That’s Memphis For You

In the Hallmark Christmas movie Christmas Under Wraps there is a phrase everyone used to describe their little community and all the idiosyncrasies, “That’s Garland For You”.

When it comes to the Indy 500 it should be “That’s Memphis For You”. For some reason entries from Memphis have a habit of being different from the norm. We have discussed Pat Clancey and his 6 wheeled Indy Car in the past. Another unique Indy 500 entry from Memphis was teh Jack Adams Aircraft Special.

Jack A Adams Sr was born in Little Rock and grew up to become a cropduster. His piloting skills led him to Memphis where he became a pilot of a major airline. After retiring from the airline he went to a small airstrip (twinkletown airport) in Walls Miss and opened his company selling used airplanes. At one time he had the largest used plane company in the US.

Adams was also a motorsport entusthist owning a few midgets racing in the area. In the 1966 Adams decided to combine his two interest by installing a turbine engine in an Indy Car. The car seemed to be good enough to make the field but USAC feared the cars braking system was not good enough for its power and DQed the car.

The following year Andy Granatelli showed up with his turbine cars and changed history. While down on HP the addition to 4 wheel drive allowed the cars to handle much better in the turns. But mechanical problems prevented the cars from winning. A problem that showed up again the next year as minor parts failed once again ending the STP turbines day late with victory in site.

Then USAC choked down the air intake of the turbine making them non competitive with the piston engine cars. But Adams felt the idea was not dead and returned again in 1969 with a turbine car. But the car just wasn’t competitive and failed to make the field.

1966 Indy 500 entry

1969 Indy 500 entry

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