    --Paul Dalbey
    (the poster formerly known as 'pdalbey')

    Different men, from vastly different backgrounds, focused on the same goal – a white line painted on a yard of brick 500 miles ahead.

    http://Fieldof33.com

  • #2
    Rahal's winning car was chassis March 86C #13.

    The previous owner, Patrick Ryan (Prisma Collection) has/had extensive documentation about Rahal's 1986 winner...you can look at it here...

    https://web.archive.org/web/20150218..._86c_index.htm


    I will agree that some decals are not quite exactly as they were on 5/31/86. In particular, the "Happy Birthday JRT" is usually missing, and some other small decals. But there is no dispute or question, that is the car, with original engine.
    Doctorindy.com

    Comment


    • #3
      So many race cars, just by the nature of the sport, are a "Ship of Theseus" deal by the time they are retired. Just about everything on 'em gets replaced, especially bodywork, so a few missing decals here and there is par for the course.
      "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

      "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sea Fury View Post
        So many race cars, just by the nature of the sport, are a "Ship of Theseus" deal by the time they are retired. Just about everything on 'em gets replaced, especially bodywork, so a few missing decals here and there is par for the course.
        Yes indeed. Thankfully the 86 winner, from pretty much everything I've read, is mostly an exception to that rule. The car wasn't immediately retired after the race, but I think used sparingly afterwards. At the end of the 1986 season, Steve Horne supposedly reinstalled the race winning engine, and after that, it was considered a display car, and a runner. However it was said to be run rarely. One account in the late 90s or early 00's even said it "hadn't been a race track" since 1986. Only recently has it been brought out and driven at various engagements. It was at IMS in the 100th 2011 museum display, then it drove around the track in 2016 (+/-), etc.

        The 86C's raced on the track for a number of years. It being such a good car, several were bought and sold and kept going. It's good that the 86 winner and the 87 winner both were kept intact.
        Doctorindy.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Doctorindy View Post
          Rahal's winning car was chassis March 86C #13.

          The previous owner, Patrick Ryan (Prisma Collection) has/had extensive documentation about Rahal's 1986 winner...you can look at it here...

          https://web.archive.org/web/20150218..._86c_index.htm


          I will agree that some decals are not quite exactly as they were on 5/31/86. In particular, the "Happy Birthday JRT" is usually missing, and some other small decals. But there is no dispute or question, that is the car, with original engine.
          Apparently when I was looking at images this morning, I was not completely awake at 5:30am and didn't see what I thought I saw. I SWEAR I saw Bobby's qualifying photo with roll hoop number 3 on it, but looking now, I see that it is indeed 73. I have found another picture of him driving Car 3 (roll hoop #3) but it was not a qualifying photo.

          That completely makes sense then that the car was renumbered between qualifying and race day from 3T to 3. The number 3 itself was also made quite a bit larger on the race day livery and has, unfortunately, been restored to it's Qualifying day size now. As you mentioned, there are a number of decals around the nose that are missing as well.

          I'm still not sure why the DTR misidentifies the roll hoop number though. From the DTR on Doctorindy's site, an entry on May 13 reads as follows, "The United States Auto Club technical committee today said that its system of identification of all cars refers to the number beside the roll bar for verification of registration with USAC. Of last weekend's qualifiers, Bobby Rahal, Al Unser, Jr., Jacques Villeneuve and Roberto Guerrero qualified other than so-called primary cars. Technically, Guerrero's car is registered as No. 75. Rahal's registration number is 3, although that car has been regularly listed as 3T. Rahal's so-called primary car is registered at No. 73. [Bolding added by me.]"

          Is the DTR just wrong? It is clearly evident from multiple locations that Rahal did indeed qualify the 3T car, not the 3. It would certainly make more sense that the primary car would have the car number match the roll hoop number, but the DTR and/or USAC clearly went out of their way to publish this information.
          --Paul Dalbey
          (the poster formerly known as 'pdalbey')

          Different men, from vastly different backgrounds, focused on the same goal – a white line painted on a yard of brick 500 miles ahead.

          http://Fieldof33.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Here's the qualifying picture from Pole Day 1986






            And here's a link to the morning after photo shoot
            http://indymotorspeedway.com/cart-1986-winners.html




            And this one is presumably taken during the race
            https://www.indianapolismotorspeedwa...?startrow=3654
            Doctorindy.com

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm curious: Were the windscreen braces simply removed for qualifying? Or were they added later in the month to solve an issue? They're absent in the qualifying photo but present on race day. They can be seen on both sides of the windscreen at the top, extending rearward to the yellow decal above the "Bud".

              Comment

              Unconfigured Ad Widget

              Collapse
              Working...
              X