Video: Vintage Indy 500 Racer Was Restored In A Basement

Most of our hotrods and classics are built or restored in a shop or garage. Sometimes though, pieces of amazing artwork and skill emerge from seemingly random other places. This roadster, for instance, was completely restored in a home basement outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

Where the work was done just adds to the level or intrigue with this car. The video above is the car’s owner, Bill Akin, being interviewed by the Holley Performance crew at the 2014 Holley National Hotrod Reunion in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Akin explains that he has had the car for a long time. The car was originally built by Quin Epperly and was set to be debuted at the 1960 Indy 500 and driven by Bill Cheesbourg. Unfortunately though, a late arrival and ugly weather prevented that. Later, the car was zipped around the track at the Milwaukee Mile by Parnelli Jones. Finally, the car made its Indy 500 debut in 1961 with Lloyd Ruby piloting it in to 8th place. The following year, Don Branson got behind the wheel and finished in 12th place at the 1962 Indy 500.

Left: The 255ci Offenhauser 4-cylinder turns about 400 horsepower. Right: The car was restored to match the styling scheme it had in 1962 at the Indy 500.

The car has seen various different color schemes over the years. When Akin originally restored the car in the late 80’s, it was wearing the 1961 scheme as the #5 Autolite Special when Lloyd Ruby raced it. More recently, Akin saw the car’s paint was showing wear and decided it was time torefresh it. In doing so, he updated the scheme to match the style from 1962 as the #14 Mid-Continent Securities Special.

Powered by a 255 cubic inch Offenhauser four-cylinder engine, this little car would scream down the track with around 400 horsepower. Akin brought the vehicle to the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where he awarded Best In Class for the Post War Indy Roadsters and also the Tony Hulman Preservation Award.

Check out the video above to hear more about the car and hear that little monster fire up.

About the author

Jake Headlee

Jake's passion started at a young age wrenching on cars with his Dad. Obtaining that glorious driver's license sparked his obsession with grease and horsepower, and the rest is history. Soon, he was a general mechanic and suspension specialist, and currently designs and modifies products for the off-road industry. Jake enjoys rock crawling, desert racing and trail running, and writing in his spare time.
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