Pick of the Day is a vintage Indy-style racing car

1963 racer was built by Eldon Rasmussen

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Shelby
Carroll Shelby's widow autographed this racing car

The Pick of the Day has racing history and is configured currently as a front-engine Indy car. Being offered for $76,000 on ClassicCars.com as a 1963 Custom Race Car, the car began competition as a super-mod and later raced as a USAC sprint car.

According to the advertisement, placed by a dealership in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the car was built as a sprinter by Eldon Rasmussen, who ran it in super-modified events in the Pacific Northwest. In 1969, he took the car to the Midwest and raced it for three years in USAC sprint car competition.

“Since then, it was fabricated into a Watson body style, and continued racing across the world,” the dealer says. “This car was the first Rasmussen Indy Car that features a front-end V8.”

The dealer also notes that the car has been autographed by Cleo Shelby, widow of Carroll Shelby, but there is no explanation of her relationship with the car. 

Though again not detailed in the advertisement, Eldon Rasmussen was a long-time racing driver who qualified for the Indianapolis 500 three times, with a best finish of 13th in 1977. 

According to the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame, which inducted Rasmussen into membership in 2001, Rasmussen’s career began in 1952 on dirt tracks in Alberta and he started more than 600 races there. He moved to Indianapolis in 1967 and raced sprint cars and then focused on the championship (Indy) car series.

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He retired from driving after a crash in the Pocono 500 and became “better remembered as an engineer, designer, builder and fabricator.”

He delayed his own racing career at Indy because his car-building skills were in such demand, not only for Indy cars but for Top Fuel drag racing machines. 

The Pick of the Day example of his work has a 3-speed transmission, 15-gallon fuel tank and is powered by a V8 engine from a Chevrolet Corvette. 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

4 COMMENTS

  1. great era race car, i grew up with those type racers, 1958/1970!
    good friend (long gone), built some and i learned a lot about building them!
    he built a rear engined one around 1964/1968! i drove it for a few laps till he called me in, going over my abilites ,sideways! oops.

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