from BarterNews issue #36, 1996.)
Race Car Driver, Designer, Promoter & TV-Personality, Andy Granatelli,
Has Been An Active Trader For Decades
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
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.
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
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!
busy buying, selling, leasing, and trading his various personal properties.