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I'VE GOT THE CAR RIGHT HERE
Bob Ottum
May 13, 1968
Andy Granatelli rose from slum streets to become the wealthy hawker of STP additives, but he will not be satisfied until he wins at Indianapolis. Now he is back as leader of the turbine revolt
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May 13, 1968

I've Got The Car Right Here

Andy Granatelli rose from slum streets to become the wealthy hawker of STP additives, but he will not be satisfied until he wins at Indianapolis. Now he is back as leader of the turbine revolt

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Granatelli is staking his bid on more cars, the Chapman genius, a redesigned Car 40 and fine drivers. Jimmy Clark, killed in Germany, was to have driven one of the cars, but Andy does have Graham Hill, who has won Indy; Jackie Stewart, who just might; and 1967 Sprint Champion Weld, who just could. Jones stunned everybody last week by quitting—but he looked as if he might unquit.

It is possible there will be as many as nine turbocars in the 1968 classic—one of them coming from the basement of an aerodynamics engineer in Mississippi—and despite all of the moves to hold them off, the gentlemen are going to start their somethings.

And what of the other league, as Pete Rozelle might once have said?

Ford is assisting in a hurry-up project involving turbocharged Indy piston engines, producing a generation of race cars full of weird, psychedelic plumbing and so much horsepower—up to 750, perhaps; one should beware of all horsepower figures not observed by oneself on the dynamometer—that the whole Speedway could take off and fly to Brooklyn on the first lap. The cars already have demonstrated they go fast enough, and the new turbochargers give off a slamming howl reminiscent of the Novis, although their durability is still somewhat in doubt.

After the court battle—and then only because the judge advised it—Andy was restored to a rather shaky membership in USAC, under strict orders not to rock the motorized boat, not to question any of its decisions, never to criticize again and always to doff his cap and tug at his forelock whenever a member walks by the garage. It rankles him, but he will stay with it in order to race, in order to pursue the Indy dream, in order to sell STP, in order to live.

A few weeks ago Granatelli climbed wearily aboard Eastern Airlines' 7 a.m. flight from Chicago to Indianapolis and after takeoff glanced out the window.

"Oh, Kee-rist, now what," he said. "Somethin's wrong. We're not going to Indy. I know the way."

In a moment the intercom buzzed. The pilot announced that the plane had lost all its hydraulic fluid and would have to return to Chicago for an emergency landing. The passengers tensed up.

"How do ya like that," Andy growled, pointing out at the engines. "How's that grab you? I mean, you live by the turbine and you die by the turbine.

"Jeez, it's ironic at that. It shows that you can't have everything. Boy, here we are, about to crash, and I ain't won Indy yet. Just three things in life I want, that's all. One, I want to win Indy. Two, I want to weigh 180 pounds. Three, I want to look like Cary Grant. Two of those things I can never have. But to win Indy: Ahhh, to win Indy...."

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