May 5, 1964 Colin Chapman, Jimmy Clark and Dan Gurney arrive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1964 for the month of May, bringing three Lotus Type 34 racers. The type 34 was designed especially for the Indy 500 and only three were built. This is Lotus 34 Chassis #2.
May 7, 1964 Dan Gurney in Chassis #2 on a practice day. Testing the car. Car #36 would not be used in the Indy 500 later in May. It became the back up car for Clark and Gurney for the 1964 Indy 500.
The new Ford 4 Cam motor signaled the end of the Offy Dan Gurney in Lotus 34 Chassis #2engines, the rear engine domination was beginning.
May 16, 1964Indy 500 QualifyingJimmy Clark in Lotus 34 Chassis #1 Dan Gurney in Lotus 34 Chassis #3Clark’s Chassis #1 would become Parnelli Jones’ car for the 1965 season. It now resides in the IndianapolisHall of Fame Museum, it was acquired directly from Parnelli Jones.Gurney’s Chassis #3 would be wrecked during a test at Trenton and again in testing before the Milwaukee200 by Walt Hansgen. After this wreck the chassis was discarded and parts of it were used on Chassis #2 forthe Milwaukee 200 with A. J. Foyt driving.
May 30, 1964 Indianapolis 500Gurney qualified 6th in Chassis #3 and Jimmy Clark in Chassis #1withdrew from the race, finishing 17th qualified on the pole and led the race until his left rear suspension failed, he finished 24th. The race had been stopped because of the tragic accident which took the lives of Dave MacDonald and Ed- die Sachs. Ford was not pleased with both their Lo- tus cars not finishing the race. Chassis #2 would re- main idle in Indianapolis until August.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 23rd,1964 First Race for Chassis #2 A.J. Foyt debuted the No. 1 Sheraton/Thompson Lotus-Ford 34 Chassis #2 in the Tony Bettenhausen 200 at The Milwaukee Mile. He qualified 3rd in the USAC Champ Car Series race behind pole- sitter Parnelli Jones (No. 98 Team Lotus—Ford Chassis #1) and Rodger Ward (No. 2 Kaiser Aluminum Watson- Ford) but would finish dead last after his transmission failed on the first lap. It was one of the few days that didn't go Foyt's way that year as he won 10 out of 13 races on his way to capturing the 1964 USAC Champ Car Series cham- pionship. Foyt would later relate that this first time in a rear engine car was the most scared he had ever been in a race car, primarily because the fuel surrounded him as opposed to being at the rear. Foyt had a one race deal with Ford at this point and had already locked up the championship on points.
September 27,1964 Trenton, New Jersey First Win for Chassis #2 Parnelli Jones, J.C. Agajanian, Jim Clark and Colin Chapman chat before the Trenton 200 USAC Champ Car Series race at Trenton Speedway.Parnelli Jones qualified on the pole in Lotus 34 chassis #2 and would lead all but ten laps of the race for the win, oneof two he recorded that season. Clark qualified 7th in his No. 6 Team Lotus-Ford Chassis #1 entry but would suffer ahalf-shaft failure just under half distance at the treacherous 1-mile track. A.J. Foyt did not finish in his Indy 500 win-ning Offy Roadster. At this point the Lotus 34 cars were co-owned by Ford Motor Co who chose the drivers.
October 1964—March 1965 During this period the remaining two Lotus 34 chassis were assigned for the 1965 season toA. J. Foyt (Chassis 2) and Parnelli Jones (Chassis 1). A. J. Foyt, sponsored by Sheraton-Thompson, had George Bignotti and Lujie Lesovsky completely rebuild and modify Chassis 2 inpreparation for the 1965 season. This according to Andrew Ferguson in his notes to “Team Lo-tus—The Indianapolis Years.” A newly chromed roll bar was the most visible change. For the 1965 season A. J. Foyt would be on the pole for the Indianapolis 500 and for 10 of the18 races. Foyt would win 5 races, 3 of those wins using Lotus 34 Chassis #2. Those wins came atthe Trenton 150, the Trenton 200 and the Bobby Ball Memorial at Phoenix. Surprisingly Mario Andretti won the 1965 Championship on points with only one race win,that coming on the road course at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
1965 USAC Championship Car SeasonRnd Date Race Name Track Lotus 34/2 Result Type Pole Position Winning Driver 1 March 28 Jimmy Bryan Memorial Phoenix Start Pole, DNF 19th Paved A. J. Foyt Don Branson 2 April 25 Trenton 100 Trenton Start Pole, DNF 17th Paved A. J. Foyt Jim McElreath 3 May 31 International 500 Mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway Start Pole, DNF 15th Paved A. J. Foyt Jim Clark4 June 6 Rex Mays Classic Milwaukee Start Pole, DNF 16th Paved A. J. Foyt Parnelli Jones5 June 20 Langhorne 100 Langhorne Speedway Start 5th, DNF 17th Paved Mario Andretti Jim McElreath6 July 4`` Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb Pikes Peak Highway Not Entered Hill Al Unser Al Unser7 July 18 Trenton 150 Trenton Start Pole, 1st Paved A. J. Foyt A. J. Foyt8 July 25 Hoosier Grand Prix Indianapolis Raceway Park Start 2nd, 4th Road Mario Andretti Mario Andretti9 August 1 Atlanta Championship 250 Atlanta Motor Speedway Start Pole, DNF 19th Paved A. J. Foyt Johnny Rutherford Start 4th, 2nd10 August 8 Langhorne 125 Langhorne Speedway Start 7th, DNF 19th Paved Gordon Johncock Jim McElreath Not Entered11 August 14 Milwaukee 150 Milwaukee Mile Paved Parnelli Jones Joe Leonard Dirt Jim McElreath A. J. Foyt12 August 21 Tony Bettenhausen Memorial Illinois State Fairgrounds13 August 22 Tony Bettenhausen 200 Milwaukee Mile Start Pole, 2nd in Dirt Offy Paved A. J. Foyt Gordon Johncock14 September 6 Ted Horn Memorial DuQuoin State Fairgrounds Not Entered Dirt A. J. Foyt Don Branson15 September 18 Hoosier Hundred Indiana State Fairgrounds Not Entered Dirt A. J. Foyt A. J. Foyt16 September 26 Trenton 200 Trenton International Start Pole, 1st Paved A. J. Foyt A. J. Foyt17 October 24 Golden State 100 California State Fairgrounds Not Entered Dirt Don Branson Don Branson18 November 21 Bobby Ball Memorial Phoenix International Start 3rd, 1st Paved Mario Andretti A. J. Foyt
March 28, 1965 - Phoenix InternationalFirst of 10 Pole Positions A.J. begins the 1965 USAC season in style, winning the pole position in theJimmy Bryan Memorial 150 in Lotus 34 Chassis #2. Foyt, driving with a broken foot, led the early laps butunfortunately was out of the race on lap 41 with a failure variously reported as overheating or a broken sus-pension.
April 25, 1965 Trenton International 2 Poles in a Row—AJ Foyt leads the field at the Trenton 100. After leading the race for several laps he retired the Lotus 34/2 with a broken rear end.
Month of May, 1965
Preparations begin for the 1965 Indianapolis500 race. At left is Colin Chapman oversee-ing the details of A J Foyt’s Lotus 34. Encowas a secondary sponsor. The huge new Fire-stones were not used in the 500, Foytswitched to Goodyear.
Practice Days—Working up to speedFoyt was the first to cross 160 MPH
Pole Day Photo—May 15, 1965 Foyt, last to qualify, learns that Clark in a new Lotus 38 has just done 160.729 to take the provisional pole. After his run Foyt waits to see his time posted. He would win the pole position with a time of 161.233
Foyt’s Lotus 34/2 is on the pole for the 1965Indianapolis 500. Chief Mechanic GeorgeBignotti is pictured at the rear of the car withsponsors Shirley Murphy and Bill Ansted.Murphy of Sheraton Hotels and Ansted ofThompson Industries.
The Front Row on the Pace Lap
Foyt leads into the first turn.
Jimmy Clark takes the lead and would go on to win the Indy 500 for Lotus/Ford.Foyt led several laps but Clark’s fuel stops were much faster due to the new tank lay-out in the Lotus 38. Foyt retired on lap 115 with rear end trouble. Parnelli in Lotus34 chassis #1 wearing Agajanian’s nuber 98 was starving for fuel on the last lap butlimped home for second place six seconds ahead of Mario Andretti.
June 6, 1965—Milwaukee4 Poles in a Row—A. J. Foyt wins an in-credible fourth pole in 4 tries at the 1965Rex Mays Classic at the Milwaukee Mile.After leading most of the race the gear-box would fail at the half way mark.
July 18, 1965 Trenton A J scores his 5th pole position and wins the 1965 Tren- ton 150. Foyt led the entire race. George Bignotti was replaced by John Pouelsen as Foyt’s chief mechanic. Bignotti would move to the newly created Mecom Racing team.
July 25, Indianapolis Raceway Park Foyt starts second to Mario Andretti and finishes fourth. Foyt led for several laps, trading the lead with Andretti and was leading with one lap to go when he ran out of fuel. Andretti would pass to win the race on the 1965 season’s only road course.
August 1, 1965 Atlanta 6th Pole of the season— Foyt’s 166.5 MPH qualifying lap was three MPH faster than the second fastest qualifier at Atlanta In- ternational Speedway in the Atlanta Championship 250. Foyt led the race easi- ly on the 1.5 mile track until lap 108 when his left rear suspension failed. Johnny Rutherford went on to win his first Cham- pionship race.
August 22, 1965—MilwaukeePole Number 7 in the Dirt OffyWith his Lotus 34 still not readyafter the Atlanta accident, Foytenters his Meskowski Offy dirtcar on the paved MilwaukeeMile in the Tony Bettenhausen200.The crowd went wild when heput it on the pole against a fieldpacked with rear enginedFords. Foyt would lead or staynear the lead for the entire race,finishing second to GordonJohncock. The cheers were justas loud for the second placeFoyt as for the winner.
September 26, 1965 Trenton 200 Pole Number 10—After capturing his 8th and 9th poles at Duquoin and Indianapolis Fairgrounds on dirt, Foyt took Lotus 34/2 to the pole and a flag to flag win at the Trenton 200. Foyt claimed he was down a cylinder at the half way point but still lapped the field.
November 21, 1965—PhoenixThird Win for Lotus 34/2Bobby Ball Memorial 200at Phoenix InternationalRaceway.Foyt is nipped by hun-dredths of a second byMario Andretti for thepole, Foyt just missinghis 11th pole. Andrettibrushed another car onthe 192nd lap and Foytpassed the wounded carto win the race. Mariofinished second and wonthe 1965 Championshipon points despite onlywinning one race versusFoyt’s five victories.
1966 Season—At the first race of theyear at Phoenix in March A J had hisnew Lotus 38 wearing #2 while GeorgeSnider took number 82 Lotus 34/2 to arespectable 6th place finish. At thispoint it would appear that Lotus 34/2had run its last race.
After storing the car for 26years A J Foyt, Jr. offers thecar at his “garage sale” auctionat the Indianapolis MotorSpeedway. Smokey Yunick in-troduces Pat Ryan to JohnFisher, a former Foyt crewmember with experience da-ting back to when Lotus 34/2was actively racing. Fisherand Yunick advise Ryan, whobuys the car at the no reserveauction. Fisher helps to buynumerous spare parts to beused in the restoration.
After the auction A J explains to Ryan that he kept this car to remind him neverto be scared in a race car again. It was his first experienced surrounded by fuel.
Foyt and Ryan are joined by John Fisher (left) and Sam White (second fromleft). Sam White was curator of the Automobile Museum of the Southeastwhere Lotus 34/2 would reside for many years.
Lotus 34/2 with its motor and transmission gone to Walter Goodwin’sRace Car Restorations in preparation for its restoration in 2016-2017.
The restoration nears completion of one of Indy Champ CarRacing’s most beautiful cars—March 2017Lotus 34/2 was part of the A J Foyt Celebration Display at theIndianapolis Hall of Fame Museum beginning April 15, 2017
April 14, 2017 The freshly restored Lotus 34/2 is on display at the Indianapolis Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. It is part of a 25 car display honoring The Legend, A. J. Foyt, Jr. on the 40th anniver- sary of his historic 4th Indianapolis 500 win. All four of his winners are in the display.