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The Metcalf Racing Indy Car Division

During the last couple of years the Indy Car side of our business has been growing rapidly.  Owners from around the country have been bringing us some very interesting cars for restoration or race preparation.  Since these are top notch cars with some very impressive history, we thought you might like to see them so we have posted photos and descriptions of the histories of each below.

Two distinctly different race series are run in the U.S. for historic Indy Cars - the BOSS Supercup Series run by HSR and the USSS or United States Speedway Series.  The BOSS runs some spectacular road courses such as Virginia International Raceway and Watkins Glen and go as far west as Miller Motorsports Park.  The USSS runs short ovals such as Pikes Peak International Raceway and some picturesque short road courses like Hallett.  Both are great opportunities to get these fantastic cars on the track again and see (and hear) them in all their splendor.  Strapping into the seat of one of these monsters will give you an acute understanding of the challenges Michael Andretti and Bobby Rahal had to face.

We feel Indy Cars from the CART era are fantastic investments.  Today these cars can be found quite reasonably, sometimes under $100,000.   One day soon, our recent but now retired CART stars will be regarded in the same way as we now think of the racing stars from the past like AJ Foyt, Mark Donohue and Dan Gurney.  When Al Unser, Jr., Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and others are included in a similar group, the cars they raced will escalate in value.  We think in the coming years, these cars may bring $250,000 or possibly as much as $400,000.  Maybe more.  In the financial crunch of 2008, we have seen hard assets hold value much better than paper.  Some who enjoy racing and investing in vintage and historic racing cars understand this and we think this is why our business is doing so well. 

When buying an Indy Car, you must be careful to ensure it has the proper engine.  Many have had small block Chevy conversions which mutilates the value.  Proper engines from this period are the Cosworth DFX, the Buick V-6 such as those built by Menards and the Ilmor/Chevrolet V-8.  All of these are turbocharged.

As the Indy Car side of our business grows, we want to use our knowledge and expertise with cars of this caliber on other, similar road racing cars.  We are now accepting new clients with Formula One, Formula 5000, Can-Am, Prototype and similar cars.  If you have such a car, or know someone who does who is in need of professional restoration, repair, race preparation or race track support, please call or email us. Whether it is a small job or a large one, you will get the very best of professional service from us.

Michael Andretti's March 87C Cosworth DFX

Eddie Cheever's Lola T9500 Menards Buick V-6

Geoff Brabham's Lola T8600 Cosworth DFX

Sullivan/Robinson March 86C Cosworth DFX

Danny Sullivan's 092 Galmer Ilmor/Chevrolet

Michael Andretti's March 87C Cosworth DFX

In 1987, Michael Andretti drove for the Kraco team run by Marty Kraines in Compton, California.  He won four races for the team that season, Milwaukee, Michigan, Nazareth and Miami resulting in second place in the CART series championship to Bobby Rahal.  The car has been in storage for much of the time since.  It is now in our shop being readied once more for competition.  The photos below let you look under the skin.

             Andretti's view



                                                                                         Cosworth DFX from RF

             Left Rear Suspension                                    

                                                                                         Right Front Suspension
                                                                                     Note March's use of pullrods
                                                                                           rather than pushrods.

  Left rear suspension looking forward
        toward radiator in left sidepod                

                                                                                     Right sidepod and oil cooler


Work on the March progresses

Eddie Cheever's T9500 Lola Menards Buick V-6

1996 was the first year for the new Indy Racing League.  It took some time for a new rule package to be developed for the fledging series so CART cars and engines were used in the first season of competition.  Driving for Team Menard, Eddie Cheever drove this '95 Lola powered by a turbocharged Menards Buick to only 11th place at Indy.  The Menards engines always made a great deal of power and qualified well but were seldom around at the conclusion of a 500 mile race.  Even though he finished so poorly, Cheever surprisingly recorded the fastest race lap ever run at the Speedway during that race with a speed of 236.103 mph!  Since '97 brought in the era of the normally aspirated engine with the Olds Aurora, that record has never been broken.  IRL will go back to turbocharged engines in the 2011 season but horsepower will be limited to around 700 to 750 so it is likely Cheever's record in this car will stand.


               Cheever's View                                                  Contents of left sidepod

               Removing the gearbox                                   Lola uses a lateral gearbox. 
                                                                                  Gear ratio changes are made from
                                                                              the aluminum plate in front of halfshaft.

              Fabricated steel uprignt                            Lola marks half-shaft rotation for us!

                     Nose attachment                                                  Rear suspension

  Front suspension and 8 piston calipers                            Menard's Buick V-6

Geoff Brabham's Lola T8600 Cosworth DFX

Driving for Galles Racing, 1986 was a fairly lackluster season for Geoff Brabham.  His best finish in this '86 Lola was a 3rd at Long Beach but Geoff's season went downhill from there.  The photo above is from the grid before the start of the race at Mid Ohio.  Since that first pro season, the car has been in a number of hands and was even once converted to small block Chevy power.  It came to us with literally no two parts bolted together.  Being completely apart, it has been a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle with duplicates of some parts, others missing and even including some parts for other cars!  We have obtained a fresh DFX and are going back to the original specifications as Brabham raced it.  As a matter of some interest, this car co-holds the ultimate track record, along with the VDS Can-Am car driven by Michael Roe shown on the About Us page, at the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit near Tulsa.  That record was set in 1984 by Roe and equaled in 1986 by Brabham and stands to this day.

Brabham at Indy in '86

     Bare tub after fresh Valvoline paint                      Fresh DFX right off the dyno

                   Test fit of body                                                Right front suspension

                Laying out nose stripes                                     Test fitting the gearbox

Lola/Hewland DGL gearbox built by Taylor      Lola's front "bellcrank" works the shocks

                      Front wing adjusters                              Instrument panel bulkhead

         Chip Robinson at Long Beach in '87

                  Danny Sullivan driving for Penske in 1986

This March 86C was first run by Penske Racing in 1986 for Danny Sullivan when he won at the Meadowlands and at Cleveland  At the end of that season Roger sold the car to Bob Tullius of Group 44 who put Chip Robinson in for three races, Long Beach where he finished 6th, the Meadowlands and Nazareth.

        Sullivan and Robinson's view.                               Carbon fiber roll hoop.
         Boost gauge front and center.                March went back to a steel roll hoop for 87.

               Left side pod and engine                                        Right side of DFX

                  Left side tunnel                                                                 Turbo

To combat the effect of G forces throwing brake fluid in the reservoirs away from the master cylinder port, Penske Racing invented this pressurized system.

Danny Sullivan's 092 Galmer Ilmor/Chevrolet

In 1990, Galles Racing merged with Kraco Racing to form Galles-Kraco.  One of the projects of the new team was to build their own chassis and move away from the Lolas and Marches which had been the mainstays throughout the 80s.  Other teams did the same, notably Rahal Racing with a car they never put into competition and Penske Racing who had more success.  Alan Mertens designed the car for Galles-Kraco which was called the Galmer.  Its only full season of competition came in '92 when Danny Sullivan teamed with Al Unser, Jr. 

Danny's car, which we are restoring now, is somewhat infamous for the race at Long Beach that year.  Little Al led with Danny close behind when Sullivan punted his team-mate to take the lead and the Long Beach win.  Little Al got him back, though, at Indy when he won by the narrowest margin in history over Scott Goodyear of 0.043 seconds.  Sullivan came fourth at Indy.  Little Al's car is now owned by Valvoline.  Sullivan's car was repainted for Kraco's sponsorship after Indy in the yellow and blue it now carries.

                  Sullivan's View                                                             Cockpit

    Left radiator and water to oil cooler                  Right side radiator and electronics

             Ilmor/Chevy left side                                             Ilmor/Chevy right side

                        Rear Shocks                                                      Front Suspension

The Galmer as it entered the shop.  In addition to the usual post storage work of engine leak-down, fuel system check and rebuilding the hydraulics, it obviously will have the rusty suspension removed, magnafluxed and nickel plated.

Thanks for taking our Indy Car tour.
If we can help with your project, please contact us.