Bill Holland’s 1949 Indianapolis 500 Winning Blue Crown Spark Plug Special to be Offered at Mecum Indy - Luxury Cars

Bill Holland’s 1949 Indianapolis 500 Winning Blue Crown Spark Plug Special to be Offered at Mecum Indy



After back-to-back close misses, Bill Holland won the 1949 Indianapolis 500 in this beautiful cigar-shaped No. 7 Blue Crown Spark Plug Special. While any Indianapolis 500-winning car is special, this example is one of a precious few that unquestionably qualify for an exclusive club. It is one of the most successful cars of all-time at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In addition to winning the 1949 Indianapolis 500, Holland impressively finished second in the 1947, 1948 and 1950 races in this machine, making it quite simply one of the landmark cars in Indianapolis 500 history.

The secret to the success of the Blue Crown Spark Plug Special was that the front-wheel drive Deidt chassis?powered by a 270 CI Offenhauser engine?pulled the car around the corners versus pushing the rear wheels. It was a formula that served Harry Miller well on some of his famous cars from the mid-1920s to early 1930s. The 1946 Novi V-8-powered front-wheel drive Kurtis chassis with a distinctive cigar shape had shattered longstanding Indianapolis 500 qualification records, so it was not a surprise that Emil Deidt mimicked the successful design for 1947. Owned by Lou Moore, the Blue Crown Spark Plug Specials of Holland and teammate Mauri Rose utilized the Deidt chassis to great efficiency because they were fitted with battle-tested Offenhauser engines. The Offenhausers were reliable, whereas the much more powerful Novis were spectacular pieces of engineering, but also quite fragile.
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