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.

Topps World on Wheels: Allard

The latest from our series featuring cards from the 1953—1955 Topps issued bubblegum cards, “World on Wheels”. This time it’s Allard: “British Sports Car: Speed-Lined Beauty”.

From the card’s reverse: Horsepower 160

This British sports car weighs less than 2,500 pounds, and can reach a speed of sixty miles an hour in about seven seconds. This is from a standstill. The top speed is about 130 miles per hour. The Allard’s brakes are right out in the open, and are highly efficient. Allard now makes two kinds of cars… one for normal, everyday use, and the other as a competition car.

These artifacts of boyhood obsession with racing are so very valuable. I can’t help but imagine an 8 or 10 year old laying on his bedroom floor obsessing over every detail in this basic line drawing and imagining himself changing gear through a hairpin.

Check out the rest of the the World on Wheels series.