Let's not even debate it: The Indianapolis 500 is the most exhilarating sporting event ever devised by man.
And as we contemplate the 100th running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" this weekend, I'm fairly sure I know the most exciting era in the history of the 500.
That would be the mid-1960s, when the Brickyard was shifting from front-engine Offenhauser-powered roadsters to low-slung, rear-engine racers. Watching a giant Offy and a little Lotus-Ford roar down the main straightaway side by side was electrifying.
It was also an era of remarkable Speedway characters -- such as Colin Chapman, the crafty English car-builder; Jimmy Clark, the shy Formula 1 star from Scotland; and those brash, young American disruptors: A.J. Foyt ... and Lee Iacocca.
From 1947 to 1964, every Indianapolis 500 was won by an Offenhauser-fitted, front-engine behemoth. The four-cylinder Offy was tweaked over the years by its manufacturer, Meyer-Drake, but never replaced -- in part because of the high cost of trying to come up with something new.
Enter Ford Motor Co.