You could say that much of Anthony “Andy” Granatelli’s life had been leading up to this day, this moment. The man known as “Mr. 500” seemed irresistibly drawn to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 1946, he and his brothers Vince and Joe sponsored a car in the first Indy 500 after World War II but watched it sputter to a stop, out of fuel, before completing the race. Two years later Andy tried driving at Indy but crashed hard in practice. Grancor, the speed shop and warehouse-distribution business the brothers formed in Chicago, sponsored Indy roadsters in the ’50s, and the Granatellis brought Novi roadsters back to run the Brickyard for several years in the early and mid ’60s.
Racing icon Andy Granatelli passed away Sunday, December 29, at the age of 90. He was a pivotal force in the earliest days of the specialty-equipment industry, building a business out of selling speed equipment to new automotive enthusiasts who wanted to modify their cars.