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8W is forix.autosport.com's motorsport history section and covers the drivers, cars, circuits, eras and technology that shaped the face, sounds and smells of motor racing.

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1948: ..........

The 1948 Indy 500 could have been a hugely controversial race if Duke Nalon's Novi hadn't been forced to make an extra pitstop for fuel while leading the race - while in fact he didn't lead the race! The thing was, IMS Timing & Scoring had made a costly error and handed back a lap to Mauri Rose's winning Blue Crown Special, but only after reviewing all the official data when the race was done and dusted. So would Nalon have gone on to cross the line in first position, only to have the win taken from him after the victory ceremony? It's an intriguing question and, as Indycar history showed in later years, not as much of a freak occurrence as officialdom would like it to be, as for instance Billy Boat and Arie Luyendijk can testify - with Boat's IRL victory at the Texas Speedway in 1997 stripped from him and handed to the Dutchman the day after the race. Henri Greuter decided to investigate - would this indeed have happened in 1948? Or is this a myth that needs busting? We give the answers precisely 72 years after the day that Duke Nalon and his legendary Novi drove their first laps together on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the 1948 race.

Clymer 1948 Indy yearbook

 

The Scarab Grand Prix engine

Chuck Daigh, Scarab, 1960 Monaco GP

Inopportunely, 1960 saw the delayed entry of the American Scarab GP team with their front-engined car which would prove to be totally outclassed by the new rear-engined cars that it now had to compete against. The Scarab was manufactured by Reventlow Automobiles Inc., a company set up by young American, Lance Reventlow, to fulfil his desire to produce American racing cars to compete on the world stage. Ron Rex tells us about the engine that propelled the all-American Grand Prix effort.

 

The Vanwall Grand Prix engines

Over sixty years ago, in 1958 Guy Anthony Vandervell's team of Vanwall Grand Prix cars won the Manufacturers’ Championship, fulfilling seven years of endeavour by Vandervell to build and race his own cars against all comers, particularly the Italian teams. In a spectacular series exclusively for 8W, Ron Rex gives us an in-depth look into the engines that propelled the all-British effort.

Tony Brooks, Vanwall, 1957 British GP

 

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