Grand Prix Pageantry in the 50s & 60s

Look at the enthusiasm of the flag waiver in this shot of Jim Clark winning the 1967 US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. I’m sure Jimmy was well pleased to win his 3rd GP of the season, but the flagman here is the real expression of joy in this photo. I’m pretty sure that flagmen aren’t leaping into the air today in their little balcony over the start/finish line.

And don’t you think we should really be reintroducing the laurels to the victors of today’s races? Then again, I suppose that they would cover the sponsor logo patches. Drivers are far more important as walking billboards than they are as athletes or sportsmen. Alas.

2 responses to “Grand Prix Pageantry in the 50s & 60s”

  1. Wil Wing says:

    I second those thoughts and also regret the universal childish spraying of perfectly good champagne! Dan Gurney is great, but set a very foolish example.

  2. Wil Wing says:

    Have you ever done a feature on Tex Hopkins, the ‘Lavendar Suited Leaper’? We east coast drivers were treated to his antics in the ’50-60s. He would walk away from the start line for a few seconds and then leap up, spinning to face the cars with flag waving. Pretty soon we learned to drop the clutch when he bent his knees to leap up! A very nice 1/2 second jump on the cometition, for us who knew his style!

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