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(Reprinted from BarterNews issue #36, 1996.)

Legendary Race Car Driver, Designer, Promoter & TV-Personality, Andy Granatelli, Has Been An Active Trader For Decades

Andy Granatelli, 72, although now officially retired says he's busier than ever. That's understandable considering what he's accomplished. To say that he's led a fascinating life is an under-statement. He's really done it all.

In 1948 he passed his driver's test at Indy (The Indianapolis 500), soon thereafter he was vice chairman of NASCAR. He was also president of the "Hurricane Racing Association," and promoted hot rod and stock car races throughout the Midwest with the biggest quarter mile crowds ever...89,560 people in attendance at Soldiers' Field in Chicago.

As the chief driver and chief engineer at Studebaker Racing, Granatelli set over 400 world land-speed records. At the age of 62, in his street legal passenger car, he drove to an amazing record of 241.731 miles per hour on pump gasoline.

He and his cars have made the covers of numerous magazines, hundreds of network and local TV shows, and have been the subject of over 30,000 newspaper and magazine articles worldwide.

Granatelli took the immortal Novi racing engine and increased the horsepower from 450 to 837. He also designed the Chrysler 300 engine, the Cadillac Eldorado engine, and the Studebaker Avanti R-I, II, III and IV engines.

The world famous Indianapolis turbine engine cars in 1967 and 1968 were designed, built, and raced by Granatelli. His race cars have won the Indianapolis 500 twice.

His "rags to riches" autobiography, They Call Me Mr. 500, sold over 250,000 copies and is now in the process of being made into a movie. Even though he was born in Dallas, he has received the most coveted Rudolph Valentino Award. And has been recently nominated for "Cavallieri Award" (Knighthood) from the Republic of Italy. He has been named the "Italian American of the Year" on numerous occasions. Plus has been inducted into the Italian American Hall of Fame as well as the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame. Granatelli got his start in the Great Depression tuning cars for a dime, when he was only 11 years old. Soon after, like so many kids in those days, he began trading and found it fascinating. It's been a big part of his life ever since.

Many readers will recall the ubiquitous STP/Granatelli ads in the '60s and '70s. Few knew, however, that a good deal of the TV time slots were acquired on barter...TV spots which enabled Granatelli to make STP a household word.

In 1963, after Granatelli acquired an unknown company (Chemical Compounds), he changed the name to STP. In less than a decade he built STP from 7 to over 2,000 employees.

STP became a world-famous company with some 20 million cars around the globe displaying STP decals. Annual sales exceeded $100 million, and Granatelli pocketed $135 million when he sold the company to Esmark Corp in 1974.

In January 1976 he then purchased another little-known company, Tune-Up Masters, for $300,000. Within nine years he duplicated the feat he had accomplished at STP...namely, selling out for millions. He sold Tune-Up Masters and walked away with another $60 million!

Today Granatelli's busy buying, selling, leasing, and trading his various personal properties.


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