Auburn Fall | Lot 6152
1960 Epperly Indianapolis
The Bill Akin Collection
$385,000 USD | Sold
| Auburn, Indiana
5 September 2020
- Offered from the Bill Akin Collection
- One of seven Epperly roadsters built
- Extensively documented competition history
- Driven by a veritable who’s who of Indy legends
- Beautifully restored to historic 1962 Indianapolis 500 livery
- Restoration completed with input of Epperly himself
- Includes Gerhardt starter, trophies and awards won by the car, along with period and recent photographs
While searching for his first historic Indy car project, Bill Akin heard an exciting story: A wrecking yard in Russellville, Kentucky allegedly had something interesting sitting in tall weeds. Unlike so many “yard find” stories, this tale proved accurate, and in those tall weeds Mr. Akin found the remains of a small-block Ford-powered race car. Though it had turned its last laps as a crudely assembled dirt track supermodified, Mr. Akin recognized many facets of the car’s construction that indicated it was originally a professional build, and so he paid the yard owner $850.00 for the relic.
The next challenge was to figure out exactly what he had purchased. After countless hours of research, he finally determined that he had the remains of a car built by Quincy David “Quin” Epperly.
Fortunately, Quin Epperly was still active, and Mr. Akin was able to make direct contact. Epperly was able to identify the car as one of the seven roadsters he had built between 1957 and 1962. What’s more, Epperly was able to provide his original engineering drawings for the car, ensuring that every detail of the chassis could be returned to its original design with 100-percent accuracy. And, amazingly, the restoration was aided by spare parts obtained from Epperly; he had made them for the car when he built it and, in a stroke of luck, had kept them all those years.
While digging into the restoration, Mr. Akin was able to uncover the car’s fascinating history, including three appearances at the Indianapolis 500, finishing as high as eighth in 1961. A frequent competitor at USAC races around the country in the early 1960s, the car was driven by numerous Indy legends including A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Tony Bettenhausen, and Lloyd Ruby, making this a highly significant piece of American racing history—a car that demanded the highest quality restoration.
Although this was his first Indianapolis car restoration, Mr. Akin diligently strived for unerring accuracy; the result speaks for itself. First restored in the early 1980s as the 1961 number 5 Autolite Special, the car was shown at Pebble Beach, exhibited at the Louis Vuitton Concours in New York City, made appearances at numerous hot rod shows, and turned many laps at vintage Indianapolis race car exhibitions held at the storied Brickyard. At these vintage runs the car was always well prepared, and it reportedly performed like it was ready to go the full 500 miles once again.
After years of shows and frequent on-track exercise the paint was fading and the restoration aging; Mr. Akin decided that a freshening was in order. He completed this restoration in 2012, returning the car to its 1962 Indianapolis 500 appearance as the Mid-Continent Securities Special. Offered here in that highly attractive livery, this 1960 Epperly is sure to turn heads at any vintage racing event, show, or concours.