THE car that Bobby Rahal drove to victory in the 1986 Indianapolis 500 sold at auction during last weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Going under the hammer at the Gooding & Company auction, the car was sold to just its third owner for US$1.435 million (AU$1.96 million).
Rahal and the Truesports team’s sole victory in the race was one of the most emotional in the event’s history given the circumstances surrounding team owner Jim Trueman, who was in the latter stages of a battle with colon cancer.
Rain washed out the originally scheduled race day on May 25 and the backup day on May 26, prompting the Speedway to reschedule the race to the following Saturday, May 31.
The race boiled down to a three-way shootout, which saw Rahal pick off race leader Kevin Cogan on a late restart and hold off both Cogan and Rick Mears to take the victory.
Trueman celebrated the win with Rahal in the winner’s circle, but sadly passed away 11 days later.
According to the listing, Rahal drove March 86C-13 to five more race wins across the rest of the 1986 season to claim his maiden CART title.
Truesports, led by future Tasman Motorsport owner and Supercars Commission chairman Steve Horne, retired the car from active duty at the end of the 1986 season.
The team then restored the car back to its state when it won at Indianapolis, including reuniting the chassis with the race-winning Cosworth V8 turbocharged engine (#DFX255).
March 86C-13 was sent on a Budweiser promotional tour in 1987 prior to private American collector Patrick S. Ryan purchasing it from Truesports in 1990.
The car has been driven on only a handful of occasions since, including at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and at the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and was otherwise stored and displayed in a climate-controlled environment among his Prisma Collection of immaculate road and race machinery.
86C-13 was previously put up for auction in 2014 when it was passed in with a high bid of US$1.55 million.
Along with the 1986 Indy 500 winner, the Gooding & Company auction also featured the sale of a McLaren F1 supercar for a world record auction price of US$20.465 million (AU$27.92 million).