This crushed car was once an Indy racecar from the early ’70s.
Earlier this Friday (Feb. 2, 2024) Lot #3271 from Day 9 of the 47th Anniversary Auction at Kraft Auction Service, a crushed car compacted into a cube, sold for $7,750 before fees and premiums.
Here are photos of the compact cube in question.
It’s hard to infer from pictures but, believe it or not, this was an actual racecar at one time.
This was an Eagle-Watson racecar raced by American racecar driver Mike Mosley during the 1971 season of the United States Auto Club (USAC) Championship Car Series.
This Eagle-Watson racecar met its untimely demise during the 1971 Indianapolis 500 race where, in turn 4 of Lap 167, Mosley “hit the outside wall causing the car to careen down the track to the inside wall.”
As to why Mosely crashed, according to Muncie, Indiana’s “The Star Press” report after the race, it says Mosely “lost a wheel.”
Mosley’s racecar struck another car parked in the infield, causing him to flip and the car igniting into flames.
Fortunately, another racecar driver stopped and pulled Mosely out from the wreckage to safety.
Apparently, crashing on lap 167 of 200 didn’t mean Mosely didn’t place, as race stats list Mosely placing 13th.
13th was good enough for a $20,345 cash prize, which is roughly $156,000 today. (1st place got $238K or $1.8M today.)
A.J. Watson, car builder for Mosely, saw the wrecked Eagle in the garage area of the Indy 500, better known as Gasoline Alley, and promised that this racecar would never race again.
Watson had the Eagle-Watson racecar crushed and gifted it back to Mosely as a memento of sorts.
Mosely suffered a broken leg, but eventually recovered weeks later and continued racing for another 16 years.
Why would anyone want to buy a crushed cube?
Crushed or not, what remains was once an actual USAC Indy Car that placed 13th in the Indianapolis 500, aka The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, and 1 of three races in the triple crown of Motorsport (including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and F1 Monaco Grand Prix.)
It’s a Mike Mosely racecar, a driver respected in the sport and considered an underdog type of driver who succeeded despite arguably 2nd rate racecars by often using unorthodox racing methods.
Before being raced by Mosely, it was also raced by three time Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser at one point.
Practically speaking, it’s a compact piece of motorsport memorabilia. For full size racecar memorabilia that most buyers never drive, this cube doesn’t take up much space.
The uninitiated will have no clue what it is, arguably making it a better conversation piece than an undamaged, 1971 USAC racecar.