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May 12, 2015
The Henry Ford Honors 50th Anniversary of Lotus-Ford Win with Return to Indianapolis 500
(DEARBORN, MI – May 12, 2015) — In 1965, the Lotus-Ford Type 38 driven by Jim Clark changed the Indianapolis 500 forever. Not only was it the first win for Ford Motor Company at the event but also marked the first win for a rear-engine vehicle. In honor of the groundbreaking win, The Henry Ford will be bringing the Lotus-Ford Type 38 back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to take part in the festivities surrounding America’s premier motorsports event.
Four-cylinder roadsters were an ingrained tradition at the Indianapolis 500 until American racing legend Dan Gurney made the introduction between Ford Motor Company and Team Lotus’s Colin Chapman. Together Ford and Team Lotus created a lightweight chassis fitted with a specially designed Ford V-8 mounted behind the driver. Paired with Team Lotus’s top driver Jim Clark and the Wood Brothers legendary NASCAR pit crew, the race was hardly a contest at all. Clark led 190 of the race’s 200 laps, making him the first driver to finish the race with an average speed above 150 and the first foreign-born driver to win since 1916. The Indianapolis 500 – and the cars in it – would never be the same.
On Thursday, May 21st, The Henry Ford will host a special panel of racing legends and experts to discuss the vehicle’s place in racing history. Moderated by Christian Overland, executive vice president, the panel includes three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and four-time IndyCar Series Champion Dario Franchitti, Leonard Wood, co-founder of Wood Brothers Racing, the team that served as the vehicle’s pit crew in 1965, Clive Chapman, managing director of Classic Team Lotus and The Henry Ford’s curator of transportation Matt Anderson. The discussion will be held inside the Moto GP Garage 19 and will begin at 12 pm. In addition to the panel, Dario Franchitti will be getting behind the wheel of the Lotus-Ford Type 38 for a parade lap around the speedway prior to the start of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 24.
The Lotus-Ford Type 38 has been a part of The Henry Ford’s Archive of American Innovation since 1977. Guests can normally see the vehicle at Henry Ford Museum inside the Driving America exhibition. For more information on the history of the Lotus-Ford Type 38 or to see more from The Henry Ford’s collection visit http:/www.thehenryford.org/explore/blog/lotus-ford/
About The Henry Ford
The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan is an internationally-recognized cultural destination that brings the past forward by immersing visitors in the stories of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation that helped shape America. A national historic landmark with an unparalleled collection of artifacts from 300 years of American history, The Henry Ford is a force for sparking curiosity and inspiring tomorrow’s innovators. More than 1.6 million visitors annually experience its five attractions: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. A continually expanding array of content available online provides anytime, anywhere access. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates 485 students a year on the institution’s campus. In 2014, The Henry Ford premiered its first-ever national television series, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, showcasing present-day change-makers and The Henry Ford’s artifacts and unique visitor experiences. Hosted by news correspondent and humorist, Mo Rocca, this weekly half-hour Emmy-winning show airs Saturday mornings on CBS. For more information please visit our website thehenryford.org.