Andy Granatelli Collection
Portions of this collection are digitized

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1403
Creators:
Granatelli, Andy, 1923-2013
Granatelli, Vincent
Grancor Automotive Specialists
Hurricane Hot Rod Association
Studebaker Corporation
Dates:
1932-2008
Languages:
Collection is in
English
. Some materials in
Dutch
,
French
,
German
,
Japanese
, and
Spanish
.
Physical Description:
66 Cubic feet
108 boxes, 16 map-folders
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection documents Granatelli's lifelong involvement with automobiles, from his youth through his career as an auto industry executive, and as a racing car owner, designer and promoter. The collection consists primarily of files, photographs, scrapbooks, and drawings. Some of the earliest files relate to Grancor, a company founded by Granatelli and his two brothers in 1945, which customized cars for clients. Other things contained in the files include meeting minutes, articles of association, business and financial records, legal records and profit and loss statements. Also included are papers relating to an organization he started called the Hurricane Hot Rod Association.
A large portion of the files relate to Granatelli's term as President of STP, a division of the Studebaker Corporation, from 1961-1974. These files detail the internal workings of the company during this period, and include papers relating to such things as strategic planning, sales, marketing, advertising and competitors' products. Additionally, this portion contains STP's Board of Directors' minutes, documents on policies and procedures, papers documenting advertising campaigns, comparative sales figures, sales manuals, and Granatelli's business correspondence. The largest part of the files relate to the Indianapolis 500 race. There are detailed files on the drivers and race teams he assembled for the annual race, but these files also include design drawings, specifications, test data, lap logs, performance statistics, and reports documenting the implementation of design changes. The scrapbooks in the collection contain clippings, biographical materials, and other documents relating to auto racing in America and especially the Indianapolis 500. Finally, the collection contains a large number of photographs covering all aspects of Granatelli's career.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Collection is arranged into nine series.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1946-2006
Series 2: Granatelli Corporation, 1943-1975
Series 3: Studebaker Corporation, 1935-1991
Series 4: United States Auto Club (USAC)
Series 5: Novi Engine, 1949-1971
Series 6: Product Literature, 1949-1972
Series 7: Racing Programs, Publications, and Ephermera, 1940s-2007
Series 8: Photographs, 1932-2008
Series 9: Audiovisual Materials, 1960-2001

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Andy Granatelli (1923-2013) was an automobile racing promoter, a race car engine designer and an automotive innovator. Two of his cars, a 1967 turbine engine race car and the 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner, are in National Museum of American History's Division of Work & Industry collection. More than any other racing figure, Granatelli bridged the realms of garage tinkerers and professional motorsports, and he stimulated public interest in auto racing on a national level. His STP Corporation became a high-profile sponsor of Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR race cars, with Granatelli appearing in ads and commercials. His larger-than-life personality and flair for the dramatic made him an American cultural phenomenon. His career is well summed up in the profile written for his 2003 induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame.
Racer, entrepreneur, engineer, promoter, business executive. This is how one begins to describe the career of Andy Granatelli. But the title Mister 500 is the one that befits him most, for it describes a lifelong dream to conquer the famous 500-mile race in Indianapolis.
It was a preposterous dream for the scrappy kid growing up in the slums of Chicago, whose mother had died when he was twelve, and two years later, at the age of fourteen, dropped out of school to help his father feed the family. Andy Granatelli began his quest for Indy 500 fame at the age of 20 in 1943, when he and his brother pooled their meager, hard-earned money and purchased a Texaco gas station on the north side of Chicago, which he called Andy's Super Service. Andy, always the promoter, needed a gimmick to set himself apart from other service stations. His gimmick? Granatelli initiated the first pit stop service station, utilizing four or five mechanics to work on a car at one time.
Customers appreciated the true super service experience and would often wait in line for this unique treatment. With this unique service and Andy's P.T. Barnum style it was no wonder that the station was prosperous, and just two years later, in 1945, he formed the Granatelli Corporation, known as Grancor Automotive Specialists. As the head of Grancor, Andy Granatelli pioneered the concept of mass merchandising performance products and power and speed equipment to a generation of Americans who were discovering the joys of hot rodding.
Andy quickly learned that if you give the customer what he needs, you can make a living; give him what he wants, and you can make a fortune! Granatelli's racing career began in 1946, when he built the first rocket-powered car to race on an oval track. That same year, he took his first car to the Indianapolis 500--a pre-war Harry Miller--designed Ford.
When Andy Granatelli wasn't burning up tracks, he was tearing up the business world. In 1958, Andy and his brother Joe purchased Paxton Products, a failing engineering firm that made superchargers. With Andy at the helm, Paxton Products became profitable in seven months. In 1961, Andy sold Paxton Products to Studebaker Corporation and stayed on as Paxton's CEO. Two years later, Studebaker management wanted Granatelli to work his magic on an under-performing division called Chemical Compounds Corporation. Chemical Compounds had only one, little known product . . . STP Oil Treatment. With virtually no advertising budget, Andy created a four-pronged approach to turn the company around: a recognizable corporate logo (the STP oval), a product (oil treatment), a product spokesman (himself) and a reason for existence (racing). The STP logo became one of the best recognized in history. STP could be found in virtually every venue of speed: on land, on the water or in the air. Andy Granatelli once said that in the 1960s, virtually every kid in America had an STP sticker on his bedroom door, his notebook or his lunchbox, and he was probably right!
Back at Indianapolis, Granatelli entered a revolutionary race car of his own design - one with a turbine engine in 1967 and 1968. Even though the car failed to finish both years due to mechanical failure, the cars demonstrated superior speed and performance. At the end of the 1968 season, the U.S. Auto Club revised engine specifications, effectively outlawing Granatelli's turbine car. Undeterred, Granatelli returned to Indy the following year with a conventional car and proceeded to win his first Indianapolis 500 with Mario Andretti at the wheel. Four years later, in 1973, Andy won his second and last Indy 500 with a car driven by Gordon Johncock. Andy Granatelli's childhood dream of conquering Indy was fulfilled, not once, but twice.
Source
Andy Granatelli Biography, Automotive Hall of Fame (last accessed January 29, 2020 https://www.automotivehalloffame.org/honoree/andy-granatelli/)

Administration
Author
Alison Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by Vincent J. Granatelli, 2017.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Alison Oswald, archivist, 2020-2021. An arrangement scheme for the papers was imposed during processing in the absence of a usable original order. Original file folder titles were retained in most cases.

Digital Content
More …
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
Andy Granatelli Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center
Warshaw Collection of Business American, Series: Automobile Industry (NMAH.AC.0060)
Winton-Anderson Scrapbook Collection (NMAH.AC.0122)
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 1: Transportation (NMAH.AC.0300)
Evan Rangeloff Collection of Punchboards and Liggett & Myers Tobacco Sales Materials (NMAH.AC.0716)
Materials at the National Museum of American History, Division of Work and Industry
The Divison holds artifacts related to STP and the STP-Paxton Turbo Car. Included are key chains, trophies, STP stickers, TuneUp Masters stickers, belt buckle, and patch. See accession 2017.3043.
STP-Paxton Turbocar, 1967. See accession 1978.0418.
Materials at the National Museum of American History, Division of Cultural and Community Life
Division holds artifacts related to Andy Grantelli's racing career such as helmets, goggles, trophies, and coveralls and vests with the STP logo. See accession 2017.0092.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Advertisements -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Automobile driving Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Automobile industry and trade Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Automobile industry executives Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Automobiles Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Automobiles -- Design and construction Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Automobiles, Racing Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business records -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Design drawings -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Engines, automobile Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Financial records -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hot rods Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Legal records -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Minutes -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Publications Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slides Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Speeches Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Afrons, Arthur Eugene "Art", 1926-2007 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Afrons, Walter Charles "Walt", 1916-2013 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Agajanian, Joshua C. James , 1913-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Agnew, Spiro T., 1918-1996 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Anderson, Eddie "Rochester", 1905-1977 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Andretti, Mario, 1940- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Banks, Henry, 1913-1994 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bishop, Joey Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bridges, Lloyd Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Carson, Johnny, 1925-2005 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Carter, Jimmy, 1924- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chapman, Anthony Colin Bruce , 1928-1982 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clark, Jim, 1936-1968 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cole, Hal, 1912-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooper, Earl, 1886-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooper, Leroy Gordan, 1927-2004 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Derr, Ernest Virgil "Ernie" , 1921- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
DePaolo, Peter, 1898-1980 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
DeVito, Danny Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Douglas, Kirk, 1916-2020 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Egbert, Sherwood, 1920-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ford, Gerald R., 1913-2006 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Foyt, A. J., 1935- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gable, Clark, 1901-1960 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Garagiola, Joe Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Goulet, Robert, 1933-2007 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grissom, Virgil I. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guerrero, Roberto, 1958- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hartke, Vance, 1919-2003 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hill, Graham, 1929-1975 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Holland, Willard, 1907-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hurtubise, Jim, 1932-1989 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indianapolis Speedway Race Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kennedy, Edward Moore, 1932-2009 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kladis, Danny, 1917-2009 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
LaMotta, Jake Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lasorda, Tommy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Leonard, Joe, 1932-2017 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Leno, Jay (comedian) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lorenzen, Fred, 1934- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Luyendyk, Arie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Malone, Art, 1936-2013 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marcenac, Jean Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marciano, Rocky Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mays, Rex Houston, 1913-1949 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McCain, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McElreath, Jimmy, 1928-2017 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Miller, Chet, 1902-1953 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Murphy, Paula, 1928- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Palin, Sarah, 1964- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Parsons, Johnnie, 1918-1984 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Petty, Richard, 1937- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pickens, T. Boone (Thomas Boone) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pollard, Artle Lee, 1927-1973 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Quayle, Dan, 1947- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rathman, Royal Richard "Jim", 1928-2011 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reagan, Ronald Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Robbins, Marty Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Russo, Paul, 1914-1976 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Soldier Field (Chicago) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Studebaker Corporation. STP Division Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Unser, Bobby Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tremulis, Alex S. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Williams, Carl, 1930-1973 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Weld, Greg, 1944-2008 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives