1962 Indianapolis

01 62 Front Row

1962 Indy Starting Front Row

One of the benefits of having a father that worked for Mobil was that regardless of what part of the world he was posted to, in this case, Mexico City. The PR boffins at HQ in New York City made sure he had up-to-date info on its latest competition triumphs:

Pole: Parnelli Jones, #98 Agajanian Willard Battery Special, finished 7, Watson chassis, 252 cu in Offy

Middle Front Row: Rodger Ward, #3 Leader Card Special, finished 1, Watson chassis, 252 cu in Offy

Outside Front Row: Bobby Marshman, #54 Bryant and Heating Special, finished 5, Epperly chassis, 252 cu in Offy

Notice the racing clothing-Rodger Ward wore: a short sleeved golf shirt. This would come to an end after Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald both died in a fiery first lap crash in 1964. Beginning in 1965 all drivers were required to wear some sort of fire-resistant clothing.

02 Mickey Thompson

Mickey Thompson adjusts.


Dan Gurney drove the #34 Thompson Enterprises Special, starting 8, finishing 20, in a Thompson chassis running a 256 cu. in. (4.2 L) Buick aluminum V8.

Can you imagine Roger Penske tweaking one of his cars today? Good old California hot rodding on display-the first stock block engine since 1946 and Hilborn fuel injection.

03 Yunick

Another Smokey Yunick creation.


Jim Rathmann, #10 Simonize Special, entered by Smokey Yunick, failed to qualify. Offy powered, the chassis would bank into the corners.

Although Yunick failed to get credit for being the head mechanic for Jim Rathmann’s Ken-Paul Special win in 1960, he apparently had Rathmann’s confidence this year for another Yunick “concept car”.

04 Zink-Urschel

Maybe if we ran MobilGas in this thing it woulda qualified.


Dan Gurney, #52 Zink Urschel Trackburner Special, gas turbine engine failed to qualify.

Remember, at Inidanapolis, it’s the car that qualifies, not the driver. Gurney may have been trying to help out John Zink get his out-of-the-box turbine car qualified, but more than likely Gurney tried to qualify Thompson’s car after the turbine car failed to qualify.

Wish I had more Mobil publicity photos from this race, but these four photos are all I have.