Rossi’s 100th Indy 500 winner up for auction, will not be in Indy Museum

2016 Indy 500 winning car will go up for auction
2016 Indy 500 winning car will go up for auction

Alexander Rossi's Napa-sponsored IndyCar that won the 2016 Indy 500, otherwise known as the "100th running," is headed to the block at Mecum's upcoming auction in Monterey at the end August, and it's safe to say that it will draw the attention of racing connoisseurs with deep, deep pockets.

The Honda-powered racer, which was fielded by a partnership between Andretti Autosport, Bryan Herta Autosport, and Curb-Agajanian, is famous for helping Alexander Rossi win the Indy 500 on his very first try, making him one of only nine drivers to have won the famous race as rookies. Other famous last names to have accomplished such feat include Harroun (by default), Montoya, and Castroneves.

According to the listing, this particular carbon fiber tub is chassis number 37, and like all modern IndyCars it was built by Dallara and dubbed "DW12" for "Dan Wheldon" and the year in which it was homologated. It appears that the car comes in race trim but the Honda HPD engine will be missing. The six-speed XTRAC gearbox are still attached to the chassis, while the suspension, Brembo brakes, and even the 500-specific Firestone tires look to be in great shape.

Once IndyCar’s new engine formula gets closer to its introduction in 2021, Honda Performance Development will make the exact 2.2-liter twin-turbo V6 Rossi used to win the 2016 Indy 500 available to the new owner.

According to Mecum, “By agreement with Honda Performance Development, the original race-winning Honda engine will be returned to the chassis in 2020, and the car is the beneficiary of a most unusual 100-year engine lease – almost unheard of in these days of proprietary racing-engine technology."

The comes equipped with the "speedway" body kit rather than the road course kit, which includes a "slipperier" front and rear wing good for over 230 miles per hour at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

We reached out to Andretti Autosport to learn about the factors that led to listing this historied vehicle up for sale, and who ultimately makes the decision to sell it to a private individual rather than displaying it at a museum or the team's headquarters in Indianapolis. As a result, we found out that it's actually a private individual who owns the chassis and not the team.

"The car is being auctioned through Mecum by the individual that owns Alexander’s [Rossi] Indy 500 winning chassis," said an Andretti spokesperson. "As Andretti Autosport is not in ownership of the chassis, I can’t speak to the decision to auction."

Adding another thing layer of mystery as to who owns the car and who could possibly own it in the near future, was Rossi's very own sentiments toward the sale of "his" car.

“The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winning car is a piece of history and will undeniably be associated with of the most iconic moments in motorsports," Rossi told The Drive. "As with many entrants, it is owned by a private owner, and it is their choice to retain or keep the car. Of course, I hope that the car goes to a good home, and hopefully, the new owner will want the car to live in the IMS Museum during the month of May." The Drive

Rossi coasts across finish line to win
Rossi coasts across finish line to win

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