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Watson Roadster (1960)


Watson Roadster (1960)

Indy racing is part of the US culture, and in the early 1960s A.J. Watson dominated the manufacturing of the cars, at a time when Formula One machines were just starting to influence design. Watson's history goes back to 1950 when, as a mechanic, he built his own car for the Indy 500 which Dick Rathmann drove. In 1954 Watson got his break with the John Zink Jnr team, and a year later his modified version of the Frank Kurtis-built roadster won the Indy 500. This 1960 example is typical of his racers, with a basic chassis with front/rear solid axles but torsion bar suspension that could be tweaked by the driver whilst going along. The Offenhauser Sprint and Champ car engine was offset to the left to make the car turn naturally in that direction, and gearbox only needed two speeds due to the massive torque available low down, plus the car's light weight.

Watson Roadster (1960) Specifications

Top speed:175 mph (280 km/h)
0-60 mph (0-96 km/h):3.3 sec
Engine type:In-line four
Displacement:252 ci (4,129 cc)
Transmission:2-speed manual
Max power:400 bhp (298 kW) @ 6,600 rpm
Max torque:N/A
Weight:1,600 lb (727 kg)
Economy:N/A
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