Lot 114

Amelia Island 2023

1949 Snowberger-Offy Indianapolis '500' Roadster

Offered From The Terence E. Adderley Collection


$246,400 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



Engine No.
Bill of Sale Only
  • Offered from the Terence E. Adderley Collection
  • Driven by George Lynch during two Indianapolis 500 qualifying attempts in 1950 and 1951
  • Powered by a 270-cu. in. Meyer-Drake Offenhauser-tuned, double-overhead-camshaft inline-four fed by a Hilborn fuel-injection system reported to produce 350 hp
  • Utilizes a 97-in. Russell Snowberger chassis with a transverse leaf spring/solid axle front end, live axle/torsion bar rear end, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes
  • Correctly presented in its 1950 Indianapolis 500 Automobile Shippers livery of orange with black accents
  • Extensive documented race history; piloted by a litany of period racing drivers
  • Kept in climate-controlled storage for the past decade

Louis Rassey, the owner of a gas station and machine shop, was a racing aficionado who leapt headlong into the sport after World War II using Snowberger chassis and Meyer-Drake Offenhauser engines. The “Offy,” as it became known, was developed by Fred Offenhauser and Harry Miller, but lasting fame came after World War II when further refinements by Lou Meyer and Dale Drake made it virtually unbeatable.

The car offered here was entered by Louis Rassey as part of a two-car effort in the 1950 Indianapolis 500 which was sponsored by Eugene Casaroll’s Automobile Shippers. A 1950-dated photograph of the car within the Indianapolis Motor Speedway photographic archives clearly shows the car numbered 36 and finished in the distinctive orange and black Automobile Shippers livery.

Driven by George Lynch, the car did not manage to qualify for the rain-shortened race in 1950. Following Indianapolis, this Snowberger-Offy was extensively campaigned on the United States Auto Club circuit with a roster of colorful period drivers including “Spider” Webb, Bill Schindler, Johnny Fredricks, George Hammond, Fred Agabashian, and of course, George Lynch.

Its best finish for 1950 was during September at Pikes Peak, where Hammond finished 4th. The car was again entered into the 1951 Indianapolis 500 but did not complete its qualifying run.

This Snowberger-Offy was eventually converted to V-8 power and disappeared from view for several decades. In 1982, noted collector Jerry J. Moore of Texas purchased the car and commissioned a restoration by Bob Smith Coachworks of Gainesville, Texas. During the process, the car was refinished in its 1950 Automobile Shippers livery with its Halibrand magnesium racing wheels replaced with the present knock-off wire wheels.

Finished as it was during the 1950 Indianapolis 500 trials, this car represents a hallmark in America’s rich racing legacy.