British Pathé has uploaded their full newsreel archive to YouTube; which means they’re finally embeddable. I’ll be digging through the reels and posting some favorites here in the coming weeks.
Archive for the ‘Video’ Category
“If you’ve known The Bridge at speed, you’re now in for an emotional jolt.”
True words. In addition to the truck motor under the bonnet, Daniel Stanfill’s hopped-up Austin Healey was also equipped with a miniature camera lens mounted under his rearview. It’s hard to remember how precious and rare this kind of footage was before the GoPro came on the scene and made this kind of footage a matter of course. Footage like this—particularly amateur footage—from 1957 is almost unheard of.
It’s amazing to me how very much these kinks and bends look like rural roads and how little they look like a world class racing facility. We’ve grown so accustomed to wide runoffs and debris catching fences that we’ve forgotten that the greatest racing courses were inspired by twisting country lanes and not inspired by maximum camera angles.
The insightful commentary by John Connolly speaking from his experience with Bridgehampton as his home track is a welcome peek into the track and her history. Hard to believe that he’s describing Bridgehampton of thirty years later as being just as sandy as we see here, where sections of the track are almost completely obscured by windswept sand drifts.
This was one of the good ones. Remember the Bridge.
via Andy Hartwell, who posted this to the Vintage Road Racing Archives.
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!
If you liked that taste above of James Garner’s 1969 documentary The Racing Scene, and you happen to be an Amazon Prime member, you’ll be pleased to know that the film is streaming for free on Amazon Instant.
I have a feeling I know what I’ll be doing over the lunch hour today.
Thanks for letting us know, Heath!
Damn those little Gordinis are cool.
The earlier post of John Shea’s photo of the 1960 Sebring Camoradi Porsche 356 piloted by Joe Sheppard made me start digging around for more of the Camoradi effort at Sebring. This is some marvelous stuff narrated by Camoradi cofounder Fred K. Gamble. What a priceless insight into the formative years of America’s “olympic motor racing team”. Feel free to skip to about a minute 15 in to bypass the introductory text.
That’s part one of the video above, continued in part two below. Magnificent.
It looks like you can get a LOT closer to the stars at the Maranello Ferrari Museum than I would have thought. Mattia Merli shot this remarkable collection of F-car details three years ago, so they might have come to their senses in the meantime. Then again, this footage looks like it pre-dates the newer architecturally marvelous facility. I’m not sure I’d be able to resist climbing into the pilot’s seat without at least a symbolic barrier between me and these gorgeous prancing horses.
The Fiesta del Pacifico road races held in July of 1956 mark an interesting moment in California—particular San Diego—racing. Torrey Pines held their last race a mere 6 months before, but San Diego (and far beyond) racers were undeterred and assembled a track on the runways and service roads of Montgomery Field.
This largely unseen footage sent in from John McClure is a treasure. Sure, John’s thumb may have drifted into a few of these shots, but they’re absolutely priceless. From setting up in the pits, to onboard touring laps, to the race action itself, John used the access afforded him as a member of the San Diego Junior Chamber of Commerce (a co-organizer of the event) to hit every corner of Montgomery field that weekend.
The two main events of the weekend are well represented here, with the 1.5liter plus race and small displacement races getting some quality footage. Bill Murphy had luck on his side in the large bore race in his Kurtis-Buick, winning after Harrison Evans’ Ferrari Monza had a shift fork failure after leading for 21 laps. Murphy didn’t just inherit the win after poor performance, however. He had a great start that gave him the lead until a spin on turn 7 of the first lap. He then fought back from fourth to take the lead from Evans a second time, but spectacularly spun again on the 11th lap. His win was as much a victory in making it to the finish as it was to come in first. Bill Krause wasn’t far behind in a D-Type, while Ken Miles in a Porsche 550 (giant-killer indeed in this much larger displacement company) and Fred Woodward in his Jaguar Special had a fantastic duel for 3rd place—ultimately finishing within a second of each other.
The small bore race was equally thrilling with an heroic roster of CalClub racers: Ken Miles in his 550 again (He had a very busy weekend, didn’t he?); Bill Pollack in the #4 Alfa Giulietta; Lance Reventlow in a Cooper T39—there’s a marvelous shot of him in the silver #16 car about 7:10 into this clip.
Other drivers of note to keep an eye out for in this clip: Bob Bondurant in the #19 Morgan Plus 4; Jim Peterson in the blue #83 Corvette; Bruce Kessler in the white #23 Aston Martin (beautiful); and Dan Gurney’s #113 Porsche 356.
Here’s a glimpse of the race report, from the August 3, 1956 issue of MotoRacing.
Keep those old film cans, coming in—I’d love to share more these kinds of videos with Chicane readers. More from the McClure Archives here.
Let’s perch on John Higgins shoulder as he pilots a ’59 Porsche 718RSK around Laguna Seca for the 2011 Rennsport Reunion. Man, I’ve got to get to Rennsport one of these years.
More marvelous scenes from El Salvador’s racing scene. Shot by Dr. Carlos Alvarez and provided to the Chicane by George Kehler, the little-seen footage of the 1960 running of the Santa Ana races on the streets of El Salvador has some fantastic vintage Formula Libre racing action.
Keep an eye peeled for two Porsche RSK Spyders driven by Americans David Lane (in the white RSK) and Chuck Cassel (in silver). Whether word of San Salvador’s racing scene had finally made it up to the States, or if Chuck and David were just hitting everything they could in the hemisphere, I don’t know. But I can’t help that think that he saw the writing on the wall for street courses and wanted in while he could.
By 1960, street racing was all but done in the USA, but it’s likely from Chuck Cassell’s participation at this race in San Salvador, and in Nassau two months earlier, that he must have wanted a taste of the thrill of true road racing before it disappeared entirely. These scenes both demonstrate why street courses are so amazing, and why they’re so very dangerous. Getting around these simple roads is, for me (and I think many of you agree), the purest form of racing. But those curbs and surface changes and light poles and, oh yes, surging throngs of spectators wandering much to far onto the racing line, make it clear that the format was meant for extinction.
More from the Alvarez/Kehler archives here.