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The Mickey Thompson 'Sears Allstate Special' cars of 1964


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#1251 TomSlick57

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 07:22

I will work on posting my wire photo of Dave be extracted from vehicle..To answer your question Henri, I can't say for sure..It does show the right side of the car...Does appear like it could have exploded

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#1252 Henri Greuter

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 08:00

Originally posted by TomSlick57
I will work on posting my wire photo of Dave be extracted from vehicle..To answer your question Henri, I can't say for sure..It does show the right side of the car...Does appear like it could have exploded



OK Tom,
Thanks for the efforts for putting it on line after all.

I asked about the tank because somwhere buried in the thread there is a photo which shows the car after Dave was taken out and then there was nothing to see that could have been a fuel tank.
Besides that, though the book about Thompson mentions the car having a tank on the right side too, there is little evidence it actually had one and (for me that is) more evidence that it never happened.


Henri


Henry, I send another PM to you by the way. private email appears not to work yet????

#1253 fines

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 22:39

1964 Indy 500

#1254 Buford

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 08:36

Earlier in this thread we were trying to trace the origin of the story so many had heard, that Jim Clark had told Mac Donald on carb day to walk away from the car. Nobody could recall where they had first read or heard it, but most had heard the story.

Don't know if this will help but I found this post on another forum from 2003

Don't forget the Carburation Day story.. Jim Clark followed McDonald around the track and urged him not to drive the car on race day. That is mentioned in Team Lotus The Indianapolis Years I believe.



Anybody have that book? Sounds like something Doug Nye would have written.

#1255 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 10:30

I looked between pages 78 and 85, where it should be, and did not see such a comment.

#1256 bill patterson

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 11:38

That is mentioned in Team Lotus The Indianapolis Years

Book written by Andrew Ferguson - ISBN 1844255220

#1257 lotuspoweredbyford

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 19:25

As you might imagine, I think it's a great book.

#1258 lotuspoweredbyford

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 19:31

Speaking of photos of this crash, I was at a friend's house here in Indianapolis last week.

We were doing our usual auto racing talk, then my friend said, check out these photos I bought.

They were about 24 photos of the Sachs-MacDonald accident, including some color photos I never knew existed.

They stopped me in my tracks to say the least.

#1259 HistoricMustang

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 23:23

During this thread we discussed the possibility that the Thompson cars had right rear wheel steer.

Has this been confirmed and if so can someone explain how this works mechanically?

Henry :wave:

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#1260 TrackDog

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 01:14

Originally posted by HistoricMustang
During this thread we discussed the possibility that the Thompson cars had right rear wheel steer.

Has this been confirmed and if so can someone explain how this works mechanically?

Henry :wave:

I have an Indianapolis Star press clipping from early in the month of May, 1964 that quotes Colin Chapman discovering that the Thompson cars had three-wheel steering. I recall reading someplace else that this fact escaped the USAC officials when they first inspected the car, but can't remember the source. The article regarding Chapman's discovery was posted in this thread, maybe by Walter Zoomie...

I also recall that Peter Bryant talks about this in his book, and I think he said that the device was disconnected during practice. IIRC, there was an acutator rod that was connected to the steering linkage and the right rear wheel...a rather simple apparatus, and it only allowed the wheel to "steer" about 10-15 degrees or so. I don't have Peter's book, I've only been able to read excerpts from Amazon, and the print is too small for my Fuchs' Dystrophied eyes to focus on for very long periods of time, but the device is mentioned in some detail in the book, and it can be accessed there.


Dan

#1261 TrackDog

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 01:49

Originally posted by HistoricMustang
During this thread we discussed the possibility that the Thompson cars had right rear wheel steer.

Has this been confirmed and if so can someone explain how this works mechanically?

Henry :wave:


Check post #281...


Dan

#1262 Sisyphus

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 04:25

Fines, thanks for the link to the 1964 race! Very interesting.

Not to deflect the thread but I was struck by the fact that the Offy Roadsters were running slicks! I don't remember that. The Lotuses and many of the other rear engine cars had threaded tires--as I recall F1 tires didn't go to slicks until the late 60's or early 70's.

#1263 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 09:22

Originally posted by Sisyphus
.....as I recall F1 tires didn't go to slicks until the late 60's or early 70's.


We have a thread somewhere about the suddenness with which that transition took place...

I'm sure it was 1970.

#1264 HistoricMustang

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 10:22

Originally posted by TrackDog


Check post #281...


Dan


Thanks Dan and yes that is a very informative post concerning the subject at hand. This should be a shortcut for those that want to re-visit. Thanks again~

Henry :wave:

http://forums.autosp...y=&pagenumber=8

#1265 thatguy0101

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 13:26

The USAC pavement roadsters ran on treaded tires in period, not slicks.

Indy and the USAC championship transitioned to slicks at about the same time as F1 and Can-Am, in the 1970 - 71 period. I don't recall whether there was a USAC 'minimum tread depth' rule that had to be removed from the books.

I remember then thinking "c'mon fogeys, slick tires and stenciled names are modern, let's get with it." Now, I love the photos of Firestone tires with a handsome tread pattern and a beautiful pinstripe around the circumference.

This photo is from 1971.

http://www.onlyclassics.com/p774.jpg

#1266 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 14:11

Originally posted by thatguy0101
This photo is from 1971.

http://www.onlyclassics.com/p774.jpg


I'm sure Goodyear would have liked the image more if AJ's boys had taken the trouble to have the logo on the tyres the right way up.

I seem to recall Jackie Stewart being very keen on that when he ran his GP team, even to the extent of having the transporters jacked up and their wheels turned round to the most sponsor-friendly position after parking in the paddock.

Rgds

Paul

#1267 B Squared

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 15:58

I believe that was started long before Sir Jackie Stewart ran a team. The first book I grabbed off my shelf was the 1984 Indy 500 Hungness yearbook and by far, the majority of official photos show all corners with Goodyear right side up. Interestingly the Foyt car and both Penske's do not. Never paid enough attention to transporters on a race weekend to know about that detail.

Brian

#1268 Sisyphus

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 03:54

[QUOTE]Originally posted by thatguy0101
[B]The USAC pavement roadsters ran on treaded tires in period, not slicks.

Go back and look at that 1964 Indy video that Fines posted the link to. Look at Parnelli's tires when he pits during practice fairly early in the video. Also Foyt (even on his rear engined car). Those tires have very, very little tread if any. They frankly look like recaps. Certainly less tread than a Showroom Stock shaved tire. You can clearly see the tread on most of the rear engine Lotus and Watson cars so its not just poor resolution.

Those old boys were pretty smart and must have figured out that more rubber was a good thing.

I agree, they don't look like the factory slicks that came later.

#1269 HistoricMustang

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:02

OK gentlemen help me out again, please.

Would this right rear wheel steering be set up to effect caster, camber or "toe in - toe out"? Or, just simple turning of the wheel?

Henry :wave:

#1270 fines

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:05

Steering is usually set up to effect direction changes, not road holding characteristics...

#1271 jm70

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 13:14

The theory would probably be to add a bit of toe steer. Have the RR toe in to help turn in, and have the toe setting revert to 0 to reduce drag on the straignt. Do a search on current NASCAR rear toe settings. The car can be made to "crab" on the straight by rear toe settings. But it can increase speed in the corners. The mid 80's RX7 had a method of rear steer built in, using the flexibility of bushings in the rear suspension links and design.

#1272 HistoricMustang

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 20:00

Originally posted by jm70
The theory would probably be to add a bit of toe steer. Have the RR toe in to help turn in, and have the toe setting revert to 0 to reduce drag on the straignt. Do a search on current NASCAR rear toe settings. The car can be made to "crab" on the straight by rear toe settings. But it can increase speed in the corners. The mid 80's RX7 had a method of rear steer built in, using the flexibility of bushings in the rear suspension links and design.


Yes, I remember Bill Elliot/Junior Johnson actually had right rear wheels (perhaps just the axles) cambered for a number of years before NASCAR figured things out.

One reason he was so successful! :smoking:

Henry :wave:

#1273 TrackDog

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:33

In case you haven't heard the news; Peter Bryant, author of the book CAN AM CHALLENGER that we've referred to so many times in this thread, sadly passed away on March 31, 2009. Many photos and words of rememberance can be found here...


http://forums.autosp...threadid=107425

:( :cry:


Dan

#1274 Henri Greuter

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:27

Originally posted by TrackDog
In case you haven't heard the news; Peter Bryant, author of the book CAN AM CHALLENGER that we've referred to so many times in this thread, sadly passed away on March 31, 2009. Many photos and words of rememberance can be found here...


http://forums.autosp...threadid=107425

:( :cry:


Dan



I can just about curse my tardyness....
Because by now I can't ask Bryant the following anymore....



I finally got my copy of the Bryant book and of course I went into 1964 instantly.
Till my utter surprise: if I read it all correct, then it appears as if the chassis of the 1962 cars (among them thus: the Dan Gurney car, (currently within the IMS Museum collection) had been converted into the Rolerscates by Mickey in 1963. Now that was something I have never read anywhere else.

So the "Rollerskates" of 1963 were no new chassis at all but instead: modified 1962 chassis?


Henri

#1275 fines

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 14:00

Can't be, because there were only three 1962 cars, one was sold and the other two entered the following year alongside the 1963 cars!;)

#1276 Henri Greuter

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 14:04

Originally posted by fines
Can't be, because there were only three 1962 cars, one was sold and the other two entered the following year alongside the 1963 cars!;)


That was what I believed as well fines.
But that makes what I read in Can-Am challenger about the Gurney car so strange to comprehend.

But there have been so many surprise discoveries yet in thi thread, you want to verify everything you find to be different then generally believed by now.


Henri

#1277 HistoricMustang

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 20:19

The TNF members have done a wonderful job setting the records straight on so many tales that were spun after the 1964 Indy.

And, more will come! Trust me! :cool:

Henry :wave:

#1278 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 03:01

Originally posted by Henri Greuter


That was what I believed as well fines.
But that makes what I read in Can-Am challenger about the Gurney car so strange to comprehend.

But there have been so many surprise discoveries yet in thi thread, you want to verify everything you find to be different then generally believed by now.


Henri


Henri,

I think you are totally misreading the Bryant book. If you are referring to the comment on page 148: "Mickey had changed it quite a bit in the two years since Dan Gurney driven it at Indy with the small wheels fitted.", I think Bryant was referring generically to the Thompson Indy car, not to rebuilt 1962 chassis.
Gurney only drove the 1962 car, which had the 15" wheels, not the 12" wheel 1963 cars, so the qoute is wrong on its' face.

In Erik Arneson's biography, "Mickey Thompon The Fast Life and Tragic Death of A Racing Legend, these comments appear at page 133" "Crosthwaite, back for the 1963 effort, built one of the three new frames . . " and "the plan was to enter three cars of the new design and two cars with the 1962 design."

As others have pointed out, that is what happened, the updated 1962 cars appeared with the new 1963 cars in 1963. The 1963 cars were updated for 1964.

#1279 Henri Greuter

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 06:35

Originally posted by Tom Glowacki


Henri,

I think you are totally misreading the Bryant book. If you are referring to the comment on page 148: "Mickey had changed it quite a bit in the two years since Dan Gurney driven it at Indy with the small wheels fitted.", I think Bryant was referring generically to the Thompson Indy car, not to rebuilt 1962 chassis.
Gurney only drove the 1962 car, which had the 15" wheels, not the 12" wheel 1963 cars, so the qoute is wrong on its' face.

In Erik Arneson's biography, "Mickey Thompon The Fast Life and Tragic Death of A Racing Legend, these comments appear at page 133" "Crosthwaite, back for the 1963 effort, built one of the three new frames . . " and "the plan was to enter three cars of the new design and two cars with the 1962 design."

As others have pointed out, that is what happened, the updated 1962 cars appeared with the new 1963 cars in 1963. The 1963 cars were updated for 1964.



Tom,

You could be right.
had I been involved in writing the book think that I should have phrased it a bit different to avoid the possible confusion.
And I realize that people did look very different onto the cars then as they do now and thus how they refeerd to them.
But to me it did read is if it wasn't generically but specific. thus suggesting that the 1962 chassis was modified onto smaller wheels already.
And should that have happened indeed: then it would not have been that much of a problem at all to re-convert it back to larger wheels..



But generically or specific: I get tired of people suggesting to me that the Novi was a lethal thing, based on Paul Russo's commend after getting out of his crashed Novi in 1956.
"I saw that car bite two of my buddies and try to fry another one so Í wasn't waiting what it had in mind for me"

All of these achievements were with two, different, FWD Novi's, while Paul had his mishap in a Roadster type 500F rearwheel drive Novi. yet he made it sound if it all happened with one and the same car.
But you will be surpriesed, how didfficult it is to explain on occasion to certain people, even with all evidence to approve that those four `big ones` with a Novi happened with three different cars that were named Novi.
"But Paul Russo said...."

How one sentence can make life difficult for historians like us....

Henri

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#1280 HistoricMustang

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:38

Photograph from post #142.

If possible I would like to re-visit the rear wheel steer possibility of the MacDonald car.

Does anyone see any indication of the linkage in this photograph?

Henry

Posted Image

#1281 TrackDog

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 18:09

Originally posted by HistoricMustang
Photograph from post #142.

If possible I would like to re-visit the rear wheel steer possibility of the MacDonald car.

Does anyone see any indication of the linkage in this photograph?

Henry

Posted Image


IIRC, Bryant said in his book that it was disconnected during practice, possibly before qualifying. I would presume that the apparatus was removed to save weight, unless it was an integral part of the suspension or steering system.


Dan

#1282 HistoricMustang

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 21:53

Well, Dick Jordon and Donald Davidson have been contacted (and contact confirmed by them) concerning Indy 1964.

Stay tuned!

Henry :wave:

http://www.indianapo...er_At_USAC_Gala

Edited by HistoricMustang, 30 April 2009 - 22:21.


#1283 Long-time Indy 500 Fan

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 20:15

I have carefully reviewed all postings within this thread beginning last July. All 33 pages thus far! Several times!

First, I want to say that this thread is certainly very educational about this tragic 1964 Indy 500 crash; especially, concerning the amount of gasoline each car carried, the number of fuel tanks (especially in MacDonald's car 1 or 2), positions of the cars, many photos, the fuel's affects upon the crash, and so forth. I have also explored other sources of information photos, and films concerning this tragic event.

Second, the 1964 Indy 500 is probably the most, or certainly one of the most, diverse years concerning cars & drivers; especially, if we consider qualifying (e.g. Smokey Yunick's side car with Bobby Johns driving). We had offy roadsters, rear engine fords & offys, novis, the Thompson pancake-pumpkin seed cars, and etc. We had Indy racers, F-1 drivers, sports car drivers, stock car drivers (Johns), sprint car, midget, and etc. I doubt that we will ever see that diversity again.

Thirdly, I will cover the tragic event. No one will ever know everything concerning this crash. Many details tragically died that day in the crash. Some within this thread have tried to rewrite history. Some use today's technology to analyze 1964 technology. One person tried to place blame on Eddie Sachs and Walt Hangsten. Some try to make MacDonald one of the all time greats. I liked MacDonald and Sachs! Sachs had no place to go. Eddie had 3 cars right on his tail, a wall of smoke & fire blocking the track, and just a split second to react. MacDonald certainly had Indy promise; but, failed to complete 2 laps at Indy. Some have tried to refute professional drivers such as Johnny Rutherford. No one had a better first hand view that Rutherford! Len Sutton probably said it best - MacDonald simply lost it coming out of the 4th turn!

MacDonald was too inexperienced, driving too aggressively way too early in the race. Dave was also driving a questionably engineered & prepared car. Fault does fall upon MacDonald and Thompson. One does not win a 500 mile race in the first few laps; but, many have lost races in the first few laps. In this case, two drivers died! Thompson admits that if the crash would have occurred later when the fuel bladder was more empty, the fuel would have had room to shift. Well, that is an admission to not properly engineering & designing safe fuel cells. Bottom line is that two drivers and their families were tragically affected for many years by these 2 laps. Poor Sachs and MacDonald paid a horrible price - enough said! Their poor families! I especially felt for MacDonald's young widow and children. In 45 years, I've never had any respect nor sorrow for the arrogant narrsasitic Mickey Thompson concerning this tragic event.

I was a high school senior about to graduate in 1964 and could not attend in 1964. I attended 3 of the previous (missed 1962) 4 Indy 500's. I also attended the following year (1965). I always sat in the front straight, coming off the 4th turn, in the lower grandstand, under cover. I am so glad that I was not able to attend in 1964 and see this in person. I have listened on radio, and watched on TV, every year since 1957. My father loved the Indy 500 and followed every year until he died in 1995. I still love the Indy 500 and open wheel racing!

I guess the positives from this tragic crash are the positive safety advances; especially, concerning fire. It is tragic that such a high price had to be paid!

My kudos to this thread. Keep this thread alive. Keep providing more information and facts.

In memory to Eddie, Dave, and their loved ones!




#1284 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 22:47

Originally posted by Long-time Indy 500 Fan
I have carefully reviewed all postings within this thread beginning last July. All 33 pages thus far! Several times!

.....MacDonald simply lost it coming out of the 4th turn!


And he did so in a way that was just as predicted by Masten Gregory...

This is the testimony of Jack Brabham, who wasn't far behind. Gregory told him to watch for certain behaviour from the car, Jack saw it and hit the picks, enabling him to avoid the melee.

#1285 TrackDog

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 04:34

And he did so in a way that was just as predicted by Masten Gregory...

This is the testimony of Jack Brabham, who wasn't far behind. Gregory told him to watch for certain behaviour from the car, Jack saw it and hit the picks, enabling him to avoid the melee.



Johnny Rutherford's comments on Dave MacDonald's behavior behind the wheel of the #83 car at the start of the '64 race are well-documented and have been read by just about every Indy 500 fan that ever picked up a book or magazine on the subject. I believe that he's telling the story of what he remembers, but I also believe that it really isn't all that accurate. Rutherford describes a car that was slipping and sliding all over the track, and the Dynamic films of the race simply don't show that. The #83 wasn't doing anything any different from all the other cars...the rear end doesn't appear to slide out in the corners, Dave never appears to almost lose control in the second corner on the second lap; there's nothing skittish about his drive at all...Rutherford remembers things that really didn't happen.

You have to remember that Johnny Rutherford had just driven OVER a flaming hulk that could have killed him when he first told that story. He had never driven in competition with MacDonald before the race, and therefore wasn't familiar with Dave's driving style. Dave was a broadslider and a charger...he always made a run for the front at the start of a race if he could. He was driving his normal race...what else is a driver to do? According to Peter Bryant, the car was sorted out by raceday; the story of Jim Clark telling MacDonald to "just walk away from the car" after Carb Day can't be substantiated, and may be apochryphal. I've never been able to substantiate this, but according to Thompson, Dave was turning in laps in excess of 156 mph on Carb Day...only Bobby Marshman was faster( there doesn't seem to be any speed listed for the #83 in any of the Carb Day track reports from the Indy Star). The car might not have been state-of-the-art construction-wise, but it was legal...the fuel tank may have been a rubber bag, but it was state-of-the-art in the helicopter industry at the time. USAC gave the package a thumbs-up.

Dave MacDonald was an outsider at Indy, and he was a phenomenal talent...and the guard was changing; many older drivers were in danger of being put out to pasture by younger drivers with more experience in the newre rear-engined cars. Dave was a threat to the Indy Establishment.

He wasn't being conservative at the start of the race, which went against convention...that didn't mean he didn't respect the place; he just didn't drive as slowly or as cautiously as some of the veterans did. He wasn't afraid of the hazards of burning gasoline in the cars; that was what he was used to. He wasn't taking any prisoners, but...isn't that how you win races?

Sachs isn't totally blameless in this matter, either...he admitted publicly to getting in over his head during the morning warm-up on Pole Day after a frustrating month of trying to get up to speed with what might have been sub-par engines from Ford(at least when compared to the others on the Ford team) and crashing out of a first day qualifying attempt that if completed at similar speed to his best efforts just before hitting the wall would have put him in the second row...far ahead of MacDonald. But, Eddie was like that...he was noted for getting excited and making bad decisions behind the wheel; it probably cost him a victory in 1961. He was a PR man's dream, but although remarkably talented behind the wheel, he frustrated more than one car owner with his excitablilty.


Len Sutton's account of the accident, and he had the best view ot the tragedy, stated that Dave MacDonald was trying to pass Walt Hansgen on the inside coming off the 4th corner, and Walt couldn't see him coming behind him. Walt took his normal line coming off the corner, and Dave had to swerve to avoid hitting him. There were no handling issues, no aerodynamic instablilties, no mechanical failures...IT WAS SIMPLY A RACING ACCIDENT.


There are many issues at play when one tries to account for a cause for this tragedy...technology was outpacing the safeguards available at the time; there were drivers of varying abilities and experience with both old and new equipment( some knew the cars better than the track, and vice-versa), the mandate by the Ford Motor Company that all of its' teams were to use gasoline instead of methanol(only Roger Ward ran a Ford on methanol in the race) and the approval of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to allow such an action to take place were all factors in the outcome. It's easy to blame Dave MacDonald for the whole thing; but it really isn't fair to do so. It was a confusing and terrifying time for everybody concerned. Rumors and innuendo ran rampant, as they always seem to do at Indy(and a lot of other racetracks) whenever there is something new on the track. The principals involved in the tragedy are dead, and can't tell their stories. And, Eddie Sachs, like it or not, was Santa Claus...and it looks like, at first blush at least, that Dave MacDonald killed him.

The main point of this thread is that he didn't.


Dan

#1286 fines

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 09:12

Well, Dick Jordon and Donald Davidson have been contacted (and contact confirmed by them) concerning Indy 1964.

Stay tuned!
http://www.indianapo...er_At_USAC_Gala

MacDonald was too inexperienced, driving too aggressively way too early in the race. Dave was also driving a questionably engineered & prepared car. Fault does fall upon MacDonald and Thompson.

And he did so in a way that was just as predicted by Masten Gregory...

This is the testimony of Jack Brabham, who wasn't far behind. Gregory told him to watch for certain behaviour from the car, Jack saw it and hit the picks, enabling him to avoid the melee.

Well, isn't it crazy? We discuss for over 1,200 posts, and people simply don't listen.

Henry, just WHAT are you trying to achieve????

Long-time Indy fan, just what makes you think MacDonald was too aggressive, and that the Thompson was questionably engineered and prepared????

Ray, it's at least the third time you tell this story about Gregory warning Brabham, and Black Jack reacting accordingly, even though the former's never been proved, and the latter clearly did not happen - can't we finally stop all this bullshit????

#1287 HistoricMustang

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 20:21

Well, isn't it crazy? We discuss for over 1,200 posts, and people simply don't listen.

Henry, just WHAT are you trying to achieve????


Michael, I think post #1285 pretty well sums it up. A long way from where it all began.

And, when the bowels of USAC and Indianapolis Motor Speedway are finally opened up that information will also be presented for discussion.

Henry


#1288 Lemnpiper

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 03:14

Michael, I think post #1285 pretty well sums it up. A long way from where it all began.

And, when the bowels of USAC and Indianapolis Motor Speedway are finally opened up that information will also be presented for discussion.

Henry



Good Day Guys,

Over in the Grodon Smiley crash thread mention is make of Jim Clark's alledged (or not) comment to Dave MacDonald about "just walk away " from the Sears Allstate car.

My question is could Jim Clark have actually made the comment to Masten Gregory or another driver and in the post crash confusion it got misinterpeted as him saying it the Dave ?
Since many questions still arise from if Jim Clark said it or not i'm wondering if anyone has any way of finding out now if in fact he would be more likely to say it to Masten or someone else instead of Dave which could help explain why it's been such a difficult quote to find a source for.

Please excuse me if i missed this observation being answered earlier in this thread but cant recall if it has been determined that the quote in question was possibly directed at another driver other than Dave.




Thanks,
Paul

#1289 TrackDog

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 04:13

Good Day Guys,

Over in the Grodon Smiley crash thread mention is make of Jim Clark's alledged (or not) comment to Dave MacDonald about "just walk away " from the Sears Allstate car.

My question is could Jim Clark have actually made the comment to Masten Gregory or another driver and in the post crash confusion it got misinterpeted as him saying it the Dave ?
Since many questions still arise from if Jim Clark said it or not i'm wondering if anyone has any way of finding out now if in fact he would be more likely to say it to Masten or someone else instead of Dave which could help explain why it's been such a difficult quote to find a source for.

Please excuse me if i missed this observation being answered earlier in this thread but cant recall if it has been determined that the quote in question was possibly directed at another driver other than Dave.


That would seem to make more sense because the story seems to have originated with Sally Stokes Swart, who was Jim's girlfriend at the time the incident allegedly took place. She swears that it is true that Jim said something to that effect to Dave, and that they were close friends. However, there isn't much evidence other than her words to document any close friendship between Clark and MacDonald...they only raced together a couple of times and didn't have much of a chance or time to form much of a bond. Clark and Gregory, however, raced together often...and were even teammates for awhile with Gregory being the senior member, IIRC. So...since both Dave and Masten were driving Thompson cars, and both were having handling problems; Masten's struggles more serious than Dave's (until raceday, that is...), and since Masten was far more vocal about his problems with Thompson and the car, it makes sense that he and Clark would have had a chat; and he would probably be more likely to unload on a former teammate. Clark would be more likely to say something like that to an old friend like Masten than a newer acquaintance like Dave MacDonald.

Sally just may have gotten the two drivers mixed up...and the rumor mongers pounced on her mistake. A story like that would play right into the hands of those in the garages that might have felt threatened by the new-breed guys like Dave, who bore the brunt of their prejudices against the sports car and Formula 1 set because he couldn't defend himself from the grave.


All it takes is for one disgruntled naysayer to twist the story, even if it's by accident, and there you go...


Dan


Dan




Thanks,
Paul



#1290 HistoricMustang

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 10:53


Dan, please check your messages.

Henry :wave:






#1291 Long-time Indy 500 Fan

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 17:42

Johnny Rutherford's comments on Dave MacDonald's behavior behind the wheel of the #83 car at the start of the '64 race are well-documented and have been read by just about every Indy 500 fan that ever picked up a book or magazine on the subject. I believe that he's telling the story of what he remembers, but I also believe that it really isn't all that accurate. Rutherford describes a car that was slipping and sliding all over the track, and the Dynamic films of the race simply don't show that. The #83 wasn't doing anything any different from all the other cars...the rear end doesn't appear to slide out in the corners, Dave never appears to almost lose control in the second corner on the second lap; there's nothing skittish about his drive at all...Rutherford remembers things that really didn't happen.

You have to remember that Johnny Rutherford had just driven OVER a flaming hulk that could have killed him when he first told that story. He had never driven in competition with MacDonald before the race, and therefore wasn't familiar with Dave's driving style. Dave was a broadslider and a charger...he always made a run for the front at the start of a race if he could. He was driving his normal race...what else is a driver to do? According to Peter Bryant, the car was sorted out by raceday; the story of Jim Clark telling MacDonald to "just walk away from the car" after Carb Day can't be substantiated, and may be apochryphal. I've never been able to substantiate this, but according to Thompson, Dave was turning in laps in excess of 156 mph on Carb Day...only Bobby Marshman was faster( there doesn't seem to be any speed listed for the #83 in any of the Carb Day track reports from the Indy Star). The car might not have been state-of-the-art construction-wise, but it was legal...the fuel tank may have been a rubber bag, but it was state-of-the-art in the helicopter industry at the time. USAC gave the package a thumbs-up.

Dave MacDonald was an outsider at Indy, and he was a phenomenal talent...and the guard was changing; many older drivers were in danger of being put out to pasture by younger drivers with more experience in the newre rear-engined cars. Dave was a threat to the Indy Establishment.

He wasn't being conservative at the start of the race, which went against convention...that didn't mean he didn't respect the place; he just didn't drive as slowly or as cautiously as some of the veterans did. He wasn't afraid of the hazards of burning gasoline in the cars; that was what he was used to. He wasn't taking any prisoners, but...isn't that how you win races?

Sachs isn't totally blameless in this matter, either...he admitted publicly to getting in over his head during the morning warm-up on Pole Day after a frustrating month of trying to get up to speed with what might have been sub-par engines from Ford(at least when compared to the others on the Ford team) and crashing out of a first day qualifying attempt that if completed at similar speed to his best efforts just before hitting the wall would have put him in the second row...far ahead of MacDonald. But, Eddie was like that...he was noted for getting excited and making bad decisions behind the wheel; it probably cost him a victory in 1961. He was a PR man's dream, but although remarkably talented behind the wheel, he frustrated more than one car owner with his excitablilty.


Len Sutton's account of the accident, and he had the best view ot the tragedy, stated that Dave MacDonald was trying to pass Walt Hansgen on the inside coming off the 4th corner, and Walt couldn't see him coming behind him. Walt took his normal line coming off the corner, and Dave had to swerve to avoid hitting him. There were no handling issues, no aerodynamic instablilties, no mechanical failures...IT WAS SIMPLY A RACING ACCIDENT.


There are many issues at play when one tries to account for a cause for this tragedy...technology was outpacing the safeguards available at the time; there were drivers of varying abilities and experience with both old and new equipment( some knew the cars better than the track, and vice-versa), the mandate by the Ford Motor Company that all of its' teams were to use gasoline instead of methanol(only Roger Ward ran a Ford on methanol in the race) and the approval of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to allow such an action to take place were all factors in the outcome. It's easy to blame Dave MacDonald for the whole thing; but it really isn't fair to do so. It was a confusing and terrifying time for everybody concerned. Rumors and innuendo ran rampant, as they always seem to do at Indy(and a lot of other racetracks) whenever there is something new on the track. The principals involved in the tragedy are dead, and can't tell their stories. And, Eddie Sachs, like it or not, was Santa Claus...and it looks like, at first blush at least, that Dave MacDonald killed him.

The main point of this thread is that he didn't.


Dan



#1292 Long-time Indy 500 Fan

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 18:23

Well, isn't it crazy? We discuss for over 1,200 posts, and people simply don't listen.

Henry, just WHAT are you trying to achieve????

Long-time Indy fan, just what makes you think MacDonald was too aggressive, and that the Thompson was questionably engineered and prepared????

Ray, it's at least the third time you tell this story about Gregory warning Brabham, and Black Jack reacting accordingly, even though the former's never been proved, and the latter clearly did not happen - can't we finally stop all this bullshit????




Thompson's cars! What a joke. When MacDonald's car exploded because of poorly designed and constructed fuel tank/bladder speaks well of these cars' disastrous design. Lifting and floating! Enough said! Good for Eddie Johnson bringing the 2nd Thompson BOMB in and parking it. Thompson was an arrogant irresponsible owner! YES, Dave MacDonald was way too aggressive!! MacDonald, as a driver, was arrogant and aggressive to the point where he goes down as the absolute WORST driver in Indy 500 history! MacDonald averaged killing a driver per lap. Actually, MacDonald was too incompetent to even complete two laps. People in this thread continually try to make MacDonald an immortal and put down Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser, Jack Brabham and other's on-track EYE-WITNESS accounts. Were your there! Did you win 6 Indy 500's and many other Indy car victories? How can you possibly refute these many time winner's accounts. There were there!!! These great drivers and winners were almost killed by the incompetent arrogant MacDonald. MacDonald at best was marginal! MacDonald killed himself and YES HE KILLED the beloved Eddie Sachs. YES, MacDonald IS RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING Eddie Sachs and himself!!! MacDonald refused to be patient, accept that he was an untested rookie, and did not understand Indy racing. Broad-sliding through turns with a full tank of GASOLINE was totally arrogant, idiotic, and incompetent behaviour! MacDonald did not know his place! AGAIN, one does not win a 500 mile race in the first few laps. One must finish to win. MacDonald and Thompson were total DISASTERS!!! I do feel sorry for Sachs, his family, MacDonald's family, and even MacDonald. I never had, nor have, any sympathy for that ******* Thompson! Good riddance Thompson!!

#1293 Long-time Indy 500 Fan

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 19:09

"Phenomenal talent!" You must be kidding! MacDonald was certainly not phenomenal. MacDonald was simply the worst Indy 500 driver ever! This arrogant disrespectacle driver did not complete 2 lap. MacDonald killed himself, the immortal Eddie Sachs, and fortunately no any other drivers. Dave MacDonald was an incompetent disrespectful driver! Poor Eddie Sachs!

#1294 Bob Riebe

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 19:57

"Phenomenal talent!" You must be kidding! MacDonald was certainly not phenomenal. MacDonald was simply the worst Indy 500 driver ever! This arrogant disrespectacle driver did not complete 2 lap. MacDonald killed himself, the immortal Eddie Sachs, and fortunately no any other drivers. Dave MacDonald was an incompetent disrespectful driver! Poor Eddie Sachs!

Troll


#1295 MPea3

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 01:05

"Phenomenal talent!" You must be kidding! MacDonald was certainly not phenomenal. MacDonald was simply the worst Indy 500 driver ever! This arrogant disrespectacle driver did not complete 2 lap. MacDonald killed himself, the immortal Eddie Sachs, and fortunately no any other drivers. Dave MacDonald was an incompetent disrespectful driver! Poor Eddie Sachs!


Quoting Sergeant Hulka from the movie Stripes... "Lighten up Francis".


#1296 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 09:47

Originally posted by fines
.....Ray, it's at least the third time you tell this story about Gregory warning Brabham, and Black Jack reacting accordingly, even though the former's never been proved, and the latter clearly did not happen - can't we finally stop all this bullshit?


Michael, Jack told me this story personally...

I didn't ask him about it, we were just discussing a range of subjects and Masten Gregory's name came up. Jack then told this story as well as the one where Masten nearly hit him in Portugal.

Not only that, it's told in Jack's book, simply and clearly as explained on this site:

http://formula-one.s...ck-brabham//P2/

Masten Gregory warned Jack that the Mickey Thompson entries in the 1964 Indy 500, were “an accident waiting to happen.” Jack “just kept my eyes riveted on the (Macdonald) car.” When the crash happened, Jack was able to hit the brakes and thread his way through the fireball. “To this day I’m confident that those pre-race words saved my life.”


But you, Michael, seem to think you know more than the ex-World Champion. Why is that? What is it that drives you to question real experiences and living testimonies just as you did Buford?

Well, you're not going to make me and Jack Brabham out to be liars here. He must have related that story to Doug Nye as well... is Doug another who's been deluded? With all of his experience?

You have, in a PM, told me to stop defending Buford. In fact, you told me to stop 'continuing Buford's lies.' Now, I don't know about any lies told by Buford, but we'd have to assume that your telling me above to 'stop all this bullsh*t' is the same thing. Jack Brabham's a liar just like Buford is, in your book.

Like Buford, I have always respected your knowledge and ability to research material. But I'm not going to allow you to call Jack Brabham a liar just because you don't know the facts from his point of view.

#1297 Rosemayer

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 18:32

Michael, Jack told me this story personally...

I didn't ask him about it, we were just discussing a range of subjects and Masten Gregory's name came up. Jack then told this story as well as the one where Masten nearly hit him in Portugal.

Not only that, it's told in Jack's book, simply and clearly as explained on this site:

http://formula-one.s...ck-brabham//P2/



But you, Michael, seem to think you know more than the ex-World Champion. Why is that? What is it that drives you to question real experiences and living testimonies just as you did Buford?

Well, you're not going to make me and Jack Brabham out to be liars here. He must have related that story to Doug Nye as well... is Doug another who's been deluded? With all of his experience?

You have, in a PM, told me to stop defending Buford. In fact, you told me to stop 'continuing Buford's lies.' Now, I don't know about any lies told by Buford, but we'd have to assume that your telling me above to 'stop all this bullsh*t' is the same thing. Jack Brabham's a liar just like Buford is, in your book.

Like Buford, I have always respected your knowledge and ability to research material. But I'm not going to allow you to call Jack Brabham a liar just because you don't know the facts from his point of view.


:up: :up: :up: :up:


#1298 MPea3

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 21:43

Michael, Jack told me this story personally...

I didn't ask him about it, we were just discussing a range of subjects and Masten Gregory's name came up. Jack then told this story as well as the one where Masten nearly hit him in Portugal.

Not only that, it's told in Jack's book, simply and clearly as explained on this site:

http://formula-one.s...ck-brabham//P2/



But you, Michael, seem to think you know more than the ex-World Champion. Why is that? What is it that drives you to question real experiences and living testimonies just as you did Buford?

Well, you're not going to make me and Jack Brabham out to be liars here. He must have related that story to Doug Nye as well... is Doug another who's been deluded? With all of his experience?

You have, in a PM, told me to stop defending Buford. In fact, you told me to stop 'continuing Buford's lies.' Now, I don't know about any lies told by Buford, but we'd have to assume that your telling me above to 'stop all this bullsh*t' is the same thing. Jack Brabham's a liar just like Buford is, in your book.

Like Buford, I have always respected your knowledge and ability to research material. But I'm not going to allow you to call Jack Brabham a liar just because you don't know the facts from his point of view.


For God's sake why can't you just drop it?


#1299 scheivlak

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 22:15

For God's sake why can't you just drop it?

Why should he?

Why can't we live with the idea that everyone has his own story or perception, and first-hand stories -whether they are supporting or undermining "accepted history"- should at the very least be given their value as documented oral history?

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#1300 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 23:10

Originally posted by MPea3
For God's sake why can't you just drop it?


Well, you would have noted that I did... originally...

That was May 8 when fines posted that challenge. I decided to let it rest and not get caught up in any arguments. But now he's shown his arrogance and inability to accept personal testimonies I feel he has to be called to answer.

Jack Brabham, I don't have to explain, was a 3-times World Champion and the man who started the rear-engined revolution at Indy. He was a very astute driver who survived a long time in front line racing when many didn't... he was obviously a man who took note of warnings and knew what to look for.

Should his oft-told (clearly he's been telling people that for years!) story of this incident at Indianapolis be discounted because people who weren't there don't reckon it could have happened?

Equally as obvious is the fact that speeds at Indy were very high. So even if he was well back, prudence would suggest that reining in your speed dramatically would enhance your prospects of survival. Cars tend to go everywhere when there's a crash up ahead and Jack would have known that.

If fines, or anyone, can prove to me that Jack couldn't see Macdonald at the time he got out of shape, then I'll doubt Jack's story. Otherwise nobody has a right to discount it.