1958 Dowgard Special
Built by: Eddie Kuzma
Virtually all National Championship races between the early 1930s and the late 1950s (other than for the Indianapolis 500) were dirt track “100 milers,” with these popular events still counting toward the national title as late as 1970. Dual-purpose, solidly-built “dirt” cars won the Indianapolis 500 in 1950, ’51 and ’52, and were still in the lineup as late as 1956. This one, built in 1958 by Eddie Kuzma, was owned by Lindsey Hopkins and driven on one-mile tracks by Jim Rathmann, Ed Elisian, Bobby Grim, Jimmy McElreath and two-time National Champion Tony Bettenhausen, who won his 21st and final Championship race with it at Phoenix in 1959. It was nicknamed “The Gray Ghost” in 1962 after a rush repair job led to it appearing at a track in gray primer.