Indy Turbine Cars 1967
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Turbo Car Results in the 1967 Indy 500

In the 1967 Indy 500 the STP-Paxton Turbocar with driver Parnelli Jones was the only Turbocar Entrant (Car #40)

Parnelli Jones started 6th and came in 6th although a bearing failure forced him to stop from the lead with three laps to go. The sponsor was STP Oil Treatment and the owner was Andy Granatelli. The chassis was a Granatelli and the engine was a Pratt & Whitney turbine, a slightly different variant than the Pratt & Whitney turbines used in 1968. Parnelli Jones completed 196 laps, earned $55,767. and led 171 laps.

RepliCarz 1967 Paxton Turbine STP, Indianapolis 500, Parnelli Jones

The STP-Paxton turbine car that produced a heartbreaking near miss at the 1967 Indy 500 is the brainchild of Italian American Andy Granatelli, a racing nut who combined engineering vision with great business acumen. Granatelli had always been a speed addict, having set over 400 land speed records.

As an engineering enthusiast, having already brought Ferguson Formula four-wheel drive to Indy, Granatelli was quick to see the unfair advantage of a turbine engine matched with 4WD. Thus the STP-Paxton turbine car was born, with an FF 4WD system coupled to a reduction gear system supplied by STP’s Paxton division. It was built completely in-house by the Granatelli brothers, keeping it a secret from a competition as long as they could. As Granatelli told during an Indianapolis Legends interview in 2000: “Every single thing on the car except the wheels and the turbine engine was built in-house. Everything. And the reason we built everything in-house was because we didn’t want to go to any outside vendor to have them know that we were building a special race car. And when we built the car, it was built completely in the rules, completely in specifications.”

The model will feature a lift off side panel to show the turbine engine and all wiring, fully detailed cockpit , and a beautiful high luster paint finish with accurate race day STP markings. The nose is also removable to show chassis detail. RepliCarz

The STP-Paxton Turbocar was built around an aluminum box-shaped backbone. The driver was seated on the right side of the backbone, while the engine, a Pratt & Whitney Canada ST6B-62 turbine engine, was mounted on the left side of the backbone. Though never successful as an automobile powerplant, the small aircraft engine it was based on would become one of the most popular turboprop aircraft engines in history. The engine drove a Ferguson 4-wheel drive system, which transmitted the power to the wheels. A torque converter eliminated the need for a clutch pedal and gearshift. The engine idled at 54% of full throttle, which meant that the driver didn’t even have to press the accelerator pedal to pull away; all he had to do was ease his foot off the brake pedal. A movable panel was mounted behind the cockpit, which acted as an airbrake. The suspension’s coil springs were located inside the backbone and the suspension A-frames had airfoil cross-sections. The car weighed 1,750 pounds, a few hundred pounds more than the Indy minimum weight of 1,350 pounds.

USAC had limited the engine intake area to 23.999 square inches to limit the turbine’s power output, but the engine still produced 550 hp. However, drivers reported that it had a three-second throttle lag. In less than a month after the 1967 Indianapolis 500, USAC cut the allowable turbine air intake area from 23.999 to 15.999 square inches and imposed the ruling immediately, although it had been customary to give two years’ notice of engine changes. With the reduced inlet area, the maximum lap speed that could be achieved was 161 mph. Wikipedia Link

Engines for both the 1967 STP-Paxton Turbocar and the 1968 Lotus 56 Turbocar: Variant of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6.

The ST6B-62 was a 550 bhp (410 kW) version of the PT6 developed for use in the STP-Paxton Turbocar, raced in the 1967 Indianapolis 500.

The STN 6/76 was a 500 bhp (370 kW) version of the PT6 developed for use in the Lotus 56, raced in the 1968 Indianapolis 500 and later in Formula One races, in 1971.

That puts both of them in the horsepower category of the PT6A-21 550 shp engine with applications to the Beechcraft King Air C90A/B/SE, Beechcraft Bonanza (turbine conversion), and Evektor EV-55 Outback. Wikipedia Link

1967 Indy Turbine Cars Video Gallery

1. The 51st Indianapolis 500-1967

2. 1967 STP Turbine

3. TOGA’s Donald Davidson and Kevin Lee talk Johnny Carson at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

4. 1967 Indy 500.wmv

5. 1967 Indianapolis 500 Full Race)

6. The 1967 Indy 500 with Parnelli Jones and AJ Foyt

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