Adopt-a-Car: 1957 Salih

1957 Winner 


Driven by: Sam Hanks

One of the most popular Indianapolis 500 wins ever came in 1957 when 42-year-old Sam Hanks won with an experimental car built by George Salih, a plant foreman for Meyer & Drake Engineering, manufacturer of the Offenhauser engine. Seeking to achieve a lower-than-ever center of gravity, Salih laid the typically “upright” 4-cylinder “Offy” over at 18 degrees from horizontal. With no potential car owner coming forth to support his revolutionary concept, Salih and friend Howard Gilbert built the car themselves at night after work in the garage next to Salih’s home in Whittier, California. The bodywork was crafted by Quin Epperly. In true Cinderella fashion, Hanks started 13th and won the 1957 race at a record average of 135.601 mph. The following year, with Hanks retired and Salih now refusing to sell, Jimmy Bryan made it two-in-a-row for the Belond-sponsored car, the only car ever to have won twice with different drivers.

Adoption cost: $2,000

Adoption benefits:

* Membership in the Borg-Warner Society (the Museum’s most esteemed group of supporters)

* A vintage photo of your adopted car in Victory Lane

* Recognition signage with the car and on the Museum’s website

* Listing on the Adopt-A-Car donor wall in the Museum

* A certificate of adoption

Adoptions are for a period of one year with the option to renew annually.