1949 Lesovsky Indy Blue Crown Special Racing Special / 3 Chassis Information

1949 Lesovsky Indy Blue Crown Special photograph

1949 Lesovsky Indy Blue Crown Special photograph

1949 Lesovsky Indy Blue Crown Special1949 Lesovsky Indy Blue Crown Special
Racing Special
Chassis #: 3
Engine # 82
Sold for $302,500 at 2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey.
Sold for $201,600 at 2019 RM Sothebys : Scottsdale Arizona.
Lou Moore made his first appearance at Indianapolis in 1926 where he drove a Miller 91 with sponsorship by Blue Crown Spark Plugs. Over the years, they won the Indianapolis 500 no fewer than five times. This particular Indy race car is known in period as the Baby Blue Crown. It was built for the Blue Crown Spark Plug team in 1948 by Luigi Lesovsky. It was given a short wheelbase and rear-wheel drive configuration. The Blue Crown team's two other cars were front-drive and had a larger platform. With the SWB, rear-wheel drive car, it expanded the team's reach to AAA events on shorter tracks where the front-drive cars were not as competitive.

Pat Warren of Downey Machine provided the running gear, including a rear axle assembly with a deeply finned quick-change center section and unique independent front suspension. Lesovsky fabricated the tanks, body, and chassis. It is believed that Gordon Schroeder built the dual drag-link steering. The Offenhauser engine and transmission came from Meyer and Drake Engineering.

The car made its Indianapolis debut in 1948, but it failed to qualify for the race. On May 11, 1949, Lou Moore sold one-half interest in the car for $8,750 to his crew chief, Charlie Marant. George Connor proceeded to qualify the car in 6th position for the 500 that year and finished the race with an impressive 3rd overall. Bill Holland drove it at two subsequent AAA races that year at Milwaukee and Trenton. Connor drove the car in two more Indy 500s for Moore, finishing 8th in 1950 and 30th in 1951. In 1952 and 1953, Charlie Marant independently entered the car at Indianapolis, but driver Bill Taylor was unable to qualify either year.

In 1954, second owner Bob Christie attempted to qualify the car. A failed magneto put an end to the Indianapolis aspirations. It was later sold to Malcolm Miller, of Vancouver, Washington, who campaigned it at Pacific Northwestern tracks with driver Bob Gregg, who won several races.

Following an accident at Sacramento in 1955 with Len Sutton at the wheel, the car was sidelined from competition. It was traded by Miller to Donald 'Duck' Collins, of Portland, Oregon who carefully preserved the components of the car over the years. The remains were later passed to Del McClure after Collin's death and then on to the current caretaker. These included all suspension, transmission, rear end, and other constituent driveline parts.

The car was restored by Jim Mann's shop in Elkhart, Indiana. The Offenhauser engine was assembled by Steve Truschan. What was missing or damaged was reproduced by Mr. Mann. Correct 18-inch Rudge wire wheels were sourced and mounted with rare period Firestone Indianapolis racing tires.

The dual overhead cam Offenhauser inline four-cylinder engine is fitted with two Flynn side-draft carburetors and produces an estimated 300 horsepower. There is a three-speed Meyer-Drake transmission with reverse. There is a duplex-type dual drag-link steering and four-wheel drum brakes.


By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2015

2019 RM Sothebys : Scottsdale Arizona

Pre-Auction Estimates :
$250,000-$350,000 
Sale Price :
$201,600

2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey

Pre-Auction Estimates :
$350,000-$450,000 
Sale Price :
$302,500

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1949 sales)
1949 Lesovsky-Offenhauser Indianapolis 'Blue Crown Special'
Chassis#: 3
Sold for $201,600
  2019 RM Sothebys : Scottsdale Arizona
1949 Lesovsky Indy Blue Crown Special image  1949 Lesovsky Indy Blue Crown Special image  
1949 Lesovsky-Offenhauser Indianapolis 'Blue Crown Special'
Chassis#: 3
Sold for $302,500
  2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey
1949 Lesovsky Indy Blue Crown Special image  1949 Lesovsky Indy Blue Crown Special image  

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1949 Lesovsky Indy Blue Crown Special's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
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