An eerie photograph from a Champion spark plug ad that aired in the March 12 issue of Life Magazine. The driver in the car at the top of the ad is Bob Sweikert. He was born in Los Angeles, California on May 20, 1926. He grew up with automobiles, working at a local Ford dealership in Hayward, CA. He would have been an airman in World War II, but a knee injury suffered during training at Lowry Field, Colorado kept him sidelined until after the end of combat. In 1945 he was honorably discharged from the Air Force.
Sweikert competed in four Indy 500 races, winning the 1955 contest and placing 6th in 1956, the year of the ad. June 17, 1956 of that same year he would be killed in a sprint car race in Salem, Indiana, a wreck that was caught on film.