A.J. Watson, mechanic who ran his tiny repair shop and racing car building garage in Glendale, California was one of the most successful Indy roadsters builders of the 1950s-60s. Watson-built roadsters won Indianapolis 500 six times between 1956 and 1964. 1960 winning metallic blue car was powered by conventional 252 cubic inches Offy engine, sponsored by Ken-Paul Inc., and driven by Jim Rathmann. Ken-Paul Inc. was the partnership established by two businessmen from Dallas, Texas, Kenny Rich and Paul Lacey. Rich was one of Texas oil and gas industrialists, and Lacey happened to be one of the most successful commodities brokers in the state. Around Christmastime of 1959 Rich and Lacey lunched together, and Kenny shared the idea to buy a roadster to win Indy 500. Lacey who would never see a motor car race before agreed to pool the money with Rich, and the pair bought Watson roadster for $15,000. They hired well known Smokey Yunick as chief mechanic and the driver was Jim Rathmann who previously was close to victory at the Brickyard three times finishing second in 1952, 1957 and 1959. Rathmann started from 2nd position and won the race in close battle with 1959 Indianapolis winner Roger Ward in another Watson sponsored by Leader Card. In addition to his Indy 500 win Rathmann had 6 victories in AAA/USAC National Championships in his 14 seasons, from 1949 to 1963. He also participated in the two runnings of the Race of Two Worlds at Monza, Italy, winning the 1958 event.
|1960||USAC National Championship||Indianapolis 500|