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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Penske PC-22 CART Display Car For Sale

This 1993 Penske PC-22 Indianapolis/CART racer is Chassis 001 and it was built at Penske's Poole, England production facility. The Penske/Marlboro Racing team used it exclusively for testing and it is known to have been driven by Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser, Jr., and Paul Tracy from late 1992 through early 1994.

During 1994 and 1995, Stefan Johansson drove it for the Bettenhausen Alumax team. As such, it was an operational racing car in period and today, it remains complete except for the engine (an Ilmor-Chevy was the original unit), which was removed at some point and I suspect this would have happened when Penske Racing switched to pushrod Mercedes-Benz engines around 1994.

The 6-speed sequential gearbox remains in place, but I have not inspected the internals. The racing shocks were removed and replaced by heim-jointed solid links and the wishbones are engraved “Display Car Only”. The current owner acquired it approximately seven years ago and he had the body refinished in the handsome period Penske/Marlboro livery of the era. It is displayed in the reception area of the owner’s place of business near my home. He is only selling the car in order to place another racing car with his company logo in the same place.

The car is a very attractive piece from Penske's early-1990s CART series dominance and in addition to the team's star driver roster, it also represents the era when 1970s/1980s F1 champions like Emerson Fittipaldi, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and several others raced in CART and at Indianapolis. The driver’s padded headrest carries the label “Emmo 3-93” (Fittipaldi) and the back of the steering wheel is engraved “Al 94” (Al Unser, Jr.).

There is no way to prove it conclusively, but with the car having been a Penske test unit, it may well have been the actual one tested briefly at Arizona’s Firebird Raceway in December 1992 by Ayrton Senna at the urging of fellow Brazilian Fittipaldi. It is well known that Senna was dissatisfied with McLaren after the 1992 F1 season and he test-drove a Penske PC-22 and nearly matched Fittipaldi’s lap time in the unfamiliar car during the session. However, we cannot prove this point with absolute certainty.

Please comment on this post to discuss the offering of this great display car, its availability, and pricing.

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