For the Old World caught up in the traumas of a bitter conflict, Americas Indianapolis 500-mile race was a New-World beacon of auto-racing speed and excitement during the 1940s. While racing stopped in Europe in 1939, the Indy 500 raced on in 1940 and 41, bringing victories in both years for Wilbur Shaws Maserati. Racing resumed in 1946 with Shaw in charge of the Speedway, now owned by Tony Hulman.
The post-war fields were full of exotic machinery from Fageols twin-engined four-wheel-drive car and the front-drive Blue Crowns-1947-48-49 winners-to the rear-engined Tucker Millers and Rounds Rocket plus the imported 1939 Mercedes-Benz of Don Lee and numerous Alfa Romeos and Maseratis. The first Kurtis racers made their debut, as did the awesome Novi. The six-cylinder Thorne Special won in 1946 and Indys only six-wheeled car competed as well.
This new Ludvigsen Library book brings to dramatic life the spectacle and excitement of the 1940-1949 era at the Speedway.