In May 2011, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated its 100th anniversary, marking a full century since the 1911 Marmon Wasp won the inaugural Indianapolis 500. To pay homage to that legendary machine, the Window World company commissioned the construction of The Stinger, in an effort to commemorate the centennial era of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500, they made a modern-day interpretation of the history-making Marmon Wasp.
The car was built for the centennial and since then, Indy racer John Andretti has been taking the car around the country to get it autographed by every living Indy veteran.
The aerodynamics of The Stinger are state-of-the-art, packaged with a Honda-donated, race-winning engine. The Stinger’s yellow and black color scheme honors its namesake, as a tribute to history. And with the support of Indianapolis 500 legends, The Stinger is now a part of that history.
Though the centennial of that race was held five years ago, the race this year will be the 100th running of the event, which was not held during war years.
With a collection of signatures from nearly 250 of the 273 total Indianapolis 500 Veterans as of 2011, The Stinger has become a priceless salute to a century of excellence.
John Andretti not only had to hunt down the drivers, he had to take the car to nursing homes for some to sign, to one ailing driver’s driveway. Another was in jail and signed while wearing shackles. “It’s been a real adventure,” Andretti said.
Andretti, a nephew of Mario Andretti and cousin of Michael Andretti and Marco Andretti, traveled tens of thousands of miles with the Stinger to find autographs. Most of the missing signatures belong to retired racers who live overseas, and Andretti wasn’t willing to send parts of the car abroad for signatures.
In addition to its Indycar body and chassis, the Stinger carries a race-winning Honda engine and wears Firestone tires embedded with the names of every driver who has the 500 on that brand of tires. The seat in the car came out of a car raced by four-time IndyCar series champion Scott Dixon.
All of the proceeds from the auction went to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.