INDY 500 1967: Seeing Legends Up Close and Personal

Recently I was able to go back in time a bit and view some old 8mm movies that my Dad had shot during our families first visit to the legendary brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1967. My Pop had been there before a few times in the early/mid 1950’s, but in 1967 he packed us up in our ’65 Chevelle and we drove to Indy from the Northwest Chicago area for a weekend in May and we watched practice and qualifying for the famed 500. I was a wee lad of 8 years old but still have vivid memories of that trip.Having “listened” to the race the two years before and in 1965, this was way before ABC would broadcast live, I heard about Jim Clark and the fantastic rear engine Lotus with homegrown Ford Power win the race over the old roadsters and a hero was born for me.Jim would also finish second in 1966. Dad would get numerous car magazines at the time being in the Automotive and Race Car painting business, and I would get to then follow Jim’s other races in Formula One and some Sports Cars in mags such as Road & Track and Sports Car Graphics and even Hot Rod which covered the World Champion’s exploits around the globe.

I was super excited to be able to go to Indy and I hoped I could see and possibly say Hi to Jim Clark and possibly get his autograph, even though he was known not to sign too many and kind of kept away from crowds and the spotlight. As luck would have it we were able to get down by the pits and the tech inspection area by the entrance to “Gasoline Alley” and I was able to see my hero at the time and actually walk with Jim briefly and get his autograph on a large postcard picture of him in the 1965 winning iconic green and yellow Lotus Ford that was the official photograph from the Speedway. I still have that autographed photo in a frame and continues to be a prized possession to this day.

In the near future we hope to have a number of our old race movies digitally reproduced and cleaned up a bit which include some from the Indy 500, Riverside Raceway, Meadowdale International Raceway and few others. Below are a few still frame shots from the Paddock Area from ’67 at The Speedway.

Until next time……TACH IT UP……………!!!

The Jim Clark Lotus-Ford in a quick tech inspection prior to a practice session. Great sign in background reminding the teams to make sure “wheels tight”?

 

Having passed tech, it’s off to pit lane to prep the STP sponsored bright red #31 beautiful race car.

Your author as a goonie little 8 year old in awe of Jim Clark and getting that prized autograph from a true legend and hero.

American icon Dan Gurney in his Eagle and ready to head down pit lane and out to practice.

 

Mario Andretti’s Ford powered Brawner Hawk after tech and pushed out in line.

 

STP and Lotus photo of Jim Clark after qualifying for 1967. After winning 2 years before, Jim would finish second in ’66 behind another F1 Star in Graham Hill who won as a rookie.

My autographed photo of Jim Clark from the above film frames. Hard to tell it’s signed after all these years, but it is there.

 

Jim on track 2 years before for the win.

 

Parnelli Jones in the controversial Turbine car with STP sponsorship also would lead but drop out a couple of laps to go and A.J Foyt would go on to win his 3rd 500.

 

A.J. Foyt in the winning Foyt Coyote/Ford for 1967 Indy 500. After Jim Clark’s unfortunate death in April of 1968, Foyt then became my favorite driver to follow for the future 500’s and Indy series.

 

 

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