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Number 98 • Edition of 20 • 23″ x 12″ x 9.5″
This dramatic sculpture shows an iconic American raced scene – Troy Ruttman winning the 1952 Indianapolis 500 in the #98 Agajanian special. Ruttman was a brash 22 year old dirt track star, driving an old fashioned upright car. He was the youngest Indy winner ever, and it was the last time a simple dirt track car would win.
1952 brought big changes at Indy. The grand old upright champ cars that could race on dirt or pavement were breathing their last. Insiders favored the new streamlined “lay down” cars – would it be Billy Vukovich in the fuel injection car? Fred Agabashan in the radical Cummins diesel? Perhaps world famous Alberto Ascari in the exotic Ferrari? Would the Novi finally fulfill its promise?
J.C. Agajanian was a flamboyant car owner and race promoter. He had well known Eddie Kuzma construct a classic car with an Offenhouser engine built by the brilliant Clay Smith. It was a simple, strong car. The paint job was irreverent – cream with big red flames and “Agajanian Special” boldly lettered on it.
Jack McGrath took the lead at the start, but Vukovich soon took over until late in the race when he crashed heavily. This gave victory to Troy Ruttman, who had driven the dirt car flat out the whole race. It was a wildly popular victory, with a young kid in an old fashioned car winning against the world’s best.
Number 98 is a finely detailed investment cast bronze sculpture. The sculpture is available in a classic bronze patina with some color.