Indy 500 and USAC racing 1971-1978
A new era of US motor racing began in 1971 with the separation of the USAC championship into separate divisions for dirt racing, road courses and paved ovals. This section follows the highly successful oval racing series through to the arrival of the CART series in 1979.
This eight-year, 110-race period spans from the 1971 McLaren M16 and "Johnny Lightning 500" Lola T150-based Bignotti Colt-Offy to the 1978 Penske PC6-Cosworth DFX, but is more than anything the era of the classic 1972 Eagle Model 5. The period saw 29 Eagle victories, 26 for McLaren, 19 for AJ Foyt's Coyotes, 15 for Parnelli, eight for the Patrick Racing Wildcats and three for Chaparral Racing's 1978 Lola T500.
Numerically, Eagle dominates this period with 37% of all entries, followed by McLaren on 15% and then Wildcat leading the rest on just 5%. Only four other constructors average more than one entry per race: AJ Foyt's Coyotes, Grant King's various creations, Parnelli, and late-comers Lightning. Of the designers, Bob Riley is well-represented with the 1973 Coyote design, the 1974 'Riley' for Lindsey Hopkins, and the 1975-1980 Wildcats; Roman Slobodynskyj designed the classic 1972-74 Eagles and the 1976-78 Lightnings.
Car histories (by constructor)
Antares > 1972
Atlanta > 1972
Cecil > 1966 | 1969
Colt > 1970 | 1971
Cooper > 1961 T54
Dragon (King) > 1976
Eisert > 1964-1968 Harrison Specials | 1969
Finley > 1973 Fleagle | 1980 "PC6" ...
Gilbert > 1968
Halibrand > 1964 | 1965
Hayhoe > 1968
Huffaker > 1964 | 1966
Kuzma > 1970-71
Parnelli > 1972 VPJ1 | 1973 VPJ2 | 1974 VPJ3 | 1975-77 VPJ6
Peat-Lola > 1971
Penske > 1977 PC5 | 1978 PC6 | 1979 PC7 | 1980 PC9 ...
Riley > 1974
Scorpion > 1970-71
STP Special (Granatelli) > 1967 Turbocar | 1969 Plymouth
Tipke > 1972
Wolverine > 1970
This list is not yet complete of course. All rear-engined Indy cars from 1961 up to the start of mass production in 1982 are being researched and will be added here in due course.