The Exciting Racing Sounds of Grand Prix

The Exciting Racing Sounds of Grand PrixIn preparation for his masterpiece 1966 film Grand Prix, John Frankenheimer undertook a series of audio recordings to help capture the spirit, mood, and excitement of the Formula 1 season. This LP is the glorious result of that research. Hosted by Phil Hill and featuring interviews with Graham Hill and Frankenheimer, this record takes us through the sounds of the Grand Prix season of 1966.

Grand Prix is the best racing movie ever made. Frankenheimer puts us in the cockpit, the pits, and in the stands. He developed camera mounting techniques that are still in use today. Some people will tell you that McQueen’s film LeMans is the better racing movie — Those people are wrong.

But enough about the movie (I’m sure I’ll be writing much more on that in the future). This LP was something that I didn’t know about until recently. And over the next couple of weeks I’ll post up tracks from the album. This first bit cuts straight to the chase and puts us right on the start finish line of Monza. This, of course differs from the banked track of the movie — which stopped being used after the ’61 season (here’s a 2003 photo of the banking). We’ll hear the engine note of Jack Brabham’s Repco V8, Jim Clark’s Coventry-Climax, Ginther’s Honda V12, and Surtee’s Cooper Maserati. Then we’ll take a tour of the circuit aboard Michael Parkes’ Ferrari (Parkes sat on pole and ended up 2nd in the race that year).

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Monza map
Listen carefully and you can follow along on the track map.

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