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The Mickey Thompson 'Sears Allstate Special' cars of 1964


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#1651 Henri Greuter

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 11:56

Well... If you want to go by qualifing times.... Sach's car must have been handling worse than The MT Spl....

ZOOOM



Don't forget that Sachs' car to be rebuilt op pole day and that Sachs had missed his pole shot because of that. Not out of the question he took it a bit easye since ha had not have that much chance to get the feeling about the repaired car .

Henri

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#1652 Henri Greuter

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:06

In 1963, the Thompson cars used Firestone tires. In 1964, the tires were manufactured by Armstrong and bore the Allstate brand.

The '63 and '64 tires/cars are dead easy to tell apart: the '63 tires are 12 inches in wheel diameter, while the '64s are 15 inchers. You would think that after four years and 1600 posts folks would have such a simple and obvious thing fully sorted by now, yet here we are.

This is how the thread has gone on so interminably without accomplishing a thing. The same material is covered over and over and over and over and over -- and people still can't get the most basic facts straight.



Magoo:

I agree with you that this thread contains a lot of loops and "we've been here before"
But I think that few threads in this forum have achieved so much as this one
A bunch of amatures have unearthed much more facts and data that come closer to the thruts of what really happened that year and that day then a number of well known writers have published in their books over and over again without even caring to verify other sources then the familiar stories.
I am not gonna say that the full truth till the last detail has been found and uncovered. That is simply impossible and will never happen.

But some wellknown ever repeated facts and data that are told over and over again in books and magazines have been proved to be incorrect and accurate facts that have already been mentioned and published shortly after the accident have been consistently ignored. (Why, we can only wonder)

I think that the people who have contributed to this thread in the early years, when the most discoveries were made and discussed have reason to feel proud for what they have achieved. They have done a better job in historic reseach on one of Indy's darkest days ever then a number of classified, well known writers.


Henri

Edited by Henri Greuter, 25 October 2011 - 12:07.


#1653 Magoo

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:39

Magoo:

I agree with you that this thread contains a lot of loops and "we've been here before"
But I think that few threads in this forum have achieved so much as this one
A bunch of amatures have unearthed much more facts and data that come closer to the thruts of what really happened that year and that day then a number of well known writers have published in their books over and over again without even caring to verify other sources then the familiar stories.
I am not gonna say that the full truth till the last detail has been found and uncovered. That is simply impossible and will never happen.

But some wellknown ever repeated facts and data that are told over and over again in books and magazines have been proved to be incorrect and accurate facts that have already been mentioned and published shortly after the accident have been consistently ignored. (Why, we can only wonder)

I think that the people who have contributed to this thread in the early years, when the most discoveries were made and discussed have reason to feel proud for what they have achieved. They have done a better job in historic reseach on one of Indy's darkest days ever then a number of classified, well known writers.


Henri


It's a matter of signal-to-noise ratio. In the early days of this thread we did uncover new facts that, in my view, utterly destroyed the conventional narrative of the crash. However, all that is now buried in a bunch of useless and redundant blabbering. This is not the voice of truth and clarity but the voice of gibberish. This discussion has now generated far more horses**t than it ever debunked. If someone asked me where they could learn the real truth of the '64 crash, I would not send them to this minefield of dubious information.

#1654 Henri Greuter

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:52

It's a matter of signal-to-noise ratio. In the early days of this thread we did uncover new facts that, in my view, utterly destroyed the conventional narrative of the crash. However, all that is now buried in a bunch of useless and redundant blabbering. This is not the voice of truth and clarity but the voice of gibberish. This discussion has now generated far more horses**t than it ever debunked. If someone asked me where they could learn the real truth of the '64 crash, I would not send them to this minefield of dubious information.




OK, I see your point.
I don't think that I see it as negative as you see it (Sorry for the word choise but I assume you understand what I mean to say) but I do agree with you that some editing ar creating a summary of it would be nice.

I kind of tried to do that in a separate website article by the way. But still, this thread was the source that made me start that


Henri

Edited by Henri Greuter, 25 October 2011 - 12:52.


#1655 SteveB2

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:52

I have always been led to believe that MacDonald was a late addition to the Mickey Thompson team at Indy 1964.

Primarily because no one wanted to drive the Thompson cars in 1964.

This counters that belief.

From November 1963 time frame.......................six months prior to the 1964 race.

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This may also explain why Dave is pictured above in the #82 car before new body was applied.

Trying to identify if that photo was taken at Indy....................................perhaps the sponsors listed on concrete wall can give us an idea of where and when. The infrastructure in photo looks a little different than Indy but I could be wrong.


The item that stands out to me in the article is Thompson's quote that "the car is in a wind tunnel now". I'm sure someone will correct me, but I can't think of a notation of wind tunnel testing a race car any time close to this. I keep thinking that, if I had to guess, the Lotus 79 might have been the first in a tunnel. Apparently I would have guessed badly wrong.

Edited by SteveB2, 25 October 2011 - 12:54.


#1656 Tim Murray

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 13:50

I'm sure someone will correct me, but I can't think of a notation of wind tunnel testing a race car any time close to this. I keep thinking that, if I had to guess, the Lotus 79 might have been the first in a tunnel. Apparently I would have guessed badly wrong.

The German teams were using wind tunnels before World War 2. Have a look at these earlier threads:

Auto-Union and wind tunnel testing

First team-owned wind tunnel?

Edited by Tim Murray, 25 October 2011 - 13:51.


#1657 SteveB2

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 18:35

The German teams were using wind tunnels before World War 2. Have a look at these earlier threads:

Auto-Union and wind tunnel testing

First team-owned wind tunnel?


Thanks Tim.

I think it would be fascinating to understand what occurred in the tunnel testing. I wonder what conclusions one would draw. Considering the time they spent in May solving aerodynamic problems, would one assume that they didn't learn much. Or, for the time and place, did they solve the aerodynamic problems relatively quickly? That is assuming, as I do, that they got a pretty good handle on the aerodynamics by the time they qualified. By time and place, I mean that in 1964 in Indy, there had been less wind tunnel testing of race cars than in Europe. AGain, I apologize for incomplete research.

#1658 HistoricMustang

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 19:16

Does anyone know of a wind tunnel facility in the Long Beach, California area during the early sixties? This is assuming, of course, that Thompson did not transport the cars to Ford in Detroit for the testing.

#1659 SteveB2

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 19:35

Does anyone know of a wind tunnel facility in the Long Beach, California area during the early sixties? This is assuming, of course, that Thompson did not transport the cars to Ford in Detroit for the testing.


Pulling guesses out of the air. I would assume Lockheed or Hughes would have had one around that time. Cal Tech?


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#1660 Sisyphus

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:55

I was looking at an SAE paper from their publication PT 53 on another issue and there is a photo of the Lotus 34 in a wind tunnel circa 1964. Not too much info about that in the paper (640252) but there is a fair about Ford's simulation of a lap of Indy.

As far as Mickey Thompson running his car in a wind tunnel, with all due respect to him (and I do have a lot of respect for his innovations--the Indy cars in particular), I am a little skeptical. Wind tunnels were sort of a high tech buzz word in those days and one thing Mickey was was a first class promoter. I'd like to check that story in his autobiography that he wrote in the late 60's, I think, but can't find my copy at the moment. That would be a good source as if it was run in a tunnel, I can't imagine he wouldn't have mentioned it in his book.

In any case, race car wind tunnels were very primative in those days--no rolling road and I suspect mainly useful for flow visualization.

#1661 ZOOOM

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:57

IIRC, one year Foyt took his Indycar to a famous wind tunnell to have it tested. The people who tested it announced that the car was horribly designed and would be almost uncontrolable at top speed. They suggested radical changes to it...
Foyt said thanks but I just won Indy with it...

ZOOOM

#1662 HistoricMustang

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 13:47

Henry :wave:


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#1663 Eaglenindy

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 03:13

In the 60's Indycar builders were based in the Los Angles area. One of the biggest windtunnels available then was at Lockheed in nearby Burbank. I'm sure many an Indycar was tested there. I am aware of a number of Lockheed engineers who "moonlighted" by working for Indycar builders on the side. One of the earlier posts documented this. Parnelli Jones and Dan Gurney used Lockheed engineers on the side and I'm sure could shed more light on the subject.

#1664 Magoo

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 00:37

I was looking at an SAE paper from their publication PT 53 on another issue and there is a photo of the Lotus 34 in a wind tunnel circa 1964. Not too much info about that in the paper (640252) but there is a fair about Ford's simulation of a lap of Indy.

As far as Mickey Thompson running his car in a wind tunnel, with all due respect to him (and I do have a lot of respect for his innovations--the Indy cars in particular), I am a little skeptical. Wind tunnels were sort of a high tech buzz word in those days and one thing Mickey was was a first class promoter. I'd like to check that story in his autobiography that he wrote in the late 60's, I think, but can't find my copy at the moment. That would be a good source as if it was run in a tunnel, I can't imagine he wouldn't have mentioned it in his book.

In any case, race car wind tunnels were very primative in those days--no rolling road and I suspect mainly useful for flow visualization.


I am certain the facility pictured in PT 53 (and also in Ford's SAE paper #640252, naturally) is the full-scale tunnel at the Dearborn MI Proving Grounds. It is easily identifiable on two counts: first, it was one of only two tunnels in the USA at that time (to my knowledge, anyway) large enough to accept a full-size automobile, Langley VA being the other. The Lockheed GA Low Speed Tunnel wasn't built until 1968 and the GMAL in Warren was constructed in 1979-80. The Ford tunnel was completed in '58 while Langley was operational before WWII.

The other "tell" in the photo you referenced above: the Ford tunnel had a full set of dyno rollers in the floor, which are clearly visible. At that time, the facility's primary use by far would be as what is known as an environmental or driveability tunnel -- for dynamic cooling testing and suchlike. Full-blown (sorry) aerodynamic body testing would be a secondary application. I wouldn't be too hung up about the lack of a rolling ground plane in this tunnel or even in this era. On production or race cars of this period a rolling ground plane wouldn't be particularly useful. For one thing the ride height is relatively vast.

If we take Thompson at his literal word in the news clipping that "it" (the actual car) was visiting the tunnel (as opposed to a scale model) then it would be the Ford tunnel, presumably. It was conveniently located relative to Indianapolis; also, we can presume that Thompson, as a Ford racer with full factory support (both drag racing and Indy) would have access to the facility. No scale models of the Thompson Indy cars have ever surfaced or suffered mentioning, which further suggests that if they did visit the tunnel, it was most likely in full-scale form.

Edited by Magoo, 28 October 2011 - 00:42.


#1665 Magoo

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:28

As far as Mickey Thompson running his car in a wind tunnel, with all due respect to him (and I do have a lot of respect for his innovations--the Indy cars in particular), I am a little skeptical. Wind tunnels were sort of a high tech buzz word in those days and one thing Mickey was was a first class promoter. I'd like to check that story in his autobiography that he wrote in the late 60's, I think, but can't find my copy at the moment. That would be a good source as if it was run in a tunnel, I can't imagine he wouldn't have mentioned it in his book.


Checking my copy of Challenger, the story closes just as the cars are being prepared for the '63 Indy 500. To my knowledge, M/T's autobiography was never revised/updated, so there's no info to be found on the '64 race. Still, the book is a well worth a read for anyone with an interest in Thompson. The book is an as-told-to by the late, great Griff Borgeson, a close friend of Thompson's and a fine writer as well.


#1666 HistoricMustang

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 14:01

References have been made that the Challenger was in a wind tunnel. Was it a model or the actual vehicle?

Also, this accident has been put up before, but do not believe a copy of the actual article was displayed. And, how about a price tag of $35,000 for an Indy racer! :up:

Henry :wave:

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#1667 HistoricMustang

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 14:23

Henry :wave:

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#1668 HistoricMustang

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 14:36

Yes, interesting.

Henry :wave:

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#1669 Magoo

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 12:51

References have been made that the Challenger was in a wind tunnel. Was it a model or the actual vehicle?

Also, this accident has been put up before, but do not believe a copy of the actual article was displayed. And, how about a price tag of $35,000 for an Indy racer! :up:


Obviously, it is yet to be determined if the Thompson car visited a wind tunnel in full-size or scale-model form -- or indeed, in any form. At this moment, there isn't enough info to say.

It would sure be a big help if, when folks posted their news clippings here, they would include the name of the publication and the date. Sometimes this info is included on the clipping itself, and sometimes it can be inferred from the byline, type and layout style, etc -- at some cost in accuracy and certainty. So please, if at all possible: be sure to include the name of the publication, date, and page number. This is standard procedure in historical research for all the obvious reasons. In the absence of proper info, it's just too easy to make incorrect assumptions.


#1670 TomSlick57

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 23:33

Yes, interesting.

Henry :wave:

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Why would Thompson have any authority in the decision to fly Dave? That would be a medical decision..Not a car owners

#1671 TomSlick57

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 23:36

References have been made that the Challenger was in a wind tunnel. Was it a model or the actual vehicle?

Also, this accident has been put up before, but do not believe a copy of the actual article was displayed. And, how about a price tag of $35,000 for an Indy racer! :up:

Henry :wave:

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In 1964, $35,000 was alot of money for a race car

#1672 Henri Greuter

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 14:11

In 1964, $35,000 was alot of money for a race car



In this case explainable; it was the titanium frame car (more expensive to begin with then the regular cars) and then that Ford engine wasn't cheap eiter....

Henri

#1673 HistoricMustang

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 15:34

Do not believe this actual copy of article has been shared.

Henry :wave:

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#1674 paulhooft

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 19:35

Hi Henry:
Thank you for this article!
I have one wish:
What was on page 30. or the pages before?
about the race?
Love to have the complete story...
Kindest regards,
Paul

Do not believe this actual copy of article has been shared.

Henry :wave:

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#1675 Henri Greuter

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 07:46

Hi Henry:
Thank you for this article!
I have one wish:
What was on page 30. or the pages before?
about the race?
Love to have the complete story...
Kindest regards,
Paul



Paul,

this is as far as I can see comng from the article published in Car&Driver in August '64.

Henri




#1676 paulhooft

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 08:49

Paul,

this is as far as I can see comng from the article published in Car&Driver in August '64.

Henri


Hoi Henri!

I think that the first world of page 30 is not the beginning of the article..

Vriendelijke groeten, Kindest regards
Paul

#1677 HistoricMustang

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 14:50

Sorry Paul. Hope this is it.

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Also, a browser trick that atlas readers may not be aware of is while you're holding down the "ctrl" button, you can use the scroll button on the mouse to enlarge or shrink the browser page your viewing. Great for zooming in on photos and small print.

#1678 paulhooft

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 15:19

Hi Henry:
Thank you, for the completed story!!!!! : :up: :
Greetings from the Netherlands, on the other side of the Atlantic... :wave:
Paul Hooft

Sorry Paul. Hope this is it.

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Also, a browser trick that atlas readers may not be aware of is while you're holding down the "ctrl" button, you can use the scroll button on the mouse to enlarge or shrink the browser page your viewing. Great for zooming in on photos and small print.



#1679 HistoricMustang

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 19:08

Henry :wave:

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#1680 HistoricMustang

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 19:13

A bit off topic.

Yunick's "sidecar" has been mentioned and photograph has appeared in this thread, but I do not believe this overhead shot has been shared.

Henry :wave:

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#1681 TomSlick57

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 23:29

A bit off topic.

Yunick's "sidecar" has been mentioned and photograph has appeared in this thread, but I do not believe this overhead shot has been shared.

Henry :wave:

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Would have loved to see what this car would have been like with one of the new Ford engines

#1682 Magoo

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 12:35

According to Smokey's autobiography, the 1964 car was designed around a gas turbine from a helicopter, but he was unable to come to terms with the manufacturer. The Offy was plan B.

#1683 Henri Greuter

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 08:30

Would have loved to see what this car would have been like with one of the new Ford engines



Impossible to squize the Ford in. Look what they had to do to the inlets to put an Offy in . The Ford was much wider so then that capsule had to be moved more forward and the driver's feet were in between the suspension rods.
or lengthen the chassis....

Henri

Edited by Henri Greuter, 07 November 2011 - 08:31.


#1684 ZOOOM

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 13:51

Notice the placement of the fuel...
The car would have been front heavy at the start of the stint and rear heavy at the end. Kinda like an old roadster except backwards.
I bet it would hve been a handfull!
The rear tank would have been for the oil the Offy would consume during the race...
ZOOOM

#1685 HistoricMustang

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 19:05

Do not believe this one has been shared.

Henry :wave:

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#1686 HistoricMustang

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 19:15

From August 1964 Autosport. Do not believe this particular one has been shared.

Henry :wave:

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#1687 Magoo

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 14:08

Notice the placement of the fuel...
The car would have been front heavy at the start of the stint and rear heavy at the end. Kinda like an old roadster except backwards.
I bet it would hve been a handfull!
The rear tank would have been for the oil the Offy would consume during the race...
ZOOOM


Not really. If you think about it, the tank's longitudinal orientation is like that of most mid-engine cars. The filler is mounted forward, that's all. Meanwhile, the tank's lateral location is more or less on the vehicle centerline -- which is good in that as the fuel is consumed, the car's lateral mass distribution does not migrate.

On the other hand, many other mid-engined cars, including the Thompson, employed a different weight distribution philosophy, with the tank mounted on the left side. With max fuel load and gross vehicle weight at the start of the race, the left-side weight percentage is also at maximum. As the fuel burns off and the car gets lighter, the lateral weight distribution heads toward neutral.

Really, these are both valid approaches as I see them, at least in terms of weight distribution.

The part I find disturbing about Smokey's "sidewinder," as he called it, was the extreme vulnerability of the driver. Smokey's thinking was that the majority of wall strikes are right-side first, which is one hell of a bet on a human life when you think about it. Also, what happens if the car is turned on the track and then T-boned by another car? People have excoriated Thompson for the lack of safety design in his Indy cars, but My God, look at this thing. By more current standards, it's an absolute deathtrap. And yet today, Thompson is treated as a pariah while Yunick is mythologized as a racing genius. Interesting, isn't it?


#1688 HistoricMustang

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 14:29

Do not believe the actual article has been shared from Sports Car Graphic.

Henry :wave:

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#1689 HistoricMustang

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 14:56

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Edited by HistoricMustang, 17 November 2011 - 14:57.


#1690 HistoricMustang

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 15:00

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Edited by HistoricMustang, 17 November 2011 - 18:14.


#1691 HistoricMustang

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 14:52

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#1692 TomSlick57

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 20:35

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#1693 Henri Greuter

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:45



First of all, I must admit I did not find the posted link below myself, a friend of me made me aware of it since he knew about my interest in this subject.

It's a link to "the opponents" if iot comes to indycar & Indy history. But we get some fair reviews about our work in this thread.

I put down this link since it contains some pictures I have not seen before yet of the accident. Som conclusions can me made with them too.
If you are not into gruesome pictures, then don't look, they are indeed rather shocking.


http://www.trackforu...809#post2927809



Henri



#1694 B Squared

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 14:27

I don't recall this photo being posted on this thread, apologies if it is a repeat. Ford-powered drivers Jim Clark, Dave MacDonald and Dan Gurney in front of Dave's Thompson car at IMS.

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#1695 bradbury west

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 14:48

Talking of which, I meant to post this link last week.
http://www.ebay.com/...=item416af981ca
Roger Lund

#1696 HistoricMustang

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 10:23

Comments would be appreciated about the intake/vent which appears in this photograph just to the right of Dave. Have not seen this before.

Thanks,
Henry

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#1697 bradbury west

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 10:51

Just checking back on my previous post, looking down the original sale page was a link to this;
http://www.ebay.com/.....280967610826
Roger Lund

#1698 Michael Ferner

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 11:32

Henry,

With all due respect, but this very same picture has been posted over and over again on this thread, and if I'm not very much mistaken you yourself have commented on it extensively, like on all other things discussed on this thread. Do you have a problem with amnesia?

And Stuart (Twin WIndow), please please PLEASE CLOSE THIS THREAD!!!!

#1699 HistoricMustang

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 14:59

Henry,

With all due respect, but this very same picture has been posted over and over again on this thread, and if I'm not very much mistaken you yourself have commented on it extensively, like on all other things discussed on this thread. Do you have a problem with amnesia?

And Stuart (Twin WIndow), please please PLEASE CLOSE THIS THREAD!!!!


With all due respect, do you have any comments on my question?

Henry :wave:


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#1700 Michael Ferner

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:19

Well, it's obvious that it was a secret fuel filler for the hidden right-hand fuel tank, and if you look closely, you can still see Mickey Thompson's right shoe as he exits the photo frame in a haste. In his typically quick-thinking way, Thompson had realized in an instant that MacDonald was headed for a big one, and mobilized his crew to fill up the car to the brim, in the hope that the ensuing explosion would destroy all the evidence of the illegal gadgets in the car. They did an excellent job, too, as (almost) none of the action was captured by the many photogs and camera men, who were still busy getting over the action delay caused by the shock - this picture here is a very rare document, and a clue to what really happened. It also explains the look of astonishment on Dave's face, as he was used to quick fill-ups in NASCAR, having worked with the Wood Bros., but that was nothing against this performance!