1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ Dirt Track Racer / 255231 Vehicle Information

1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ photograph

1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ photograph

1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ photograph

1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ photograph

1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ photograph

1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ
Dirt Track Racer
Chassis #: 255231
Engine #: 231
Sold for $396,000 at 2008 RM Auctions - Joe's Garage - The MacPherson Collection.
Sold for $577,500 at 2015 RM Sotheby's : The Andrews Collection.
Low, rear-engine cars were very successful in the mid-1960s on paved oval tracks. When A.J. Foyt's race car did not arrive in time for a race at Milwaukee, he drove the front-engine dirt car he'd raced the night before.

Úntil 1970, the top level of American open-wheel racing was contested on dirt and paved ovals. Teams had a dirt car and a pavement car.

Wally Meskowski was a master of the dirt car build. He had this job ready for A.J. Foyt at the end of the 1963 season with some of his characteristic features: a 225 Meyer-Drake Offenhauser dual overhead cam engine with a Hilborn injection system and two shocks at each wheel - except the left rear, with one.

Meskowski Dirt ChampThe upward sweep of the frame and belly pan at the right rear was designed specifically so hard-charging Foyt wouldn't bottom out in turns. Its power steering was unusual at the time.

The Meskowski-Offenhauser proved perfect for Foyt's all-out driving style. With George Bignotti as chief mechanic, Foyt won all five dirt contests in the 1964 ÚSAC Championship season in this car. Combined with his five pavement wins - including the Indy 500 - Foyt took the top podium in 10 of 13 races to secure the 1964 National Championship.

Car builders get a lot of glory, but day-to-day success depends on the ingenuity of the crew. Bignotti worked with Foyt from 1960 to 1965. For many years he held the chief mechanic record for Indy car wins, with 85 victories.


August 22, 1965: Foyt wanted to leave the Milwaukee Mile when his Lotus-Ford didn't arrive. But mechanic Steve Stapp swapped dirt tires for pavement rubber and urged him to try qualifying anyway. Afterward, Foyt though Stapp rear the stopwatch wrong. But no - he had the pole!

'Lining up, I felt like I was in a Greyhound bus against a bunch of sports cars,' Foyt recalled. To fans, it looked like it too. Foyt sat straight up in his sturdy dirt car, high above the sleek competition like a Fisher-Price man in a Fisher-Price car.

Against the likes of Gurney, Andretti, and two Únsers, Foyt nearly won the 200-miler. Only a late-race fuel and tire stop prevented it. Foyt considered his second-place finish 'one of the highlights of my career.'

This car was campaigned for more than two decades in ÚSAC Championship series dirt track events. These are some highlights:

Meskowski Dirt Champ1963-68: A.J. Foyt won 13 races with this car over five years
1964: Foyt takes this car to victory lane in all five ÚSAC dirt track races.
1969: Still owned by Foyt, now sponsored by G.C. Murphy, Roger McCluskey drove it in three ÚSAC dirt races, finishing none.
1970-84: Bob Cicconi drove for speed shop pioneer Lou Senter, swapping the Offy for a small block Chevy V8.

Source - Brumos Collection


2015 RM Sotheby's : The Andrews Collection

Sale Price :
$577,500

2008 RM Auctions - Joe's Garage - The MacPherson Collection

Pre-Auction Estimates :
$150,000-$200,000 
Sale Price :
$396,000

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1963 sales)
1963 Meskowski Sheraton-Thompson Dirt Championship Car
Sold for $577,500
  2015 RM Sotheby's : The Andrews Collection
1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ image  1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ image  
1963 Meskowski Sheraton-Thompson Dirt Championship Car
Chassis#: 255231
Sold for $396,000
  2008 RM Auctions - Joe's Garage - The MacPherson Collection
1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ image  1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ image  

Vehicles That Failed To Sell

1963 Meskowski Dirt Champ's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High

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