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						Watson Indy Car2

A.J. Watson Indy Racer

By Jeff Bruss

A.J. Watson was an Indianapolis 500 staple for more than 35 years as a car builder and mechanic. His cars would win the prestigious race six times over an eight-year period between 1956 and 1964. This "1963" Watson replica for sale in Indianapolis pays homage to the successful car builder, but I'm not so sure it would get Watson's stamp of approval.

The car itself is a slick design, although not incredibly detailed, or even close to authentic or accurate, but still rocket ship-like cool. The 1963 Watson should have been done up in a white and blue scheme adorned in Parnelli Jones' winning number 98. Watson's 1956 car was the number 8 car, and perhaps more the inspiration for this replica.

Watson Indy Car5

The ad description lacks any real information on the old Indy racer, stating little more than it's 140 hp, a five-speed, and owning it will set you back close to twenty grand. Body construction looks like a hybrid of aluminum and fiberglass panels. The cockpit appears to be fiberglass but the usage of quarter turn fasteners might suggest some metal panels as well. Photos clue us in on a tube chassis hooked into a front coil over setup.

The only hint to a powerplant is the mention of 140 hp in the description. Perhaps an air-cooled flat six out of a Corvair? That would fit nicely in the narrow chassis and matches up to those performance specs. A modern fan is plainly in sight just aft of the right front wheel and could cool the little six cylinder. Aftermarket five speeds exist for the old Corvair motor so that would also follow the logic.

Otherwise the builder might have retrofitted a number of four cylinder engines from more modern affordable rear-wheel-drive imports. Nissan’s four-cylinder KA24E engine from the 240SX made 140 hp, and several Mazda Miata engines could easily be brought up to this spec.

A more authentic look would have the exhaust leaving a little higher up on the beltline. Throwing on a set of magnesium wheels with center knock-offs would also spruce up the presentation over the black steelies that look like they were borrowed from a teenager's Jeep YJ.

Overall this Indy replica is a sweet little rig that looks like a blast to drive. Just a few minor finishing and style details would make it that much better, and maybe a little more inline with the $20,000 asking price. Check out the ad here on Indianapolis Craigslist

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Indy Car Open-Wheel