Men revive car from 1971 Indy 500 in honor of lifelong friend
A group of men from Bourbon, Indiana helped revive a car that qualified for the 1971 Indy 500. It is the second car they have brought back to life.
Bringing back number 77 meant bringing back memories from their childhood.
"You're really working on a piece of history, these cars were raced by drivers back in the 60s and 70s," Gary Berkey said.
Getting the cars in race condition is no easy task.
They said it's hard to get the parts for the cars because you can't just go to an auto parts store to get them.
After getting the number 19 car down to race last year, the guys knew they had to get the 77 car back racing.
After putting in a lot of hours, they revived the car that qualified for the 1971 Indy 500.
"What a huge deal it is for us to bring two cars down here from a bunch of guys that do it for fun. And you're doing it not for the money, it's the passion, it's the passion," said Lonny Berkey.
"To get the value of our time back, I don't think there's anyway because there's so many hours we've put in over the last couple of years. I don't think there's a way to make it up but it's ok because we've enjoyed the process," said Gary.
"But to see that be a success and know that Gary felt safe in the car and ready to make laps here at Indy, that's why you do it. That's what these vintage events are all about it's about memories and memories of the 500 and even just like us, a bunch of small town guys and I guess if you ever have the ability and resources to take a dream and turn it into a memory, then you better grab it," Lonny said.
The project was bittersweet because getting the car ready again was important to their friend Don Stuart. Stuart died in a car accident two weeks after last year's Indy 500.
Lonny and Gary rebuilt the car to honor Stuart's legacy.