September 18, 2012-“Car on Roof” …What?

If you’ve listened to Donald Davidson’s “Talk of Gasoline Ally” radio show at all you’ve heard someone ask about the car of the roof of the Safety Auto Glass Building on the near east side of downtown Indianapolis. The car is a Kurtis-Kraft KK500C roadster built in Glendale, CA. during the winter of 1953-54. It competed in 4 Indianapolis 500’s finishing a best of 2nd in 1956 while driven by Sam Hanks. By 1961 the car had run it’s course so it was hoisted to the roof of the building where it sat, except for a wind storm in February 1964 that blew it down, till this morning. It will be restored and used to run in classic cars races. Back to the track:)

Speedway Historian Donald Davidson was there, as well as long time motor sports writer Dick Mittman and Joyce Watson, wife of AJ Watson and Marie Hall, wife of Norm Hall, where here too.

IMS Historian Donald Davidson was there

Joyce Watson and Marie Hall

Joyce is the wife of AJ Watson. His Watson roadsters ruled Indy during the 60’s. While the car on the roof was a Kurtis Kraft roadster, she still enjoyed checking out the competition:) Marie Hall was married to Norm Hall who ran two 500’s, 1964 and 1961 where he finished 10th.

Only in Indianapolis could you get all 4 TV stations and the Newspaper out on a Tuesday morning to cover a nearly 60 year old race car being lowered off a roof:)

The damage to the tail of the car is from being blown off the roof in the winter storm.


  1. You mean there’s enough Kurtis-Kraft parts, including engine, around to make that car a racer again?

    1. They’re have to make the parts and Offy engines are still around, just VERY expensive:)

  2. terry hohnecker · · Reply

    What ever the price was, it was worth twice the price. A piece of priceless history.

  3. I was very happy to see this and hopefully we’ll get to see this legendary racer circle the Brickyard in the next few years…

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