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April 7th 1968; Jim Clark remembered


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#101 Zetlander

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 22:04

Hello to everyone on the TNF forum,

I have just done my duty by posting on the "Introduce Yourself" thread as a newcomer to this forum and this particular date is perhaps a poignant one for me.

Personally I cannot believe that so many years have passed since Jimmy died.
I was at Brands Hatch when I heard that there had been an accident but it wasn't until I arrived home later that day that I heard the worst.

I can still clearly remember watching Jimmy competing in his first race at Crimond aerodrome in 1956 driving Ian Scott Watson's DKW. Although he finished 8th. (against much more powerful machinery), it was the ease and control of his driving that was outstanding.

I well remember his outings in the Lotus Cortina at Brands - three wheeling on every corner but in perfect control - that marked him as a future champion.

He really was one of the greatest drivers of all time.

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#102 VAR1016

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 22:08

Originally posted by Zetlander
Hello to everyone on the TNF forum,

...it was the ease and control of his driving that was outstanding.

I well remember his outings in the Lotus Cortina at Brands - three wheeling on every corner but in perfect control - that marked him as a future champion.

He really was one of the greatest drivers of all time.

Hello Zetlander.

My friends and I who drive at Goodwood from time to time on track days still marvel at Clark's 1:35 in a Lotus Cortina in 1964. We cannot imagine how he did it.

PdeRL

#103 Zetlander

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 23:14

PdeRL,

I don't know he did it either.

I think you should alter "The older we get, the faster we were" to "The older we we get, the faster we ARE!"

No harm in dreaming!

#104 AlesiUK

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 18:00

Many people find it strange that i comment on Jim Clark,that i regard him as the greatest,they say i have no right to.U see i was born in 1981,some 13 years after jimmy was taken.

Its true i never saw him race,i didnt experience the day he passed away. When i was a young aspiring kart racer,about 10yrs old i was lucky enough to spend a lot of time,over the space of a few years,with a man called Graham Gauld. My father was a fan of Clark's and eager that i should learn about it him.Him being involved in scottish motorsport and graham also still being around the scene,it was inevitable they knew each other(everyone knows everyone eventualy in scottish motor sports!)

I listen to stories he told me,and i was young, i possible never got the full effect of them but i listened.The more i grew up the more i watched tapes and read books and talked to more people to get a sense of Clark.

I went to visit the Jim Clark museum in i think 1991,along with another aspiring kart racer and i was in awe of the place,it had to inspire any racing driver.What was even more amazing was that the visitors book had a signiture in it from one week previous which looked familar,it took a minute to decifer it...it was Ayrton Senna.Senna had visited the museum a week before us.To find that the greatest driver of that time was taking time to visit a a museum in a small town in the borders of scotland was amazing,and insparational.Seeing that museum made u want to be an f1 driver.may not have worked for me,but for the other aspiring karter there that day it went a little better...


I think there is little can be said about Jim Clark which has not been said before,however there are a few quotes from a book on clark by Eric Dymock which i find suitable

a los angeles radio station disc jockey was broadcasting on sunday april 7th 1968 - the day Jim Clark died in his car amongst the rain soaked pine trees at hockenhiem, West Germany."if you are mourning the death of the great driver Jim Clark, put your headlights on"
The whole freeway lit up at midday.


and from Chapman:

His ability was so much greater than he ever revealed. He hardly ever drove to the limits of his capacity. He only used nine tenths of his talent which makes the gulf between him and the other drivers even greater

#105 VAR1016

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Posted 10 April 2004 - 18:17

Originally posted by Zetlander
PdeRL,

I don't know he did it either.

I think you should alter "The older we get, the faster we were" to "The older we we get, the faster we ARE!"

No harm in dreaming!


:)

Well if only it were true; how about "The older we get the faster [we hope] we are"??

[Edit] Actually on the subject of the 1:35 Goodwood lap does anyone have an idea of the specification of the Lotus Cortina at that time (i.e. as driven by Clark for the works)? My guess is around 140BHP and perhaps 700kg with Dunlop CR65 tyres.

He was unbelievable really.

PdeRL

#106 Kilmany3436

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 01:59

Jimmy was the very best of the best, bar none. A gentleman, a farmer, a racer, a friend, and with unspeakable charisma!! I was in Lausanne, Switzerland the day he died. Unreal sadness and feeling of loss. The sport lost a giant that day, to be sure.

When you stand at his grave in Chirnside, you can look across the fields and see his beloved Edington Mains--and an incredible sad but special feeling comes across you. Hard to describe. Just go there and see for yourself. And go to see his statue (life size) at Kilmany, his birthplace--on March 4, 1936.

I have probably the last photo of Jim before he died--just before he entered the last curve before the big sweeper--taken by a German photographer--Jutta Fausel.

T. Clark

#107 Marc

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 12:05

Originally posted by Kilmany3436

I have probably the last photo of Jim before he died--just before he entered the last curve before the big sweeper--taken by a German photographer--Jutta Fausel.

T. Clark


This photo was already published ? :confused:

#108 fer312t

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 22:06

:cry:
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#109 Wolf

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 00:13

Originally posted by Wolf
It seems there are some problems with Marc's splendid photo (it doesn't load, must be missing from that site). I hope noone will mind if I upload it to my webspace and repost it here...

Posted Image


Originally posted by Bernd
Fantastic Shot! :up:

Do we know who this lovely little Fraulein is?
She would be roughly 40 or so now and it would be marvellous to hear her recollections (if any) of that fateful day.


Well, it's been nagging me and after friend asked what I was (unconsciously) thinking, I thought of asking for expert opinions... Who is indeed this Frauelin- or, do we know her?

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#110 KJJ

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 00:30

Don't know who the fraulein is, but isn't that a picture of three world champions?

#111 Twin Window

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 00:35

Originally posted by KJJ

Don't know who the fraulein is, but isn't that a picture of three world champions?

Is it a fraulein, or could it be Damon in both pics...?

#112 GeorgeTheCar

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 00:51

The race that I would have loved to see.

Jim Clark and Gilles in anything!

If I had to pick it would be Atlantic cars.

If you don't believe that it would be a worthy match, either as drivers or as men, read this,


Dear Nigel Roebuck,

Formula One is a highly competitive business and one naturally assumes there is little room for the softer side of human nature. However, I would be interested in any particular acts of sportmanship or human kindness you can recall from your long involvement in the sport.

Chris

Dear Chris,

This is a question that occasionally comes up in Q & A sessions, and the example of sportsmanship - or human kindness - that always comes to my mind is a conversation I had with Gilles Villeneuve after qualifying for the 1982 Brazilian Grand Prix, in which he had set the second fastest time - a full second and a half quicker than his Ferrari team mate, Didier Pironi.

Gilles asked if he could have a word. "It's about Didier," he said. "He's off the pace, and he's not driving well - but, please, I'm asking you, speak to your colleagues, and ask them to go easy on him."

Not long before, while testing at Paul Ricard, Pironi had had an enormous end-over-end accident, in which his car finished up in a spectator area, mercifully unoccupied at the time. "It was huge," said Gilles, "and he's still very shaken up. But he'll be fine by the next race. I just wanted to ask the press not to be hard on him this weekend..."

In F1, the normal way of it is for a driver to 'score' against his team mate in any way he can, capitalise on the slightest sign of weakness, and in all my years of reporting on this business I have never known anyone else behave as Gilles did on that occasion. As great a driver as he was, I always thought him even more exceptional as a man.

A few weeks later, of course, Pironi paid back Villeneuve's generosity by 'stealing' victory from him on the last lap at Imola, after which Gilles, his trust shattered, declared his intention never to speak to him again. In a highly agitated frame of mind, he then went to Zolder, and crashed to his death in the closing minutes of qualifying.

#113 Wolf

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 01:00

Originally posted by KJJ
Don't know who the fraulein is, but isn't that a picture of three world champions?


Heh, I think I should've been clearer, instead of trying to be a smartarse. :p It was funny that nobody spotted it, and I only 'suspected' it (I thought it looked like Damon, but was a bit on the 'too young' side) when a friend on another board also said it could be Damon Hill. That's what I'm asking- could it be that this kid is indeed Damon? Was he even at the race? As for fooling around with 'Frauelein' reference- I s'ppose MS has called hime worse than that (behind the back). :p

#114 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 01:28

He certainly looks like he's getting stroppy in the colour pic...

Would be a good one to caption!

#115 smithy

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 02:08

Originally posted by Ray Bell
He certainly looks like he's getting stroppy in the colour pic...

Would be a good one to caption!

Too easy...

"*childish ramblings to his father and then realises GH's attention is taken by JC*.... Uncle Jim! I was here first. Dad...! DAD!... D-A-A-D!!!"

#116 Wolf

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 02:10

Naah, he just seems to be yawning ('Cruel Sport' leads me to believe it was most common pre-race activity, even for driver's wives)...

#117 smithy

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 03:08

Originally posted by Wolf
Naah, he just seems to be yawning ('Cruel Sport' leads me to believe it was most common pre-race activity, even for driver's wives)...

:lol: Do you think so? Look at the way his fingers are clenched together.

#118 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 03:40

Originally posted by smithy
:lol: Do you think so? Look at the way his fingers are clenched together.


Yeah, he's ready for action there, not yawning...

And he might have needed it if Graham was ever one to give him a backhander!

#119 MoMurray

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 18:23

As I was reading this thread a thought occured to me. It is this. Although I am too young to have any first hand remembrabce of Jim Clark (although I am very much aware of who he was and what his legacy to motorsport is). However, his death came just three days after the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Mt question to those who would remember is how was the news of Jimmys death affected by the news of Dr. Kings death. I often feel that the capacity for the population at large to take in big news is limited and sometimes, unfortunate concurrance of events means we don't get to mourn our heroes as fully as we should. Case in point is the recent case of Richard Burns' death being overshadowed (much to the chagrin of many in motorsport) by the death of George Best the same week.

Was Clark, in 1968, a household name in the same sense as Dr. King and was there enough bereavement time paid to each of them in the public eye.

I can see why this topic my be seen as contoversial but I assure you it isnot intended as so. It is just that these two events, one the rocked the motorsports world and the other than rocked the world at large were so close in time, was there an affect?

Mo.

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#120 MPea3

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 20:30

Mo,

I can't speak as to how the one event affected the reporting of the other, but I DO remember opening the Atlanta Journal newspaper that evening and seeing the news of Jim Clark's death as a headline in the sports section. I remember being shocked and sickened, but also remember being surprised that it would be a headline in the newspaper of a (then) sleepy southern town. I was the only one of my group at school who followed GP racing, but the next day at school, those friends of mine who followed NASCAR and USAC all knew, and were all also shocked. Even in the deep south, he was known, and more so, he was respected.

#121 Lemans

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 22:09

I too lived in the South at the time, and Jim Clark's death had a deep impact on me. While on a child, I remember watching Wide World of Sports and reading about him. My dad thought he was the greatest :clap: We were shocked at his death. :cry:

#122 oldtimer

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 22:35

Originally posted by MoMurray


Was Clark, in 1968, a household name in the same sense as Dr. King and was there enough bereavement time paid to each of them in the public eye.

I can see why this topic my be seen as contoversial but I assure you it isnot intended as so. It is just that these two events, one the rocked the motorsports world and the other than rocked the world at large were so close in time, was there an affect?

Mo.


As I remember it, Clark was not a household name for the English press, nor was there extensive TV coverage of the sport.

#123 Twin Window

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 22:48

Oh, I don't think that's correct; certainly your first point! I was a ten year-old kid when he died, and I remember distinctly being really shocked hearing about it on the radio. And, at that juncture in my life, I had no active interest in motor racing whatsoever...

As for the TV - or rather lack of it - that's correct, although it can't have been long after Clark's death that I would have begun watching Rallycross on the telly.

#124 KJJ

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 22:59

Clark's death was the joint front page lead in the Times of 8th April 1968, the paper also contained a 921 word obituary which compares with the 1471 word obituary for Dr King a few days earlier. Generous coverage I would have thought?

#125 Tim Murray

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 23:13

As I recall, it was the headline item on both the TV and radio news bulletins on that Sunday evening.

#126 David Lawson

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 07:00

I clearly remember the BBC interupting a TV programme during the day with a news flash to report that Jim Clark had been in a serious accident prior to the confirmation in a later scheduled bulletin.

The Daily Mirror on the 8th April carried Clark's death as the banner headline with a further page devoted to him inside the paper. King's death was the second report on the front page.

David

#127 Slyder

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 07:16

My father used to follow Formula 1 back in the late 50's until the early 70's. He had two heroes in his life: Jim Clark and Bruce McLaren.

Dad remembers Jim Clark fondly, sometimes with tears in his eyes. The guy he says, was mercurial in the car, absolutely determined, and incredibly fast. When he died, my dad was left with a huge void in his heart, and his interest for F1 took a final beating when McLaren died in 1970.

He still remembers Clark and rates him along with Bruce McLaren as one of the best drivers ever to have set foot on this planet.

#128 David Lawson

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 07:26

I forgot I still had this.

Posted Image
Posted Image

David

#129 Slyder

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:07

BTW, while doing a random search, I managed to find this.

http://www.time.com/...1650709,00.html

Wonder how many of you people have this issue of Time magazine treasured around somewhere? :)

#130 doc knutsen

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:08

Jimmy's accident made it into the main evening news of national TV here in Norway, which was certainly unprecedented at the time. TV carried very little Formula One at the time, the Monaco GP of 1964 being a very rare exception, and results were hardly ever mentioned. Main newspapers rarely mentioned motor racing except in the case of an accident. But Jimmy's death was covered in a most respectful way. He was a well known sporting icon even in this rather remote neck of the woods.
He visited Scandinavia several times to do the Kanonloppet at Karskoga, and to my amazement I found that he was very willing to spend some of his time chatting to a wide-eyed teenage fan like myself. As did Black Jack, Denny the Bear and wee Jackie. Somehere in my attic there are some paddock shots (in b/w) from those races, featuring all the above...including Brabham, wheel spanner in hand, changing the front wheel on his BT 23. Must try to find!

#131 Graham Gauld

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:23

Interesting to see the TIME magazine cover shot. Obviously I have a copy of this but in fact the cover story on Clark was originally planned for 1963 and then set aside because some other important story came up at the time it was scheduled. Two years later they pulled out the story again and updated it to fit in with his Indianapolis win and winning the World Championship. At that time only one other person connected with racing had featured on a TIME cover : Briggs Cunningham.

#132 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:59

Originally posted by Slyder
BTW, while doing a random search, I managed to find this.

http://www.time.com/...1650709,00.html

Wonder how many of you people have this issue of Time magazine treasured around somewhere? :)


Looks like it is painted by my fellow countryman Vincent van Gogh. ;)

#133 D-Type

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 12:47

Originally posted by Graham Gauld
Interesting to see the TIME magazine cover shot. Obviously I have a copy of this but in fact the cover story on Clark was originally planned for 1963 and then set aside because some other important story came up at the time it was scheduled. Two years later they pulled out the story again and updated it to fit in with his Indianapolis win and winning the World Championship. At that time only one other person connected with racing had featured on a TIME cover : Briggs Cunningham.

Hmmmm. Was Briggs Cunningham featured for his motor racing or for his America's Cup yacht exploits? Or both?

#134 Graham Gauld

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 14:30

Both !

#135 MoMurray

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 16:20

Originally posted by David Lawson
I forgot I still had this.



David


Well that answers my question, at least as far as the British press was concerned. Thanks David.

And spare a thought for Dr. Kings wife, Coretta Scott King, who passed yesterday evening...RIP

Mo.

#136 Jerome

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 18:44

I don't want to go offtopic, and perhaps this has been discussed a zillion times... but...

If I am driving my bike, and I notice something fishy, I get off... why did Jim (who obviously felt something was wrong with his car) wave people by but drove on in almost full flight through the corner that killed him? Was that the only weakness of Jim Clark, as some have said, that he did not slow down if something seemed wrong with the car?

That said, I am amazed that some guys like Jim Clark but also Mark Donahue were such quality people in such a competitive sport. That's probalby why they are so missed...

#137 Graham Gauld

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 18:58

There are many instances of Jim Clark backing off - Nurburgring, for example when he forgot to switch on the fuel pumps at the start. He came back up the field in a remarkable driving performance but held on to fourth place because he felt it would be daft and dangerous in the weather conditions to attempt to catch the leaders. Hockenheim was a situation completely different.

#138 Alan Lewis

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 19:21

Originally posted by oldtimer


As I remember it, Clark was not a household name for the English press...


When I was a lad, I had the 1968 (published end of 1967, obviously) Beano Annual, handed down from my older cousin. The cover was a snow scene, kids playing, Beano characters dotted about, one of which was Billy Whizz flying past, showering two kids with snow, one of whom says: "Wow! That must have been Jim Clark on a sledge!"

Sounds household name to me.

APL

#139 Twin Window

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 20:15

Originally posted by Jerome.Inen

I don't want to go offtopic, and perhaps this has been discussed a zillion times... but...

Jerome

Can I suggest you read this thread to learn more about the tragic event, and just how sensitive people still are - almost forty years later? I'm sure you'll find it most enlightening.

Meanwhile, please let's stick to the essence of the thread in recalling Clark the man, and the [global] reaction to the events of April 7th, 1968.

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#140 Jerome

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 12:09

I've read that thread, Twinny.... thanks. But this aspect of Clark wasn't really answered in that thread.

But anyway. The funny thing about Clark is, I always heard such nice stories about him. And you think: Oh well, if someone's dead... but every interview I saw (old films, and stuff like that), I thought everytime: 'Damn! He really IS an terrific bloke!'

#141 Ruairidh

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 18:28

Originally posted by Twin Window


Meanwhile, please let's stick to the essence of the thread in recalling Clark the man, and the [global] reaction to the events of April 7th, 1968.


Yes please.

All I know is that, nearly 40 years on, I still have an almost physical sense of sadness and sense of loss when I think of Jim.

#142 Pedro 917

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 23:30

Here's a painting my brother made:

Posted Image

#143 WGD706

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 00:36

I've only heard Jim Clark speak once and it was for only a few short words...did he have the same kind of accent that JYS or DC have?
Warren

#144 SEdward

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 07:19

Warren.

The same thing struck me a couple of weeks ago. Despite an almost lifelong interest in the sport and its history, I had never heard the great man's voice.

Then I stumbled across a short clip of Jo Bonnier interviewing Clark and Siffert at http://archives.tsr.ch/dossier-siffert

His voice is gentle, mild and smooth, which is how I always imagined him to be.

Edward

#145 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 07:45

That might be why the girls liked him so much...

Or shouldn't I have said that?

#146 Twin Window

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 07:55

Originally posted by SEdward

His voice is gentle, mild and smooth, which is how I always imagined him to be.

I can only remember hearing him speak the once, and I was struck by how deep his voice was.

Unfortunately I can't make the video play (the link is now working) on my lappie, for some reason...

#147 indy500autographs

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 22:37

I had never heard my hero's voice either, until he "dropped out early" in the "Fantasy 500" and I got to hear him talk about his day.

It was from the 1967 Indianapolis 500 where he dropped out early. The sad part was when the interviewer asked Jim if he'd like to drive a turbine "next year".

That part was very, very sad.

But he had a neat voice.

#148 uwe_sautter

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 10:01

Here are two pics from Jim Clark at his last race.
From Schlegelmilch Photography Archive.

[IMG]http://img223.images...lark10im.th.jpg[/IMG]
Posted Image

#149 Michael Oliver

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 12:57

Originally posted by SEdward
Warren.

The same thing struck me a couple of weeks ago. Despite an almost lifelong interest in the sport and its history, I had never heard the great man's voice.

Then I stumbled across a short clip of Jo Bonnier interviewing Clark and Siffert at http://archives.tsr.ch/dossier-siffert

His voice is gentle, mild and smooth, which is how I always imagined him to be.

Edward


Has anyone got any suggestions as to how I could get those extracts to play? Is there a particular type of media player I need. I have Windows Media Player but whenever I click on any of the clips it refuse point blank to load... All suggestions gratefully received!

#150 David Lawson

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 14:24

I viewed these clips through Real One Player which I seem to remember downloading from the BBC website but if not I guess you can search for it on Google. I hope this helps.

David