Rolla Vollstedt was one of the most brilliant pioneers of the modern day Indy cars in America.
Rollas' hand crafted cars, Vollstedts', were ran at Indianapolis motor speedway for over twenty consecutive years from 1963 through 1983.
By the mid seventies Rolla had garages one and two at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and served on the USAC board of directors with new kids like Roger Penske, Carl Haas and Pat Patrick who eventually turned real racing into a multi million dollar business.
Rolla brought the first rear engined Offenhauser to Indy in 1964
A Vollstedt car broke the closed circuit 150mph average speed in the Firestone tire tests in 1963-
Seven Historic Vollstedt cars were hand built in the west hills of Portland Oregon.
Designs were Vollstedt, with early engineering calculations by Don Robinson of Portland.
Chassis and Power Train were executed by Hal Sperb of West Linn and Rolla Vollstedt. Supurb Sperb later went on to hand craft the Pat Patrick Longhorn Wildcat that Gordon Johncock won the Indy 500 in.
Local driver Len Sutton drove and the number #66 first rear engined Offy.
In 1963 Hot Rod magazine featured this car on the front page in an article called an "Offy Answers Back"
By 1965 every competitive car at the speedway had copied Rollas rear engine design.
Rolla then went on to pioneer a "fin" now commonly used on all modern day Indy cars and known as a wing.
During the late seventies his aeordynamic wheels and bodywork were outlawed. . . . .now its' the normal design featured on modern day Indianapolis cars
Rolla was so ahead of his time that he brought the first woman driver Janet Guthrie, to the speedway before Danica Patrick was even born back in 1976.
Rolla once told me the secret in the ability to amass a small fortune was to take a rather large fortune and go racing.
Rollas only drawback was being underfunded and misunderstood.
As one of many loyal followers of this brilliant builder I say to this day;
" The right way , the wrong way and the Vollstedt way!"
A true pioneer in racing Rolla told me during my first engine startup about a Turbocharged, 4 cylinder, 19 Degree, 1200 hp offenhauser. . . . . . . .