During ANTIQUES ROADSHOW's July 2016 visit to Indianapolis, it was only natural that we would find items related to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track. A self-described "speedway sparkplug" brought in his signed Indianapolis 500 racing flag that he purchased from an estate sale. The flag was from the 1958 race and features signatures from 31 of the 33 drivers, plus 18 additional signatures from the extended racing community.
The 1958 race is significant because it saw the accidental death of driver Pat O'Connor, who died in a car crash with Ed Elisian and Dick Rathmann. Jimmy Bryan went on to win the race.
It's not often that our appraisers are stumped, but there was one outstanding question after sports memorabilia expert Grant Zahajko examined the piece.
"We can only assume that this flag was probably started to be signed a day, two days, perhaps three days before, as we have Pat O'Connor's signature here," Zahajko said. "The only thing we can't figure out between any of us is how Jimmy Bryan managed to save the center logo for himself." Sometimes, Zahajko explained, a driver will have already signed the flag before the race and then will sign the flag a second time in the center after a win. Bryan didn't sign the flag anywhere else.
So do you know why Bryan signed the center? ... Leave a message in our comments section at the bottom of the page!