The Driver Suit Blog-Uniforms and Memorabilia from the 1995 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race

26-lepanBy David G. Firestone

I’ve been out of commission for a week due to a minor leg issue. I’m back to full strength, and I will be returning to work next week. I’m looking forward to it, and we have a couple of things to discuss.

I recently purchased a collection of stuff from the late Phil LePan. Phil LePan was a long time IndyCar crew member from the late 1970’s to the 2000’s. He had worked for many of the great teams in the course of his career. In 1995, he got his only start as a crew chief, this one at the 1995 Indianapolis 500 as crew chief for Teo Fabi for Forsythe Racing’s #33 Ford Cosworth XB. They started 15th and finished 8th. LePan wore this crew chief suit and kept a number of items from that race.  The suit shows some light wear, and the rest of the items show wear as well. This is a single-layer suit.77-lepanThe front collar shows a Combustion Engineering logo on the Velcro closure.77-lepan-collar

The standard Simpson warranty label is present in the cowl, along with a “born on” tag stating that the suit was made on 2/9577-lepan-tag

The right chest features an INDECK logo, as well as two small Simpson tags present.77-lepan-rchest

The left chest features a PPG logo and an INDY CAR logo.77-lepan-lchest

The front torso features a Combustion Engineering Racing logo on a shark tooth design.77-lepan-flogo

Phil LePan’s name has been embroidered into the belt of the suit, in white lettering on a red background.77-lepan-belt

The logos on this suit are minimal, and as a result, there are no logos at all on the legs. The cuff is a standard cuff.77-lepan-legs

The shoulder epaulets have GOODYEAR logos embroidered in white lettering on a red background.77-lepan-rshoulder

The right sleeve has a BOSCH SPARK PLUGS logo, but no logos in television position. In-car cameras at that time were not as widespread as they are today, so little consideration was given to logo design on sleeves in IndyCar at that time.77-lepan-rsleeve1 77-lepan-rsleeve2Like the right shoulder, the left shoulder epaulet has a GOODYEAR logo embroidered in white lettering on a red background.77-lepan-lshoulder

The left sleeve has a vintage SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS patch on the top, but no logos in television position.77-lepan-rsleeve1 77-lepan-rsleeve2

The back of the suit has minimal wear and minimal logos present.77-lepanb

The only logo on the back of the suit is a Combustion Engineering Racing logo on the back torso.77-lepan-bneck 77-lepan-flogo

LePan was issued this pit badge to allow access to Gasoline Alley. It came in a Forsythe Racing neck holder, which also has a Forsythe Racing pin. The pit badge is a bronze badge, with a Corvette design.fabi-badge-1 fabi-badge-2 fabi-badge-3 fabi-badge-4

Fabi autographed a couple of items for LePan, including a Combustion Engineering hat and a hero card.fabi-cap fabi-card1 fabi-card2

A miniature hero card was issued in key chain size was issued, and on the key chain was a company information card.fabi-card-1 fabi-card-2 fabi-card-3 fabi-card-4 fabi-card-5

Media guides are given to the media, and sold to fans. Media guides contain full information and statistics for that season. This example is from the United States Auto Club or USAC in 1995fabi-media guide

Pit badges are issued to teams via the credentials office. This card gives the location and hours of the credential office.fabi-officeNow we move on to…


For this tailgate time, we’re going super exotic. On a whim, I purchased some canned bear meat from Hokkaido Japan.DSCN1941 It came in what was termed “extremely spicy” curry sauce. DSCN1942 DSCN1943So I got the can, mixed it with some rice, and had it for dinner on Monday.  DSCN1944 DSCN1945 DSCN1946 DSCN1947  I have to say, it was really good. It can work at a tailgate, as long as some rice has been pre-made. Mix it with the rice, and it works. It wasn’t as spicy as I thought. So next time you go to the track, bring the bear with you!


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