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1962 Daytona 3 Hours


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#1 WGD706

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Posted 02 November 2002 - 20:20

I'm trying to locate the 'official' photo of Dan Gurney bump-starting his Lotus 19B Climax (#96) across the finish-line on Feb 11,1962.
Any ideas? I've tried a 'Google' search, Motor Racing Retro,Sutton with no luck. The Daytona Speedway doesn't have any way to look it up.
Thanks.
Warren

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#2 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 02 November 2002 - 23:59

Warren - who did you speak to at Daytona? Send me a PM and I'll try to help you on this.

Of course there is no official photo of Gurney "bump-starting" the Lotus to cross the finish line. Because it never happened. The concept of Gurney using the electric startermotor to move the Lotus across the finish line is a popular one - and has led to many bad jokes about the "first electric powered car to win a major race." But that is not what happened. What did happen is that after the checker fell, Gurney - parked at the top of the steep banking - simply turned left and let gravity do the rest!

This aside, we should be able to find you a photo of Gurney crossing the line.

#3 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 03 November 2002 - 09:21

Road & Track has a photo of Gurney standing beside the Lotus waiting for the race to finish. The caption mentions the "electric" finish and the report goes into great detail about how the Prestolite battery had got him across the line. Prestolite were one of the major sponsors of the race.

#4 Catalina Park

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Posted 03 November 2002 - 09:55

If you look at this picture you may notice that the front wheels are slightly turned to the right (just a touch) and Dan is looking at the flagman or the clock?

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#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 November 2002 - 11:04

Originally posted by Milan Fistonic
.....Prestolite were one of the major sponsors of the race.


And herein, it seems, lies the beginning of the misinformation...

Strangely, I don't recall seeing any such claims about the battery...

#6 WGD706

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Posted 03 November 2002 - 13:11

That's most of the photo that I believe I'm looking for...I'm really trying to see who is in the stands just above Gurney; a friend of mine said that he was standing right above the finish line and was in the 'official' finish photo. He lost his copies of the picture and I'm trying to get one for him for Christmas.

#7 Lotus23

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Posted 03 November 2002 - 13:31

From what I've read, Mike Argetsinger has it 100% correct.

The "starter" story circulated unchallenged for years before Dan himself corrected it, saying that the engine had locked up and that hitting the starter would've therefore been futile. He just let gravity do the job.

A brilliant move, and one that I doubt I'd have had the presence of mind to perform.


As an aside: as a captain stationed at Fort Gordon, GA in early 1966, I had occasion to lecture a group of new inductees about life insurance provided by the Army. (It was a popular subject, as Vietnam was on the horizon for many of them, including myself.)

One of the young privates in the room wore the nametag "Arciero". Naturally, I singled him out for a quick conversation and found that, indeed, he was Mike, one of the famous racing family. I arranged for him to help me crew my Lotus23 for several weekends thereafter. Of course, I insisted he wear his "Arciero Bros" racing jacket, which gave me a real psychological advantage over my opponents!

A few months later, Mike was transferred elsewhere. On his departure, he autographed a photo of Dan in the 19 running at Laguna Seca. Somewhere in my pile of "stuff" I still have that photo.

I have no idea what happened to Mike. He'd be in his mid-50's by now.

#8 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 03 November 2002 - 18:42

Have you tried Road & Track?

The photo I mentioned above shows the car in the same place as in Catalina Park's picture but with Dan standing between the car and the wall. In the background you can see the lower half of the spectators. Perhaps the original shot would show more.

#9 Joe Fan

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 00:31

I seen video footage of this on Speedvision recently. Dan Gurney was the subject on this show (can't remember which one but it wasn't a Legend of Motorsports episode or anything like that) and it appears just as Mike Argetsinger posted above. That he just parked the car near the finish line and waited for the checkered flag, then just drifted down the banking to cross the finish line. He wouldn't have needed a battery at all to do this and it was a rather crafty thing to do.

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 00:42

Crafty, but legal?

I seem to recall that the wording of the rule was that the car had to cross the finish line 'under its own power'... which was to exclude anyone who went to push their car over the line.

By letting it be understood that the starter motor cranked it over the line, ol' Dan wasn't breaking that rule... but by allowing gravity to take it home, strictly speaking, was.

#11 Wolf

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 01:48

That's one way of looking at it, Ray; and had the stewards' decision been to DQ him on those grounds, I'm sure he'd won the appeal with the argument that car crossed the line neither propelled nor under influence of any forces that do not act on 'car under its own power'...

Besides, what is more inherent to any physical body (including cars) than its mass and energy associated with that mass (in this case particularly potential energy).

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 01:51

Ah yes...

In America, they could have kept on wrangling over that one for years!

Better that the battery company got the kudos...

#13 Wolf

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 01:59

Look at it this way, Ray- wouldn't You think that if he came at speed on S/F line, shoved it into neutral and coasted over line it was legal? Technicaly, car wouldn't be 'under power' at all, just using up on its energy (this time kinetic, in Dan's case potential)...

#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 02:36

Yes, that's true, the momentum would be due to the car's own power having got it up to speed...

But in this case the three hours weren't quite up... he sat there for a while awaiting the flag.

#15 Joe Fan

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 05:50

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Crafty, but legal?

I seem to recall that the wording of the rule was that the car had to cross the finish line 'under its own power'... which was to exclude anyone who went to push their car over the line.

By letting it be understood that the starter motor cranked it over the line, ol' Dan wasn't breaking that rule... but by allowing gravity to take it home, strictly speaking, was.


Technically, it was under its own power. Gravity of its own mass instead of internal combustion. That rule was probably written to prevent having another car being alllowed to push it over the finish line.

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 10:43

No, Joe, it came in to prevent drivers pushing the car over the line... as Brabham did at Sebring in 1959, for instance... dangerous stuff, as Beltoise and Giunti proved.

#17 Kvadrat

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 14:00

News report: The Milwaukee Sentinel - Feb 12, 1962

Why was the race called "Continental"?

#18 RA Historian

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 15:33

News report: The Milwaukee Sentinel - Feb 12, 1962

Why was the race called "Continental"?


Why? Because that is what the organizers chose to call it. What other explanation can I offer? It was known as the Continental for several years until the name was changed to incorporate 24 Hours.
Tom

#19 AllTwelve

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 20:31

For saftey reasons, I can't believe the stewarts would let him just sit there on the track. I can't imagine sitting even for a few minutes, let a lone a few hours as cars went by at racing speed, just waiting to be collected. I'd be watching my rearview some for sure!

How about Ongais in the black double zero Ted Field Interscope car. We were so excited for the NART Daytona until Danny crossed on his starter motor. If only the Porsche pooped out fifty feet further down the road. Boy were we bummed!

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#20 RA Historian

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 23:15

For saftey reasons, I can't believe the stewarts would let him just sit there on the track. I can't imagine sitting even for a few minutes, let a lone a few hours as cars went by at racing speed, just waiting to be collected. I'd be watching my rearview some for sure!

I'm sorry, but I don't quite get what you are saying. Gurney only sat there a matter of a minute or so. The car puked at the very end of the race. He did not sit there for "a few hours", if I read what you posted correctly.

#21 JB Miltonian

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:01

All of the contemporary magazines say that Gurney crossed the s/f line on the starter. Gurney's own column in Competition Press (3/10/62) states:

"I got out of the car, talked to the starter, and when he told me he was going to drop the flag I got back in the car and went across on the starter. I don't know whether the engine actually fired or not. It very well could have since there was nothing wrong with the other three cylinders and the engine wasn't locked up. It was a Prestolite battery, just like the papers said. As a matter of fact, we've used that Prestolite battery for the last three or four races, we didn't just put it in for this race. And it sure did the job for us. Thanks, Mr. Prestolite."

In the report in "Sports Car Graphic", we read that the post-race celebrations were interrupted when:

"...the voice from the loudspeaker announced that a protest had been lodged. There was a moment of stunned silence and then people began to wildly compare notes and remember regulations. The stewards had to meet for a decision and the car was immediately locked in the Prestolite Company's garage. Neither Dan nor Jerry yet knew exactly what had happened to the car; later examination showed that a piston had disintegrated and the connecting rod and wristpin had beaten a fist-sized hole in the block. Unofficial word had it that starter Collins had filed the protest on the basis that the car did not cross the line under its own power. This later proved to be false and the situation resolved itself when the stewards were shown that the car was still capable of moving itself on the starter motor."

The picture in CP shows the Lotus crossing the s/f below the starter's stand, still next to the outer wall, with the wheels pointed straight ahead. It isn't totally clear, but it looks like Dan has his left hand on the steering wheel and his right arm reaching forward towards the dash (start button?).

So, is this story a legend or not?

By the way, this picture shows the crowd about 8 rows deep at the line, if the OP is still looking for the picture of his friend. CP was printed on grainy news print paper, so detail isn't terrifically good. There's a better picture in the report in C&D.

Edited by JB Miltonian, 21 March 2011 - 02:03.


#22 AllTwelve

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 14:23

I'm sorry, but I don't quite get what you are saying. Gurney only sat there a matter of a minute or so. The car puked at the very end of the race. He did not sit there for "a few hours", if I read what you posted correctly.


sorry my mistake - what was I thinking!

On Danny O, I think he did sit there for quite a while in his situation. dangerous any way you look at it.

#23 bradbury west

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 12:09

In some way this might help to answer the original post in this thread.
http://www.sportscar...ition-begins/2/
This week's Sports car Digest issue. Check page 1 for more period photographs. Ignoring the coverage of modern historic racing, I recommend this site for good period articles and photographs from people who were there, AFAIK. It is well worth scrolling through their older articles etc
Roger Lund

Edited by bradbury west, 19 January 2012 - 22:28.


#24 WGD706

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 21:45

In some way this might help to answer the original post in this thread.
http://www.sportscar...ition-begins/2/
This week's Sports car Digest issue. Check page 1 for more period photographs. Ignoring the coverage of modern historic racing, I recommend this site for good period articles and photographs from people who were their stuff, AFAIK. It is well worth scrolling through their older articles etc
Roger Lund

Many thanks for that link! I'll get a copy of the photos and send them to my friend.
Warren

#25 Lemnpiper

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 18:13

Many thanks for that link! I'll get a copy of the photos and send them to my friend.
Warren



Warren ,


Over at you tube there are various film clips of varying lengths showing the 1962 Daytona Continental race.

One By brendan007 foucus mainly on the last minutes when Dan came to rest and waited to the checkered flag,and then shows how he acted after crossinbg the line.


Hopefully one will have your friend in the video . Good luck hunting



Paul





#26 RA Historian

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 14:59

I agree. The current week's Sports Car Digest article on the 1962 Daytona Continental conclusively proves that Gurney crossed the finish line on the starter motor and only turned the car's wheels to coast down the banking after he crossed. As much as I wish that this will forever end the myth that he coasted down the banking to win, unfortunately we know that will not be the case.

Edited by RA Historian, 21 January 2012 - 15:01.


#27 Jerry Entin

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 15:29

The indisputable fact that Dan Gurney and the Arciero Lotus 19 crossed the finish line at Daytona arrow straight was discussed quite a while ago in the Lotus 19 thread. It shows how careful motor racing historians have to be when it comes to relying solely on the memory of a race driver, in this case Dan Gurney.

Of course, sometimes a "revisionist" version of what actually occurred during a race finish will turn out to be true, in spite of what was reported at the time. A case in point is the finish of Bill Krause and his winning Birdcage Maserati in the 1960 Times Grand Prix at Riverside. After taking the checkered flag the Birdcage stopped suddenly and had to be towed to the winner's circle. Every newspaper and Magazine report at the time claimed that the Maserati had run out of fuel, and Krause thought so too.

Yet, upon returning home after his victory, and much to his surprise, Bill Krause found five gallons of fuel in the car. He would start it but it would not run. The real reason for the problem was that the starter solenoid had vibrated apart five laps from the finish. It would drop and short out the car, briefly during the final laps but permanently on the cool-off lap. As Krause remembered in 1999: "Just one of those little things."

all research: Willem Oosthoek

#28 bradbury west

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 21:00

Cross referencing with the Lotus 19 thread to link the SCD/Gurney Lotus 19 account.
http://forums.autosp...p;#entry5488402
Roger Lund

#29 arttidesco

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 00:46

News report: The Milwaukee Sentinel - Feb 12, 1962

Why was the race called "Continental"?


Possibly to distinguish it from the 'Great American Race' also known as the Daytona 500 ?

I get the impression that when something is referred to as 'Continental' in the USA the word often, but not always, is used to refer to something coming from 'urope, such as Continental, fashion, cars, food and so forth, not to be confused with Lincoln Continentals which SFAIK are entirely American :-)

#30 RA Historian

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 18:36

See post 18 above.

#31 David McKinney

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 19:12

Never heard of the Continental Divide, Ralph?

They even named a race circuit after it :)

#32 Jerry Entin

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 19:50

Posted Image
Dick Rathmann and the Meister Brauser Chaparral on Daytona's high banking.

One of the unsung heroes of the 1962 Daytona Continental was Indy driver Dick Rathmann. No suitable car could be found for brother Jim, but Dick substituted for Harry Heuer in the 5.2-liter M.B. Chaparral/Chevy. Rathmann was third fastest in practice, but at the Le Mans start he flooded the car and lost two laps. Then his mandatory fuel stop was bungled by the crew. In addition he received a 50-second penalty for having too many crew members over the pit wall.

Incensed, Rathmann came back strong, setting several new lap records during the second half of the race. He finally brought it down to 2'07" [108.0 mph], only to lose the record during the final laps to Ricardo Rodriguez [Ferrari Dino 246SP], who did 2'06" [108.8 mph] in his pursuit of Dan Gurney's Lotus 19. Rathmann finished 6th overall.

all resedarch: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 22 January 2012 - 19:55.


#33 Bob Riebe

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 17:59

For saftey reasons, I can't believe the stewarts would let him just sit there on the track. I can't imagine sitting even for a few minutes, let a lone a few hours as cars went by at racing speed, just waiting to be collected. I'd be watching my rearview some for sure!

How about Ongais in the black double zero Ted Field Interscope car. We were so excited for the NART Daytona until Danny crossed on his starter motor. If only the Porsche pooped out fifty feet further down the road. Boy were we bummed!

You pays your money and you takes your chances-- was the general attitude back than not the "Oh my God, he could stub his toes" attitude of today.

Don't forget that wars where daily deaths were in the thousands were recent history then unlike now. Death was considered normal, not abnormal.
People were expected to be responsible for their own actions, not everyone else.

My father used to tell me quite straight-out that if I got hit by a car playing in the street, when he got home that car would be the least of my problems.

Edited by Bob Riebe, 23 January 2012 - 23:21.


#34 bradbury west

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 18:41

Warren , Over at you tube there are various film clips of varying lengths showing the 1962 Daytona Continental race.
One By brendan007 foucus mainly on the last minutes when Dan came to rest and waited to the checkered flag,and then shows how he acted after crossinbg the line. Hopefully one will have your friend in the video . Good luck hunting Paul


Wind it forward to 8 mins and see the action.

Roger Lund