1970 Brawner/McGee Scorpion 4-Cam Ford Indycar
Serial Number: USAC sticker #C71 155
Engine Number: original tbd
Gearbox Number: original tbd
Location: California, USA
DescriptionThis Amercan designed and built Indycar has had a truly a perfect restoration. A father&son project done on an unlimited time budget, it is totally correct and portrays the car exactly as it ran at Indy in 1971, driven by Art Pollard. The owners bought the car less engine from a prior owner who had bought it from the Brawner family less engine. When the current owners began the restoration they visited the Brawner shop in Phoenix and purchased all the available spares for the car, including a second crashed tub and even the construction templates and patterns. By chance when they were picking up the spares at the Brawner's shop another collector who now had the original engine called. A deal was struck and car and engine were reunited for the restoration.
Every possible attention to detail was focused on the restoration, down to the point of obtaining a complete set of original decals which Tommy Brawner managed to locate in the shop attic. The engine was rebuilt by the original builder, Joe Boghosian, who carefully magged everything and built the engine to full race specs. The engine has zero time since build. The car is in perfect show condition, not having turned a wheel since the restoration was completed. The car is in Speedway configuration.
For the 1970 Indy 500 Brawner obtained sponsorship from Jim Hayhoe of Hayhoe Racing for his new design Scorpion. The car ran as the Quick Kick Special. In late 1970 Brawner teamed with the up and coming ex stock car driver Art Pollard. The innaugural Ontario 500 was nearly won by Pollard in this car after an unbelievable performance. Starting 32nd he quickly clawed his way to the front of the torrid Labor Day race and led most of the race. Jim McElreath passed Pollard for the lead late in the race. With 8 laps to go Pollard blew a tire. Incredibly, he repassed McElreath with the blown tire on the 198th lap. The tire proved too much of a handicap and McElreath retook the lead on the last lap, finishing 2 second ahead.
Jim Gilmore, the Michigan-based owner of television stations and car dealerships, and long-time Indy sponsor was so impressed by this performace that he decided to bestow his sponsorship on the Brawner/Pollard team for 1971, running a full season of the new oval-only USAC series, including Indy. A second car was commissioned for Jimmy Caruthers. Pollard was to continue with last years car. At Indy that year the car qualified mid-pack, Brawner putting his emphasis on endurance as opposed to qualifying speed. Sadly, the car was let down by the 4-cam Ford, forcing it out of the race.
The car, under Pollard, amassed several more top-10 finishes and he repeated his second place finish at Ontario, this time after starting an unlucky 13th. The car was then retired. Jim Gilmore went on to initiate his very long-running sponsorship of A.J. Foyt beginning in 1972. The car was sold by Brawner in the 80s less engine to a neighbor of the current owner who intended to use it as a testbed for and experimental powerplant. It was completely disassembled and then the project was discontinued. The car was purchased in bits, without significant spares. A restoration to 1971 Speedway trim was planned and as a result of the effort to buy all the available spares from Brawner, the original engine was also obtained.
This is the original tub which was raced at Indy in 1970, as the Quick Kick Special, and 1971, as the Gilmore Special. A total of 5 tubs were built, a second crashed tub is included with the spares for the car and a third spare tub which was unraced and has no USAC sticker is known to exist. The two others were written off.