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Steve Bolan’s turbine-powered roadster in 1982. (David Sink Collection)

INSIDER: Creativity Was Once Key At Little 500

The Little 500 will celebrate its 76th running at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway on Saturday, May 25. 

From the early years that featured primitive track roadsters to the specially built pavement sprint cars of today, the annual 500-lap event on the paved quarter-mile oval has showcased major advancements in racing technology and ingenuity.

The first few years only track roadsters participated, but by the mid-1950s, the roadsters began to be phased out in favor of primitive sprint cars. Over the next several years, all kinds of creations appeared on the Little 500 starting grid.

Homebuilt cars and wheelbase-shortened ex-Indy 500 cars were the norm during the 1960s. It seemed as if no two cars were alike.

For example, Canadian Serge Tesolin campaigned an ex-Indy rear-engine car in the Little 500 during the ’60s. As technology soared at a rapid pace at the Indianapolis 500, retired cars found a home at the Little 500.


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