This unique Indy car project started life in A.J. Watson's shop near Indianapolis in February 2012. A.J. agreed to oversee this project from inception through its salt racing. It was built to run at Bonneville Speed Week in August 2012. Of only 160 ever built, this is the only Indy Offenhauser in the world still in competition. It took six years of attempts before this roadster claimed the world record at 181.147 mph in August 2018, and the trophy is included.
This A.J. Watson Indy Roadster re-creation was built to Bonneville specs with A.J. Watson body panels, approved '59 Watson shark nose, A.J. Watson 1-1/2" dome frame, 1-5/8" dome cockpit area and chrome funny car type roll cage. It has a 100” wheelbase, and sits on Afco tube shocks and adjustable coilover springs. It has a 52” tread width, 58” overall width, 32” front overhang, 54” rear overhang without the push bar, 44” height and an overall length of 186”.
Powering this record-holding roadster is a 270ci Offenhauser engine equipped with double overhead cams and Hilborn fuel injection. The engine produces a dyno-tested 425hp and 550 ft/lbs of torque and is mated to a Winters Performance Phoenix transmission. It has an enclosed driveshaft with a completely enclosed scatter shield, 3.78 ring & pinion setup, Vega internal steering gear, Winters Performance 9” offset rear end and a 2.53 final ratio.
This roadster is also equipped with a custom Be Cool radiator, Wilwood rear disc brakes, clutch cylinder and brake cylinder, transfer ball push bar and a 10-gallon fuel tank. It has DJ 5-point harnesses and belts, DJ 5-pound and 10-pound fire suppression system, DJ parachute and chute pack, 4-spoke Indy steering wheel, full Stewart Warner vintage tachometer and gauges and a Tel Tac Tattle Tale electronic tachometer. It rides on Goodyear SCTA Approved tires wrapped around custom wheels with custom covers, and includes a pallet of spare parts. This Watson is featured in a six-page article in the March 2017 issue of Hot Rod Magazine and is signed by A.J Watson on the underside of the hood.