Lotus Type 56 Turbine Indy Racecar
Mecum Auctions unveiled an iconic piece of Indy 500 history owned by racing legend “The King” Richard Petty during their auction at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana. The STP-sponsored Lotus Type 56/3 Turbine Indy racecar, driven by Graham Hill at the 1968 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race was revealed in a glass case and will remain on display all week before heading to auction during Mecum at Monterey, California in August.
For the 1968 Indy 500, STP boss Andy Granatelli commissioned Colin Chapman and Team Lotus to build four cars utilizing Pratt & Whitney turbine engines and Ferguson four-wheel drive systems. Chapman and his team developed the Lotus 56, which was the most technologically advanced racecar of its era. The popularity and attention that the Lotus Turbine cars received during the Indy 500 helped to turn STP into a household name, and solidified the synergy between racing and brand marketing. After the 1968 racing season concluded, chassis 56/3 made its way to First Brands (STP) corporate headquarters where it remained in their lobby until 1996, and was then acquired by Richard Petty, who owns the car to this day.
Part of the Mecum auction in Monterey on August 17-19, 2012.
Source: Mecum press