IMS Museum Will Proceed With Restoration of Dan Gurney’s Indy 500 Lotus

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum announced yesterday (Jan. 16) that the support of more than 140 donors has fully funded the museum’s restoration project for the groundbreaking 1963 Lotus 29/1 that Dan Gurney qualified and drove in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

Photo: IMS

The goal — while subject to change — is to debut the Lotus 29/1 during 2020 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge activities in May. Incredible progress has already been made as noted auto restoration expert George Lyons is returning the car body to its original, white-and blue paint livery while the IMS Restoration Department is completing engine and suspension work, and new wheels have been sourced from the United Kingdom. Watch a video update from Jason Vansickle, IMS Museum Curator of Vehicles.

The Lotus 29 represents one of the greatest technological revolutions in motorsports history; it ushered in the “rear-engine revolution” at the Indianapolis 500 after the race had been dominated by front-engine cars from the dawn of racing.

Team Lotus founder Colin Chapman brought three Lotus 29s to IMS for the 1963 race: one for Jim Clark, a second for Gurney, and a third as the test “mule.” The 29/1 was the mule, but Gurney crashed his primary car, the Lotus 29/2, during practice and the mule quickly got a promotion. Gurney qualified the car 12th and finished the race in seventh place, while Clark started fifth and finished second to Parnelli Jones in the Lotus 29/3 to earn “Rookie of the Year” honors.

Scotland native Clark, a two-time Formula One World Champion with Lotus during his Hall of Fame career, took the pole position for the 500 in 1964, and with the new Lotus 38, delivered the first Indy victory for a rear-engine car in 1965.