Rodger Ward drove the first rear-engine Watson to 2nd place in the 1964 Indy 500.
Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
For the last 20 years or so of his life, Rodger Ward and I were friends. Even though I had met him only once during the fabulous fifties when he drove a customer’s Devin SS when I was the Devin distributor. We became close friends when I asked him to drive my 1968 Gilbert IndyCar at the 1985 Palm Springs Vintage Grand Prix.
Rodger Ward was one of those towering figures during what some now call the “Golden Age of Racing”—the fifties and sixties. Although Rodger is best known for his feats in Championship (Indianapolis-type) Cars, he drove in virtually every sort of auto racing: midgets, sprinters, stock cars, sports cars, Formula 1 and even hot rods (drag racing and speed runs on the dry lakes). Respect and admiration for his many feats made him one of racing’s icons.
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