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Auction Preview: 1968 Lotus Type 56 Heads to Mecum Monterey

Submitted by on July 4, 2012

1968 Lotus Type 56

This 1968 Lotus Type 56 #70 Turbine Indycar, driven by Graham Hill in the ’68 Indy 500 and owned by Richard Petty since it left the First Brands (STP) headquarters in 1996, will head to the auction block during Mecum’s Monterey Auction this coming August 16-18, 2012.

One of just four built around Pratt & Whitney turbine engines and Ferguson four-wheel drive systems, this Lotus 56 was developed by Colin Chapman and his team and was among most technologically sophisticated racing cars of its time.

Graham Hill used this particular car to set a new qualifying record and provisional pole in the ’68 Indy 500, although he was ultimately pipped to pole position by his teammate Joe Leonard’s faster 171.559 mph lap.

Despite two of the three STP Lotuses occupying the top two slots at the start of the great race, they would struggle to convert. Hill exited at high speed on lap 110, with Leonard and Art Pollard following in the remaining STP Lotus 56s when they dropped out simultaneously during the lap 191 restart.

But that’s racing, and part of the relentless drive, experimentation and innovation that makes classic motorsport so compelling!

Read on for the official word from Mecum, and hit this link to head to their website for more on this magnificent and significant machine.

Mecum’s Monterey, CA, The Daytime Auction will be held on Spaon Del Monte Golf Course at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel this August 16-18, 2012. Head to their site here for more info.

Via Mecum

Images via Mecum

Mecum Auctions Unveils Historic Lotus Type 56 Turbine Indy Racecar, Offered at Monterey 2012

Moments ago, 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.

This will be the first time an original, authentic Lotus Type 56 has been offered for sale at public auction. The 1968 Lotus Type 56/3 Turbine Indy racecar driven by Graham Hill and owned by Richard Petty will cross the auction block Friday, August 17, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on Del Monte Golf Course. For complete auction information visit Mecum.com or call 262.275.5050.

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