the Blue Hilton transported the No. 66 McLaren that Mark Donohue drove to victory in the 1972 Indianapolis 500 – the first of Team Penske’s record 16 wins in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” In conjunction with its sister transporter, “The White Hilton,” it was used to transport the powerful, championship-winning Porsche 917s that dominated the landscape of the Can-Am Series in the early 1970s with George Follmer and Donohue before it was sold in 1983.
Until Jerry Breon, a long-time Penske team member, located the sales listing in an automotive trade magazine in the fall of 2015, this historic vehicle was thought to have been scrapped. The truck was purchased from George Boyd of Urbana, Illinois, who had utilized it while competing in various racing series until retiring it to a spot on his property.
He was the only owner of the truck after its days at Team Penske. After verification and removal from the Boyd property, the Blue Hilton was towed to the Penske Truck Leasing (PTL) Collision Center in Ft. Wayne, Indiana where the restoration began with the help of Donohue’s original blueprints.
They took it to truck body manufacturer Morgan Corporation, who was able to supply many of the original extrusions used in building the box section. One Morgan employee had been with the company when the Blue Hilton was constructed in 1972, and provided invaluable advice during the rig’s restoration. While the aluminum skin of the box section appeared well-preserved, much of the internal steel structure had corroded after decades parked in an Illinois field.
“When you talk with the crew members that drove and worked out of this transporter over those years, and you look at the photos from the many cars it carried, you see how the Blue Hilton was an integral part of our history,” said Bernie King. “It’s certainly very much a part of the Team Penske heritage. Everyone at Penske Truck Leasing that was involved did a fantastic job of restoring this truck to how it was when it ran and carried many of the team’s winning cars.”