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The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29, 2016, was a historic event layered with pomp and nostalgia. About 350,000 race fans crowded in to witness the competition classic.
There was no disappointment as rookie driver Alexander Rossi took the checkered flag after just a hair over three hours of racing. The car that Rossi drove to victory was a Dallara DW12-Honda.
That blue-and-yellow car will make another special appearance in August when Mecum Auctions offers it up for bidding at its Monterey, California, auction.
The victory by Rossi, 24, marked only the ninth instance that a first-time Indy driver won the race. His face is among the youngest winners sculpted onto the official Borg-Warner trophy. Rossi also was named Rookie of the Year.
The race car, which was owned by the Andretti-Herta Autosport team, is built on a Dallara chassis – as all Indy 500 winners have been since 2005 – and powered by a twin-turbocharged Honda V6 racing engine. Dallara chassis o37 was constructed in 2012 and raced successfully before being updated with a Honda Speedway aerokit for the 500.
“Although Dallara 037 was thoroughly updated with the new Honda aerokit and other assorted mechanical bits for the 2016 Indianapolis 500, it has a long and storied history in sport,” Mecum says in its catalog description. “It was raced in 2012 and 2013 by Alex Tagliani, in 2014 by Jack Hawksworth and in 2015 by Rookie-of-the-Year Gabby Chaves.
“Not only is this car a winning mount, but it also has the distinction of helping drivers capture two consecutive Rookie-of-the-Year awards, a fitting resume for a landmark machine. Sold on a Bill of Sale, Dallara 037 will forever have the distinction of being the only car to win the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.”
However, the car does not currently contain the actual Indy-winning engine. That V6 is in the hands of Honda Performance Development under an agreement in which the correct Indy-winning engine will be reunited with the car after the 2020 Indycar season. According to Mecum, “the car is the beneficiary of a most unusual 100-year engine lease – almost unheard of in these days of proprietary racing-engine technology.”
Whether that means you’d have to give the engine back in 100 years is unclear, though probably not a problem.
Mecum holds its sale, known as The Daytime Auction, on August 23-25 on the Del Monte golf course at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel, during the Monterey Car Week of auctions, shows, concours and events. For information, visit the auction website.