Lou Moore’s two Deidt FD Offy ‘Blue Crown Spark Plug Specials’ driven by Mauri Rose and Bill Holland being prepared for the 1947 Indianapolis 500.

The colourisation of this Getty Images shot was done by Sanna Dullaway for a Time magazine feature; ‘A Century’s Evolution of Indy 500 Racing’. The rare under-the-skin photograph shows clearly the key elements of these successful cars; front mounted engine and transaxle, girder chassis and big rear mounted fuel tank.

Rose won the race from Holland and Ted Horn’s Maserati 8CTF in a controversial result.

Holland took the lead at about the 100 mile mark, but lost it “when he skidded in front of Shorty Cantlon, Cantlon’s Snowberger FD Offy hit the outside wall and was killed.”

Mauri Rose (IMS)

At about 200 miles Holland regained the lead, late in the race he was given an ‘Ezy’ pit signal by Lou Moore – a former Indy polesitter and three times on the podium – which he took as a direction to do the final laps at a reduced pace. Rose ignored the signal and sped up, Holland wasn’t troubled as he thought he had a lap in hand.

The two drivers exchanged waves during the pass, Holland took this to be a congratulatory gesture, but it was a pass for he lead, Rose led the final 8 laps and won the race by 32 seconds. “Holland called it a lousy deal,” Indy Star reported.


Bill Holland, an unlucky second in 1947, Deidt FD Offy above.

He won the race for Moore in 1949, on this occasion, Rose’s late race surge while lying second – against Moore’s pit board instructions – resulted in a broken magneto and a DNF. Moore fired Rose as soon as he arrived back at the pits!

1947 Indy ticket


Getty Images, Time, Indy Star, IMS-Indy Motor Speedway archive



Moore’s Deidt FD Offy 4.2-litre powered front wheel drive roadster, Indy 1947.


  1. George says:

    FWD Indy winners! Word is that the engines were tuned for fuel economy in order to have as few fuel stops as possible.

    I’d never heard of Blue Crown sparkplugs, so had to look them up. In addition to Indy racers, they were also involved with NASCAR. Not a lot of info other than they were based in Chicago and had USA & Mexican factories. Nothing on why/how they disappeared in the early ’50s.

    • markbisset says:

      Hi George,
      I can’t help you I am afraid. Looking at the ad closely, they were a division of the ‘Motor Master Products Corp’, with Borg Warner looking after international sales. Try Googling those connections maybe.

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