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The Mickey Thompson 'Sears Allstate Special' cars of 1964


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#801 fines

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 19:24

So, I got my gallons and pounds mixed up, I actually thought it was something like 5 lbs/gal - I stand corrected! But you lot don't make it easy with your US and GB versions, how are we metrics supposed to memorize conversions? :lol:

I didn't look up the actual figures, because I didn't think the details too important. My point was and is that the article is a bit light on facts, yet it still carries the "weight of an expert" in its tone, coming from "the only person remaining on earth, who had all of the inside information stories between their two ears"... I wasn't going to cut him any slack after an intro like that! :rolleyes:

Originally posted by Flat Black
How eloquent and beautiful is that?

:up: Indeed, it's a wonderful quote in every aspect, and very poignant, too! I never really know what to think of Eddie, the person, sometimes he strikes me as brilliant, sometimes plain naïve, but I always liked this quote. :)

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#802 Flat Black

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 19:25

How many journos have actually raced at the highest levels of the sport, I wonder? Paul Dana, Pat Bedard--who else?

#803 ensign14

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 19:49

Paul Frere, obviously...but I think there's another thread about racing journos.

#804 Buford

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 19:57

Another quote from Eddie Sachs, "If you can't win be spectacular."

#805 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 20:54

Originally posted by Flat Black
How many journos have actually raced at the highest levels of the sport, I wonder? Paul Dana, Pat Bedard--who else?


In Australia... David McKay, who really won an Australian Grand Prix against intense competition for that era...

Buford, I wouldn't be surprised if that was something he heard somewhere else.

#806 David M. Kane

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 21:01

Paul Dana did in fact do some writing for Autoweek, but I don't know in what regard. Pat Bedard actually raced in the Indy 500, I just remember he had a big crash and all month he was getting trashed by the regulars because they thought it was a publicity stunt. Also his driving came under criticism fairly or unfairly.

He was pretty geeky looking at the time IMO when compared to Mario and JR and that's coming from a guy who prefers very dark rooms.

#807 Flat Black

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 21:37

If I remember correctly, Tom Sneva tore into Bedard after one of the Indy 500s saying something like, "Some people should stick to writing articles and leave the driving to the professionals!" And yes, Bedard had a horrific crash at Indy--I think it was 1984. One of those crack-ups that make you wonder how the driver survived.

#808 MPea3

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 21:39

I have a question. I've seen on more than one occasion Sach's speed into MacDonald listed as 160mph. Is this in any way close? Clark's pole that year was just shy of 159mph so I'd imagine that the corner speed (even at the exit) would be well below that considering the long straightaways. The 160 number just seems like another one of those "facts" which was a made up number but has become accepted over time.

#809 ensign14

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 21:53

Originally posted by Flat Black
If I remember correctly, Tom Sneva tore into Bedard after one of the Indy 500s saying something like, "Some people should stick to writing articles and leave the driving to the professionals!"

Funny thing is Bedard qualified twice for the 500. There were a few professionals at the Speedway those years - people like Giacomelli - who did not.

#810 David M. Kane

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 00:21

ensign14:

I did not know that but Flat Black is right, he had a really big one. It must have the 2nd time because he did NOT race at Indy again. Maybe as Emerson said after his big crash in Michigan, I believe it went something like this, "God sent me a message and I got it loud and clear." Feel free anyone to put the quote in his exact words.

#811 antonvrs

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 00:42

1984 was the only time I ever went to Indy. I was with a journalist friend and we had just done the Great American Race which finished in Indianapolis that year. My friend Len knew Bedard pretty well and when Bedard hit the inside wall Len was nearly physically ill. He hit right in front of us and the "wall" was actually an earth bank about 5 feet tall IIRC. He hit so hard that it made dirt and rocks jump up from the surface at least 6 or 8 feet away from the point of impact. When the car stopped all that was left was the tub with Bedard sitting in it and the right front wheel still attached to the upright. The engine, transaxle and the other 3 corners of the car were nowhere in sight from where we sat. It took Bedard a long time to recover. A long time.
Not a fun thing to watch.
Anton

#812 ZOOOM

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 00:45

I have read all the posts and have found them to be facinating and extreemely enlightening. Tremendous work on the parts of all of you.
As on other forums, there are experts who love to call posters out because the color of the car was orange not red, or the car was a "D" model not a "C" or that guy owned that car for two years not three....

The McDonald/Sachs crash was a tragedy. It took two very promising race drivers lives. They were husbands and fathers. The wreck profoundly affected the racing community for years (hell we're STILL talking about it).
The truth is that we will probably never know for sure what really happened.
Whether the accident produced 85 or 100 Gs of acceleration, whether the total gasoline burnt was 50 or 150 gallons, one tank or two, bravado or hubrus, balls or guts, poor design or idiocy....
doesn't matter a whole hill of beans.

Two guys died doing what they loved, made all of us proud at their tennacity, amaized at their tallent, and wept at their loss....

I was there, although on the other side of the track. I have always wanted to know what happened. After these posts here I have come to the conclusion that I (we) may never know. But I'm glad there were others who wanted to find out too.

Thanks to all of you........
ZOOOM

#813 TrackDog

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 00:57

Originally posted by Flat Black
If I remember correctly, Tom Sneva tore into Bedard after one of the Indy 500s saying something like, "Some people should stick to writing articles and leave the driving to the professionals!" And yes, Bedard had a horrific crash at Indy--I think it was 1984. One of those crack-ups that make you wonder how the driver survived.


AIR, there was some controversy in the media about Bedard's performance in the '84 race. In Car and Driver, both Bedard and Charles Fox commented that the car had developed a handling problem in practice[could have been on Carb Day, I don't remember...] that the team thought they'd fixed by race day; but Bedard had to fight the car, even after it lost a cylinder. The wreck happenned in the north chute before half distance, and the car went end over end, as I recall. The bulk of the tumbling happenned in the infield, just off the apron; and everybody agreed that if it had flipped on the track surface, Bedard wouldn't have survived. He always maintained that the rear suspension failed, but Robin Miller stated in his column in the Indy Star that the skid marks started several feet outside of the groove, and Bedard "just lost it."


Dan

#814 David M. Kane

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 01:03

antonvrs:

Thank you for that amazing story, no wonder he never raced again. Sounds like the car disipated it's energy just the way it was designed...lucky boy!

#815 TrackDog

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 01:26

Originally posted by MPea3
I have a question. I've seen on more than one occasion Sach's speed into MacDonald listed as 160mph. Is this in any way close? Clark's pole that year was just shy of 159mph so I'd imagine that the corner speed (even at the exit) would be well below that considering the long straightaways. The 160 number just seems like another one of those "facts" which was a made up number but has become accepted over time.


Actually, it's probably a pretty good estimate. I have a copy of Roger Huntington's DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE INDY CAR and on page 123, there's a chart of turn, peak and lap average speeds, and a quote regarding turn speed for Clark's Lotus during '64 qualifying.

Clark was clocked at 147 mph for the full 1/4 mile radius of Turn 1, about 2 mph faster than the fastest roadsters.

CAR OFF TURN TIME PEAK LAP AVERAGE

Lotus-Ford 157 6.70 178 152.5

Watson
Roadster 157 6.56 184 154.4

Novi
Ferguson 4WD
[660 hp] 153 6.47 194 152.5


The Lotus was running on gasoline, and the others on alcohol. Note how much faster the Novi was on the straight, and how much slower it was in the turns, even with 4WD.

Thompson was quoted in Miller's book as saying that his cars were doing 185 on the straight and 135 through the turns.

The accident happenned far enough down the main straight that 160 seems like a distinct possibility.


Dan

#816 Flat Black

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 02:36

Any quote on the performance of the Shrikes back in '64, TrackDog? I believe Sachs' car was a Halibrand-built Shrike.

#817 TrackDog

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 04:44

Originally posted by Flat Black
Any quote on the performance of the Shrikes back in '64, TrackDog? I believe Sachs' car was a Halibrand-built Shrike.


Sachs had the only Shrike at the track in '64. The fastest speed I have for him was 154.8 the day before the first day of qualifying. He ws running almost that fast on Saturday morning, but spun in the second turn just before qualifying started. He hit the wall, damaging the car; qualified on Sunday as the fastest 2nd day qualifier at 151.439.

Sachs was as fast as Foyt before he hit the wall on Saturday...he was evidently pushing the envelope a bit because he'd had engine problems all week, and had just found the speed the day before Pole Day. Bobby Marshman had just turned a quick lap and Eddie went out and just overdrove the car trying to find a couple of extra mph. If he hadn't crashed, he probably would have qualified in the second row; he would have been far ahead of MacDonald...


Dan

#818 Buford

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:03

I never thought about that before what could have been. What a big "IF."

#819 Henri Greuter

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 06:53

Originally posted by ensign14

Funny thing is Bedard qualified twice for the 500. There were a few professionals at the Speedway those years - people like Giacomelli - who did not.


If my memory serves me well, Bruno was entered in a car called Theodore (Teddy Yip involvement), a one-off privateer effort. In a period when anything else but a March or a Lola became a rarity, even more if it was any good at all and good enough to qualify for the race. Even the Wildcat's and Penskes of that era were mediocre, if not lousy.
Some professionals were entered in third level cars so don't be too hard on Bruno on this one. He was very unlucky in his career once fired by Alfa Romeo. Ending up in the Life-Life W12 for example, how lucky can you be?


Originally posted by Trackdog


(snip)

Novi Ferguson 4WD
[660 hp] 153 6.47 194 152.5

The Lotus was running on gasoline, and the others on alcohol. Note how much faster the Novi was on the straight, and how much slower it was in the turns, even with 4WD.
.


Corner speeds were also dependent on the mass of the car. The Ferguson-Novi is quoted as weighing about 2000 pounds, race ready. But I spoke a mechanic on the team who told me that on one occasion when the team was going to weight the car: every mechanic was send out of the team garage because the Granatelli's didn't want the real weight to be reveiled! Andy Granatelli said it to me when we talked about the car: "A tank! A tank! I had ordered a race car and they built me a tank!"
Nevertheless, Duane Carter reallly liked the car and had been willing to drive it had a deal been possible.

But with respect to the Ferguson and its role within the 1964 crash: Ronnie Duman problaby owes his life to the Ferguson being so heavy. That helped him to have his own car pushed out of the mess by the Novi.
The Novi killed Hepburn and Miller, on the flipside, it likely saved Duman....


Henri

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#820 ensign14

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:08

Originally posted by Henri Greuter


If my memory serves me well, Bruno was entered in a car called Theodore (Teddy Yip involvement), a one-off privateer effort. In a period when anything else but a March or a Lola became a rarity, even more if it was any good at all and good enough to qualify for the race. Even the Wildcat's and Penskes of that era were mediocre, if not lousy.
Some professionals were entered in third level cars so don't be too hard on Bruno on this one. He was very unlucky in his career once fired by Alfa Romeo. Ending up in the Life-Life W12 for example, how lucky can you be?

Well, at a rumoured £30k a pop, I think I'd've been happy to end up in the Life...the point is Bedard is always held out to be the paradigm of wankerdom but he QUALIFIED for the 500 twice, in an era where there were a lot of DNQs, and in '84 was faster in qualifying than Fittipaldi, Ganassi, Pancho Carter, Garza and a number of others. With DNQers including Indy regulars like Bigelow, Stan Fox, Jacques Villeneuve Sr and Gary Bettenhausen. However you cut it - four lucky laps, wild lines, idiot driving in a fantastic car, qualified on a fast day, whatever - he did a lot more than the Phil Calivas of this world.

#821 McGuire

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 10:25

Originally posted by fines

Nah, only four! :)


Sounds like yet another of those topics you have researched inside and out. Care to enlighten us?

#822 SEdward

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 12:15

As a TNF lurker and occasional poster, I just wanted to say that I have found this thread quite captivating right from the start. I spent much of yesterday reading it instead of working. I'll blame TNF if I miss any customer deadlines.

I was vaguely aware of this incident, but knew nothing about it in detail. Indeed my knowledge of US racing history is sketchy to say the least.

IMHO, this thread has brought out many of the good things about TNF: knowledge, new material, exploded fallacies, crossed swords and informed input. Congratulations to all who have contributed. You have least one admirative reader.

Just two points to finish: first, how on earth did Rutherford ride OVER Sachs and/or Macdonald? I find this almost unbelievable. Surely, didn't he push them aside?

The link to the sequence of photos posted way back when near the beginning of the thread, and which has fuelled much of the discussion, is dead. Does anyone have a link that is alive?

Edward

#823 Henri Greuter

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 13:37

Originally posted by ensign14

the point is Bedard is always held out to be the paradigm of wankerdom but he QUALIFIED for the 500 twice, in an era where there were a lot of DNQs, and in '84 was faster in qualifying than Fittipaldi, Ganassi, Pancho Carter, Garza and a number of others. With DNQers including Indy regulars like Bigelow, Stan Fox, Jacques Villeneuve Sr and Gary Bettenhausen. However you cut it - four lucky laps, wild lines, idiot driving in a fantastic car, qualified on a fast day, whatever - he did a lot more than the Phil Calivas of this world.



Seems to me as well that Bedard was better than he's been told to be or felt to be.
But maybe, just maybe it helped he had a more powervul engine behind his back? He drove March-Buick's and the Buick's were more powerful than the Cossies of that time.
But then, the Buicks were said to be less flexible and thus more difficult to drive, particularly in traffic.
And the Buick powered cars are also reported to be less optimal in GC, weight distribution and therefore handling. Don't know how severe that problem was in the 80's. But Lola eventually did built special versions of its chassis for the Buick engine ('92, 93 and '95) to cope with all of that.

Hmmm, reading over my message, i think that I'm making Bedard look even better that I already believed he was.


henri

#824 David M. Kane

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 15:04

Ensign14:

Phil Caliva! I had never heard of that guy and/or he made NO impression on me. He must have Bill Alsup racing FSuper Vee. Even there I could 1 (one) race result like a 10th at Phoenix. I did find out Pat Bedard was driving one of the early Buick powered car that were known for their ill-handling. A few years later March made a specially modified chassis for Buick motors that handled a lot better.

I've been following the Indy 500 since 1950, and I kept up with FSV since I knew a lot of those guys from FF;
but Phil Caliva is listed in only the one pro race result I mentioned.

Your point is well taken, but Pat Bedard is lucky to be alive and fortunately no one else got caught up in his accident or the regulars would have screaming bloody hell. They saw him as an outsider. BTW in his early days at Indy Eddie Sachs was hardly greeted with open arms! In fact he was washing cars in the parking lot just to get money to eat. He was so broke he slept in his car like a homeless person.

#825 TrackDog

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 15:13

Originally posted by Henri Greuter


If my memory serves me well, Bruno was entered in a car called Theodore (Teddy Yip involvement), a one-off privateer effort. In a period when anything else but a March or a Lola became a rarity, even more if it was any good at all and good enough to qualify for the race. Even the Wildcat's and Penskes of that era were mediocre, if not lousy.
Some professionals were entered in third level cars so don't be too hard on Bruno on this one. He was very unlucky in his career once fired by Alfa Romeo. Ending up in the Life-Life W12 for example, how lucky can you be?




Corner speeds were also dependent on the mass of the car. The Ferguson-Novi is quoted as weighing about 2000 pounds, race ready. But I spoke a mechanic on the team who told me that on one occasion when the team was going to weight the car: every mechanic was send out of the team garage because the Granatelli's didn't want the real weight to be reveiled! Andy Granatelli said it to me when we talked about the car: "A tank! A tank! I had ordered a race car and they built me a tank!"
Nevertheless, Duane Carter reallly liked the car and had been willing to drive it had a deal been possible.

But with respect to the Ferguson and its role within the 1964 crash: Ronnie Duman problaby owes his life to the Ferguson being so heavy. That helped him to have his own car pushed out of the mess by the Novi.
The Novi killed Hepburn and Miller, on the flipside, it likely saved Duman....


Henri


I think I read someplace that the Ferguson Novi weighed about 1850 pounds dry; Huntington says nearly 2000 pounds dry...with a full load of fuel and driver, it probably weighed closer to 2500 pounds or even a little more, since it had a tendancy to be very thirsty.

I was surprised to find out just how tiny the Shrike was...it only weighed about 1150 pounds dry, and was only 146 inches long, just over 12 feet. There was a lot of room in the upper cockpit area, with a lot of the driver's upper body exposed. I don't know if this was a factor in Sachs' death or not.

Someone asked in another post as to how Rutherford's car ran over MacDonald's...this was very common at Indy in the roadster era. It happenned to Johnny Boyd as he rode over Al Kellar in 1955; Pat O'Conner ran over Jimmy Reece in 1958; and, of course Rutherford over MacDonald in '64. It still happens a lot, a result of speed and vehicle shape, I guess...and the exposed wheels might also be a factor I'm not very well versed in physics, so I can't explain it any better than that.


Dan

#826 David M. Kane

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 15:25

Also compared to the Mickey Thompson car a Roadster was a Tank, i.e. an SUV hitting a VW. If you are ever at the Indy Track Museum you can compared the two as they displayed in the same area.

#827 Flat Black

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 15:57

"He was so broke he slept in his car like a homeless person."

If you've got a car, you've always got a home.

;)

PS--For my money, the Shrikes were some of the most beautiful machines ever to run at Indy. And specifically, Parnelli Jones' 1966 Shrike was THE MOST beautiful of all Indy cars.

#828 David M. Woodhouse

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 16:31

"...he slept in his car like a homeless person."

At one of the Gilmore Roars Again parties some years ago where Johnny Boyd was the honoree, Boyd said (IIRC): "I never thought much of him as a driver, but nobody ever wanted to be a race driver more than Eddie Sachs. He would pick up pop bottles in the parking lot to get lunch money".

Woody

#829 fines

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 16:56

Originally posted by Flat Black
PS--For my money, the Shrikes were some of the most beautiful machines ever to run at Indy. And specifically, Parnelli Jones' 1966 Shrike was THE MOST beautiful of all Indy cars.

Ugh! I share your fondness for young Dorie Sweikert, but not for that car! :shudder:

Originally posted by TrackDog
Sachs had the only Shrike at the track in '64.

Nope. There was a second Shrike, with an Offy, but it didn't qualify. Yet it was at the track and even practiced. Guess who drove it!;)

Originally posted by McGuire
Sounds like yet another of those topics you have researched inside and out. Care to enlighten us?

Not quite inside-out, but quite a bit. I had actually already posted my findings in this post, ironically using input from the same Bob Falcon that wrote the Alternate article... :o

#830 Russ Snyder

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 17:51

Originally posted by fines



Nope. There was a second Shrike, with an Offy, but it didn't qualify. Yet it was at the track and even practiced. Guess who drove it!;)


W/o my Jack Fox 66 to cheat.....Bobby Johns? He of the Hurst special fame that spun out qualifying? I know he tried another car, if not more than one, that year of 1964.

The speed of the cars at the time of the accident is an estimate on my part, but, going by a standard rule of thumb of the day in 1964.... Macdonald, I believe was doing 130-140mph stage when he spun. Conversely, I would think Sachs and group following were doing about the same coming around turn 4 and applying the gas, easily moving them up to 160mph+....however, Eddie and group could have slowed to 120mph+ as the accident loomed in front of them...one homemovie angel from the stands shows Eddies car lifting in the back just before impact.

#831 fines

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 18:03

Originally posted by Russ Snyder
...one homemovie angel from the stands shows Eddies car lifting in the back just before impact.

Well, that could've been a yellow roadster nose poking under it...

Otherwise close, but no cigar: the driver of the second Shrike was none other than... the ubiquitous Duane Carter!

#832 HistoricMustang

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 19:59

Originally posted by Russ Snyder


... Macdonald, I believe was doing 130-140mph stage when he spun. Conversely, I would think Sachs and group following were doing about the same coming around turn 4 and applying the gas, easily moving them up to 160mph+....however, Eddie and group could have slowed to 120mph+ as the accident loomed in front of them...


Being racers and only second lap of the most important race in the world I am not sure there was much slowing.

Eddie and the group simply thought by the time they arrived at the spot Dave would not be there. That is why I refer to this as actually two seperate accidents. IMHO :rolleyes:

Henry

#833 TrackDog

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 21:26

Originally posted by HistoricMustang


Being racers and only second lap of the most important race in the world I am not sure there was much slowing.

Eddie and the group simply thought by the time they arrived at the spot Dave would not be there. That is why I refer to this as actually two seperate accidents. IMHO :rolleyes:

Henry


Rutherford was quoted in Denny Miller's book as being hard on the brakes as MacDonald loomed in front of him...he also said that he could see Sachs' head leaning back in the cockpit of his car just before impact like he was hard on his brakes, too.

I was checking sources looking for a weight # on the Novi when I ran across the fact that there was indeed a second Shrike at Indy...was going to correct myself, but got busy doing other things...saw it in Karl Ludvigsen's INDY CARS OF THE 1960's. Didn't know that Carter was the driver, though...interesting and a little ironic...


Dan

#834 SEdward

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 04:08

Earlier on, I mentioned a thread containing links to photos that are now dead. The post was by Walter Zoomie and the first of the links was http://albums.photo....7376&p=60779329.

There photos are no longer available. Does anyone know where I can see them, since judging by what many of you have written, they are quite revealing.

Thanks
Edward

#835 ovfi

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 04:13

He moved to another host:

http://picasaweb.goo...om/WalterZoomie

#836 Russ Snyder

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 12:15

Originally posted by ovfi
He moved to another host:

http://picasaweb.goo...om/WalterZoomie


Look at some of those shots of the Novi circa 1949 and Rex Mays...*sigh* he would be gone later in the year

Those are some wonderful shots. I could look through it all day

#837 David M. Kane

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 12:55

Russ I couldn't agree more, some amazing shots I've never seen before. I always liked the looks of that Sumar Special. I need to look into car and find out the story.

#838 Flat Black

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 15:09

Quite! A real treasure trove. Pity I don't the time to give it the fine-tooth-comb job it deserves.

:

#839 LB

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 02:48

Originally posted by TrackDog

Someone asked in another post as to how Rutherford's car ran over MacDonald's...this was very common at Indy in the roadster era. It happenned to Johnny Boyd as he rode over Al Kellar in 1955; Pat O'Conner ran over Jimmy Reece in 1958; and, of course Rutherford over MacDonald in '64. It still happens a lot, a result of speed and vehicle shape, I guess...and the exposed wheels might also be a factor I'm not very well versed in physics, so I can't explain it any better than that.


Dan


It still happens occasionally today, In the multi car wreck at Atlanta that effectively ended Dr Jack Miller's career in 2001, as a driver anyway I'm sure he's a good dentist, Casey Mears went over Al jr in the melee, Miller also went over someone so did Al jr I think.

See if you can figure it out : http://nl.youtube.co...h?v=8YKFSQzH6Vk

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#840 Jim Thurman

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 19:06

Originally posted by Flat Black
If I remember correctly, Tom Sneva tore into Bedard after one of the Indy 500s saying something like, "Some people should stick to writing articles and leave the driving to the professionals!"

It might have been before the race in '83. I remember Sneva and Mike Mosley having sort of a "press conference" the week before to complain about some of the rookies in the race. There was the Bedard comment and Mosley was quoted as saying something like "basketball players don't belong at Indy", aimed at Chris Kniefel. Kniefel's reply reportedly was "Mosley can go suck an egg."

BTW, I agree with ensign14, Bedard wasn't that bad and his background wasn't much less than some others in CART at the time.

#841 David M. Kane

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:05

Jim Thurman:

Fair enough, especially in reference to the very tall (6'5" or 6"6") Chris Kneifel. Chris was a very good driver, particular on road courses in a variety of open-wheelers.

Also, I just got off the phone with Sally Stokes Swart. She said that Jimmy Clark and Dave MacDonald were very close friends; and that he was devastated with Dave was killed. They talked about the accident at length. She does NOT remember him saying 54 years ago, "Mate just get out of the car and walk away".
She DID say that he probably said something to that effect, that he wouldn't hestitate to tell his friend how he felt! She agreed that Dave felt obligated to give it his best shot.

So Jimmy Clark's Fiancee feels he probably said something along those lines.

#842 Buford

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:28

Interesting that's something I didn't know that Clark and MacDonald were good friends. Kind of surprises me because Jim was in Europe most of the time. I didn't know that he had spent that much time to become good friends with Dave.

#843 David M. Kane

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 23:34

Buford:

Dave was a Road Racer first, they met several times for example at the Riverside Pro Event put on by the LA Times. Both were Ford drivers in essence, if I my memory is correct. Jim drove a Lotus 23 one year and Dave drove a Shelby Cobra which he shared with ex-Englishman Ken Miles (unfortunately dead) and the mechanic was John Collins another ex-Englishman. Unfortunately John died a few months ago. However, his son Graham is still alive, maybe I should ask him about Dave and Jimmy's friendship? :kiss:

John Collins also worked for Lothar Motschbacher on the Commander Motorhomes Can-Am car. Later he worked for Dan Gurney at AAR in Santa Ana. In fact at the time of his death John Graham still operated a race shop in Santa Ana with his son Graham.

It also was common knowledge that Dan Gurney and Jim Clark were good friends. I reckon Dan introduced Jimmy to the West Coast guys when they raced together on the West Coast. I think I now have to call Graham to see what he knows.

Of course all of this was before DNA... :wave:

#844 Flat Black

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 01:20

Well, well, well, isn't THAT interesting? When I mention the quote in my book I'll use Sally Stokes Swart for attribution. Maybe that'll get the pedants off my caboose.

;)

#845 MPea3

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 01:26

Never!!! ;)

#846 David M. Kane

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 01:41

I just got off the phone with Graham Collins. He is going to try and hook me up with Dave Freedman who was the offical Team Shelby photographer. He also goes to AAR once and week, so he's going to see if Dan Gurney will take my call. Michael Argetsinger introduced me to Mr. and Mrs. Gurney at a IMRRC function a few years ago in Watkins Glen. If that doesn't work I'm going to call Michael and ask him to call Mr. Gurney for me. Of course, I haven't told Michael this yet; but I just sent him 2 rare books in the mail, so he might cut me a lot of slack!

I'm not letting this go! :mad: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

#847 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 02:20

Originally posted by David M. Kane
Of course all of this was before DNA... :wave: [/B]


So just how close were they, then?

#848 David M. Kane

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 03:01

Tom:

Very close according to Sally Stokes Swart. Graham Collins is going ask Dan Gurney what he knows and whether Dan will accept my phone call to discuss the matter since Dan was probably the one who introduced the two AND he too participated in the 1964 Indy 500. That's the best I can do. I've known Sally and Ed Swart for 10 years, they tend NOT to joke around on these matters. She and I have discussed Jim Clark topics three times; and on those ocassions here statements were spot on. I don't know what else to tell you; other than I am going to get the best answer or die trying!

#849 HistoricMustang

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 09:00

Am checking with Dave's son to see if he has any memories or if perhaps his mother can relay a story or two concerning Jimmy.

Henry

#850 Cynic2

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 14:48

I guess I'm lost again. I don't mean this as an attack on anyone, or what anyone has written, but exactly what are we trying to prove now, and why?


(1) That Dave MacDonald and Jimmy Clark were "very close" friends? I'm sure they knew other, but what does this prove?

(2) That Jimmy Clark told Dave MacDonald that the Allstate Special was a piece o' crap (however that translates into Scots -- Graham?) and to run away from it. We've pretty much agreed that this doesn't appear anywhere in print. We've been told that Jimmy's fiancee' does NOT (sic) remember Jim saying this. (But thinks he would have told Dave had he felt that way, and if so, Dave would have driven anyway (as he did).


If both are true, so what? If Jimmy told Dave the car was a "flying coffin" (didn't someone use that charming term here?), that didn't stop Dave from driving the car, and very aggressively (both by other drivers accounts and by cars passed). The Eddie Johnson car only made a few more laps, but it apparently suffered a mechanical failure; didn't spin, crash, etc.

This whole thread seemingly started to support the MacDonald family's view that Dave was the victim of catastrophic failure on the car, perhaps broken suspension, which caused the accident. I think that has essentially been disproved, or rather, has not been proved and no real evidence found. There are suggestions, dim images in photos, etc., but no evidence we can identify. We've learned just how poorly researched and written so much of the published material about the car, the accident, and the race was. We've had one or two people claim they've done hundreds or thousands of hours of research; we've seen neither the reseach nor the (supported) results, so we don't know if they differ in any way or produce any other conclusion.

Peter Bryant, who was far closer to the situation than any of us, has his own (published) conclusion on page 172 of his book: "There was less than 44 gallons of gas in the car, and it was handling well enough for Dave to pass seven cars on the first lap. Dave died because he wanted to lead and win the Indy 500 and couldn't wait to do it, and no other reason."

As much as some of us might wish otherwise, that seems to be the only conclusion which can be reached.


Cynic