PORTER, SACHS NAMED TO AUTO RACING HALL OF FAME INDIANAPOLIS, March 16, 1999 -- Legendary chief mechanic and engine builder, Herb Porter, and an extremely popular two-time Indianapolis 500 pole position winner, the late Eddie Sachs, will be...
PORTER, SACHS NAMED TO AUTO RACING HALL OF FAME
INDIANAPOLIS, March 16, 1999 -- Legendary chief mechanic and engine builder, Herb Porter, and an extremely popular two-time Indianapolis 500 pole position winner, the late Eddie Sachs, will be inducted into Auto Racing's Hall of Fame in Indianapolis on May 21.
Porter and Sachs become the 106th and 107th persons honored with Hall of Fame induction since its founding in 1952. Honorees must receive votes from at least 75 percent of the distinguished panel of journalists, officials, historians and former participants to earn induction.
Porter, a great proponent of supercharging -- and later of turbocharging -- was an Indianapolis 500 chief mechanic from 1951-66. Andy Linden qualified for the middle of the front row of the 1952 500, driving a supercharged Offenhauser-powered entry set up by Porter, while Rodger Ward's five USAC National Championship race wins for car owner Roger Wolcott between 1957 and '58 came with Porter as chief mechanic.
Porter was the first to experiment with turbocharger units on Offenhauser engines (in 1966), and Bobby Unser won the 1968 with a Porter-prepared turbo Offy. It wasn't long before the entire starting field was made up of turbocharged engines, and with Porter employed as Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's engine development engineer -- later to form his own business -- virtually every speed record for the next three decades carried his stamp.
Sachs, a front-row qualifier in four of his first five Indianapolis 500 starts (1957-61) came tantalizingly close to winning the race in 1961. Starting from the pole for the second consecutive year, the colorful, crowd-pleasing Sachs led when forced in for a tire change with only three laps remaining, dropping him to an eventual second-place finish behind A.J. Foyt. Sachs also finished third in 1962 at Indianapolis.
Sachs won eight USAC National Championship races, including the 1958 Hoosier 100 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, plus three in succession at Trenton (N.J.) Speedway. An outstanding sprint car driver, he was runner-up for the Mid-West Sprint Car title three times (1954, '55 and '56) before winning it in 1958. He lost his life in an accident shortly after the start of the 1964 Indianapolis 500, resulting in the end to the use of gasoline as a fuel in the "500."