The 70's and 80's were interesting years at Indy, with the introduction of aerodynamic ground effects and the wail of the turbocharger.
The Legendary Smokey Yunick in Steve's Garage at Indy '83
Overhead Cam Stock Block Chevy Indy Engine
Record Setting Stock Block '81 Eagle
Turbo Drake Offy '77 Lightning
1997 Dallara Indy Qualifying Picture
1981 saw the last Turbo Offy at Indy to officially end the Harry A. Miller inspired era that had spanned over 50 years. A normally aspirated Stock Block derived formula would compete head to head with the more exotic Turbocharged creations for several years, and then be phased out in the early 90's. The British Cosworth DFX would come to dominate much of the late 70's and most of the 80's until supplanted by the Chevrolet badged Illmor "A" at the end of the decade. The Turbo Buick V-6 made an impact in 500 competition during the 80's as well, with pole positions, monster HP, and fast laps, but sadly no 500 victory. It was a period of constant technical improvement in Open Wheel Racing, with speeds rising dramatically at the old Brickyard, from 171 MPH in 1971 to 225 MPH by 1990. Common sense, driver, crew, and spectator safety, have dictated they remain in that range for the foreseeable future. The 70's and 80's were the quantum leap in speed at Indy, an Era which will probably never be equaled for intensity. As an Indycar engine builder and former Chief Mechanic, I'll never forget being a part of it.