Carl Haas and Paul Newman – later aided by Mike Lanigan – built a dynasty of winning driver, owner and manufacturer championships in CART’s PPG World Series and later in the Champ Car World Series, a dynasty that’s included some of the world’s greatest racers. Included in that group are, of course, both Mario and Michael Andretti, Christian Fittipaldi, Nigel Mansell, Cristiano da Matta, Bruno Junqueira and four-time Champ Car titleholder Sebastien Bourdais.
Since Carl Haas’ 2016 death, his wife Bernie has kept the workshops open, in part because Carl A Haas Auto Imports Inc. has been the importer of many racing components for the North and South American motorsports landscape, notably Lola Cars and Hewland gearboxes. Now Ms Haas is selling the racing cars, a couple of street cars, the mounds of memorabilia that made Newman/Haas Racing, known as Newman Haas Lanigan Racing when Mike Lanigan joined the team in its later years, one of the most successful open wheel entities in American motorsports.
Haas started his race team owner’s experience in the 1970s but didn’t keep all of his winning vehicles until joining with Newman in 1983. Haas-owned teams have won 11 championships; Newman/Haas Racing, which started operations in 1983, won its first CART title with Mario Andretti in 1984 and would amass another ten titles before disbanding after the 2011 INDYCAR season.
Now more than 40 cars and a host of Haas memorabilia is going to the auction block, offered by RM Sothebys. The auction date is 29 October 2022 but the venue has not been stated by Sothebys as it enumerated the 78 lots available. The cars on offer start with a 1983 Lola and go to a 2011 Dallara. All are being offered without reserve. The memorabilia is equally enticing, with driver’s suits, helmets, gloves, commissioned artwork, championship trophies, and even a 1954 Jaguar XK120 roadster, a 1948 MC TC and a 2000 MV Augsta F4 750 Series Oro.
A look through the listing of championship cars, the 2007 Ford Fusion NASCAR Cup Series car, a variety of race-car models, a single Toyota engine with stand, less internals is a feast for the eyes. It’s also an historic voyage through the history of modern Indy car racing.
Haas, Newman and Lanigan, the latter now affiliated with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, were the most successful car owners of their era. Starting in the CanAm Series, moving to Formula 5000, CART, a quick stint in Formula One while still running CART, the Champ Car World Series and the Indy Racing League, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing was the linchpin of open wheel racing.
While it’s sad to see all of these cars disperse – at no reserve for any of the 78 items offered – selling “The House that Newman/Haas Racing Built” closes the door on that Lincolnshire, Illinois business and the era of big cigars and even bigger results.