Carroll Shelby Goes Racing

Marvelous 20 minute film of Team Shelby’s racing exploits. Even if this film was just the Willow Springs chalk talk with Peter Brock it would be worth the watch. That it’s interspersed with sequences of Dan Gurney or Ken Miles illustrating his lecture on the track makes it mandatory viewing. You might just learn a touch of racecraft that’s just as true today as it was 50 years ago. Of course that first-generation GT40 and a spinning and drifting 289 Cobra aren’t hard to look at either.

Thanks for sending this one in, Craig!

Against All Odds: Datsun BRE Racing

It must have seemed absurd at the time when BRE and Datsun decided to take on Alfa, BMW and the other more established sports sedan racing teams. Naturally there’s great film here from Road America, Riverside, and other iconic tracks, but the interview footage and shots from the shop and offices give a fantastic peek into the team and the challenge they faced.

From the grindhouse narration; John Morton and Mike Downs at the top of their game; and the atmosphere of the golden era of the Trans Am Series: this sure is fun to watch. The trackside bikinis don’t hurt either.

One of the great liveries of the 70s. Thanks for sending this in, Craig!

1:42:08, George Lucas’ Student Film with Peter Brock

George Lucas’ early love affair with racing cars is well known. As a young teenager, he aspired to become a racing driver himself. Until a near-fatal crash on a public road in his race-prepped Bianchina made him reconsider. Of course, that passion for auto racing comes through in his films, particularly American Graffitti, and several sequences of the Star Wars movies.

Here’s a nugget in the Lucas works that I hadn’t seen before Jalopnik posted about it today: A student film Lucas directed at USC in 1966. Filmed with a 14 person crew of students at Willow Springs, 1:42:08 features Peter Brock behind the wheel of a borrowed Lotus 23. Apparently George made such a pest of himself at Shelby’s shop that Brock finally agreed to take part in the film.

It’s beautifully shot, wonderfully minimal, and lacks any dialogue at all—Just let that Lotus do the talking.