Gerhardt 1967 Indy car-by-car histories
After the success of the 1966 cars, Gerhardt built a run of cars for 1967 featuring a full monocoque along Lotus 38 lines, replacing the bathtub monocoque of the earlier cars.
No press report has been found that itemises new Gerhardts for 1967 but later media media said that 11 were built for the 1967 Indy 500, and this matches the number of new cars that appeared. The first was a hybrid 1966/67 design, for Gordon Johncock (#3 Gilmour). That was followed by eight cars with a full "up-and-over" monocoque design used by Len Terry on his 1965 Lotus 38 design and then on the 1966 Eagle. These were for Art Pollard (#16 Gerhardt house car), Bud Tingelstad (#10 Federal Engineering), Mel Kenyon (#15 Gerhardt house car), Al Miller (Wally Weir #32), Johnny Boyd (#66 George Harm), two cars for Racing Associates (#39 and #89), and a second car for Gordon Johncock (#58 at the Indy 500). A ninth may be a second #16 car for Art Pollard to use on short tracks. In addition to these, photographs strongly suggest that Pete Salemi's Central Excavating team also had a 1967 Gerhardt for Don Thomas, but this still has to be confirmed. After this Central Excavating #73 car was wrecked at Mont-Tremblant, the team then had a #81 entry which may or may not be another 1967 Gerhardt. Also, the #38 Federal Engineering car that Sonny Ates drove in practice at the Indy 500 looks like a '67 car even though it would make more sense for it to be the team's old 1966 car. Finally, Gordon Van Liew's #23 Vita-Fresh Orange Juice car for Ronnie Bucknum appears to have the shape of a 1967 car, but is definitely 1966 in construction, suggesting it was modified to match the outline of the 1967 cars.
Other 1967-specification cars appeared later in the season. By the time of Langhorne in late June, Weinberger Homes were running a 1967 car for Norm Brown (#49) in place of their original 1966 Gerhardt. Later in the season, Pollard's car was destroyed in testing and a further new car was built to replace it. Finally, by the end of 1967, the #85 Caves Buick entry was a 1967 Gerhardt, but the car used at the Indy 500 looks older.
Photographs are the best way to progress our knowledge, so if you have any pictures of these cars, or can add anything to our knowledge, please contact Allen Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org).
'the first Gordy Johncock car'
Gordon Johncock raced a pair of new Gerhardt-Fords as his #3 Gilmore Broadcasting entry during 1967. As Johncock had set up a new team for 1967 and his previous car, the Weinberger '66 Gerhardt, had stayed with Weinberger, it is reasonable to assume that that he used these 1967 car from the beginning of the season. Pictures of his first car in testing prior to the season show that it was a hybrid 1966/67 car, with a full monocoque as far as the cockpit, replacing the bathtub construction of the 1966 cars, but with a detachable cockpit surround. He used this first car at the Indy 500, and at several other races later in the season. Johncock also had a second Gerhardt with an orthodox 1967-style chassis which was an unused backup at the Indy 500, but was used later in the year. For 1968, he acquired another new Gerhardt, but one of his 1967 cars is likely to have been his early-season car and may have become his short-track car after the Indy 500. Which one he kept is unknown.
Driven by: Gordon Johncock. First race: Phoenix International Raceway (R1), 9 Apr 1967. Total of 9 recorded races.
'the first Art Pollard car'
New for Art Pollard to drive in 1967 as the #16 Thermo King entry managed by Fred Gerhardt's son Don Gerhardt and with chief mechanic Phil Casey. This was the first of Pollard's three Gerhardts during 1967, and was fitted with a supercharger Offy engine. Pollard raced this at Phoenix in early April, at Langhorne in June, and probably at Mosport Park in early July. After Pollard's testing accident at Trenton later in July, photographs show that this car was sold to Weinberger Homes, fitted with a Ford V8, and was raced by Norm Brown as the team's #49 entry at Milwaukee, and by Mickey Shaw at Trenton in September, replacing an earlier Gerhardt-Ford that had been damaged at IRP. At the Indy 500 in 1968, Sammy Sessions drove the Weinberger Homes #49 Gerhardt turbo Offy in practice, but crashed prior to the start of qualifying, and the car could not be repaired for the race. Weinberger Homes did not run a Gerhardt again after this. Subsequent history unknown.
Driven by: Art Pollard, Norm Brown, Mickey Shaw and Sammy Sessions. First race: Phoenix International Raceway (R1), 9 Apr 1967. Total of 7 recorded races.
Caves Buick car'
Having run a 1966 Gerhardt through the 1966 season, the Caves Buick team acquired a new 1967 model in time for that year's Indy 500. It was raced by Al Miller as the #85 entry for the rest of the season, but it is possible the team's older 1966 car was used at some tracks. At the 1968 Indy 500, the team's main #14 Quaker State Special Gerhardt-Offy was their usual 1967 car, but a "twin" had been acquired as the backup #73 entry. Chuck Hulse drove Caves' #14 entry in the pre-Indy 500 races, and then ran the #73 car in practice at the Speedway before leaving the team on 18 May. Bob Hurt took over the drive but crashed the car heavily on the morning of final qualifying, resulting in significant rear damage to the car. Hurt suffered broken vertabrae in his neck and spinal cord injuries which left him paralysed from the neck down. Whether the car was repaired or replaced is uncertain, but Sammy Sessions drove Caves' #14 entry for the rest of 1968 and it is assumed the team used the new "twin" thereafter.
Driven by: Al Miller, Bill Cheesbourg, Chuck Hulse, Bob Hurt and Sammy Sessions. First race: Langhorne International Motor Speedway (R5), 18 Jun 1967. Total of 11 recorded races.
'the Federal Engineering car'
The #10 Federal Engineering entry for Bud Tingelstad at the 1967 Indy 500 is identified by Clymer as a new car. It is then identified by the 1968 Clymer as Tingelstad's 1968 #10, now fitted with a turbo Offy. It is presumably the #10 Federal entry raced by Tingelstad (and Arnie Knepper on one occasion) until the end of 1968. Bobby John's #35 Federal Engineering Special at Indy in 1969 can tentatively be identified as this car which would imply that it is the same #35 car that appears on and off in the Federal Engineering team right up to 1971. Johns' 1969 #35 had outboard front springs. History then unknown a car with outboard springs seen fully restored to Tingelstad's #10 livery at Indianapolis in May 2011 when it was driven by Parnelli Jones. Prepared then by Greg Elliff of G.E. Autosports (Avon, IN). Also driven at Indy in 2012 and 2013, Owned in 2012 by Jeff Irwin.
Driven by: Bud Tingelstad, Arnie Knepper, Bobby Johns, Bill Puterbaugh, Al Loquasto, Sammy Sessions, Jim Malloy, Bob Harkey, Greg Weld and Eldon Rasmussen. First race: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (R3), 31 May 1967. Total of 36 recorded races.
'the second Art Pollard car'
Art Pollard had two new Gerhardts for the 1967 season, one with a supercharged Offy engine which was used on short tracks, and a turbo Offy car used at the Indy 500. There were small but significant differences between the two cars. His Indy 500 car was first raced as the #16 Thermo King entry at Trenton in April, and was then Pollard's mount at the Indy 500 and then at Milwaukee where it was damaged. He then used his short track car at Langhorne. He was using his Indy 500 car at a test session at Trenton Speedway on 19 July 1967, when he crashed heavily. Pollard suffered a broken leg and serious burns, and would be out of racing for three months. The Gerhardt is believed to have been destroyed.
Driven by: Art Pollard. First race: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (R3), 31 May 1967. Total of 2 recorded races.
'the George Harm car'
New to George R. Harm, a promiment Fresno businessman, fitted with a Ford V8 and entered for the 1967 Indy 500 as the #66 KFC car for Johnny Boyd, also Fresno born and bred. The car was built larger than other Gerhardt's to fit Boyd's broader frame. When the entry was announced on 8 February 1967, the car was described as being new and joint chief mechanics were listed as veteran Gerhardt mechanic Fred DeOrian and Roy Wiley, another Fresno resident and an experienced Indy mechanic who regularly worked with Boyd. Despite the hand-picked team of Fresnans, Boyd did not qualify at Indy and failed to qualify again at Milwaukee the following weekend. He then retired from racing and later sued George Harm for "not providing a racing car in good and proper condition". The future of the Gerhardt is unknown but given the close Fresno connections back to the Gerhardt factory, it may well have returned to the factory to be reconditioned and sold.
Driven by: Johnny Boyd. First appearance: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (R3), 31 May 1967.
'the second Gordy Johncock car'
Gordy Johncock set up a new team for 1967 and raced a new Gerhardt with Ford quad-cam engine. He started the season with a hybrid 66/67 car, but had a new 1967 car at the Indy 500, numbered #58, where it was an unused spare. After using the hybrid car at Milwaukee a week later, he raced the 1967 car for the first time at Langhorne in mid-June. Current owner Jack Murray has researched this car in detail, and advises that it was Johncock's race car at Langhorne, Mont-Tremblant, Hanford, and Riverside. For 1968, Johncock acquired another new Gerhardt, but one of his 1967 cars is likely to have been his early-season car and may have become his short-track car after the Indy 500. Photographs suggest that this car is the one he used at Stardust in March, and Phoenix in April. History then unknown until it was owned by Johncock's former sponsor Jim Gilmore (Kalamazoo, MI) at the time of his death in December 2000. Bought from the estate by Phil Gumpert (Noblesville, IN) in 2001. Sold to Jack Murray (San Diego, CA) in September 2014. On display at the Historic Indycar Exhibition in May 2016.
Driven by: Gordon Johncock. First race: Langhorne International Motor Speedway (R5), 18 Jun 1967. Total of 8 recorded races.
'the Mel Kenyon car'
Mel Kenyon's Gerhardt at the 1967 Indy 500 is identified by Clymer as a new car and Kenyon's 1968 500 car is identified by that year's Clymer Yearbook as being the same car. It is presumably the #15 Gerhardt that Kenyon drives through the rest of 1967 and in early 1968. Crashed heavily in practice at Milwaukee in June 1968, and later interviews with Kenyon imply this car was not repaired. Kenyon had a new 1968 Gerhardt later in the season.
Driven by: Mel Kenyon. First race: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (R3), 31 May 1967. Total of 11 recorded races.
'The Racing Associates #39 car'
Herb Porter and Ebb Rose of Racing Associates entered a #39 Gerhardt with Offy turbo engine for Bobby Grim at the 1967 Indy 500 which is identified by Clymer as a new car. The team also had a very similar car entered at #89 and it was that car that Grim raced at the next two events. He returned to the #39 car for three races later in the season. After 1967, the Racing Associates team withdraws and the various one-off Racing Associates entries at later Indy 500s never arrived at the track but presumably allowed space for Porter's engine-building business. The Gerhardt is unknown after the end of 1967.
Driven by: Bobby Grim. First race: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (R3), 31 May 1967. Total of 4 recorded races.
'The Racing Associates #89 car'
Herb Porter and Ebb Rose of Racing Associates entered a #89 Gerhardt with Offy turbo engine for Rose at the 1967 Indy 500. Rose did not qualify the #89 but it was raced at the next two events by teammate Bobby Grim. Unknown after July 1967.
Driven by: Ebb Rose and Bobby Grim. First race: Milwaukee (Wisconsin State Fair Park) (R4), 4 Jun 1967. Only one recorded race.
'the Wally Weir car'
A new car in 1967 for Walter Weir (Webster Groves, MO) and fitted with a DOHC Ford. Entered at the Indy 500 for F1 driver Lorenzo Bandini but when the Italian died after a crash at the Monaco GP, the Gerhardt was driven in the 500 by Al Miller. Weir returned to the Indy 500 with the car in 1968 and 1969 but it did not qualify for either race. Weir died in a motor accident in February 1970 and the Gerhardt was bought five months later by Dudley Higginson (St Louis, MO). He entered for the 1971 Indy 500 as the #30 St Louis Special, by which time it had been reconfigured into a "wedge" and fitted with a turbo Offy. Bill Puterbaugh got the drive but he put it in the wall in practice and it was "extensively damaged. It must have been repaired, as Higginson entered it again in 1972 but it did not arrive. Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) later found it in Missouri and sold it to Charles S. Hayes (Elkhart, Indiana) in the early 1990s. Bought from Hayes by Jimmy Brokensha (Nth Vancouver, BC, Canada) and Pete Schomer, and restored by them to 1967 spec. Bought by Mike Canepa (Grants Pass, OR) in the spring of 2000 for vintage racing but not used and advertised in 2014 before being sold to Jack Murray (San Diego, CA). On display at Indianapolis in June 2015. On display at the Historic Indycar Exhibition in May 2016.
Driven by: Al Miller, Bill Cheesbourg, Roger West, Arnie Knepper and Bill Puterbaugh. First race: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (R3), 31 May 1967. Only one recorded race.
'the Central Excavating #73 car'
Pete Salemi's Central Excavating team entered Don Thomas in a #73 Gerhardt-Offy at the Indy 500 in 1967, and photographs suggest that it was a new 1967 car. Thomas got through his Rookie test but then crashed the car on Wednesday 17 May. Bruce Jacobi drove the #73 car at Milwaukee in early June, then Thomas was back in the seat at Langhorne a fortnight later, but failed to qualify. He crashed again in practice at IRP in July, at which point Bob Hurt took over the drive, qualifying for the race. Jacobi drove it at the next two races but at Mont-Tremblant on 6 August, put the car into a bank, severely damaging it. It is not known whether this car reappeared as the team's #81 later in the season, but the change of entry number makes that unlikely. It is more likely to have ended its life at Mont-Tremblant.
Driven by: Don Thomas, Bruce Jacobi and Bob Hurt. First race: Milwaukee (Wisconsin State Fair Park) (R4), 4 Jun 1967. Total of 4 recorded races.
'the third Art Pollard car'
After Art Pollard's fiery crash while testing his Indy 500 car at Trenton in July 1967, a new turbo Offy car would have been needed for his return at Hanford in October. Pollard set pole position in this car at the brand new 1.5-mile D-shaped Hanford oval. Pollard retained this car in early 1968 (now as his #11 car) and was then Bob Veith's #16 Thermo King Gerhardt at the 1968 Indy 500 which was identified by Clymer as having been built in the summer of 1967. It was raced by the team's new driver Gary Bettenhausen at Milwaukee in August, and was presumably the short track #11 car at other races in 1968. It is presumably also the #16 Thermo King Gerhardt that appeared for Rutherford at Langhorne and for Snider (and Andretti) at Phoenix in November. Unknown after November 1968.
Driven by: George Snider, Art Pollard, Bob Veith, Johnny Rutherford, Gary Bettenhausen and Mario Andretti. First race: Hanford Motor Speedway (R19), 22 Oct 1967. Total of 14 recorded races.
'the Central Excavating #81 car'
After Bruce Jacobi's crash at Mont-Tremblant on 6 August 1967 in Pete Salemi's Central Excavating Gerhardt, the team's entry changed from #73 to #81, suggesting they were using a different car. Photographs suggest that it was another 1967 Gerhardt. This is presumably the same car that the team used at Milwaukee and Trenton in the fall of 1967, then at four races in 1968, up to and including Ronnie Duman's fatal accident at Milwaukee in June 1968. This car was very heavily damaged in the accident and it seems highly unlikely that it would have been used again. Salemi acquired an updated 1966 Gerhardt from Gordon Van Liew's team, and completed the season with that.
Driven by: Bruce Jacobi, Ronnie Duman, Arnie Knepper, Bob Hurt, Bob Harkey and Dempsey Wilson. First race: Milwaukee (Wisconsin State Fair Park) (R14), 20 Aug 1967. Total of 5 recorded races.
Several of the 1967 Gerhardts go missing by the end of the year: George Harm's Ford V8 car with its enlarged cockpit for Johnny Boyd, and both the Racing Associates Offy-powered cars. Also, we do not know how Gordon Johncock's two Ford-engined cars were used in 1968. One of these, apparently the later one, remained with Johncock for the first few races of the season, but he then acquired two new 1968 Gerhardts, and the old 1967 cars may well have been sold. One is said to have gone to Myron Caves' team, which is plausible, but it must have been rebuilt for an Offy turbo installation. The Gerhardt team retained one 1967 Gerhardt for use on road courses, but its identity is not yet resolved. One other unexplained Gerhardt appeared in 1968, a '67-shape car for Ken Brenn's team.
'the 1968 house road track car'
During the 1968 season, the Gerhardt team used a separate car for road courses. Photographs indicate this was a 1967 Gerhardt, and a former Offy car. However, few photographs have been found of this car so far, and it is possible the team started the season using an older 1966 car for this purpose. The team's road course car would have been raced as the #11 Thermo King Auto Air Conditioning entry by Art Pollard at Stardust International in March, and then by Gary Bettenhausen at Mosport Park in June, at Continental Divide in July, at Indianapolis Raceway Park two weeks later, at Mont-Tremblant in August, and at Riverside in December. Nothing more is known about this car.
Driven by: Art Pollard and Gary Bettenhausen. First race: Stardust International (R2), 31 Mar 1968. Total of 9 recorded races.
'the 1968 Ken Brenn car'
Having run a '66 Gerhardt in 1967, Ken Brenn (Warren, NJ) acquired a newer '67 Gerhardt with 255ci Ford V8 engine for the 1968 season, and ran it for Bob Harkey at the Indy 500 as the #88 entry, where he was bumped. Driven later in the season by Bruce Walkup. It was then sold to Mike Krisiloff's American Racing Associates (Lake Hiawatha, NJ) and run for his son Steve Krisiloff backed by VTM Finishing. The Gerhardt ran as #112 in 1969 and #92 in 1970. At Indy in 1970, Hungness notes that it has an underpowered non-turbo Ford, given as a 225 ci in press reports. It last appeared at Michigan International Speedway in July 1970, after which it was reported that it had been stolen from the Holiday Inn at New Stanton, PA, while on its way back to New Jersey. Subsequent history unknown but reported to have been parted out.
Driven by: Bob Harkey, Rollie Beale, Bruce Walkup, Karl Busson and Steve Krisiloff. First race: Langhorne International Motor Speedway (R9), 23 Jun 1968. Total of 18 recorded races.
'the 1968 Caves Buick car'
The Caves Buick team acquired a backup car in time for the 1968 Indy 500 that was described as a "twin" to their 1967 car. After Bob Hurt crashed the primary car during practice, it is assumed that Sammy Sessions drove this "twin" thereafter as the #14 Caves Buick entry. In 1969, Jigger Sirois took over the Caves drive and his car was described as a 1967 Gerhardt and also as "last year's car" at the start of the season, but his car had outboard springs at the Indy 500, a 1968/69 modification, whereas both cars at the 1968 Indy 500 had had inboard springs. Sirois was called off by Caves during his qualifying run when he would, with hindsight, have taken pole. Bob Harkey and Jim McElreath took over the drive later in 1969. At Trenton in July 1969, the team had a brand new Gerhardt wedge which implies the early 1969 car was their 1968 car carried over. A photo of the #14 car at Indy in 1969 (Hungness p37) matches the team's backup #53 car at Indy in 1970. The car was last seen at Langhorne in June 1970 when it was very badly damaged by fire after it was crashed by Sammy Sessions. Caves, who was then very unwell, said he doubted he'd repair it as it was "getting too bruised to be competitive".
Driven by: Sammy Sessions, Jigger Sirois, Bob Harkey and Arnie Knepper. First race: Milwaukee (Wisconsin State Fair Park) (R6), 9 Jun 1968. Total of 18 recorded races.
Given how little was known of the histories of individual Gerhardt cars when this research project began in 2009, the progress made is remarkable. Much of the early work was conducted by Michael Ferner and Allen Brown, but credit for the recent discoveries must go to Simmo Iskül, through his forensic analysis of the cars using old photographs.
These histories last updated on .