The late Indy car builder Lujie Lesovsky said this about A.J.: “The Watson roadster is the Model T of race cars. No trick stuff, no monkey motion; everything so simple it’s hard for anything to go wrong.”
Why do the legends I write about live such long lives? Because they’re still acting like kids working on stuff and building things—they’re active! Hot rodders like A.J. don’t retire; they just wrench away. And while the days of competitive racing have ended for the roadsters, vintage racing has welcomed the front-engined Indy Cars with open racetracks.
If you want to know what it felt like to be a Foyt, Jones, or Ward behind the wheel, A.J. will build you a Watson roadster for vintage racing and since he—A.J. Watson—is the builder, it can’t be considered a reproduction.
A.J. leaves home every day to drive to his 25-acre farm outside of Indianapolis where he has a shop to spend the morning building a replica of the Pots and Pans Speedway Car or a Watson roadster for a customer. He goes home for lunch and back to the shop for a few more hours in the afternoon to maybe tinker with his ’27 roadster or his wild Harley Trike: “Now that I’m retired, I do all the work on the roadsters myself. Nobody works for me.”
A.J., we know a legion of hot rodders who would work for you and wouldn’t take a dime for the experience.