IMS Museum Unveils Restored Gurney Lotus 29/1

Indianapolis, IN — After receiving the tub of Dan Gurney’s 1963 Lotus 29/1 Indianapolis 500 car late last week, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum shared video of the restored bodywork — now with the historically-correct livery, along with replica decals — that Gurney carried in the 1963 Indy 500.

Photo: IMS Museum

The Lotus is on display at the museum through Sunday, July 19.

IMS Museum’s Restoration department has invested thousands of hours over the last two years to restore the engine and transmission, chassis and other key components on the Lotus 29/1, but relied on auto restoration expert George Lyons’ painting expertise. Lyons owns Contemporary Motorcar in Erie, Pa. See videos of the entire restoration process.

Photo: IMS Museum

The three Lotus 29s that company founder Colin Chapman brought to IMS in 1963 — including one for Gurney and another for teammate Jim Clark (an Indy 500 rookie that year) — represent a pivotal moment in oval racing history. Jack Brabham drove a rear-engine Cooper in the 1961 race and Gurney drove a rear-engine car for team owner Mickey Thompson in 1962, but it was Gurney’s No. 93 and Clark’s No. 92 Lotuses of 1963 that initiated the “rear-engine revolution” at IMS, sparking technological breakthroughs that drive IndyCar design to this day.

Clark started fifth with Lotus chassis 29/3 and finished 2nd. Gurney crashed his primary car, the Lotus 29/2, in practice. He switched to the 29/1 and qualified 12th (with the car still painted in British Racing Green), then finished the race 7th after white and blue colors were quickly applied during race week.