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The Mickey Thompson 'Sears Allstate Special' cars of 1964


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#1501 ZOOOM

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 01:24

Looks to me like a wheeled dry powder canister. It is being used from outside the track wall.
These had a range of about 15/20 feet. From there it would have had no effect what so ever.
I'll have to go back over the pictures posted here earlier to see if any fire trucks wewre involved on the track itself...
ZOOOM

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#1502 ZOOOM

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 01:59

I can't bring it up, but back on page 19, post 748, Buford posts a picture from overhead, of the post accident scene.
If someone could figure how to bring it up here it would be appreciated.
It shows the aftermath and a ford pickup fire truck, at the scene. The truck shows a pressurized chemical (?) tank in the back. The area of the track shows a white powder all over the place. It sure looks like dry powder.
However, it is in the vacinity of the final resting place of the cars. The dry chemical, if used to put out the original fire, would have covered a much larger area.
I would say that dry chem was used but only to put out the residual fire on the cars, after the fire pretty well burnt itself out.
That one tank on the pickup could not have put out the confligration.
Thoughts?

ZOOOM

#1503 Tim Murray

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 05:41

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#1504 HistoricMustang

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:04

I can't bring it up, but back on page 19, post 748, Buford posts a picture from overhead, of the post accident scene.
If someone could figure how to bring it up here it would be appreciated.
It shows the aftermath and a ford pickup fire truck, at the scene. The truck shows a pressurized chemical (?) tank in the back. The area of the track shows a white powder all over the place. It sure looks like dry powder.
However, it is in the vacinity of the final resting place of the cars. The dry chemical, if used to put out the original fire, would have covered a much larger area.
I would say that dry chem was used but only to put out the residual fire on the cars, after the fire pretty well burnt itself out.
That one tank on the pickup could not have put out the confligration.
Thoughts?

ZOOOM


Zooom :wave: , check at 1:02 and 1:15 in the video as we see CO2 extinguishing materials being used. Could this extinguisher, that was hand carried, simply been one for use in just the grandstand area for spectators?

Of course it had no impact on the fire.

This video also has a very good angle of Hansgen moving drivers left as Dave approaches.



Henry

#1505 ZOOOM

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 14:47

The one used from the outside of the track is from a wheeled cart using dry chemical.
It is a wonder the fireman wasn't also engulfed.
The overhead shot shows dry chem on the cars and it shows a narrow amount on the inside of the track, growing to a wide swath on the outside of the track. This would indicate that the attack was made from the inside wall. You can see a very faint hose line from the inside of the track out to the cars. This would have been the route of the fireman out to the accident as he sprayed the chem on the fire.
I don't see any evidence of a regular fire truck which would have had water.
I think the ford pickup truck in the picture wasn't used to fight the fire. The hose has not been unrealed.

ZOOOM

#1506 Long-time Indy 500 Fan

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 23:32

Zooom,

B&W video;

This B&W video shows early emergency responders arriving. A pick-up truck of responders rapidly pulls up next to MacDonald's car and begin fighting that fire. They arrive from the inside of the track, pass Sachs's car, pull around, and stop parallel with MacDonald's car. You can see other extinguishers spraying MacDonald's car's fire from the car's front as this pick-up truck of responders begin attacking from the side. This video shows responders fighting the fire from the inside of the track. There was a fence on the outside; so, responders had to arrive and fight the fire from the inside.

I have seen still other photos of that early responder pick-up truck shown in this video. The aerial view photo was after the fire was extinguished. The aerial photo shows another truck close to Sachs' car that most likely arrived much later and was there as part of the subsequent clean-up.

It appears that early responders are initially battling from two significant fronts - MacDonald's car and Sachs' car. The video later shows additional responders spraying Duman's car's fire; however, this first pick-up tuck of responders initially attacked the main inferno of MacDonald's and Sachs' cars. This video shows the ferocity of MacDonald's car's fire. You can see extinguishers being sprayed on Sachs' car and a tremendous sense of urgency with the pick-up truck's responders attacking MacDonald's car's fire.

Even with responders arriving quickly and doing the best they could with the equipment that they had, these two poor souls had no chance of surviving that gasoline holocaust with the driver's suits and helmets of 1964.

#1507 ZOOOM

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 03:06

Great addition to the thread!
Don't think I have ever seen that video.
Sure puts paid to my theory of water being used.
Very happy it was so easily debunked.
I feel much better about the capability of the fire fighting crews...

ZOOOM

#1508 Formula Once

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 13:21

Boy, I know those were different times, but to see Foyt all happy and smiling while holding the newspaper cover crying Dave and Eddie died...

#1509 Jim Thurman

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 17:14

Boy, I know those were different times, but to see Foyt all happy and smiling while holding the newspaper cover crying Dave and Eddie died...

Do we have to go through this again? :rolleyes: Someone shoved a newspaper into the winning drivers hands moments after arriving in Victory Lane, while celebration and elation are in full mode. Photos are quickly taken and only after the rigamarole dies down does the driver really get to notice what was on the front page.

Photos can be found of the same thing happening with Sweikert in '55. Less widely circulated are the photos snapped showing Foyt and Sweikert's reactions upon actually seeing the newspaper and it sinking in.

In Foyt's case there was some knowledge of part of the outcome of Sachs-MacDonald accident before they re-started. I do not think he - or the other drivers - knew about MacDonald until after the race. Sweikert undoubtedly caught passing glimpses of Vukovich's accident, but probably had no idea until after the celebration died down.

If anything, someone should blame the Star for intruding on the victory celebration to create publicity. Look at the misunderstandings it continues to cause.

#1510 Lemnpiper

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 18:29


A J seems to be chewing that gum very harshly in that video while giving what appears to me to be a very forced smile for the camera much like his wife on his right is doin.

My opinion is AJ knew Sachs was dead before the race resumed and as with his previous win if he also had gotten a newspaper in victory lane in 1961 with it's headlines and he sorta had to know at the minimum Sachs death was gonna be on that edition's front page along with A J's winning of the race.

Another thing to note is the bottle of milk is no where to be found by the time the newspaper shows up so we have no clue how long A J had in fact been in victory lane by that point plus in that footage it paper itself was upside down based on Aj's viewpoint.


So until i see actual footage of A J reading the paper AND still smiling i suggest there is no reason for criticism how A J acted in victory lane.


Paul



#1511 E.B.

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 19:40

Sweikert undoubtedly caught passing glimpses of Vukovich's accident, but probably had no idea until after the celebration died down.


Sweikert's concern immedately after the race was for his very good friend Johnny Boyd, whose damaged car was of course very much visible to passing drivers, unlike Vuky's. Sweikert twice shouted "Who got hurt?" at interviewer Charlie Brockman in the post-race interview over the PA system, putting Brockman in a very awkward spot.

As for Foyt, there is also a well known photo of him in victory lane in his car looking very subdued indeed, presumably taken very soon after being made aware of the full extent of the day's horrors.





#1512 Henri Greuter

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 13:56

Do we have to go through this again? :rolleyes: Someone shoved a newspaper into the winning drivers hands moments after arriving in Victory Lane, while celebration and elation are in full mode. Photos are quickly taken and only after the rigamarole dies down does the driver really get to notice what was on the front page.

Photos can be found of the same thing happening with Sweikert in '55. Less widely circulated are the photos snapped showing Foyt and Sweikert's reactions upon actually seeing the newspaper and it sinking in.

In Foyt's case there was some knowledge of part of the outcome of Sachs-MacDonald accident before they re-started. I do not think he - or the other drivers - knew about MacDonald until after the race. Sweikert undoubtedly caught passing glimpses of Vukovich's accident, but probably had no idea until after the celebration died down.

If anything, someone should blame the Star for intruding on the victory celebration to create publicity. Look at the misunderstandings it continues to cause.



Eddie's death was announced over the PA before the restart. And I get the feeling that words about how bad Dave MacDonald's condition was went around the track too. For example, Johnny Rutherford had seen Dave at the Speedway hospital when he checked in for his treatment.

Nevertheless, I have read one other example of Foyt's happynness with his victory, something he appearantly still found time for and pleasure in to do.
I have read (must look it up where) that somewhere either before or after the victory lane ceremonies he spotted some Ford officials and, remembering how he was denied a Quadcam first and the backup Lotus-Ford secondly he appearantly laughed at them and gave them the middle finger salut.
Also something you won't see pictures off in the Star (News or Times) but putting in an A4 size pic of Dave in the car after the fires were extinguished was no problem....

Henri

Edited by Henri Greuter, 30 October 2010 - 13:57.


#1513 ensign14

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 14:10

As for Foyt, there is also a well known photo of him in victory lane in his car looking very subdued indeed, presumably taken very soon after being made aware of the full extent of the day's horrors.

I think he declined the milk, but I may be mistaken. In his autobiog he says it hit him when he saw the Star headline in Victory Lane - Foyt Wins; Sachs, MacDonald Die...

#1514 Calhoun98

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 00:01

I think he declined the milk, but I may be mistaken.


I believe you are.

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#1515 TomSlick57

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 01:50

I believe you are.

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Thats great, I thought they normally had a Quart of Milk? That looks like a pint

#1516 TrackDogll

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 05:20

Yes, this remains a bit morbid indeed.

Eddie is told not to have survived the impact.
Bob Falcon in the USAC reports as written in "the Alternate" told it to have been a 100G impact. So why Eddie got killed and Dave not?
Morbid as it seems, the only explanation I can come up with are:

1) Eddie must have hit the Thompson primarily at the rear wheel and engine level (At the rear of the car) so that the cockpit (and Dave) was barely hit at all.

2) The fuel tank on the Thompson still contained a lot of fuel and this mass of fuel in a flexible bag `kind of absorbed`a lot of energy from the impact to offer some protection for Dave not to be hit by the Shrike. The enormous fireball could be an approval for the dispensed energy of mass that belonged to the car being "freed from the chassis" and desintegrating. But with this mass being a flammable liquid it instantly bursting into flames as well, creating that massive fireball, So massive, despite the fact that it actually involved much less gasoline then most writings/people suggested it to have been in the past.

If the fire could have been extinguished much faster then it eventually was, maybe that could have helped Dave to some extend. I don't know however how much less damage his lungs would have had and if in the long term it should have become fatal after all. (a kind of Swede Savage experience?)
When talking about a 100G impact, Bov Falcon correctly stated that the inernal injuries for both drivers must have been severe. I don't know, have never read anything about it, if Dave also had internal injuries being diagnosed. But given his burns etc, it didn't really matter that much anymore. The burns were fatal as they were.
But should those not have been fatal but `only` serious, then it remains a question if the possible (likely???) internal injuries would nave have been fatal instead and when.

I apologize to everyone who feels that this reasoning and explaining is morbid and tasteless. But I also posted this because I feel it possibly gives an explanation as of why the big explosion after the impact, this despite that we know by now that at the very max there was some 60 gallons of fuel invold instead of 150 if not more. Something that for many people is difficult to accept.


Henri



The impact of Sachs hitting MacDonald was enough to knock the loose right rear wheel off of the #83, so maybe Eddie DID hit Dave in the engine/wheel area. I've always figured that since Johnny Rutherford said that the rear of Eddie's car bounced high into the air and came back down on his car as he began to vault over the #83 was probably an indication that the #25 tried to slide UNDER the #83 as it hit it. I also thought that the twisted frame of the #83 as seen in the aerial views of the crash scene was due to the impact with the #25, but the chassis on the Allstate car was bent as a result of the initial wall impact. Maybe Eddie's car didn't bend Dave's car so much.

One possible reason for Sachs possibly having a chest injury is the way the car was constructed. The Shrike had a lot of open space around the driver's compartment. It was a tiny car, but Sachs' head and shoulders were sticking out above the bodywork quite a bit. There was a lot of room to move around, or bounce around in a serious frontal impact. Also, those little cars had awfully big steering wheels. MacDonald's had to be bent flat on the bottom to get him out of the car.

It still sounds to me like Sachs was trapped in the car by the radiator collapsing against one of his feet...one of his boots was left behind after his body was extricated. This might have had something to do with the broken leg he was known to have suffered from.

I hate to bring this up because of the graphic nature of the subject, but as for the burns both drivers suffered; there are explanations. MacDonald's car was engulfed briefly in a flash fire. It looked horrible, but probably wasn't as catastrophic as it appeared. As the car slid away from the wall, it was burning, but the flames weren't engulfing the cockpit...they were following the gasoline trail back into the fuel tank. They probably licked at his head, but didn't engulf him. Sachs had a tank directly in front of his face that was known to have exploded. Even if it did only hold 5 gallons, it was enough to do the damage. Once the fuel in that tank was burned up, it was gone. But, while it was burning...It's difficult to determine(if not impossible) just when Dave inhaled the flames into his lungs...there were two separate explosions that could have caused him to do that. If I had to pick; it would be the second one, when Sachs hit him. The fuel splashed out of the #83's tank onto both cars and drivers. if the initial impact with the wall didn't knock Dave out, the impact of Sachs' car probably did. Several other cars hit MacDonald's car, also. Who knows just when he actually lost consciousness? All we really know for sure is that he was exposed to enough flame that he either swallowed it or inhaled it(maybe both).

I still am not convinced that Eddie Sachs was killed upon impact with the Allstate car. Chuck Stevenson told his friends that Eddie was moving around in the car when he hit him, and he had a pretty good view of the scene. A lot of fans said the same thing.

As for Falcon's statement about 100gs worth of impact, well...he also stated that the #83 and #25 were welded together by the heat of the fire. We know that isn't true. All we know for sure is that Dave MacDonald was alive in his car and unconscious, and that Eddie Sachs had a broken leg and was burned alive in his car. We also know that both drivers were exposed to very high temperatures with little protection for several minutes, maybe as many as 10 or maybe even 20.

It's obvious that the Speedway wasn't really prepared for an accident of this magnitude, but could anybody have been in 1964? Eddie Sachs was the 3rd popular driver killed at the Speedway in a 10-year period. Some people saw Bill Vukovich's accident on the backstretch in 1955...a few more saw Pat O'Connor's fatal flip in 1958; but thousands and thousands(maybe even a million or so...) saw Eddie Sachs(and Dave MacDonald) die in front of them in 1964. It was and remains a tragedy. It's obvious that we're not over it by a long shot. But it is what it is, and it was what it was. And, it is what it is today because it was what it was, once.

But, sometimes I think I'm walking a thin line between a genuine desire to understand just where this tragic event really lies in our culture and some morbid fascination...


Dan(formerly TrackDog, as if you couldn't tell...)

#1517 thatguy0101

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 03:16

The October 2010 issue of Muscle Machines Magazine has an article on Dave and drives home the point of his brilliant career being swept under the rug after Indy 1964.

Here is only the cover shot for copyright purposes.

For those without access to the magazine send me a PM and I will forward the article.

Henry :wave:

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Stumbled across this thread today. The article in HMM is a series of photos and comments by Dave Friedman, who has allowed his memory of MacDonald to fester into a grudge against Thompson that can't be assuaged by facts.

The glossy Hemmings magazines often have a historic racing feature with photos and captions by the photographer, but apparently it isn't Hemmings' policy to factcheck the photographer's captions, even with easily available references like entry lists to check car numbers, drivers, and years. I've complained to them about it before.

Here's the letter I wrote to HMM after they published the Friedman article. My comments are based on Peter Bryant's book. Note that Friedman was not part of Thompson's team, as with Shelby, and can't write about Thompson's operation from first hand knowledge. AFAIK, this letter wasn't published:

Dear Mr. Donnelly,

Thanks for the historic racing feature about Dave MacDonald. That era of racing is a gem I treasure, despite the frequent sadness of drivers lost. Different days.

I'm writing about Dave Friedman's recollection of Dave MacDonald's crash and death at Indianapolis. In Chapters 14-16 of his memoir, Can-Am Challenger, Peter Bryant persuasively refutes the legend that MacDonald was killed by an uncontrollable car.

In chapter 15 of his book, Bryant recounts in detail the process that he says made the Thompson cars driveable and competitive before qualifying, and the steps taken to tame them.

As a gauge of the accuracy of your article, I note that your article repeats a few legends via Friedman that Bryant specifically refutes. Per Bryant:

  • The MacDonald car was not a titanium chassis. The only titanium Thompson car was the car that Gregory crashed.
  • The MacDonald car had a 44-gallon fuel tank, typical of Indy cars in the period. It was not a freakishly large tank. Note that on the same Memorial Day weekend, Fireball Roberts suffered fatal burns in a state-of-the-art Holman-Moody stock car with a smaller tank, obviously better protected than an Indy car. Fire was an inherent risk of the period technology.
  • The Thompson cars raced on the 15-inch Allstate (Armstrong) tires shown in Friedman's overhead photo, despite Mr Friedman's recollection in your article. There was not an unexpected change at the track. The full fenders were cut away during Indy practice to reduce lift; Bryant prints a photo of the car with wool tufts as part of the testing process.
Your own introduction says that MacDonald was "passing cars, sideways in the corners with a car that he obviously couldn't control." Prima facie, that puts the onus on MacDonald; he was exceeding the limits of the car to go faster. I posit that MacDonald was driving the car exactly as he wanted. Pictures on pages 38, 39, and 41 of your own article show MacDonald luridly sliding the back of his cars in his famous style. Bryant reports that after MacDonald practiced at 155mph, he asked for more oversteer; MacDonald thought he could lap at 160mph if he could slide the tail wider:

"Dave said the car now had a little understeer, which I thought was what you needed at the Speedway, but he said he could do 160mph if we could take some of it out. He was used to hanging out the back end of the sports cars he drove, and preferred a slight oversteer characteristic. Mickey wanted him to drive as smoothly as possible, because oversteer was dangerous on a track like that."

Bryant expresses personal gratitude to Thompson in his book, but also expresses respect for "very fast" MacDonald as a driver. And Bryant does not pull his punches about Thompson's "goofy" ideas. It doesn't make sense that he would unfairly tar MacDonald to rehabilitate Thompson long after both men are dead. If anything, Bryant has more reason to hide behind Thompson instead of documenting his own contributions in detail.

"What I do care about is people spreading false rumors about that crash, and saying things that aren't true. 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."


Edited by thatguy0101, 08 May 2011 - 03:35.


#1518 Jim Thurman

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 05:43

I still am not convinced that Eddie Sachs was killed upon impact with the Allstate car. Chuck Stevenson told his friends that Eddie was moving around in the car when he hit him, and he had a pretty good view of the scene. A lot of fans said the same thing.
[snip]
But, sometimes I think I'm walking a thin line between a genuine desire to understand just where this tragic event really lies in our culture and some morbid fascination...

Not to sound like a broken record, but checking the death certificate at Marion County Records* might be the only way to put this to rest. And, because of what might or might not be included, possibly not even then. Even it might not include definitive information, but I am guessing it would.

Getting to the bottom of something that has seen so many wild rumors is hardly morbid fascination. If anything, its the opposite, as not seeking out the definitive truth allows these same wild rumors to continue to propogate.

*dependent on whether Indiana is an "open records state" or has any restrictions on viewing documents.

Edited by Jim Thurman, 08 May 2011 - 05:57.


#1519 Michael Ferner

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 06:18

Stumbled across this thread today. The article in HMM is a series of photos and comments by Dave Friedman, who has allowed his memory of MacDonald to fester into a grudge against Thompson that can't be assuaged by facts.

The glossy Hemmings magazines often have a historic racing feature with photos and captions by the photographer, but apparently it isn't Hemmings' policy to factcheck the photographer's captions, even with easily available references like entry lists to check car numbers, drivers, and years. I've complained to them about it before.

Here's the letter I wrote to HMM after they published the Friedman article. My comments are based on Peter Bryant's book. Note that Friedman was not part of Thompson's team, as with Shelby, and can't write about Thompson's operation from first hand knowledge. AFAIK, this letter wasn't published:

Dear Mr. Donnelly,

Thanks for the historic racing feature about Dave MacDonald. That era of racing is a gem I treasure, despite the frequent sadness of drivers lost. Different days.

I'm writing about Dave Friedman's recollection of Dave MacDonald's crash and death at Indianapolis. In Chapters 14-16 of his memoir, Can-Am Challenger, Peter Bryant persuasively refutes the legend that MacDonald was killed by an uncontrollable car.

In chapter 15 of his book, Bryant recounts in detail the process that he says made the Thompson cars driveable and competitive before qualifying, and the steps taken to tame them.

As a gauge of the accuracy of your article, I note that your article repeats a few legends via Friedman that Bryant specifically refutes. Per Bryant:

  • The MacDonald car was not a titanium chassis. The only titanium Thompson car was the car that Gregory crashed.
  • The MacDonald car had a 44-gallon fuel tank, typical of Indy cars in the period. It was not a freakishly large tank. Note that on the same Memorial Day weekend, Fireball Roberts suffered fatal burns in a state-of-the-art Holman-Moody stock car with a smaller tank, obviously better protected than an Indy car. Fire was an inherent risk of the period technology.
  • The Thompson cars raced on the 15-inch Allstate (Armstrong) tires shown in Friedman's overhead photo, despite Mr Friedman's recollection in your article. There was not an unexpected change at the track. The full fenders were cut away during Indy practice to reduce lift; Bryant prints a photo of the car with wool tufts as part of the testing process.
Your own introduction says that MacDonald was "passing cars, sideways in the corners with a car that he obviously couldn't control." Prima facie, that puts the onus on MacDonald; he was exceeding the limits of the car to go faster. I posit that MacDonald was driving the car exactly as he wanted. Pictures on pages 38, 39, and 41 of your own article show MacDonald luridly sliding the back of his cars in his famous style. Bryant reports that after MacDonald practiced at 155mph, he asked for more oversteer; MacDonald thought he could lap at 160mph if he could slide the tail wider:

"Dave said the car now had a little understeer, which I thought was what you needed at the Speedway, but he said he could do 160mph if we could take some of it out. He was used to hanging out the back end of the sports cars he drove, and preferred a slight oversteer characteristic. Mickey wanted him to drive as smoothly as possible, because oversteer was dangerous on a track like that."

Bryant expresses personal gratitude to Thompson in his book, but also expresses respect for "very fast" MacDonald as a driver. And Bryant does not pull his punches about Thompson's "goofy" ideas. It doesn't make sense that he would unfairly tar MacDonald to rehabilitate Thompson long after both men are dead. If anything, Bryant has more reason to hide behind Thompson instead of documenting his own contributions in detail.

"What I do care about is people spreading false rumors about that crash, and saying things that aren't true. 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."


Thanks for the excellent post.

Myths die hard. It's a sad fact that it's so much easier to repeat ignorant opinion as fact than to look into history with an open mind and a genuine desire for truth. So many people have commented on how dangerous a car the Thompson was, and how MacDonald was driving over his head, when even the most basic of facts refute these allegations. It's especially poignant when one sees "fans" of the roadster era blame the car as unsafe, when it was actually lightyears ahead of that ancient design philosophy. And as for MacDonald, well, he was like any young racing driver going for gold: confident, headstrong and sublimely talented. Racing is like walking a tightrope, when things go wrong it gets out of your control. That's what happened in Turn 4 on that afternoon, and the outcome could've been oh so different. Would anybody be talking about this incident if the car had stopped inches from the wall?

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#1520 HistoricMustang

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 18:39

One small correction from Post #1517.

Glenn Roberts had his accident the previous weekend.

And, what better way to pay tribute. From the boss 47 years later:

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Holbert, MacDonald and the boss.

Henry :wave:

PS So sorry for the inactivity at Atlas F1.............................a lot of personal stuff taking place, including move to an area with great historic activities - Savannah.

Back soon!

Cheers!




#1521 Henri Greuter

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 22:23

The impact of Sachs hitting MacDonald was enough to knock the loose right rear wheel off of the #83, so maybe Eddie DID hit Dave in the engine/wheel area. I've always figured that since Johnny Rutherford said that the rear of Eddie's car bounced high into the air and came back down on his car as he began to vault over the #83 was probably an indication that the #25 tried to slide UNDER the #83 as it hit it. I also thought that the twisted frame of the #83 as seen in the aerial views of the crash scene was due to the impact with the #25, but the chassis on the Allstate car was bent as a result of the initial wall impact. Maybe Eddie's car didn't bend Dave's car so much.


Dan(formerly TrackDog, as if you couldn't tell...)



Dan,

I am quite confident that Sachs must have hit Dave's car in the engine/ rear wheel area. Should he have hit Dave at cockpit level, then the only thing that could protect Dave was that rubber bladder with fuel. I can't imagint that absorbing enough energy to avoid that the Shrike literally ran into the cockpit of the Thompson, deformatting the tubframe and killing Dave instantly.


Other then that. The past weekend, for the first time in my live I saw footage of Dave driving the King Cobra in 1963.
If it was a safe manner of driving at Indy, I doubt it but man, Dave MacDonald was a fantastic sportscar driver with fabulous car control.


Henri

#1522 HistoricMustang

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 12:12

Dave's son continues to update the site dedicated to his father:

http://www.davemacdonald.net/

Henry :wave:

#1523 thatguy0101

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 20:46

One small correction from Post #1517.

Glenn Roberts had his accident the previous weekend.


Thanks, Henry.

"Check your facts. If your mother tells you she loves you, check it."

Edited by thatguy0101, 10 May 2011 - 20:48.


#1524 HistoricMustang

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:28

Thanks, Henry.

"Check your facts. If your mother tells you she loves you, check it."


Interesting story.

As mentioned Glenn Roberts had his accident in Charlotte the weekend before Dave's accident at Indy.

After the Roberts incident Dave spoke to his wife who was sending a note to the Roberts family (Remember, Roberts and MacDonald had formed a close relationship through NASCAR) and asked her to hold the note until he returned from Indy so he could add a comment.

Of course that did not happen.

But some 40 years later that note was given by Dave's wife to Pam Roberts, the daughter of Glenn, at a historic function here in Augusta.

I had the honor of exchanging emotions with everyone involved.

Henry :wave:

#1525 Lemnpiper

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 00:24


Hello Folks ,


Were Eddie Sachs' injuries similiar to the ones Paul Dana suffered when he hit Ed Carpenter's car in the rear wheel area in Paul's fatal crash?

I'm aware photos exist taken with the viewpoint looking down the front straight from the 4th turn , but has motion picture footage from that angle ever turned up?



Paul


#1526 SteveB2

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 14:02

In one of the promos prior to the start of the race, they used the footage of MacDonald hitting the inside wall. It was just prior to shownign the Conway/Hunter-Ray incident from last year. It was the promo where they superimposed an actor onto the track with cars and crashes careening around him. Can't place the actor though. It seems again a little inappropriate to use that incident as a promotional device. I think it was the only incident in the promo that resulted in fatalities, but I could be wrong about that.

#1527 RA Historian

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 19:25

Yes, very questionable taste.

#1528 thatguy0101

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 20:01

It happens with editors and graphics people. Regular still pics of the rollerskate cars get into materials because a designer/illustrator looks through the archive and the flying saucer bodywork is so distinctive.

"This was in the race? Cool!"


"Oh. Bummer."

#1529 Lemnpiper

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 02:27

In one of the promos prior to the start of the race, they used the footage of MacDonald hitting the inside wall. It was just prior to shownign the Conway/Hunter-Ray incident from last year. It was the promo where they superimposed an actor onto the track with cars and crashes careening around him. Can't place the actor though. It seems again a little inappropriate to use that incident as a promotional device. I think it was the only incident in the promo that resulted in fatalities, but I could be wrong about that.



Steve ,

Actually they showed that feature twice , once when ABC 1st signed on and again 1 hour later. However the first time they air it if you listened to the commentary it was refering to the "triumphs & tragedies" at the speedway.Since the 1964 wreck is viewed as one of the most well documented tragedies in Indy 500 history i can well understand why it was shown .


BTW did anyone happen to notice the very brief clip of the Highland Pipers marching along the straightaway with Eddie Sachs in his yellow uniform marching behind them?


Paul

#1530 TrackDogll

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 02:31

Steve ,

Actually they showed that feature twice , once when ABC 1st signed on and again 1 hour later. However the first time they air it if you listened to the commentary it was refering to the "triumphs & tragedies" at the speedway.Since the 1964 wreck is viewed as one of the most well documented tragedies in Indy 500 history i can well understand why it was shown .


BTW did anyone happen to notice the very brief clip of the Highland Pipers marching along the straightaway with Eddie Sachs in his yellow uniform marching behind them?


Paul


I want to say he wore that uniform in 1959 when he drove the Schmidt Special, but I'm not sure...




Dan


#1531 TomSlick57

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 01:07

Posted Image Posted Image

#1532 R.W. Mackenzie

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 22:07

Some photos on eBay that I think are new to this thread:

http://sports-cards....6.c0.m270.l1313

Too bad they are so pricey.

Bob Mackenzie

#1533 TomSlick57

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 22:52

Posted Image

#1534 TomSlick57

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 22:55

Posted Image Posted Image

#1535 ZOOOM

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 16:57

Tom...
Notice again, there is no fill port on the right side of the car. Just one more indication.
ZOOOM

#1536 TomSlick57

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 00:34

Zooom, is it possible it could have filled from the left side?

#1537 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 10:31

Zooom, is it possible it could have filled from the left side?



That question was thouroughly discussed and answered earlier in this thread. There was no right side fuel tank.

#1538 Henri Greuter

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 12:37


and as far as the fuel capacity of the Shrike.....

As some of you perhaps know, last Spring the Sachs Shrike replica was on display at the Clabbergirl museum at Terre Haute. perhaps some of you have seen it over there as well
Due to luck, I stayed somewhere in Missouri the first week of May and then I travelled by car to Indy to attend the Month of May.
My host and I took a break in the Clabbergirl Museum to have a look on the car.

My host, a race fan veteran of many years and a person knowledgable on race cars, had never seen the replica yet and felt it to be neat car, though knowing what happened with the original, ist was strange to see it.
But like me, he felt that, since the car was so compact in front of the engine, and knowing what kind of size a vlume of 80 and more gallons take, he also felt that it was impossible that the Shrike could be car with a fuel tank capacity of 80 or more gallons. The more when we realized that the golden tank on the left side is not a fuel tank at all but an oiltank/oil cooler arrangement.

Henri

#1539 ZOOOM

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 21:09

It would seem to me that the original configuration of the car during the build and for practise would indicate that the car was never BUILT with right side tanks. Add to that, that installing a right side tank, filled from the left side plumbing, would have been next to impossible between qualifications and the race.
As I indicated, the picture is just one more oiece of evidence that the car never raced with a right side tank.
ZOOOM

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#1540 TomSlick57

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 15:44

That question was thouroughly discussed and answered earlier in this thread. There was no right side fuel tank.

Yes it has been thoroughly discussed..my concern in viewing the video of the impact with the wall is the size of the explosion. The size of that fireball should have tore that fuel cell appart, yet the left side of the car holding the tank is completely intact when sliding back into the oncoming traffic..Its common knowledge in that era for teams to have fuel in many places unkown to anyone..for example..AJ Foyt talks of having a few extra gallons in his roll cage when he won the daytona 500 in the 60's

#1541 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 03:07

Yes it has been thoroughly discussed..my concern in viewing the video of the impact with the wall is the size of the explosion. The size of that fireball should have tore that fuel cell appart, yet the left side of the car holding the tank is completely intact when sliding back into the oncoming traffic..Its common knowledge in that era for teams to have fuel in many places unkown to anyone..for example..AJ Foyt talks of having a few extra gallons in his roll cage when he won the daytona 500 in the 60's


Much of the discussion has refused to believe that "only" 40 gallons of fuel could have caused the fire, maybe 55, if you count Sachs' car, so I don't think it very logical to raise the issue that a few more gallons hidden somewhere in McDonald's car could have been responsible for the fire.

I've only gone back through the first half of this thread. Posts 411, 543, 548, and 759 explain how the fire easily happened with "only" 40-55 gallons. Posts 33, 142, 156, 176, 179, 206, 218, 220, 225, 235, 237, 261, 475, 499, 511, 539, 723 and 730, all address the two tank theory, some with pictures, and find no support for it. In fact, the evidence is all supportive of just one tank.

#1542 TomSlick57

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 16:41

Much of the discussion has refused to believe that "only" 40 gallons of fuel could have caused the fire, maybe 55, if you count Sachs' car, so I don't think it very logical to raise the issue that a few more gallons hidden somewhere in McDonald's car could have been responsible for the fire.

I've only gone back through the first half of this thread. Posts 411, 543, 548, and 759 explain how the fire easily happened with "only" 40-55 gallons. Posts 33, 142, 156, 176, 179, 206, 218, 220, 225, 235, 237, 261, 475, 499, 511, 539, 723 and 730, all address the two tank theory, some with pictures, and find no support for it. In fact, the evidence is all supportive of just one tank.

The only reason to me that suggests the possiblity of fuel on the right side is the contact with the wall..you see and imediate fuel spray then a massive exsplosion..yet as the car skids back on to the track and its left side is completely intact..I will always feel there is some question of this..but frankly we will never know the whole story

#1543 Michael Ferner

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 20:18

[sigh]We do know the full story, and that the car had only a left-side fuel cell... [/sigh]

#1544 HistoricMustang

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 22:18

The only reason to me that suggests the possiblity of fuel on the right side is the contact with the wall..you see and imediate fuel spray then a massive exsplosion..yet as the car skids back on to the track and its left side is completely intact..I will always feel there is some question of this..but frankly we will never know the whole story


Tom, one theory is that the primitive full bladder (from a helicopter I believe) simply disengaged from the filling opening upon impact and ruptured causing the large fireball. This was discussed deep in the thread.

MacDonald was so young and had put up numbers to outclass most of his rivals during his short career.

Posted Image

Photograph has unknown author and was provided to me for presentation to MacDonald family. They had not viewed. :wave:

Edited by HistoricMustang, 03 September 2011 - 22:20.


#1545 TomSlick57

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 22:35

[sigh]We do know the full story, and that the car had only a left-side fuel cell... [/sigh]

Your only speculating now (sigh) There is more unknown in this accident then in almost any in speedway history..The simple fact is there wasnt a full scale investigation by the track or any governing body..Yes I'm quite aware this thread had probably shed more light on the tragic subject then probably any place else including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway..But alot of it is speculation, second hand accounts, and opinions..so sigh all you want..we dont know the whole story and never will 47 years later

#1546 roamic

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 01:21

Who was the owner of Sach's car?

I know it had American Red Ball sponsorship, but who was the car owner?

#1547 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 01:56

Your only speculating now (sigh) There is more unknown in this accident then in almost any in speedway history..The simple fact is there wasnt a full scale investigation by the track or any governing body..Yes I'm quite aware this thread had probably shed more light on the tragic subject then probably any place else including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway..But alot of it is speculation, second hand accounts, and opinions..so sigh all you want..we dont know the whole story and never will 47 years later


Groan, YOU are the one who is speculatiing:

spec·u·la·tion (spky-lshn)
n.
1.
a. Contemplation or consideration of a subject; meditation.
b. A conclusion, opinion, or theory reached by conjecture.
c. Reasoning based on inconclusive evidence; conjecture or supposition.

My last post listed about 20 entries in the first half of this thread, which if you would care to read them, include an interview with Mickey Thompson in Sports Illustarated, shortly after the race in which he says there was only the 44 gallon tank on the left side, and Peter Bryant, who was the chief mechanic, who says there was only the 44 gallon tank on the left side, as well as several pictures of the MacDonald car and the other team car, none of which show a right hand tank or a filler for one, and some which show ducting for an oil cooler where the right hand tank would have been located.

Read Zoom's post #723:

"I guess I didn'tmake myself clear. After seeing the last posted picture I have come to the absolute conclusion that there was no tank on the right side. The impact of the car on the right side must have caused the left side tank, the only tank, to rupture. The left side of the car is in flames. The right side is not.
Like others, until now, I thought the amount of flames and the fact that the flames apeared so instantaneously, must have meant that there was a right side tank. Look again at the picture, there are no hoses for gas or anything on the right side. The conclusion is unescapeable......

ZOOOM (just my 2cents) "

Read Historic Mustang's posts 758 and 759, qouting an article on the crash in The Alternate:

"When the car smacked the wall with a right side impact, the large fuel bladder weighing in the estimated 350 pounds was driven towards the inner wall of the cockpit by the inertia of the collision. As the inertia caused the bladder to move latterly, the fuel load was compressed. This movement caused a tear in the bladder wall in the vicinity of the refueling cap mounting flange. The gasoline, the under compression, was squeezed through this tear and probably through the fuel cap that may have been unlatched by the impact. The raw fuel vapor sprayed over the driver toward the right rear corner of the car, where enoughtr sparks were present to ignite the vaporized hight octane gasoline, turning it into a wick that burned back to the leaking fuel bladder, igniting the remaining fuel supply.

The entire surfact of the bodywork was engulfed in flame as the car slid backward onto the racing groove where it was stopped abruptly due to a car clambering over the top in the resultant melee made worse by the dense smoke and the huge fire. Sachs struck the Thompson car dead center of the fuel bladder which now exploded and sprayed flaming gasoline over the top surface of the Shrike."

Cynic2 at Post 850:

"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."

Three years ago, McQuire responded to just your sort of argument at post 887:

"As I have said here a hundred times, the spin itself was a perfectly mundane incident for Indy. It happens all the time to car builders who are not crackpots and drivers who are not lunatics. The fire that followed is what made the incident such a horrible spectacle. And note: Even the fire has been described in ridiculously hyperbolic terms. One observer quoted further up the thread states that ordinary gasoline could not produce such a fire -- the blend must have been hopped up somehow. That is simply untrue. Gasoline is one of the most flammable liquids in the hands of the general public, and there are few combustion additives (and no likely ones) that will make it significantly moreso. Napalm is just gasoline suspended in a gel, and a rather low grade at that. The fact is that this crash happened to produce a very efficient and effective means of burning gasoline: sheets of liquid fuel thrown into the air, exposed to the maximum air mass. Spectacular? Yes. Extraordinary? No. That is what plain old gasoline does under those conditions.

I believe that what we have here is an event that was too horribly noteworthy to allow explanation in ordinary terms. Big events require extravagant explanations and inspire creative license. "

Read through the thread, as I have just done, and you are not going to find anything supportive of 100 gallons in two tanks. What you will find is posts, such as yours, saying, in essensce, "Sure seems like it would have taken 100 gallons to create that fire." None of them are backed by evidence and neither is your posting.

Edited by Tom Glowacki, 04 September 2011 - 03:00.


#1548 Michael Ferner

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 07:18

Who was the owner of Sach's car?

I know it had American Red Ball sponsorship, but who was the car owner?


DVS, Inc.

Basically, Richard Sommers of Indianapolis and two other blokes.

EDIT: found it, they were George J. (II) Deeb, Robert "Bob" Voigt and Richard W. "Dick" Sommers, all of Indianapolis.

Edited by Michael Ferner, 04 September 2011 - 07:29.


#1549 TomSlick57

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 15:19

You dont give me credit that maybe I did read this entire thread..That is beside the point..If you break the video of the impact with the wall down frame by frame you will see that imediately upon impact a white substance shoots straight into the air..Now at first I considered it may have been concrete dust from the hard impact with the wall..But concrete dust does not ignite into a fireball..Also yes the left side tank did break at 2 points..Out the left rear of the car and the fuel nozzle..It did ignite first at the rear of the vehicle probably due to the hot exhaust...But imediately engulfed the entire vehicle, probably due to the tank nozzle breach..However the intial cloud which by now is several feet in the air also ignited..So in my opinion there COULD have been some fuel on the right side..after all, we all are entitled to are opinions..

#1550 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 16:17

You dont give me credit that maybe I did read this entire thread..That is beside the point..If you break the video of the impact with the wall down frame by frame you will see that imediately upon impact a white substance shoots straight into the air..Now at first I considered it may have been concrete dust from the hard impact with the wall..But concrete dust does not ignite into a fireball..Also yes the left side tank did break at 2 points..Out the left rear of the car and the fuel nozzle..It did ignite first at the rear of the vehicle probably due to the hot exhaust...But imediately engulfed the entire vehicle, probably due to the tank nozzle breach..However the intial cloud which by now is several feet in the air also ignited..So in my opinion there COULD have been some fuel on the right side..after all, we all are entitled to are opinions..



We are all entitled to our opinions, but facts to support them have to be there.