Wilbur Shaw 1940

This is David Story's rendering of 1940 Indianapolis 500 winner Wilbur Shaw in the Mike Boyle Maserati. Shaw was the historic race's first three-time champion, also winning the grueling contest in 1937 and 1939. Less well known is that Shaw not only won the "500" three times but also finished in the runner-up spot the same number of times ('33, '35, '38). Find a great story on the 1937 race elsewhere on First Super Speedway.
As for the Maserati, virtually no one connects the dots between the Vanderbilt Cup revivals of the 1936 - 1937 and Shaw's decision to urge Boyle to make the Maserati purchase. Those revivals were on Long Island's Roosevelt Raceway cinder-surface road course and it was there that Wilbur Shaw saw the European Grand Prix cars of the age and encouraged team owner Mike Boyle to purchase one. Tazio Nuvolari won for Alfa Romeo in '36, Bernd Rosemeyer for Auto Union in '37. The American garage-designed oval-track oriented "specials" with rudimentary gearboxes were hopelessly outclassed by the Euro-engineered factory entries.  Shaw knew if he could get his hands on one, he could dominate at the Brickyard.

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