BRODHEADSVILLE, Pa.– Walter Goodwin, arguably the leading restorer of vintage Indy cars, will be attending the Classic Racing Times’ Vintage Celebration at Pocono August 16-17-18, and he is bringing along the very first Coyote Indy car built by A.J. Foyt Enterprises.
The car, owned by collector and historian John Darlington, will be making only its second on-track appearance since its restoration was completed by Goodwin in his Indianapolis shop, Race Car Restorations, Inc.
But the Foyt Coyote will be far from the only Goodwin restoration in attendance. Goodwin, who has restored literally dozens of classic Indy cars over the past 30-plus years, will see his handiwork on display in a significant percentage of the cars participating in the Vintage Celebration. The event accompanies the NTT Indycar Series ABC Supply 500 at Pocono.
Goodwin started working for Indy car teams while still a teenager, ultimately working for several teams and several top drivers before launching his restoration business in 1985. He performs what he describes as “complete” restorations, handling every aspect of each project. He does them “exactly like they were,” he says, drawing on his knowledge gained while working on the cars when they were new.
The restoration of the Coyote was challenging because the car, after its Indycar career, was cut and modified into a rear-engine Sprint car with which Tom Sneva won six of 17 races in 1973, ultimately contributing to a ban on rear-engine Sprinters by USAC.
Goodwin generally focuses on cars from the early rear-engine years at Indianapolis, cars such as the 1965 Lotus with which NASCAR driver Bobby Johns recorded his best 500 finish, and the 1970 Lola driven by Mark Donohue. Goodwin has performed restoration work on a few of the earlier roadsters, and on later cars as well, but prefers to avoid newer cars that carry more and more electronics.
The Classic Racing Times’ Vintage Celebration at Pocono spotlights classic Indycars, Champ cars, Sprints cars and Modifieds in demonstration laps on the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle.” The event also includes a classic car show in the paddock, twilight TQ Midget racing on a track laid out on the oval’s front straightaway, and autograph sessions which this year will include Daytona 500 winner Geoff Bodine, among others.
Additional information is available at TheClassicRacingTimes.com.