Friday, August 19, 2011

More Reynolds Racers- Rio Red '61 Invicta

I don't have a picture of the '59. Reynolds Buick's first race car, and a very successful one at that. Called the "winningest Buick of all time", the Tampico Red Invicta coupe with the huge batwing fins and the red and white interior. The car accumulated an astonishing 132 trophies in its career before being retired in 1961. On its first run, the Tampico Red finned beauty turned a 15.0 at 90 mph. With milled heads and a 4.44 rear end, the time dropped to 14.70 at 93 mph. On the Reynolds books as a demo, upon retirement it was sold as a used car- and I have one lousy, grainy picture of it.

Someone must have given Pete a Kodak Brownie before the '61 came in. Buoyed by the success of the '59 Invicta, Pete ordered another Invicta- a '61 in a deeper maroon known as Rio Red with a sexy red and white interior. Pop Kennedy set up similarly to the '59 with a 4.44 rear end and milled heads, plus headers and his Casler tires.

This Invicta turned a 14.21 at 97.70 mph and won 38 consecutive races between May 21 and Sept 10, 1961- NO losses! Pete sprung for gas money, so Pop put the racing slicks in the trunk and DROVE the Invicta to Indianapolis where he was rewarded with a class win- a feat that he repeated in 1962. Thankfully there are quite a few nice pictures of this one. Take a look at them, Pop Kennedy, Pete Reynolds, and Irv Reynolds Sr are posing proudly with their thoroughbred.

Incidentally, the lettering on the side was removable tape, so no Buicks were harmed in the making of this race car. The professional lettering would come later, with the first '65. At this stage, the program is more of a glorified weekend racer than a full scale dragster. And don't forget, after two seasons of racing, the glorious Invicta was sold as a used car! Wouldn't we love to have it back...

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