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50th anniversary of the USGP at Watkins Glen (merged)


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#1 B Squared

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 14:05

Michael Argetsinger and publisher, David Bull, have recently announced their latest collaboration. A new book that looks back at the history of the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Michael and David have a incredible number of photographs to help illustrate this wonderful history, but are always looking for more of the lost treasures that tend to be forgotten as the years go by. I would like to start this thread in the hope that maybe some of these forgotten photos and stories can come to light. I know there are some forum contributors that have already shared some beautiful images from their archives, but we are always looking for more.

To me, Watkins Glen will always be the symbolic home of Formula One in this country. My "shoestring" trips with my brother and friends to the track in the '70's are forever burned into my memory. I hope that some of you may feel the same and would like to share your images and stories from those great years. Many thanks to Michael and David as they continue to produce some of the finest racing books for our enjoyment.


Mario Andretti Honorary Chairman of Center’s Year-long Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen

The green flag waved high Tuesday for the International Motor Racing Research Center’s year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first Formula One race at Watkins Glen.
Center officials announced a year of exciting events and activities that will salute this important history of the local community and international racing.

At the helm of the year-long celebration is honorary chairman Mario Andretti, America’s Formula One World Champion in 1978. Andretti, long a member of the Center’s Drivers Council, also will be serving as chairman of the Center’s 2011 Sponsorship Team campaign.

The first U.S. Grand Prix at Watkins Glen was on Oct. 8, 1961. Innes Ireland won that race, the first-ever World Championship Grand Prix for Team Lotus. Twelve additional different drivers would earn the checkered flag over the ensuing 19 years.

“My first Formula One race at Watkins Glen – in fact, it was the first time I ever saw the circuit – lives in my memory,” Andretti recalls. “Colin Chapman asked me to join Team Lotus for the 1968 United States Grand Prix in the team’s third Lotus 49-Ford. I was able to capture pole position and the experience helped influence my eventual move to a full-time commitment to Formula One and my World Championship in 1978.”

He describes the USGP years at Watkins Glen as “encompassing many of the great moments in American racing history.”

The Center will be recapturing those moments through displays and exhibits of materials including every race poster for the full run of the race series, the original paintings by English artist Michael Turner used for program covers from 1969-80, photographs and film of drivers and races, and popular memorabilia such as tickets, passes, buttons, stickers, clothing, trophies and plaques.

“Formula One put Watkins Glen on the international racing map, a place of respect it holds to this day,” Center President J.C. Argetsinger said. “The local community is proud of this rich and exciting history, and visitors to the Center prove time and time again that the Watkins Glen years are important to their racing memories, too.”

A series of Formula One cars will be in the spotlight at the Center through the year, starting with the Cooper Climax T51 soon to be on display. Sir Jack Brabham pushed this car over the finish line at Sebring in 1959 to clinch his first of three World Championships. The car is owned by racing author Joel Finn, a good friend of the Center.

The Racing Research Center is noted for the quality of its monthly speaker series, Center Conversations, and the 2011 list promises Formula One fans some fascinating sessions.

The talks will kick off on Feb. 26 with Center historian Bill Green and motorsports author Michael Argetsinger. They will set the stage for Formula One in Watkins Glen with a look at Formula Libre, the precursor races, and then focus on Oct. 8, 1961, through film and slides.

Celebrated motorsports writer Pete Lyons will speak on April 16, discussing his years working in Europe covering Formula One.

On May 7, racing great Bobby Rahal will talk about his racing experiences in Formula One and at the Indy 500, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

In July, the Center pays homage to the American drivers who competed at Watkins Glen, with a talk by Kevin Hughey, a Watkins Glen native and race historian in his own right.

Tributes to Mario Andretti and Phil Hill, America’s World Champions, will be among other programs during the year. Details will be announced as they are confirmed.

On Sept. 9, Watkins Glen will shut down its main streets for a daylong party honoring the village’s racing history. The Grand Prix Festival is a much-anticipated event, and Racing Research Center always has a big role.

The highlight this year for the Center will be the launch of a new motorsports book by Michael Argetsinger. This book, “Formula One at Watkins Glen: 20 Years of the United States Grand Prix 1961-1980,” is a venture between David Bull Publishing, the Center and Argetsinger. All profits will go directly to the Center.

The 160-page book, now in development, will include approximately 250 color and black and white photographs with detailed captions and connecting narrative that will illustrate the Watkins Glen Formula One story.

“In preparing the book we are considering photographs from a great variety of sources and welcome all submissions,” Argetsinger said. “The greatest contribution has been from the Research Center where, with the assistance of archivist Mark Steigerwald and historian Bill Green, I have reviewed 37,000 images specific to the context of the new book.”

“Formula One at Watkins Glen” will be on sale at the Center, at the downtown Grand Prix Festival and at Watkins Glen International during that weekend’s Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix.

The Argetsinger book project and all the entertaining and educating components of the Center’s year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first Formula One race at Watkins Glen are emblematic of the International Motor Racing Research Center’s mission to be the world-class leader in the collection of materials representing the documentary heritage of amateur and professional motor racing worldwide.

Center Conversations
All talks begin at 1 p.m., unless otherwise stated.

All are free and open to everyone.

Please contact us for more information about any of our events. We hope to see you here!

http://racingarchives.org/

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#2 B Squared

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 00:30

The founder of racing at Watkins Glen, Mr. Cameron Argetsinger, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1949 with August Duesenberg. Mr. Argetsinger's passion for racing and his dogged determination eventually opened the door for Formula 1 to find a home in the United States.

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#3 Rob G

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:54

Thanks, Brian. Combined with the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500, it's going to be quite a year of racing nostalgia here in the US. I'm very intrigued with the upcoming book.

#4 B Squared

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 11:08

Rob - thanks for your interest. As with anything that Michael and David have a hand in, the book should be something quite nice to add to our collections. B²

Dunlop victory poster for Innes Ireland winning the USGP at Watkins Glen in October, 1961. I notice that they have his name spelled "Innis". I can't recall seeing that before.

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#5 RA Historian

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 16:20

This will be a very fine effort. As we all know, everything Michael does is absolutely the best. TPlus the involvement of David Bull Publishing, which produces books of the highest quality, both in content and execution. This is another "must have" book.
Tom

#6 Charles E Taylor

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 22:36

Watkins Glen

I had the oppertunity to visit Watkins Glen recently, the last time was over 30 years ago. I was pleasantly surprised that little had changed.


Some photos of the old circuit.

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Charlie

#7 Rocky2

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 05:39

This will be a very fine effort. As we all know, everything Michael does is absolutely the best.

That should be another remarkable example of evocative and full of nostalgia book by Michael. :up: Just can't wait to see it! :D

#8 B Squared

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:27

Innes Ireland celebrates his win in the 1961 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen

photo: courtesy of IMRRC
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#9 JacnGille

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 15:32

This will be a very fine effort. As we all know, everything Michael does is absolutely the best. TPlus the involvement of David Bull Publishing, which produces books of the highest quality, both in content and execution. This is another "must have" book.
Tom

Would someone please provide me with the winning lottery jackpot numbers so that I can afford to attend all these wonderful events and buy all these great books!

#10 Rob G

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 18:15

Would someone please provide me with the winning lottery jackpot numbers so that I can afford to attend all these wonderful events and buy all these great books!

I can give you yesterday's. Would that help?

#11 JacnGille

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 20:08

I can give you yesterday's. Would that help?

Doubtful.

#12 B Squared

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 11:45

50th anniversary logo that depicts Innes Ireland's Lotus ansd Alan Jones' Williams

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#13 B Squared

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 15:02

Graham Hill and Bruce McLaren (?) chase Innes Ireland during the 1961 United States Grand Prix.

photo: IMRRC
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#14 Rob G

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 00:33

Graham Hill and Bruce McLaren (?) chase Innes Ireland during the 1961 United States Grand Prix.

Yes, almost certainly Bruce McLaren. The three ran in this order for much of the race.

#15 oldtransamdriver

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:43

Yes, almost certainly Bruce McLaren. The three ran in this order for much of the race.



I spectated at that race, and as you can see in that photo we used to rent a truck and bring scaffolding with us for a better view. At some point, and I can't remember which year, that sort of business was verbotten, after a few crashes and some injuries.

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#16 SKL

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:57

Then Michael needs to do a book on the history of Road America! (hint hint) My personall history starts there in 1967. Unfortunately I never made it to Watkins Glen- almost went with a friend the year Helmut Koenig lost his life in the race ('73 or '74) but my med school proffessors didn't think that was a good enough excuse to miss a few days of school...

#17 B Squared

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 14:39

Then Michael needs to do a book on the history of Road America! (hint hint) My personall history starts there in 1967. Unfortunately I never made it to Watkins Glen- almost went with a friend the year Helmut Koenig lost his life in the race ('73 or '74) but my med school proffessors didn't think that was a good enough excuse to miss a few days of school...


The unfortunate Koinigg lost his life in '74, my first year of attending the race as a 16 year old.

I have always thought that there are many similarities regarding these two tracks, if nothing more than the natural beauty, speed and atmosphere that each has to offer. Thanks for the responses. Any personal photos out there? I've got quite a few myself, but nothing from the early years. We don't have to keep this thread in any chronological order though.

Another shot from 1961; Olivier Gendebien (who had flipped before the final turn in practice) spins early in the race. Walt Hansgen in the #60 Cooper would soon be out from the damage sustained in avoiding the spinning car. Masten Gregory took over his U.D.T. Laystall teammates car in the race and would be the last car running at the end in 11th place. Lloyd Ruby sneaks through in a privateer Lotus, but his day would end on the 76th lap with a broken magneto drive.

photo: IMRRC
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#18 RA Historian

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 15:28

Then Michael needs to do a book on the history of Road America! (hint hint)

With a degree of modesty I feel compelled to point out that two such books already exist. The first, Road America, Five Decades of Racing at Elkhart Lake, was published by Beeman-Jorgensen Publishing in 1999. Written by Tom Schultz, Forward by Augie Pabst. It is a race by race history of the track from the first event in 1955 through the 1997 season. Every race weekend is covered, not only the 'feature', but all the support races. Runs some 150,000 words and is illustrated with 168 photos, most in color, most never published before. This book is out of print, but should be available at various places on line. If the publisher is willing, an update is entirely possible.

The second Road America book came out in 2004 as a companion of sorts to the original. This book, Road America, Celebrating Fifty Years of Road Racing, is a photo history of the track from its inception through the 2003 season. Written by Tom Schultz, Forward by Mario Andretti. It is organized into chapters based upon race type; that is, the June Sprints, the 500, CART, Trans Am, IMSA, Historics, F-5000, etc. The format is that each chapter has an text overview, then many photos with lengthy captions explaining not only the photo but the context of the times, race, etc. There are 468 photos, the vast majority in color, and again, most never published before. This book is still available directly from the track at

https://www.roadamer...s.aspx?catid=14

I notice that there are not many left, and they are marked down to $19.95, which is a bargain since they came out at $49.95.

Suggest that you prowl the 'net for the first, and order directly from the track for the second while they last.

#19 SKL

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 03:03

thx RA- I'll do that!! (edit- did that!!)

Edited by SKL, 06 February 2011 - 03:10.


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#20 B Squared

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 12:10

Tom - Thanks for your many fine contributions, not only to TNF, but to the history of our sport. We are fortunate to have your wisdom amongst us. :up:

Lloyd Ruby leads Jim Clark out for a practice session during the USGP weekend in 1961.

photo: IMRRC
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#21 jj2728

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 14:50

Great image.

#22 llmaurice

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 15:35

It was very nice to see all those lovely B&W photos from Watkins Gl;en . Its a pity however that one doesn't get to see much photographic coverage of the !st USA GP at Sebring from '59.
Having attended that meeting I would very much appreciate any available photos especially of the Team Lotus 16s and Rodger Wards WWW Leader Card Speedway car entry which trailed round the back of the field after those "funny little British cars ".It had a real sculpture of a motor though !
The memory of us all cheering Jack Brabham as he pushed over the line will linger forever !

#23 RA Historian

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 17:10

Having attended that meeting I would very much appreciate any available photos especially of the Team Lotus 16s and Rodger Wards WWW Leader Card Speedway car entry which trailed round the back of the field after those "funny little British cars ".It had a real sculpture of a motor though !

Have you seen Joel Finn's book on this race? Sunshine, Speed, and a Surprise. Might have what you seek.

Also, Rodger Ward's Leader Card entry was not a "speedway car" in the sense of Indy, et al, but rather was a Kurtis-Kraft midget. A brave, noble, but entirely futile and doomed effort.

Tom

#24 B Squared

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 17:28

Also, Rodger Ward's Leader Card entry was not a "speedway car" in the sense of Indy, et al, but rather was a Kurtis-Kraft midget. A brave, noble, but entirely futile and doomed effort.


No doubt inspired by the success in the 1959 Formula Libre race at Lime Rock.

#25 B Squared

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 15:37

A look over to the Franzese family owned Glen Motor Inn and the beautiful view of Seneca Lake. Vic's motel would become the place to stay for most of the drivers when the Grand Prix would visit Watkins Glen.

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#26 scags

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 16:33

There's a great view of the lake from the inside of the place. I've never stayed there, but I've eaten there a few times.

#27 B Squared

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:28

Rendering of the original Watkins Glen track circuit that was utilized from 1961 - 1970.

courtesy of: IMRRC
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#28 jj2728

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 14:17

A look over to the Franzese family owned Glen Motor Inn and the beautiful view of Seneca Lake. Vic's motel would become the place to stay for most of the drivers when the Grand Prix would visit Watkins Glen.

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We had many a breakfast there amongst the drivers and teams. Thanks for sharing the photo.

#29 B Squared

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 16:32

Thanks for your comments jj. Please know that any of you and your dad's beautiful photos from Watkins would be a fine addition to this thread and greatly appreciated! :up:

#30 B Squared

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 09:06

Roger Penske on his way to 9th place in the 1962 USGP at Watkins Glen. Driving the Dupont Zerex Anti-Freeze Lotus, making it one of the first "sponsored" Grand Prix cars.

photo: IMRRC
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#31 RA Historian

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 15:17

Looks like a Lotus 24 rented from the British Racing Partnership, based upon what appears to be a tartan stripe on the nose.
Tom

#32 Rob G

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 18:41

Looks like a Lotus 24 rented from the British Racing Partnership, based upon what appears to be a tartan stripe on the nose.
Tom

That's what I was wondering too, although the car was painted an ugly mustardy gold color rather than the usual BRP pale green.

#33 B Squared

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 14:49

Tom & Rob - from Car & Driver, January 1963: "Chapman's Team Lotus had two 25's and UDT had three tube-framed 24's (a BRM-engined one for Gregory, a Climax one for Ireland, another Climax for Roger Penske who painted it mustard-gold and ran it as a Zerex special."

Roger Penske comments: "Those were some fun days, but, you know, I was way over my head. I remember pulling out of the pits at Watkins Glen and Graham Hill and the big guy from BRM, Stanley, were there. And I bumped into Hill's wheel. I about had a heart attack. You know, I turned a little bit too tight when I was going out and I touched his wheel."

photo: IMRRC
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Walt Hansgen in a third Lotus finishes 5th in the 1964 USGP at Watkins Glen. The campers in the background convey a great part of the atmosphere that was Watkins Glen.

#34 RA Historian

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 15:57

Thanks, Brian, it is good to know that Rob and I were right!
Tom

#35 jj2728

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 03:00

Thanks for your comments jj. Please know that any of you and your dad's beautiful photos from Watkins would be a fine addition to this thread and greatly appreciated! :up:



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#36 B Squared

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 15:23

Thanks for posting the photos jj. I really like Mario's obvious delight with his winged Lotus 49.

photo: IMRRC
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Jo Bonnier and Graham Hill present Cameron Argetsinger with the 1965 Grand Prix Drivers Association award for the best organized Grand Prix. I believe that Bonnier and Hill were the respective president and vice-president of the GPDA at the time.

#37 RA Historian

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 16:58

Brian, we know just where that trophy is today, don't we!

Tom

#38 B Squared

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 12:45

The 1965 GPDA award now resides amongst a fabulous book collection in Michael & Lee's beautiful home.

photo: B²
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Jochen Rindt chases Jackie Stewart in the early stages of the 1969 USGP at Watkins Glen. Stewart led laps 11-20, otherwise Rindt owned the day to record his first Grand Prix victory. Sir Jackie retired on lap 35 with an oil leak.

photo: IMRRC
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#39 B Squared

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 13:16

The artwork of Michael Turner was a feature for the programs and event posters for the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. This is the 1974 version.

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#40 jj2728

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 13:47

The artwork of Michael Turner was a feature for the programs and event posters for the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. This is the 1974 version.

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I still have all of my programs.

#41 jj2728

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 13:51

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#42 B Squared

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 14:24

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Nice shot of starter Tex Hopkins. He was well known for his style, lavender suit and cigar. In the town of Watkins Glen he is still remembered with much fondness. Thanks for posting.

#43 B Squared

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 11:49

Tex Hopkins surveys the grid before flagging them away at the 1966 USGP at Watkins Glen.

photo: IMRRC
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#44 B Squared

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:31

photo: IMRRC
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The thrilled spectators begin to converge on Jochen Rindt as he enjoys his first Grand Prix win at Watkins Glen in 1969.

#45 jj2728

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 14:18

That is a great photo. I'm off to the folks for the weekend and should have more photos to archive.....in the meantime....

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#46 B Squared

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 12:06

jj - thanks again for your contributions.

photo: IMRRC
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John Surtees passed Dan Gurney for third place on their last lap of the 1968 USGP.

#47 B Squared

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 13:40

photo: IMRRC
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Drivers meeting for the, I believe, 1972 USGP at Watkins Glen. Those I can identify: Pescarolo, Lauda, Pace, Peterson, de Adamich, Wisell, W. Fittipaldi, Scheckter, E. Fittipaldi, Bell, Schenken, Ickx, Andretti, Beltoise, Amon, Revson, Regazzoni, Cevert, Depailler.

Possibly Redman between Scheckter and Fittipaldi. Possibly Posey in foreground with back to camera. Next Amon and seated to left of overhead door??

#48 B Squared

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 14:12

I've got quite a few personal photos from my trips to the Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. They have a varying quality, but some may be of interest. This is Carlos Reutemann in the Lotus 79 in 1979. He qualified 6th. He advanced to third at the start when he left the track from that position on lap 7.

photo:B²
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#49 B Squared

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 12:28

Two time World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi had a difficult weekend in 1977 in the Copersucar F5. Emmo qualified 18th and finished 13th, two laps down.

photo: B²
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#50 watkins

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:49

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The garage during the 1970's (looking west to east). I held the camera up as far as my arms would stretch.


If I remember correctly, for a few years entrance to the garage was free and then the Grand Prix Corp. started charging 50 cents or a dollar for admission (we were po'd because most our money was spent for beer on the way up to the track...young and stupid).