A revolutionary four-wheel-drive and turbine-powered Lotus driven by Graham Hill in 1968’s Indy 500 will go under the hammer at Mecum’s sale in Indianapolis, USA, on 17 August.
The Type 56/3 Lotus was built by Lotus-team boss Colin Chapman following a commission from STP’s Andy Granatelli. Chapman’s outfit created a car powered by a Pratt & Whitney turbine engine that put its power through a Ferguson four-wheel-drive system.
Shown being tested by Hill at Silverstone, it featured an aerodynamic wedge-shaped body and sophisticated suspension aimed at redressing the air restrictions that had been imposed on turbine cars by the USAC – Indy 500’s governing body.
Sadly, Mike Spence was killed while testing the car meaning only three made it to the Indy 500; driven by Hill, Joe Leonard and Art Pollard. Pollard’s car would go on to lead until the final stages when its fuel pump failed.
Hill crashed his car during the race and it was later repaired spending time as a promotional centrepiece before being bought by seven-time NASCAR Championship-winner “The King” Richard Lee Petty.
This will be the first time an original Type 56 has been offered for sale publically when it crosses the blocks at the Hyatt Monterey Hotel.