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Indianapolis 1964 questions (merged)


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#1 Don Capps

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 18:15

Although Jack Brabham used Firestones during the race, I was unaware that he had also used Dunlops at some point. That is, until I recently saw a photograph clearly showing the BT12 shod with Dunlops juxaposed with the same car wearing Firestones. Perhaps I just missed it (which is quite likely :blush: ), but I cannot reall any references to Brabham switching brands. Unfortunately, the Dunlop photo is not dated, but I wonder if there was any possible relation to the chunking problem that the Dunlops experienced and the use of the Firestones? I find many references to the Dunlops and Team Lotus and the Ferguson, but none to the Brabham entry.

Any information rolling around out there on this?

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#2 Roger Clark

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 19:07

I can't help directly, but Brabham tested the car in England before it was transported to America, and it would be logical for him to use Dunlops here. Firestone were only just getting involved in European racing at the time. It could therefore have retained those tyres when it forst arrived at Indianapolis.

Incidentally, Brabham says, in his column in Motor Racing that the BT12 ran with an anti roll bar 3/4 inch thick. Is this the only Brabham with non-independent suspension?

#3 Don Capps

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 19:58

As always, Thank you, Roger. That was the first thing that crossed my mind, but this is a picture taken in the pits and with the same pattern as the Lotus cars. If they were "slave" tires, I would have imagined that they would have been removed by the time it was showtime for practice and qualifying. As for the 3/4" roll-bar, he says it still didn't help! Perhaps "semi-independent" suspension is the way to describe the suspension.

#4 Racers Edge

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 11:02

Don..the photo was probably just a advertising photo, for the home market in England, ( DUNLOP at INDY) as at that time Firestone had a better developed tyre for Indy and Dunlop really did not have too much experience there. Firestone did alot of testing with AJ Foyt & Ford..I think you'll find Lotus / also switched to Firestone...for Indy...

Didn't Clark have a Dunlop tire failure in his first race, at Indy...just laps from the win? (or) was that suspension?

#5 Racers Edge

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 12:19

What really happen that day in 1964 at the Indy 500...?

Posted Image


Taken from Corner 4

Posted Image

Who started this horiffic crash?.... And I think it was the last time the Indy 500 saw Petrol, later all cars used Methanol....

#6 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 12:26

Dave MacDonald was the fellow who crashed first & then poor old Eddie Sachs careered into MacDonald - Sachs was killed instantly, MacDonald succumbed to his burns & injuries a few days later:
Here is a good account of the crash, the like of which I hope we never ever see again.

http://www.indymotor...com/500d-64.htm




BTW, Racer's Edge, thanks for the WATN info. :up:

#7 Aanderson

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 14:29

Originally posted by Racers Edge
What really happen that day in 1964 at the Indy 500...?


Who started this horiffic crash?.... And I think it was the last time the Indy 500 saw Petrol, later all cars used Methanol....


Dave McDonald, driving one of Mickey Thompson's 1963 "pumpkin-seed" cars (the cars laid out around those 12" wheels and Allstate--actually constructed by Firestone--tires) that had been modified to run the newly mandated 15" wheels and tires, struggled all May, as did the other MT drivers, with some apparently nasty handling characteristics of these cars, they seemed to just "jump" all over the place on the track. In fact, several drivers tried them, climbed out of them. IIRC, the Thmpson cars had a very nasty tendency to get "loose" (oversteer) which incidently was a characteristic of many of the early rear-engine cars!) McDonald seemed have mastered his ill-handling MT chassis though, being no stranger to hanging the tail of a race car out at speed.

However, as the field was completing the first lap, still pretty much bunched up, McDonald lost control of his car coming off the 4th turn, not sure if he touched the wall, though, even though it all unfolded in front of me (I was standing at the fence in the 4th turn "snakepit" that day). We were perhaps 200' north of the old pit wall extension, which jutted out to the edge of the track at perhaps a 45-degree angle, with a sharp corner at the inner wall along the straightaway. McDonald's car, from my memory and vantage point, struck the corner of the two walls, side-on, which split open one of the two side fuel tanks, spilling gasoline (Ford Motor Company specified pump gasoline for their new DOHC Indy engines that first year), and slid almost to a stop, sideways, on fire in the middle of the straight. Sachs, being one of the most savvy oval track drivers ever, apparently did the right thing, steering where McDonald's car was as it spun, not expecting that car to be bounced right back out in front of him, leaving Sachs with no place to go quickly. Sachs crashed hard, into the side of McDonald's car, I think the undamaged side, puncturing the remaining fuel tank, which resulted in the huge explosion seen on film and in pictures. Both cars slid to a quick stop, in the fireball.

The medical report on Sachs was that he died of a broken neck (likely what today is called a basal skull fracture), while McDonald lingered for a couple of hours, with massive burns, and flame inhalation. He expired before the race was completed (race was delayed for more than an hour for the cleanup).

The results of this tragedy were immediate: USAC banned all fuels other than methanol for the remainder of the 1964 season and beyond (although they did allow JP-4 Jet Fuel and white gasoline for the 1967-68 turbines). Fuel cell bladders, then being built by both Firestone and Goodyear for military aircraft were also mandated for the 1965 season. Last, true flame-resistant driver's uniforms (Nomex) were also mandated.

Mickey Thompson never again had a car face the green flag at Indy on race day, as his designs got pretty strange in 1965-66. The 1965 Thompson entry was a very curious front drive, built around a length of tubing, with a stock-block Chevy V8 hung on the left side of the chassis. It ran well enough down the straights, but as Duke Nalon (perhaps the undisputed king of front-drive racers) noted, it just couldn't corner with the more sophisticated rear engine, rear drive cars. Bob Mathouser finally scattered most of the Chevy engine down the length of the front stretch on the final day of qualifications in '65. In 1966, Thompson came back one more time, with a pair of more-or-less conventional rear engine chassis, powered again by Chevy engines, this time with a radical 3-valve pushrod head, ostensibly of his own design. These didn't work, down on power, and when they tried to rev them higher, they simply blew apart, pretty typical of a small-block Chevy in high-speed racing in the day.

Art Anderson


#8 Aanderson

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 14:41

Originally posted by Racers Edge
Don..the photo was probably just a advertising photo, for the home market in England, ( DUNLOP at INDY) as at that time Firestone had a better developed tyre for Indy and Dunlop really did not have too much experience there. Firestone did alot of testing with AJ Foyt & Ford..I think you'll find Lotus / also switched to Firestone...for Indy...

Didn't Clark have a Dunlop tire failure in his first race, at Indy...just laps from the win? (or) was that suspension?


Never have seen the photo's you mention, but no, nobody ran Indy in '64 on Dunlops, not even sure that any serious practice laps were, either.

As for Clark, and Team Lotus, they showed up in 1963 with the then-new (and very controversial!) 15" Firestone tires, then for 1964, Colin Chapman (over the objections of Ford!) brought Dunlop to the Speedway, apparently for the contingency money, depending on whose account you read. Dunlop apparently did not figure on the sustained high speeds of Indy, especially when compared to their normal venue of road racing, and supplied tires with treads that were either too thick, too soft, or both.

Clark's car experienced tread "chunking" midway into the event, which quickly developed into the tread peeling off the tire, the resultant imbalance and extreme vibration breaking the rear suspension, putting him out. On a subsequent pit stop, Gurney was discovered to have exactly the same problem, and upon the advice of the Dunlop representatives (by a newspaper account, I believe), Ford and Team Lotus withdrew Gurney's car.

Team Lotus ran Firestones at Indy in 1965-69.

Art Anderson

#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 17:43

Jack took the Brabham to Indy on the Dunlop tyres on which I presume it had first turned a wheel in England but he says that John Zink was contracted to Firestone and so - yes - in any serious running at Indy it used Firestones instead. Jack would not have used Dunlops there by choice in any case since he considered even then that had they run the Kimberly-Cooper on Firestones rather than Dunlops in 1961 he'd have been seriously "in the money".

Incidentally, John Zink had insisted that the car should be built around Formula 1-standard 'soft' suspension with long wheel travel.

At Indy this 'master stroke' proved to be its downfall as photos of the car at speed plainly show a pretty incredible ride height as it lifted, with its suspension travel plainly excessive.

Not until Jack had A.J. Foyt test his final Indy car - the 1970 Brabham-Offenhauser t/c version - after that year's 500 did The Guv'nor learn one key to the course. "Foyt told us what we'd never been bright enough to spot for ourselves - at Indy in those days you daren't have the least trace of oversteer in your set-up - because if you did it would just scare the driver so much you'd never commit adequately into the turns ever again... We got that sorted out and next time that car ran - at Ontario with Lee Roy Yarbrough driving - it nearly won! We'd got it right just too late to profit from it..." This still annoys him, too.

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#10 Don Capps

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 18:45

Originally posted by Racers Edge
..the photo was probably just a advertising photo, for the home market in England, ( DUNLOP at INDY) as at that time Firestone had a better developed tyre for Indy and Dunlop really did not have too much experience there. Firestone did alot of testing with AJ Foyt & Ford..I think you'll find Lotus / also switched to Firestone...for Indy...


Originally posted by Aanderson
Never have seen the photo's you mention, but no, nobody ran Indy in '64 on Dunlops, not even sure that any serious practice laps were, either.

As for Clark, and Team Lotus, they showed up in 1963 with the then-new (and very controversial!) 15" Firestone tires, then for 1964, Colin Chapman (over the objections of Ford!) brought Dunlop to the Speedway, apparently for the contingency money, depending on whose account you read. Dunlop apparently did not figure on the sustained high speeds of Indy, especially when compared to their normal venue of road racing, and supplied tires with treads that were either too thick, too soft, or both.

Clark's car experienced tread "chunking" midway into the event, which quickly developed into the tread peeling off the tire, the resultant imbalance and extreme vibration breaking the rear suspension, putting him out. On a subsequent pit stop, Gurney was discovered to have exactly the same problem, and upon the advice of the Dunlop representatives (by a newspaper account, I believe), Ford and Team Lotus withdrew Gurney's car.


Originally posted by Doug Nye
Jack took the Brabham to Indy on the Dunlop tyres on which I presume it had first turned a wheel in England but he says that John Zink was contracted to Firestone and so - yes - in any serious running at Indy it used Firestones instead. Jack would not have used Dunlops there by choice in any case since he considered even then that had they run the Kimberly-Cooper on Firestones rather than Dunlops in 1961 he'd have been seriously "in the money".


The photos I am referring to were from a private collection and they are currently in-transit to the IMRRC. There is a photograph clearly showing the Dunlops on the Brabham BT12, with JAB himself at the wheel, in the pits. This was not a advertising photo or any other such ploy. Knowing that Zink was contracted to Firestone, that is what got my instant and immediate attention.

Had I not seen clear evidence that the BT12 was in the pits and wearing Dunlops, previously I would have been in complete agreement with Art on Dunlops not appearing anywhere outside the Team Lotus cars. However, now it is quite possible that at least some shake-down laps were run with the Dunlops on the Brabham. Again, no serious running, but at least some laps to check to see if things were attached and for any leaks.

I thought as much on the suspension settings since it is pretty lurid to see the suspension travel of the BT12 at speed.

Foyt did lots of testing prior to Indianapolis, but it was for Goodyear, not Firestone. The Goodyears simply were not as durable as the Firestones and certainly no better as to speed. The Dunlops were already giving problems during practice and some chunking took place during full fuel load runs. This was days before the race and got dscussed at length by the track officials, but Chapman denied any problems and that was what Lotus used for the event.

The Armstrongs on the Thompson cars generally get ignored, but they seemed to be adequate, even if not as good as the Firestones in any respect. Unlike the Dunlops, the Armstrongs didn't chunk, but they were not very "sticky" either.

Again, as soon as the photo of the BT12 on Dunlops is availble at the IMRRC, I will see if it can posted here.

#11 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 19:01

Don - fair enough but I would just emphasise that my reference to Foyt testing an Indy Brabham at Indy was for 1970 when Jack was also on Goodyears - NOT for 1964 when he drove Zink's car on Firestones (at least, for most of the time!). Blackie today is very dismissive of Dunlop, by the way, and generally pretty complimentary about Goodyear - except when they nearly killed him at Silverstone in 1969.

DCN

#12 Don Capps

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 21:20

Doug, So easy to get confused when testing is mentioned, especially with Foyt involved. The 1970 testing comment finally sunk in and explains a lot! Another Big reason that I blinked at seeing the Dunlops was the very point that you have mentioned -- Blackie's rather dim view of Dunlop.

#13 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 21:37

Another point here regards the 1964 multiple accident which has been discussed previously at length in a TNF thread. Surely the point of Mickey Thompson's strategy with his cars was that they carried enormous amounts of fuel to minimise pit stops...the fuel load's immense weight exacerbating their desperately poor handling qualities. Masten Gregory had told Brabham that the Thompson cars were terrifying to drive and coming from the bravest driver in major-league motor racing that made Jack's eyes pop... He believes to this day that it was only the fact that he had his eyes absolutely glued on Dave MacDonald's car ahead of him at the start which enabled him to avoid probably fatal involvement when MacDonald lost control and the multiple collision erupted...

DCN

#14 ensign14

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 22:35

And something forgotten is that Eddie Johnson, Indy veteran, got back into the other Mickey Thompson special for the restart and managed 6 laps. That must have been incredibly brave - duid anyone get his reaction?

I got the impression that the 1965 entry for Mickey Thompson was a sort of 'OK, you think my cars are dangerous, well I'll go back and make the most traditional car you can get' sort of thing.

#15 powertrain

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 23:17

Originally posted by Aanderson


Never have seen the photo's you mention, but no, nobody ran Indy in '64 on Dunlops, not even sure that any serious practice laps were, either.

As for Clark, and Team Lotus, they showed up in 1963 with the then-new (and very controversial!) 15" Firestone tires, then for 1964, Colin Chapman (over the objections of Ford!) brought Dunlop to the Speedway, apparently for the contingency money, depending on whose account you read. Dunlop apparently did not figure on the sustained high speeds of Indy, especially when compared to their normal venue of road racing, and supplied tires with treads that were either too thick, too soft, or both.

Clark's car experienced tread "chunking" midway into the event, which quickly developed into the tread peeling off the tire, the resultant imbalance and extreme vibration breaking the rear suspension, putting him out. On a subsequent pit stop, Gurney was discovered to have exactly the same problem, and upon the advice of the Dunlop representatives (by a newspaper account, I believe), Ford and Team Lotus withdrew Gurney's car.

Team Lotus ran Firestones at Indy in 1965-69.

Art Anderson

Lotus used the Dunlop D12 in practice at Indy in 1963. Dan Gurney could lap 3 mph faster on the Dunlop than with the Firestones but tire wear was less with the Firestone so team chose the Firestone for the race. Later in 1963 Jim Clark won in Milwaukee on Dunlop tires. Lotus used Dunlops at Indy in 1964, with disastrous results.

#16 Seppi_0_917PA

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 02:13

Does this help, or just make it more puzzling that Brabham would have Dunlops (Rubber Monogamy)?

Originally posted by lynmeredith
During the mid to late 60s most F1 teams tested Goodyear tyres, no matter what tyre contracts they held. I was present at tests with BRM (Dunlop contract) Lotus (Firestone contract) and Ferrari (ditto). When I joined Goodyear late in 1964 Brabham and Gurney had personal contracts with Goodyear for F1 and Brabham (or MRD) probably had a contract for the supply of OE tyres for their production race cars.

I assume that the other tyre companies did similar testing with various teams. I don't know if Brabham tested with Dunlop or Firestone whilst he was contracted to Goodyear but I would not be surprised if he did and in fact he would have been foolish to turn down the opportunity. His next chat with Goodyear's chief engineer would have been worth hearing!

Lyn M

This would eliminate the possibility of a promo-picture for "back home" if Brabham was contracted with Goodyear.

#17 Don Capps

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 02:42

Originally posted by Seppi_0_917PA
This would eliminate the possibility of a promo-picture for "back home" if Brabham was contracted with Goodyear.


Once again, the picture in question was taken by a Speedway photographer for his private collection and just happened to capture the BT12 wearing the Dunlops. There was never any indication on my part that the picture was from an promotion or advertisement. It was just one of those lucky shots which decades later makes you stop and stare and go, "Whoa! How did that happen?"

#18 Don Capps

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 02:53

One of the reasons the photo is so interesting is that I am working -- snail-like unfortunately -- on a piece covering the 1964 GP season, but including several related events such as the International Sweepstakes. I am currently drafting the first version of this section of the piece and it is really interesting to see some of this information again and examine it in a different light. After looking at the many, many photographs in the same collection with the Dunlop-shod Brabham BT12, I didn't realize that I had forgotten so much about the event.

I will try to post some of my impressions of this race later on. It was a far more pivotal event than I realized.

Oh, while researching some background on Eddie Sachs, there was an article in 1958 -- Speed Age, I believe -- where Sachs stated he wanted to try Grand Prix racing and thought that he could succeed at it given the proper opportunity. Now that would have been intertesting to have seen....

#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 04:26

Originally posted by Doug Nye
.....Masten Gregory had told Brabham that the Thompson cars were terrifying to drive and coming from the bravest driver in major-league motor racing that made Jack's eyes pop... He believes to this day that it was only the fact that he had his eyes absolutely glued on Dave MacDonald's car ahead of him at the start which enabled him to avoid probably fatal involvement when MacDonald lost control and the multiple collision erupted...


As I recall Jack's exact words describing the event, it went something like this...

"Masten saved my life once, you know... he came to me when he walked out of the Mickey Thompson team at Indianapolis and described what the cars were like. He told me to watch out if I was behind one for it to move in a certain way, and if it did to just jam on the brakes.!"

"So when I saw MacDonald's car start to play up, I pushed so hard on the brakes that I think the master cylinder must have nearly come off its mounts..."

Quite a different story to the time he was lying in the middle of the road in Portugal and he saw Masten bearing straight down on him!

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#20 Henri Greuter

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 07:28

Regarding the tires at Indy in 1964.

Another supposed taker for the Dunlops was the 4WD Ferguson P104-Novi. But eventueally it used Firestones too.
The Granatelli brothers were really hedging their bets at Indy while before the month of may it was claimed that the 4WD was to use dunlops while their 2 regular roadsters were on both Firestones and Goodyears, one car for each brand. Come May and all of them were on Firestone.

The Thompson cars...
In one of the newspapers at Indy that year it was reporte that nobody else but Colin Chapman discovered about these cars that they were fitted with a steering right rear wheel!


As far as I know, gasoline wasn't banned after 1964 yet. The rules were however changed that any car had at least to make two pitstops in which the fuel hoses were attached to the cars. USAC hoped that would encorage teams to use such an opportunity to refuel the cars since they were connected. But I have read accounts that Clark won Indy in '65, still using gasoline.
Maybe the better mileage of gasoline enabled him to fuel the car less, thus running lighter and that, apart form the valuable help of the Wood brothers during the refilling make the pitstops even quicker then they were.

Doug, have you heard anything about the fact that Lotus still used gasoline in '65?


Henri Greuter

#21 Buford

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 07:33

My recollection was gasoline was banned afer the disasters of 1964.

#22 Henri Greuter

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 09:35

Buford,

I thought the same, that was till I read about Lotus still using gasoline in '65.
And I know I read something about the only requirement for the cars being hooked up on the fuel line twice, no matter if the car needed to be refuelled or not.

Banning gasoline was kind of hypocrite anyway. considering the fact that Parnelli also went ablaze that year....
And nobody blamed methanol because of that....

henri

#23 powertrain

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 15:21

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
I thought the same, that was till I read about Lotus still using gasoline in '65.

Strange because in his 1965 book, Jim Clark wrote that they used a nitro mixture in practice and opted for methanol in the race.

#24 Don Capps

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 16:54

For 1965, the cars were required to use the foam-filled fuel cells originally developed by Firestone. Refuelling was by gravity-feed tanks with pressurized refuelling rigs banned. Two pit stops were required. The tanks for refuelling were not to exceed 400 US gallons and had only a single 3-inch take-off for a refuelling hose -- or hoses. No fuel could added to the tank during the race. There was also the reintroduction of a minimum weight limit for the first time since 1946 -- 1,250 lbs.

However, despite all this it appears that gasoline was an approved fuel! There is a reference to the chairman of the USAC Technical Committee asking Mickey Thompson if he would use gasoline or methanol.The Indy Ford could be run with methanol, gasolne or various blends.

Sometimes, when you start digging you find some real surprises.....

#25 Gerr

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 17:10

Gasoline was not banned after 1964. Fuel regulations were changed to encourage the use of alcohol. The cars fuel tank capacity was reduced to 75 gallons (US), a minimum of two pit stops were mandatory and fuel hoses had to be inserted during stops, as Henri mentioned. Pressure refueling was banned ( possibly because of Parnelli Jones' fire in '64 ) and replaced with 400 gallon gravity-feed tanks. Gasoline wasn't banned at Indy until some time during the "fuel crisis" of the mid-1970's.

Henri, Roger Huntington's book has Clark's Lotus running 80/20 methanol/toluene for the 1965 race which would have given his Ford 485 bhp and BSFC of 1.0. According to FoMoCo testing this was 45 more bhp than with gasoline, but double the fuel consumption. In qualifying he used methanol with nitro, possibly as much as 30%, for about 560 bhp.

#26 Don Capps

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Posted 22 December 2003 - 23:04

Factoid: The top of the fuel tanks could not be higher than 60 inches above ground level of the pits, excluding the top of the vent tube.

While checking on something, I found an advertisement celebrating the "41st consectutive" victory by Firestone at the International Sweepstakes. That was correct; however, there was a note stating that there were "No races during the war years," which included the 1914, 1915, 1916, and 1916 events. I recall thinking about this before, but seeing it again reminded me.

#27 Walter Zoomie

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 04:45

You might find these photos of some interest...

http://albums.photo....&a=30670255&f=0

#28 Henri Greuter

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 07:49

Quote by Gerr

Henri, Roger Huntington's book has Clark's Lotus running 80/20 methanol/toluene for the 1965 race which would have given his Ford 485 bhp and BSFC of 1.0. According to FoMoCo testing this was 45 more bhp than with gasoline, but double the fuel consumption. In qualifying he used methanol with nitro, possibly as much as 30%, for about 560 bhp.


===

Thanks Gerr.
I have found my source about Lotus using Gasoline too by now. It was, of all things a Dutch(!) booklet devoted to the Indy 500. Not the most reliable source of info but nevertheless, as far as I know, still the lone book entirely devoted to Indy in my language.

And thanks for straightening out the rules on Gasoline fuel too. Good thought to know that at least I was partly right somewhere....


Henri

#29 Racers Edge

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 09:14

Hello Walter...are those your photo's on the link? great stuff...and there is lot's of othere great Indy type shots on the othere pages...thanks for sharing them...

#30 Walter Zoomie

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 15:25

Yes, they are mine....well, they were my father's, but he passed away almost 2 years ago. He took many of the pictures.


#31 Buford

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 17:39

Hey Don. Go get Walter's photos for the museum.

#32 Don Capps

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 17:55

Originally posted by Buford
Hey Don. Go get Walter's photos for the museum.


Exactly!

Walter, has the IMRRC at Watkins Glen got a deal for you.... :up:

#33 Walter Zoomie

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 19:39

Is that so? Tell me about it.

#34 Buford

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 21:17

Well Don will tell you about it. I just turned our family's 30 year racing photo collection over to the Watkins Glen museum. They are going to make copies and send all the originals back. Then it will be available for people now and in the future to research and enjoy. It looks like your stuff would fit right in to the collections they are building.

#35 theunions

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 21:21

Paul, how did your dad get from shot #5 to shot #6 (I assume he simply took off running down pit lane, then went back to work once he was out of immediate danger)?

And what about the guy with the Super 8 camera at the far right of #5, with his back turned AWAY from the action and with Dave basically heading directly for him?!? :eek:

#36 Buford

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 21:50

That guy can be seen in a video shot from almost the same spot. He had panned to his left following the lead cars. Mac Donald hit right in front of him to the south toward turn 1. He ducked but only at impact and was extremely fortunate the flaming fireball erupted just past him and not right next to him or he would have been incinerated.

#37 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 21:53

Photo number 5 is certainly a graphic image of the start of the tragedy...

What of the other photographers whose images are shown... Oates, Ramsay and Lacopo?

And is the cover over the Sachs car because his body is still inside it?

#38 Buford

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 21:58

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Photo number 5 is certainly a graphic image of the start of the tragedy...

What of the other photographers whose images are shown... Oates, Ramsay and Lacopo?

And is the cover over the Sachs car because his body is still inside it?



Yes. They pulled Mac Donald out. He was somehow still marginally alive. Sachs was all wedged in the car and they couldn't pull him out so they covered the cockpit while they cleaned up the mess all around.

#39 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 22:14

It's interesting, Buford, that there's just three months between the deaths of our respective greatest interests...

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#40 Buford

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 22:25

I was in the front row of the paddock just past the finish line. I was filming and was on Clark when I heard the impact and looking around the camera saw the fireball. I caught the whole wreck on film from when MacDonald was just coming off the wall and sliding in front of the rest of the cars. I just gave that film to Don for the museum.

We knew the driver in the roadster on the inside (Duman) must be out because it was burning pretty fully and they were ignoring that car. But we thought there could be as many as 7 or more cars in the massive fireball. There was no way to tell but it looked even worse than it turned out to be. We thought there could be 5 or even 10 dead.

After awhile the drivers started walking back to the pits. All the cars were back in turn 4. We were checking off the list, trying to figure out who was obviously dead. They started interviewing several of the drivers. We knew about half were alive. We did not know what had happened to the other half. But after they got the fire out we could see it was 2 or maybe 3 cars that had been in the middle of it. Not as bad as we'd feared.

After 20 or 30 minutes my mother suddenly blurted out. "It's Eddie. It has to be Eddie. He would have been on the microphone by now calming the crowd." That's when we knew, long before the announcement. Everybody (and I mean everybody) in the immediate area around where I was seated broke out crying when they heard what my mother said. And they were passing the word along so the entire area soon was sobbing and holding their heads.

#41 Don Capps

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Posted 23 December 2003 - 22:59

I watched the race on closed circuit, I think that was the first time they dd it. It was totally confusing at first, but it soon became apparent that the carnage was not as bad -- bad enough certainly as it was -- as we all feared. It was frustrating trying to figure just who was and who wasn't involved in the fireball and all the subsequent crashing and wall-banging.

However, once it became clear that Eddie Sachs was one of those in the middle of the disaster and had not come out the other side -- we knew Dave MacDonald was certainly in a serious hurt after seeing parts of his impact and the resulting mess -- we all began to hope that it was only because he just missed him somehow.

When it was clear that Eddie was either dead or dying, it was horrible. Then, they finally made the announcement. I am not sure that many here really can understand just how much people genuinely liked Eddie Sachs. I never had the experiece to be near him as much as Buford and his family, but I had met him and was genuinely impressed and just liked him. He was truly special.

He semed to be not just "funny," but had a great sense of wit and very well-developed sense of humor. Plus, he was a very good racer. Seeing all the photos of Eddie Sachs in the Buford Collection was just amazing. Plus, I admit, just a bit sad as well. :(

Walter, The International Motor Racing Research Center (IMRRC) serves as a center for researchers of all levels to conduct their studies by making available material from archives and collections that simply would not ordinarily be available to the public, but buried in private collections. And private collections we have discovered, have a way of being tossed out when the collector either passes on or some other Significant Emotional event causes the material to be tossed in the trash.

I have personally been able to find materials that would have been difficult or impossible to find for my articles and projects. Many, many others have had the same experience. It is not like many museums or the public libraries in that it is very much oriented and focused on motor racing and makes it a point to be User Friendly. The staff is acknowledgeable, courteous, and can suggest assistance or contacts in addition to what they have at the Center. Granted, it is a very small staff, but they make an effort to assist researchers if at all possible.

Mark Steigerwald (MarkWRX here at Atlas F1) is the full-time librarian and archivist and along wth Bill Green, the Center's resident Historian, run a great place. The President and Director of the IMRRC is Cameron Argetsinger. Atlas F1 TNF member Mike Argetsinger is a member of the IMRRC Board as well.

The Center will work with those who would wish to see their collections preserved in some fashion. This means an outright donation or a loan to make copies of the materials and then return the originals to the owner. They are flexible and can work a deal that fits the needs of everyone concerned. If I seem to feel strongly about the IMRRC, it is because it has been an absolute godsend. Between the IMRRC and TNF, we racing historians have finally found some hope for networking and sharing ideas and materials.

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#42 T54

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 04:20

"Jack would not have used Dunlops there by choice in any case since he considered even then that had they run the Kimberly-Cooper on Firestones rather than Dunlops in 1961 he'd have been seriously "in the money".

And it was so close to have been... :

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T54

#43 Walter Zoomie

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 04:52

Originally posted by theunions
Paul, how did your dad get from shot #5 to shot #6 (I assume he simply took off running down pit lane, then went back to work once he was out of immediate danger)?


Good eye, and to answer your question...he probably didn't!;) He had bad legs and feet from a childhood accident, so he didn't do much running....

As much as possible, I tried to credit the photographers with what little info I have. Some of the original prints have the photog's name on the back, some don't. Some of the images you see were scanned from negatives, which I am quite certain are my dad's work.

It's possible that I credited my dad to a photo, when, in reality, it may have been Frank Fisse that took the shot. Dad and Mr. Fisse were very good friends, worked for the Indianapolis Star/News, and probably were hanging out together at the start of the race.

I didn't tackle the scanning and posting of Dad's pics as scientifically as maybe I should have. I'm no pro, but I did the best I could with what limited resources and info I have. However, I try to make changes and corrections when new information becomes available to me. Mr. Fisse is still alive and resides locally, last I heard. I'll try to contact him.

#44 RJH

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 13:19

About 10 years ago I bought a pair of 15" diameter Brabham wheels with tyres. They were apparently fitted with Dunlop Tyres, thats what was stenciled in Dunlop Yellow on the sidewalls. However on closer inspection it was possible to read that Goodyear was moulded into the sidewalls and had then been carefully buffed off. A case of tyre contracts making strange bedfellows? Somewhere I've a photo.

#45 T54

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 16:36

I assume that these were "flat" spoke design versus the earlier "scallop" spokes? How wide were they?
It would indicate simply a matter of contracts vs what works...
Regards,

T54

#46 RJH

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 17:13

They were the scallop (Wobblies) design and as far as I can remember either 6" or 8" wide. Sorry not much help.

#47 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 21:04

The only Brabhams to have 15" wheels, surely, were the Indy cars, the earliest of F1s, the '66-on F1s and Tasman cars?

6" and 8" would eliminate everything after about 1964, however...

Brabham wheels, to my knowledge, always had a kind of broad-spoked appearance, with a number of round holes between the 'spokes', which were lumpy like about the size of a baseball.

#48 RJH

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Posted 24 December 2003 - 22:58

Firstly they were definitely Brabham wheels and 15" diameter, as I remember the ones I had were either 6" or 8" wide but which I'm not sure. They had MRD cast on the inner side of the wobble . I bought them as spares for my BT11 ( came to me on 15" rims). There was infact another 15" Brabham wheel type as well as the 'wobbly. and the flat four spoke. It was in the original drawings for the BT17 and had the word 'Brabham' cast into the outer face of the spoke, das six slim spokes and was cast by Sterling Metals in Nuneaton. I have photos of this type on a Brabham, but don't have a scanner that works at the moment. Hope this doesn't further muddy the waters.

#49 Aanderson

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Posted 25 December 2003 - 16:01

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Another point here regards the 1964 multiple accident which has been discussed previously at length in a TNF thread. Surely the point of Mickey Thompson's strategy with his cars was that they carried enormous amounts of fuel to minimise pit stops...the fuel load's immense weight exacerbating their desperately poor handling qualities. Masten Gregory had told Brabham that the Thompson cars were terrifying to drive and coming from the bravest driver in major-league motor racing that made Jack's eyes pop... He believes to this day that it was only the fact that he had his eyes absolutely glued on Dave MacDonald's car ahead of him at the start which enabled him to avoid probably fatal involvement when MacDonald lost control and the multiple collision erupted...

DCN


I would question that the Mickey Thompson cars carried significantly more fuel that year than any others. A close look at a 1964 rear engine Watson or Volstedt, and most certainly any of the roadsters would tell you that the fuel tanks of the era had an enormous capacity, approaching 70-80 gallons of fuel. Even the Lotus 34's had very large fuel tanks, on both sides of the tub, and I believe also a "seat tank", underneath and behind the driver.

Up through 1973, except for the fuel restrictive days of the middle 1930's, at Indianapolis, you could carry as much fuel onboard as you could pack into the car. However, practicality seems to have limited the onboard fuel capacity to somewhere around 70 gallons or so, the expectation being that a car run the entire distance on no more than 3 pit stops.

As for Masten Gregory being "the bravest driver in major-league motor racing", that's a pretty tall statement. Gregory really didn't have that reputation at Indy, being considered more of a pampered "rich kid" there.

Art Anderson


#50 Buford

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Posted 25 December 2003 - 20:47

Actually the fans did not know who Masten Gregory was, at least until the newspapers reported he may have had too many official wives at the same time. The ancient board track USAC officials only knew him as a guy with long hair (for the times) and a guy who didn't want to wear seat belts (in case he needed to jump out) and a guy who didn't want to wear shoes in the car, and a guy who wanted to wear a sweatshirt and jeans in the car rather than a useless uniform (pre-Nomex).

I stood right next to a couple USAC officials when one asked "Who is that?" The other said, "Oh, that's that damn Masten Gregory. I'd make him get a haircut before I'd ever let him drive my car." I don't know if he was known as a pampered rich kid so much as he was known as one of those sissy road racers who they had never heard of who was driving those damn unsafe rear engine cars that were ruining racing and taking the rides away from derserving Americans.

Typical USAC think that 30 years later turned into typical IRL-Lemming-Think.