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Your earliest Indy 500 memories?


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#1 Flat Black

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 22:25

Seeing as how this is the NOSTALGIA forum, I thought I'd start a thread that is unabashedly nostalgic. Specifically, what is your earliest recollection of the greatest spectacle in auto racing?

With me, it's a bit fuzzy. There are two possibilities, and they are very similar.

1. I was doing some kiddy thing one afternoon when my grandpa called me over and told me to watch the TV. All I remember is seeing a fiery crash on a very large race track. This would have been the early 70s, and I suspect that what I saw was the Swede Savage accident. The Art Pollard incident is a possibility as well.

2. This one is far more certain. Again, I was in the front yard making mudpies or some such when my dad hollered for me to come in the house and watch something on television. It was Tom Sneva's wild crash in the '75 500 and the miraculous sight of him walking away from it. I was seven years old at the time.

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#2 Walter Zoomie

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 22:30

Sounds like your Dad scarred you for life!;)

#3 David M. Kane

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 23:37

1950 listening to Sid Collins on the radio in my bedroom, I was 9. My big brother was running in the Soap Box Derby that year in Washington, D.C. His friend Buddy Ashton won and my brother finished 3rd. He was really upset. He thought he had a real shot. Guy Lombardo and Jerry Colonna, Bob Hope's sidekick handed out the trophies to the top 3, so my eyes were like saucers looking up at my brother on the podium. We even drove 13 hours to Arkon,Ohio for the National Meet. Jimmy Stewart was the keynote speaker at the Kickoff Banquet. I was like a little Eddie Sachs I got to do this! My early heros were Freddie Agabashian and Bill Vukovich.

They kept all the winners in this neat summer camp on a lake for two whole weeks and gave them neats shirts to wear, etc. It was even called it the Little 500 or something like that.

The Nuns said go to Notre Dame and play football, your Chevy Dealer said build a Soap Box Derby car with your dad.

#4 FLB

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 23:54

1981, Danny Ongais's crash...

#5 Lotus23

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 23:57

David, like yourself, among my early Indy memories are those of Sid Collins broadcasting. But istr reading somewhere that he didn't start broadcasting from Indy until the 1952 race.

Prior to that, I can recall seeing a photo of the grimy but smiling winner in the Boston (Mass) Globe newspaper and am pretty sure it was Lee Wallard (1951).

Within a year or two thereafter I was glued to the radio each Memorial Day. In fact I can clearly recall 53 years ago today listening to Sid tell of Vuky's death. I'd just turned 17 earlier that month.

#6 Flat Black

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 00:06

Glad to hear responses dealing with the radio broadcasts. My late father told me how he and his big brother used to listen, transfixed, to the radio broadcasts back in the 50s. I've heard that the sound of the Offies and Novis was something you never forget.

PS--Dave, Freddie Agabashian always struck me as one of the nicest guys to get behind the wheel at Indy. Don't know if that's true or not, but that's my impression.

#7 David M. Kane

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 00:15

Lotus23:

You're right they didn't start broadcasting the race until 1952, my mistake.

#8 Rob G

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 00:28

I remember watching AJ Foyt leading, and I think it was 1977. If not, it was '76. At any rate, back then the 500 was shown tape-delayed in the evening, so my mom may not have let me stay up late enough to watch in previous years.

#9 JB Miltonian

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 00:39

My memories go back to the radio broadcasts from the early Sixties, and Sid Collins. The tagline: "Stay tuned for the greatest spectacle in racing."

#10 LB

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:02

Earliest Indy memory for me is Gordon Johncock / Rick Mears battle to the line in 1982. I would have just turned 9, I can remember Sneva in 1983 too

#11 Flat Black

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:14

The '82 race was a classic. I was a Johncock fan and I was sweating buckshot during those last several laps as Mears, inexorably, reeled him in. Still got the local sports page for that race, too.

#12 LB

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 02:11

I presume I would have seen it a week later on Grandstand (maybe World of Sport) here in the UK but I had no idea who had won and was absolutely hooked on the race after that. Its a similar story at a similar age with Bathurst down in Australia, again it was on tape delay highlights a week later on the BBC and watching that got me hooked.

#13 Buford

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 03:11

My earliest memory was racing my clay stock cars on my table track and listening to the 1955 Indy 500 on the radio and hearing about the Vukovich accident. I would have been 7 and to become a racer soon myself as the quarter midget was almost ready to be delivered.

In person the first time we went was 1961. We drove south on Georgetown road and when we got to turn 4 we pulled in and parked. Went into a old wooden grandstand and first car I saw was a yellow roadster #6, Bob Cleberg which was appropriate because our stock car and the soon to arrive quarter midget was yellow #6. He didnt qualify and the only other car out there then was the Novi of Ralph Liguori which also didn't qualify. He was driving with bandages all over his face from an engine blowup a day or two before. The sound of the Novi was awesome, all around the track I remember. Later I walked down the main straight and saw the burn marks on the grass inside the grandstand fence where Tony Bettenhausen had been killed the day before after rolling up in the fence, in Paul Russo's car.

Race day my main recollection was Jack Brabham in the tiny Cooper always getting blown off down the main straight in front of me by the powerful roadsters but each lap it was always the same ones because he would pass them back in the 4 corners before they came back around so each lap it was the same. Also I remember it was a hot day and I saw just a glimpse of Jack Turners black Bardahl car flipping down the track down to my left. What ever happened to Bardahl?

#14 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 03:21

Watching the terrible Eddie Sachs/Dave McDonald crash on crappy closed circuit TV at the Dade County (Miami) Auditorium. The atrocious picture quality made the horrific crash scene even more surreal.

Jack.

#15 Rob Miller

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 03:28

In the early Fifties, the Firestone adds with a picture of every winner.

#16 fines

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 07:43

Being based in Germany, that's actually very difficult to tell. The earliest memory I can come up with is from 1979, Mears winning and all, but it is so detailed with subsequent magazine reports, and complete with a short TV clip of A.J. freewheeling in out of fuel and just beating Mike Mosley out of second place, that it's hard for me to believe it was my first memory! Since I was a motorhead already for at least three years, it's likely I had a concept of what the '500' actually was, and that Mario had won it some time before. Thinking about it, I'm sure it was mentioned around the time of Andretti's WC season, when he started winning in the brandnew Lotus 79.

#17 taylov

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 08:07

1966 - Age 15 and my parents let me go the the Hammersmith Odeon, London to watch the great race on Viewsport's live feed via "Early Bird" (For those under 40, "Early Bird" was the first reliable satellite used for trans-atlantic TV feeds.)

We were due to see a recording of the start followed by the second half of the race live. The race started and got as far as the first 100 yards, when most of the mid-field were involved in a multiple pileup. The transmission then went "live" just as the race was just about to restart.

So I got to see the entire race. Lloyd Ruby led for much of the mid-race but dropped out. Jackie Stewart led with 10 laps to go - most of the Odeon audience cheering - coasts to a halt - deep depression until the commentator declares that Graham Hill is leading.

Left Hammersmith much later than planned - missed last bus back to Surrey. Got into terrible trouble with parents when I arrived home 3 hours later than I had told them. Great day. Still have the programme.

Tony

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#18 Bernard

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 08:25

I have a memory of listening to the race on AFN on the medium wave,(this in London) from Frankfurt chasing the fade as the signal disappeared then came back. This would have been 67/68 ish

#19 john t

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:10

Mine was from the opening title sequence of an ITV series called 'Havoc' which featured the Swede Savage crash from 1973 (surely the most horrific accident possible) but fortunately not the cockpit scenes found on Youtube. Earliest races? 1977 onwards.

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#20 David M. Kane

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 13:31

Jack-The-Lad:

Yes the picture was terrible, I watched the close-circuit broadcast the the RKO-Keiths Theatre on 14th Street around the corner from the White House. I remember sitting there stunned for 45 minutes to an hour while they cleaned-up the track. I can't remember an exact word the announcer said, I assume it was it Sid Collins, but told us an aweful lot about the life and careers od Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald.

I had come by myself so I sat there stunned, I don't recall saying anything to anyone sitting around me. I don't even remember how many other people were in the theatre. It was like I was in some sort of zone, like
Jack correctly said it was surreal. It surely was the last thing I expected or wanted when I bought my ticket.

#21 Flat Black

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 13:47

Minor coincidence, Dave: I purchased the offical program for the 1950 500 yesterday.

#22 Lotus23

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 15:41

David, according to Wikipedia, Sid Collins (b 1922) was the "Voice of the Indy 500" from 1952 thru 1976. So he certainly was there in 1964. (Which was the first 500 I attended in person. Sitting just past the exit of T4, I saw the horrible carnage from start to finish. Not good.)

In Apr 77, Sid was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ["Lou Gehrig Disease"]), which was, and still is, 100% fatal. (Even today, the 3y survival rate is 50%; 5y is 20%; and 10y is 10%). For those of us who've dealt with ALS patients, it's a pretty lousy way to die.

Shortly thereafter, on 2 May 77, Sid took his own life by hanging. He was 54. At that point, his protege, Paul Page, took over the microphone.

#23 red stick

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 16:21

Mark Donohue's win. I was 7 and thrilled that someone named Mark had won.

The next one I remember was Bobby Unser's win in the downpour in 1975. My father and I used to listen to the races on the radio in the morning and then watch the highlights later in the afternoon. I don't recall now when exactly the race was finally shown in its entirety, albeit still tape-delayed.

#24 Rob29

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 16:48

Originally posted by taylov
1966 - Age 15 and my parents let me go the the Hammersmith Odeon, London to watch the great race on Viewsport's live feed via "Early Bird" (For those under 40, "Early Bird" was the first reliable satellite used for trans-atlantic TV feeds.)

We were due to see a recording of the start followed by the second half of the race live. The race started and got as far as the first 100 yards, when most of the mid-field were involved in a multiple pileup. The transmission then went "live" just as the race was just about to restart.

So I got to see the entire race. Lloyd Ruby led for much of the mid-race but dropped out. Jackie Stewart led with 10 laps to go - most of the Odeon audience cheering - coasts to a halt - deep depression until the commentator declares that Graham Hill is leading.

Left Hammersmith much later than planned - missed last bus back to Surrey. Got into terrible trouble with parents when I arrived home 3 hours later than I had told them. Great day. Still have the programme.

Tony

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Saw the same show at Finsbury Park.Was Bank Holiday Monday in UK.Spent the day at Crystal Palace F2 meeting then raced accross town in a friends Mini!

#25 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 16:56

Originally posted by Rob Miller
In the early Fifties, the Firestone adds with a picture of every winner.


Ditto. And then I managed to get enough money to purchase Floyd Clymer's first book on the Indianapolis race which, by some miracle, was in the PX bookstore, this being no later than early 1954.

#26 red stick

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 17:09

Originally posted by HDonaldCapps
Ditto. And then I managed to get enough money to purchase Floyd Clymer's first book on the Indianapolis race which, by some miracle, was in the PX bookstore, this being no later than early 1954.


How long have you been in the army?  ;)

#27 ralt12

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 17:40

As a youngster, I started to listen to the radio broadcasts in the early 60's. What a gruesome feeling of dread when there was an accident; back then, consequences were much more dire.

#28 racer69

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 17:46

My first memory would be as a 5 year old, the 1988 Indy 500.

As a young fan in Australia who's parents would tape the F1 races that were on in the middle of the night Australian time (i wasn't allowed to watch them until the next day after school), they told me one day they had taped overnight a race they described as "like F1 except except they go round in circles"....

All i remember of it is Roberto Guererro's first lap accident (thats how i know it was 1988)

I was quite disappointed the next year when my father slept through the telecast therefore not hitting record on the VCR....

#29 David McKinney

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 17:48

In the '50s in New Zealand - the Firestone ads, yes, but what made the biggest impression were the film shows put on by a local garage in the village hall, which often included Indy. I think the films might have been from Bardahl. As a consquence the names of Pat O'Connor, Bob Sweikert, Parnelli Jones and Rodger Ward meant more to me than Fangio or Moss.
That soon changed though :)

#30 David M. Kane

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 21:30

Flat Black:

Apparently he even told Paul Page he was thinking of killing himself and he hung himself in a close using some ties? Really, really sad way to go and those statistics on ALS are mind boggling!

Larry Nuber who also did some announcing with Bob Jenkins and was a protege of Paul Page apparently died of cerebral hemorrhage at age 51. Sounds like the race announcing business had it's tough side too! I thought Nuber's work was excellent btw.

#31 sterling49

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 21:36

I really took notice of the Indy when the rear engined cars raced there, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jacky Stewart etc, it was always something that I followed closely every May.As a youngster, I really just did not get the front engined roadsters with the Turbo Offenhausers, I had only seen the European type cars.The offset suspension was also an interesting feature, so many different disciplines at Indianapolis.

#32 sterling49

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 21:40

Originally posted by taylov
1966 - Age 15 and my parents let me go the the Hammersmith Odeon, London to watch the great race on Viewsport's live feed via "Early Bird" (For those under 40, "Early Bird" was the first reliable satellite used for trans-atlantic TV feeds.)

We were due to see a recording of the start followed by the second half of the race live. The race started and got as far as the first 100 yards, when most of the mid-field were involved in a multiple pileup. The transmission then went "live" just as the race was just about to restart.

So I got to see the entire race. Lloyd Ruby led for much of the mid-race but dropped out. Jackie Stewart led with 10 laps to go - most of the Odeon audience cheering - coasts to a halt - deep depression until the commentator declares that Graham Hill is leading.

Left Hammersmith much later than planned - missed last bus back to Surrey. Got into terrible trouble with parents when I arrived home 3 hours later than I had told them. Great day. Still have the programme.

Tony

Posted Image


hmmmn, was it you Tony that blocked my view matey???? Dad took me to see this show, a great treat, we drove up from Kent and viewed in a BIG cinema, almost as exciting as being at the race, but without the usual freezing cold Brands rain :lol:

#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 21:53

Originally posted by Buford
.....Race day my main recollection was Jack Brabham in the tiny Cooper always getting blown off down the main straight in front of me by the powerful roadsters but each lap it was always the same ones because he would pass them back in the 4 corners before they came back around so each lap it was the same. Also I remember it was a hot day and I saw just a glimpse of Jack Turners black Bardahl car flipping down the track down to my left. What ever happened to Bardahl?


That must have been some sight...

It's hard to imagine today how different cars could be back in those days. The F1-based Cooper was a real tiny thing alongside the old Roadsters.

Originally posted by David McKinney
.....In the '50s in New Zealand - the Firestone ads, yes, but what made the biggest impression were the film shows put on by a local garage in the village hall, which often included Indy. I think the films might have been from Bardahl. As a consquence the names of Pat O'Connor, Bob Sweikert, Parnelli Jones and Rodger Ward meant more to me than Fangio or Moss.


Hard to conceive today, David...

And I'd wonder what place Parnelli Jones had in that list, especially relating to your opening 'in the '50s' timeline. From memory, Jones' first Indy appearance was 1963 when he was, IIRC, expected to be a real demon and a leader among those holding off the challenge of the European/rear engine invasion.

#34 red stick

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 22:03

Originally posted by Ray Bell
And I'd wonder what place Parnelli Jones had in that list, especially relating to your opening 'in the '50s' timeline. From memory, Jones' first Indy appearance was 1963 when he was, IIRC, expected to be a real demon and a leader among those holding off the challenge of the European/rear engine invasion.


Jones raced at Indy from 1961 to 1967: Indy 500 Rookie of the Year in '61, winner in '63.

#35 David McKinney

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 22:07

OK, make it '50s and early '60s :)

#36 Lotus23

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 22:08

Both of my kids are now in their thirties. As luck would have it, each of their high school graduation days fell on the same day as Indy.

In 1990, it's a good thing Arie won at record speed: as soon as the race ended, my long-suffering wife and I dashed from home to the auditorium and arrived there just as the graduation began. My son, who gave a speech at the ceremonies, was somewhat ticked that my wife and I ended up sitting in the far reaches of the balcony as a result of our cutting it so close.

Four years later, on my daughter's graduation day, it became evident that the ceremonies would begin before the checkered flag flew. Not to worry: I had high tech on my side. I took a small transistor radio with me and plugged its little earpiece into one ear. Listened to Little Al win with one ear while I listened to my daughter's graduation with the other. She, too, was less than thrilled!

The obvious question is why didn't I just record the race? I had a longstanding "thing" about listening to it live, so recording it wasn't an option with me.

I told them each that was the price of being the offspring of a hardcore aficionado!

#37 Flat Black

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 22:08

Viewing Turner's crash is a fascinating exercize in comparative engineering. Hence, Turner's roadster rolls and flips--what, ten?--times down the straightaway and practically nothing comes off of it. A modern Dallara subjected to similar forces would disintegrate into a million bits and Danica or Dixon or Castroneves would walk away without a bruise. (Danica would probably emerge shaking her fist at a hapless Brit or Aussie.;) )

PS--In the US, Parnelli Jones ranks up there with the greatest drivers of all time. For us Yanks, he's a Moss or a Fangio or an Ascari.

#38 Lotus23

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 22:35

Buford (post #13) wonders what happened to Bardahl? I had the same thought, but a quick google showed Bardahl is very much alive and well.

Founded in Seattle in 1939 by Norwegian immigrant Ole Bardahl, the company and its many lubricant products have been around for nearly 70 years now.

Has anyone seen it advertised at Indy lately?

Remember when all the cars had neat names ending in "Special" like the "Bardahl Special", the "Novi Governor Special", the "Pat Clancy Special" or the "Noc-Out Hose Clamp Special"? Somehow, "Honda-Dallara" lacks the same pizazz...

#39 Flat Black

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 23:53

I was always partial to Lloyd Ruby's Silent Majority Special.

And Janet Guthrie's Midol Special had a certain ominous ring to it as well.

;)

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#40 Buford

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 00:00

I always thought the American Red Ball Special that Eddie Sachs died in a massive fire was wildly inappropriate as was Jim Hurtubise's Tombstone Life Special. Actually the flip described above of Jack Turner where he went over 10 or more times was the third one in 1963. Turner flipped on the main straightaway three years in a row.

#41 ZOOOM

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 03:02

Had my tonsils out back in 1952. My mother was from New Albany Indiana. To keep me from being a pain in the ass, she suggested that I listen to some race on the radio.... 500 of course. Laying in bed, I listened to the doulcet tones of Sid Collins describe the '52 500. I imediately liked this guy Vukovich...

In '53 I was again drawn to the radio and Sid Collins. His description of my (by then) hero, Vuky, was the stuff of legends. I knew all the gang... Howdy Wilcox, Freddy Agabasion, all the guys in each turn....

'54 was the capper, Vuky won again, damn near lapped the field!
Then there was '55......... I think it was THE most devistating thing I went through. nobody I "knew" had ever died before. But there was Sid Collins... guideing me through it...

My first actual "in person" race was '56. I've missed only one since... 2006... wedding in Coranado Calif.

After 41 years, there ARE things that you HAVE to do for your spouse....

Saw Buffer Red, the Novi's, Big Tony, Foyt when he was nobody, Clark, Gurney, Herk, Parnelli, Hanks & Bryan,
Ward, Lone Star, Sachs and McDonald, Ruby, all of them....

Was there for the split, there for the reunion... Uprights, roadsters, rear engines, ground effects.... even side cars...

Laughed out loud, cried, incredably awed, saddened, enlightened, frightened, and humbled by some of the most daring, balsey, human, idiotic, brave, determined, human beings on Gods green earth.

This year was my 52nd race... good lord willing, I'm just gett'in started........................
ZOOOM

#42 TrackDog

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 03:51

Originally posted by David M. Kane
Jack-The-Lad:

Yes the picture was terrible, I watched the close-circuit broadcast the the RKO-Keiths Theatre on 14th Street around the corner from the White House. I remember sitting there stunned for 45 minutes to an hour while they cleaned-up the track. I can't remember an exact word the announcer said, I assume it was it Sid Collins, but told us an aweful lot about the life and careers od Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald.

I had come by myself so I sat there stunned, I don't recall saying anything to anyone sitting around me. I don't even remember how many other people were in the theatre. It was like I was in some sort of zone, like
Jack correctly said it was surreal. It surely was the last thing I expected or wanted when I bought my ticket.


The announcer for the closed-circuit broadcast was local Indianapolis sportscaster Charlie Brockman. Chris Economaki was the pit reporter, and the 4th turn announcer was Tom Atkins, who was another local TV newsman, an anchorman, in fact; although that might have been in the future for him. Brockman was a close friend of Pat O'Connor; and admitted in Denny Miller's book EDDIE SACHS: THE CLOWN PRINCE that the broadcast quality was never really very good...it ran through 1970, and ratings dropped significantly after the first year.

Brockman said that while it was pretty well-known very early that MacDonald probably wouldn't survive his injuries, Sachs' condition was another matter entirely. When his death was announced, few in the media knew about his condition; and it was a real shock. It wasn't immediately revealed, either...probably to notify family members first.


My own first Indy 500 memories go back to 1960, at least, that's the first concrete memory I have. I was 5 years old; I remember sitting with my uncle listening to the radio broadcast, and hearing about Roger Ward and Jim Rathmann dueling past a smoking Tony Bettenhausen. I may have seen a victory banquet/awards show on TV in 1959...I remember seeing a car on fire and thinking that one of the drivers in the Champion 500 Miles-Per-Hour Club was involved because he wore a black shirt that I thought had been burned. I assume it was a film clip of the previous year's race, when Pat O'Connor's car was burning upside down.

I remember my father telling me about Tony Bettenhausen's death in 1961...my first brush with mortality. Tony was a family favorite, as he was with a lot of people; and his death was very saddening.

My first visit to the Speedway was Pole Day, 1963. It was a glorious experience! I saw Jim Clark, Dan Gurney, Pedro Rodriguez, Parnelli Jones, A.J. Foyt and Roger Ward, all in the same day! Only a few cars qualified because of the wind, and we got caught in a traffic jam that made us miss part of the morning practice session. We sat in the north chute, between 3 and 4 on the inside of the track. It was long before the Vistas were even thought of, and I made sure in subsequent visits that I'd sit on the outside of the track, as high up as possible.


Dan

#43 taylov

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 08:13

Originally posted by Rob29
Saw the same show at Finsbury Park.Was Bank Holiday Monday in UK.Spent the day at Crystal Palace F2 meeting then raced accross town in a friends Mini!


Rob29, I had completely forgotten that I too had been at the Palace F2 that day.

I checked my copy of the CP programme and found I had recorded results, grids etc up to race 3 and then left it blank. Must have left early to catch the train back up to Town to get to Hammersmith.

I do remember that there were a group of Americans in front of me in the cinema "cheering on" Lloyd Ruby. Whereupon us Brits showed little sportsmanship by cheering even louder when Ruby's car failed.

Surely 1966 was the best ever result for British drivers at Indy - #1 Hill; #2 Clark and #6 Stewart and so close to being a 1-2-3.

Tony

#44 Flat Black

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 14:11

The recollections of my elders is why I've come to love this forum. It is truly wonderful to "speak" with those who have actually experienced things that I've only read about, and occasionally seen on video.

PS--ZOOOM, that was a great post. I wish you many more decades of Indy enjoyment.

PPS--TrackDog, could that '59 video you mention be of Jerry Unser's crash in practice? Don't know whether that tragedy was caught on film or not.

#45 paulhooft

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 14:57

My First Indianapolis 500 memory was as a 9 year old,
a Firestone advert showing Bob Sweikert as the 1955 winner...
in a Dutch Readers Digest....
Paul Hooft

#46 TrackDog

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 17:16

Originally posted by Flat Black
The recollections of my elders is why I've come to love this forum. It is truly wonderful to "speak" with those who have actually experienced things that I've only read about, and occasionally seen on video.

PS--ZOOOM, that was a great post. I wish you many more decades of Indy enjoyment.

PPS--TrackDog, could that '59 video you mention be of Jerry Unser's crash in practice? Don't know whether that tragedy was caught on film or not.


It might have been; I wondered about that...but a I recall, it was a montage of race footage from previous years to honor the drivers in the club. I was only 4 years old in 1959, so my memory is a bit hazy. I was at my grandmother's house, and my dad wasn't there. He was a race fan in those days, and we would have talked about it. My grandmother felt like racers were the **** of the earth, and that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the house of death...it's a wonder that I was even able to see the show.



Dan

#47 Buford

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 18:17

Originally posted by TrackDog


I assume it was a film clip of the previous year's race, when Pat O'Connor's car was burning upside down.


Dan


Can't be O'Conner. His car flipped once but ended up right side up and burning in the cockpit area.

#48 E.B.

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 20:40

I bet it was Mike Magill's crash in 1959, which was certainly caught on film from several angles. Not a lot of fire, but lots of smoke and fire extinguishers. And VERY upside down!

My first "live" memory was Kevin Cogan politely informing Sam Posey that his sense of timing could be worked on, towards the end of the 1986 race.

Having immersed myself in Indy history ever since, I just wish I was 30 years older.

#49 fines

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 21:18

Originally posted by E.B.
I just wish I was 30 years older.

Wait till you are... :p

#50 Buford

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 22:10

Originally posted by E.B.
I bet it was Mike Magill's crash in 1959, which was certainly caught on film from several angles. Not a lot of fire, but lots of smoke and fire extinguishers. And VERY upside down!



There you go that's probably it. He flipped over Chuck Weyant who was a good friend of my dad and who had a quarter midget track in Springfield, Illinois. Magill had a very long recovery from head injuries. I don't think he ever raced again.