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Drivers who've been thrown from their cars


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#101 lil'chris

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 22:43

Originally posted by alansart
Didn't Denny Hulme throw himself out of a burning car at Indy one year?


Think that may have been Rindt during practice in 1967 rather than Hulme

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#102 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 09:31

Originally posted by lil'chris


Think that may have been Rindt during practice in 1967 rather than Hulme


No , Hulme did chuck himself out when the car set itself alight - the methanol burned with no visible flame so while the poor driver was rolling around on the grass with his hands ablaze the fire crew ignored him and raced off up the road to where the car had come to rest ....

#103 Jerome

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:44

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Yes, that is the photo I find hard to understand.

I just can't imagine the direction of movement of both car and driver that could bring them into those relative positions; even with Jerome's description.


That's probably because vehicle dymanics and explaining it is not my profession. Not your fault at all...

:lol:

#104 cpbell

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 19:33

Originally posted by zoff2005

At the time the track from the Chicane exit, around Tabac and to the Gazometer hairpin was not the main road, but a "promenade". There were even benches so people could sit down. Taken away for the race presumably! The surface was some sort of paving stone I think.

Marcus


Oh I see - I was under the misunderstanding that it happened between the Tunnel and Chicane, not after the Chicane. I knew that the Chicane-Tabac stretch had been promenade originally, as the slope was originally stepped and supposedly Anthony Noghes and Charles Faroux persuaded the authorities to slope it, but I didn't realise that the Tabac-Gasworks Hairpin section was also promenade. Thanks for setting me straight. :) :cool:

#105 Barry Boor

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 21:54

I didn't realise that the Tabac-Gasworks Hairpin section was also promenade.



It still is, actually. O.K. the Gasworks is now the Rascasse (more or less), but the prom is still the prom. And it becomes the pit lane when the circus is in town.

#106 GD66

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 09:49

There was a veteran driver named Bill Thomasen banging about in NZ in the sixties, driving, from memory, a 2.5 litre Cooper : once at Bay Park raceway in, I think 1968, his son Barrie, a novice racer, was entered in a Brabham, probably powered by a 2.5 Climax. On the practice Saturday, he lost control exiting the 180deg Rothmans sweeper, and oversteered into the earth bank on the inside of the corner, at around 100 mph. In front of my terrified young eyes, the car catapulted into the air in a roll, turning lazily onto its' back in the air with young Thomasen half-ejected from the cockpit, and laying more or less to the right of the windscreen/mirror area of the car as it slammed back to the ground. I thought for sure he'd have been killed outright, but believe he went to hospital with spinal injuries. The strange thing is, I never heard again what happened to him, or even any mention of the accident, or his name, which as a youngster I found quite tragic, and it has bothered me ever since. Any chance Dave McK or any of his offsiders can shed any light on the outcome of this fearful accident ?

#107 Jerome

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 09:58

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Yes, that is the photo I find hard to understand.

I just can't imagine the direction of movement of both car and driver that could bring them into those relative positions; even with Jerome's description.


One more try Barry, if you have patience with me. We must concede that of the body the legs are the heaviest part right? So now imagine a piece of string (the body), and to the end we attach a little weight (a marble, a pen, anything that is substantially heavier than the string and represents the legs).

Now hold the string by its end, and suddenly jerk it in the air, and let go.

What you will see is that the legs (weight) will jerk up, higher than the string, and the whole will start falling to the ground - with the weight and the string on a level plane. Horizontally, like Cliff's body in the crashpicture.

Only if you have A LOT of distance to the ground (say from your balcony), the weight on the bottom of the string will 'overtake' the string and get lower and earlier to the ground. My estimation is (but I am not a mathematician) that for a human body to land on its legs after it has gotten airborne, it should at least fly in the air three times it's own length.

#108 David McKinney

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 10:44

Originally posted by GD66
There was a veteran driver named Bill Thomasen banging about in NZ in the sixties, driving, from memory, a 2.5 litre Cooper : once at Bay Park raceway in, I think 1968, his son Barrie, a novice racer, was entered in a Brabham, probably powered by a 2.5 Climax. On the practice Saturday, he lost control exiting the 180deg Rothmans sweeper, and oversteered into the earth bank on the inside of the corner, at around 100 mph. In front of my terrified young eyes, the car catapulted into the air in a roll, turning lazily onto its' back in the air with young Thomasen half-ejected from the cockpit, and laying more or less to the right of the windscreen/mirror area of the car as it slammed back to the ground. I thought for sure he'd have been killed outright, but believe he went to hospital with spinal injuries. The strange thing is, I never heard again what happened to him, or even any mention of the accident, or his name, which as a youngster I found quite tragic, and it has bothered me ever since. Any chance Dave McK or any of his offsiders can shed any light on the outcome of this fearful accident ?

Yes, a 2.5 Brabham-Climax, but it was October 1969
I know he was still in a wheelchair seven or eight years later

#109 GD66

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 11:19

Thank you David. If it was Oct '69, I would have just turned 14, so the horror unfolding in front of me was stark and graphic. I recall that the whole occasion smacked of a young man being pushed along too fast, too soon, and feel that he was trying beyond his abilities to be an instant success, rather than to try and learn and absorb his craft in a logical progression. At least we now know he made it through the incident, but at what a traumatic cost. I rather felt at the time he had been overlooked, and somewhat cast aside by the sport, so I can only hope that things were ok for him later in life. Thanks, David.

#110 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 11:31

I was spectating at Prescott Hillclimb in the mid-late 80s when a Cooper 500, I think it was a dark blue MkIX , got into a tank-slapper on the way out of the very slow Ettores hairpin, literally at 40-50mph, no more, but it dug in, rolled, spat the driver out and from where I was stood looked like it then landed on him. It was quite sickening to watch.
Everything went very quiet while the rescue crews went into action , including the commentary and afterwards I never heard another word about the fate of the driver. I don't recall it even getting a mention in either MOTORING NEWS or AUTOSPORT the following week or a mention on the commentary at any subsequent meetings there.
Does anyone recall this incident and what happened to the driver ?

#111 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 13:10

Originally posted by simonlewisbooks
I was spectating at Prescott Hillclimb in the mid-late 80s when a Cooper 500, I think it was a dark blue MkIX , got into a tank-slapper on the way out of the very slow Ettores hairpin, literally at 40-50mph, no more, but it dug in, rolled, spat the driver out and from where I was stood looked like it then landed on him. It was quite sickening to watch.
Everything went very quiet while the rescue crews went into action , including the commentary and afterwards I never heard another word about the fate of the driver. I don't recall it even getting a mention in either MOTORING NEWS or AUTOSPORT the following week or a mention on the commentary at any subsequent meetings there.
Does anyone recall this incident and what happened to the driver ?


Simon, could have been the guy, Jonathan Hardiman?
http://www.motorspor...hp?db=ct&n=3830
(a Caterham not a Cooper).
:confused:

#112 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 14:28

Originally posted by GD66
There was a veteran driver named Bill Thomasen banging about in NZ in the sixties, driving, from memory, a 2.5 litre Cooper : once at Bay Park raceway in, I think 1968, his son Barrie, a novice racer, was entered in a Brabham, probably powered by a 2.5 Climax. On the practice Saturday, he lost control exiting the 180deg Rothmans sweeper, and oversteered into the earth bank on the inside of the corner, at around 100 mph. In front of my terrified young eyes, the car catapulted into the air in a roll, turning lazily onto its' back in the air with young Thomasen half-ejected from the cockpit, and laying more or less to the right of the windscreen/mirror area of the car as it slammed back to the ground. I thought for sure he'd have been killed outright, but believe he went to hospital with spinal injuries. The strange thing is, I never heard again what happened to him, or even any mention of the accident, or his name, which as a youngster I found quite tragic, and it has bothered me ever since.....


Donn Anderson duly reported that the accident occurred in Kiwi Kapers in November RCN, saying he was taken to hospital with 'serious back injuries'.

What I'm wondering is why he wasn't restrained?

#113 GD66

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 05:07

Good point Ray. I seem to recall it was an older model Brabham (BT6 or similar vintage), and I think maybe that season was the last year that belts weren't compulsory, and that that crash may have ensured the introduction of seatbelts became essential from then on. One thing's for sure, there definitely weren't any belts in that car. And I don't know where the car had come from, although in those days single-seaters were thin enough on the ground that most had a well-documented background, even to us novices. Thanks to you and Dave for the responses.

#114 David McKinney

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 07:48

Originally posted by GD66
I seem to recall it was an older model Brabham (BT6 or similar vintage).....I don't know where the car had come from, although in those days single-seaters were thin enough on the ground that most had a well-documented background, even to us novices

It was the ex-Matich BT7A later raced in NZ by Red Dawson

#115 hiteknz

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 08:07

Originally posted by David McKinney

Yes, a 2.5 Brabham-Climax, but it was October 1969
I know he was still in a wheelchair seven or eight years later


Yes Barry ended up in a Wheelchair ,he battled his health and injuries from that crash for years ,running his used car business from the wheel chair,he passed away a couple of years ago The Brabham I believe was used in the contruction of the Frank Bray sports car

#116 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 10:03

Originally posted by Nanni Dietrich


Simon, could have been the guy, Jonathan Hardiman?
http://www.motorspor...hp?db=ct&n=3830
(a Caterham not a Cooper).
:confused:


Hi Nanni
No, that happened a number of years later, I remember that one well. He was very unfortunate to collect a tree on the exit of Pardon hairpin having gone off course at a strange angle and not at a particularly high speed. I think the point of impact was exactly where your elbow sticks out of the cockpit of a Caterham and of course they have very little side protection at that point....

#117 cpbell

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 17:02

Originally posted by Barry Boor


It still is, actually. O.K. the Gasworks is now the Rascasse (more or less), but the prom is still the prom. And it becomes the pit lane when the circus is in town.


Are you sure? I seem to recall seeing full road markings including zebra crossings between the Swimming Pool and Rascasse.

#118 Barry Boor

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 19:06

Yes, but that's on the lower road that the cars actually race on.

The prom, surfaced with a red tarmac is an area for pedestrians at non racing times. In fact, last time I was there at a non-racing time, there were kiddies amusements and various other fun things going on along there.

As an aside and completely apropos of nothing, I have swum in THE swimming pool, and was amazed at the cost of getting in. Just a few euros! It being a municipal establishment.

Some of the one piece bikinis were very nice in there too, but I digress...... :drunk:

#119 Bonde

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 10:10

Barry, you weren't wielding a camera, were you?

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#120 Barry Boor

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 16:42

Sadly, no. It would have got a bit wet! :D

#121 bill moffat

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 20:14

Stephen Langton's fatal accident when he was thrown from his Connaught at the European GP meeting at Brands in 1985 remains etched on my mind. It all unfolded in front of me and was unpleasant in the extreme.

My passion for historic motor sport dimmed for just a moment and I bleated on for a while that all historic cars should have roll bars and full harness belts. I still get the odd palpitation when I see drivers atop ERA's etc battling wheel to wheel but maturity has taught me that drivers like Stephen, immeasurably more skilled and brave than us lot, would laugh at the prospect of conducting their business from the inside of a hamster cage....

#122 JB Miltonian

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 23:02

I don't think Jay Chamberlain's accident at Le Mans in 1958 has been mentioned. Pete Lovely (Jay's Lotus co-driver in this event) told me the story in detail. Jay was laying in the track, at night, in the rain, and was very nearly run over by another car approaching around a curve. He was saved by a spectator who had gone to investigate. It's possible that Bruce Kessler was also thrown from his car in the aftermath of the same accident, which took the life of Belgian driver "Mary".

There is also the accident at Sebring in 1956 in which Guy Menditeguy was thrown from his Maserati (photo sequence in Automobile Year #4).

#123 Barry Boor

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 09:22

I never realised that Jay Chamberlain was involved in the Kessler/Mary accident.

#124 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 09:53

I recall a nasty incident with the Dixon Riley and Neil Corner's W154 Mercedes at VSCC Silverstone event in the late 80s(?) . The Riley half spun on the exit of Copse and collected Neil Corner's Mercedes W154 which was trying to avoid it's gyrations. The Riley climbed up and over the scuttle area of the Merc (causing some serious panel damage in the process) and flipped it's driver (Barry Gillies?) high in the air....
It looked horrific but I believe the driver recovered well.
I think that was the only time Corner ever raced his W154 and was probably on the same meeting for which Mercedes sent over a sister W154 for John Surtees to demo.

#125 Macca

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 11:12

That was at the first Silverstone festival in 1990, sponsored by Christies; Corner had his Auto-Union D there as well, just before selling it, which he'd demo'd during the lunchbreak IIRC, and raced the Merc despite having no practise just so the punters could see it.........would have been safer if he had got a time and started further up the grid.................

Paul M

#126 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 11:27

Originally posted by Macca
That was at the first Silverstone festival in 1990, sponsored by Christies; Corner had his Auto-Union D there as well, just before selling it, which he'd demo'd during the lunchbreak IIRC, and raced the Merc despite having no practise just so the punters could see it.........would have been safer if he had got a time and started further up the grid.................

Paul M


That would be the one. Yes he was at the back of the grid and wouldn't have been anywhere near the accident in the normal course of events. It was such a shame that such a sporting gesture ended up so badly. I think Corner retired from driving shortly afterwards?

#127 JB Miltonian

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 18:54

Barry: Chamberlain wasn't involved in the Kessler/Mary accident, that was badly worded on my part. But he WAS thrown out of his Lotus.

#128 JB Miltonian

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Posted 19 December 2007 - 22:18

This picture (uncredited) appeared in Quattroruote, January 1968. Apparently it was not fatal crash, since the caption reads "Un Volo Fortunato".

Posted Image

#129 Barry Boor

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 21:00

From Robert Edwards' excellent (so far) book about Ken Gregory and BRP etc, I learn that Spa 1960 was not the first time Stirling had been tossed out by a racing car.

It appears that he was thrown out of an 1,100 c.c. Cooper J.A.P at Castle Combe in the late summer of 1953, breaking his shoulder.

Thanks to Robert for that information.

#130 fines

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 22:02

Has Orville Epperley been mentioned yet? His accident apparently went through the press (in 1948, I believe) with a sequence of rather sensational photographs. It happened on one of the high-banked dirt tracks, Winchester or Dayton, and he was ejected from the flipping car which proceeded to slice off his right (?) leg!!! :eek: Needless to say, the photo sequence was rather graphic! :

#131 lil'chris

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 21:37

According to All Arms & Elbows ( Can't check details as my dad currently has my copy ) Innes was due to drive at Le Mans in 1960 with Jonathan Sieff who was heir to the Marks & Spencer chain but who unfortunately was thrown from his Lotus during practice on the Mulsanne/Hunaudieres and ended up very badly injured in an adjacent orchard. According to Dougs Cooper book, he later headed the Chipstead motors takeover of Cooper.

#132 Greatest

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 08:38

This has already been posted elsewhere, but... Alfredo Tinazzo and Antonio Crivellari at Monza in 1959.

#133 dentistTubster

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 21:40

Does anyone have any pics of Swede Savage's 1973 Indy crash? I think he was in a disintegrated car but was thrown clear?

#134 David M. Kane

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 21:52

I fell out of my '49 Ford going around the corner in Northwest Washington, D.C. after a night of heavy drinking; but fortunately I held onto the steering wheel and was able to hop back in while sideswiping a few parked cars. God I miss College.

#135 fines

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 22:12

Originally posted by dentistTubster
Does anyone have any pics of Swede Savage's 1973 Indy crash? I think he was in a disintegrated car but was thrown clear?

Unfortunately, no! I vividly remember having seen footage of him sitting in a burning car - you really don't want to see those pics! :cry:

#136 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:55

Originally posted by fines

I vividly remember having seen footage of him sitting in a burning car - you really don't want to see those pics! :cry:


...I'll agree with that . It was a truly ghastly sight.

#137 Jim Thurman

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 19:08

Originally posted by fines

Unfortunately, no! I vividly remember having seen footage of him sitting in a burning car - you really don't want to see those pics! :cry:


Me too :(

I can see where this comes from, as Savage was in the remains of what was left...which wasn't a lot.

Of course, ABC televised it on a tape delay basis, nearly a week later, but still showed the graphic footage.

#138 Andretti Fan

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 19:22

The Savage crash at Indy in 73 has to be the worst one I have ever seen, with the possible exception of the Le mans 1955 disaster.

#139 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 11:07

Originally posted by Andretti Fan
The Savage crash at Indy in 73 has to be the worst one I have ever seen

It was almost unbelievably violent and the aftermath.... oh Jesus....the worst thing was poor Savage wasn't killed instantly by the initial impact.
It wasn't the only enormous, fiery, crash of the era by any means. No small wonder that the 500 was under so much public scrutinee at that time.

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#140 ReWind

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 20:44

Originally posted by fines
Has Orville Epperley been mentioned yet? His accident apparently went through the press (in 1948, I believe) with a sequence of rather sensational photographs. It happened on one of the high-banked dirt tracks, Winchester or Dayton, and he was ejected from the flipping car which proceeded to slice off his right (?) leg!!! :eek: Needless to say, the photo sequence was rather graphic! :

It seems Orville Epperley lived another 35 years without his leg.

The SSDI lists an Ohio resident by this name as being born on 30 November 1916 and having died in November 1983. That should be our man if you look at his civilian occupation as “Semiskilled mechanics and repairmen, motor vehicles“.

Here is a photograph that shows him.

Obviously his name is more than once misspelled as „Epperly“ (maybe because of Quinn Epperly).

PS. Michael, I tried to send you a PM. But your mailbox is full.

#141 fines

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 21:43

No, it's empty, but you can't PM me anyway [ask Bira! :rolleyes:]! E-mail me! And thnx for the OE data! :)

#142 drivers71

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 13:55

Sam Collier, of the Florida Collier family and brother of Miles and Barron Jnr. was thrown from Briggs Cunninghams Ferrari 166 while leading the 1950 Watkins Glen Sports Car Grand Prix. On the original 6.6 mile road circuit, Sam started from the fifth row of the grid, but quickly gained places to take the lead on lap 2. A report of the period states he went off line and spun on gravel, mounted the track edge and somersaulted into the meadow. He was wearing seat belts, but they were pulled from the frame due to the ferocity of the accident. Miles Collier, who had earlier driven the Ardent Alligator to third place in the Seneca Cup race, was in the Cunningham pits when Bruce Stevenson stopped to report the accident. Miles ran the three miles to the scene, only to find the ambulance (which had driven the 'wrong' way round the circuit to attend) had already taken his older bother to hospital. Sam died later the same day at Montour Falls hospital. Miles officially retired from racing after that.

#143 Graham Clayton

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 05:14

Geoffrey Ansell in the 1948 British Grand Prix at Silverstone:

http://en.espnf1.com...mage/22474.html

#144 Geoff E

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 07:45

Geoffrey Ansell in the 1948 British Grand Prix at Silverstone:

http://en.espnf1.com...mage/22474.html


Movie footage of that incident occurs at 3m 10s in this compilation

#145 Flat Black 84

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 16:44

I have a Rare Sports Video of the roadster era at Indy which shows a driver being violently deposited onto the track in the late 30s. I've not been able to ID the driver with any certainty.

PS--Rex Mays was ejected fatally from his car at Del Mar in California.

#146 biercemountain

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 17:27

Louie Meyer spun one year coming out of two and hit the inside guardrail. He was thrown out and got up and ran away. They have a good movie of that which is often shown.


I was reading in Rick Popely’s "Indy 500 Chronicle" that Louie decided to retire while in mid air during this crash. :lol:


#147 Russ Snyder

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 21:07

I have a Rare Sports Video of the roadster era at Indy which shows a driver being violently deposited onto the track in the late 30s. I've not been able to ID the driver with any certainty.

PS--Rex Mays was ejected fatally from his car at Del Mar in California.



Hey FB 84

1939 - Bob Swanson - BS/exit se turn
1933 - Les Spangler /GL monk Jordan - sw turn/ turn 1

The scene I cannot ID is one at a dirt track, about 2 mins into the DVD.

The car goes nose over tail and the poor driver is flung out very high

#148 Jim Thurman

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 00:53

I have a Rare Sports Video of the roadster era at Indy which shows a driver being violently deposited onto the track in the late 30s. I've not been able to ID the driver with any certainty.

PS--Rex Mays was ejected fatally from his car at Del Mar in California.

I managed to miss this last June when it was posted.

Depends. What else can you describe from the incident FB?

Was there a burning car along the fence with the driver near it? If so, it's Bob Swanson as Russ Snyder mentioned.

In the pre-harness and belt days, the answer is almost all of them in the U.S., many of whom did survive to race again.

#149 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:28

Sam Collier, of the Florida Collier family and brother of Miles and Barron Jnr. was thrown from Briggs Cunninghams Ferrari 166 while leading the 1950 Watkins Glen Sports Car Grand Prix. On the original 6.6 mile road circuit, Sam started from the fifth row of the grid, but quickly gained places to take the lead on lap 2. A report of the period states he went off line and spun on gravel, mounted the track edge and somersaulted into the meadow. He was wearing seat belts, but they were pulled from the frame due to the ferocity of the accident. Miles Collier, who had earlier driven the Ardent Alligator to third place in the Seneca Cup race, was in the Cunningham pits when Bruce Stevenson stopped to report the accident. Miles ran the three miles to the scene, only to find the ambulance (which had driven the 'wrong' way round the circuit to attend) had already taken his older bother to hospital. Sam died later the same day at Montour Falls hospital. Miles officially retired from racing after that.


Sam Collier was not thrown from the Ferrari however. The rest of the story as accounted here is pretty much spot on, but when the attending physician -- Dr. James Norton -- arrived on the scene he found Sam in the upright car with his seatbelt still attached. And, his brother Miles may have"officially" retired at the time but he raced a number of times after. Miles died in 1954.

Also, the statement that the ambulance (which contained Dr. Norton) was driven the wrong way round the circuit to attend is misleading. As stated, it suggests that the ambulance was driven half way around the 6.6 mile circuit against traffic. This was not the case. There were several ambulances stationed strategically around the circuit. The ambulance with Dr. Norton was stationed at School House corner -- less than a quarter mile past the scene of the accident. Upon hearing of the accident they did drive against traffic to the accident scene. Not ideal by any means -- and it never happened again -- but still very different than what may be inferred by the way it was originally written. This is not a criticism, merely illuminating the full circumstances. Incidentally, when the ambulance left the accident scene it returned to the circuit and followed the correct direction of the race traffic, passing through Watkins Glen and continuing to the hospital in Montour Falls.

#150 Belmondo

Belmondo
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  • Joined: September 08

Posted 13 January 2012 - 08:55

Saw an odd one at Silverstone a few years ago when a Lightweight E (possibly 4WPD – if it was once red?) lost control exiting Woodcote during a lunchtime demonstration. Female passenger was thrown out and left motionless on the grass, but apparently everyone was fine, although it looked ugly.