1954 Andrews Air Force Base Races Film

Excellent footage here from the Andrews Air Force Base Sports Car Races. The segment from the (almost) all-MG race—including the LeMans start—at the 8 minutes, 30 seconds mark is particularly great. What a thrill to see such an evenly matched grid competing at full clip.

That looks like Fred Wacker’s Allard at 10:24, two years after his crash at Watkins Glen that killed a 7-year-old spectator, virtually putting an end to American road racing overnight. I thought that Fred gave up the sport after the incident, but this clip and the racing program seem to indicate otherwise.

Once the main event gets underway there are some magnificent shots of the pits, and the gorgeous Scuderia Kimberly transporter even makes an appearance. Perhaps even more than the races themselves, it’s wonderful to see some footage of the environment trackside. While the cars and the race action documentation are rare, the imagery of the press box or the judges and timekeepers booth are even less frequently seen. It looks like we can even see the handoff of the purse at the end of the film. Amazing.

Great to see more film from the East Coast popping up on YouTube. The California road racing scene was so well documented that it’s easy to forget that there were vibrant, passionate communities of road racers from coast to coast.

Hat tip to Etceterini for pointing this one our way. Cliff also has the race results.

7 responses to “1954 Andrews Air Force Base Races Film”

  1. Peter Linsky says:

    …and which GM concept car is that in the opening frame?

  2. michael A Jacobsen says:

    Terrific! The LeSabre is seen severally; the pace car seems to be a Nash Healey. Too much to detail, but in order of appearance: Frank Bott’s OSCA wins; rotund Bill Spear in the pits; Kimberley’s 4.5 Ferrari; Cunningham’s OSCA with cut out fenders; the red Allard at 2.20 is not Wacker-we see him later; Stock Jags (Wallace always wins #10) with Porsches; Stock MGs get LeMans start–Durbin’s red TF wins, Fergus TC 2nd; LeSabre; Wacker’s 8 Ball; start of main with Ensley’s Kurtis on pole; Spear’s 375MM stalled at start–but comes back to win; Simpson #91 fastest of OSCAs but has trouble later; Lunken in pits in ex-Kimbereley 4.1 Ferrari; Moran’s C4RK also suffered mechanical problems; Wessel’s OSCA #121; Lloyd’s ex-Castellotti Barchetta in the pits, but finished 2nd anyway; Wacker’s late pit stop; Kimberley’s crew ready to signal him 4 laps to go, slow! when he comes by blowing smoke out the right bank! Spear wins (and will get the trophy from Ike!) More footage like this please! Thanks, MJ

  3. michael A Jacobsen says:

    One correction to my earlier post: Ensley’s Kurtis is the pale blue one, not the black one seen in the prelim.

  4. Josh Leiwton says:

    Got to see this movie ASAP

  5. fred wolf says:

    anyone have film of the 55 Sebring? cars 38, 39 ?

  6. Rahul Roy says:

    Thanks for sharing.
    Excellent thrill to see such an evenly matched grid competing at full clip.

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