"THE HOTTEST 500"
Indianapolis racing fans and historians are in for a treat with another in a beautiful series of full-COLOR DVD's from "Rare Sportsfilms" on past 500-mile races at the Brickyard! The 1953 Memorial Day classic went down in history as one of the most memorable on record, mostly because of the heat. With track temperatures over 130 degrees, more relief drivers were used than in any other year. Driver Carl Scarborough died of heat prostration. Bill Vukovich, leading with only 9 laps to go the year before when a 10-cent steering pin broke, redeems himself this year and wins his first 500, leading almost all the way.
Highlights of the í53 race include the history-making events and scenes from the month of May at and around the speedway. Time trials are covered, and in dramatic fashion, Bill Vukovich qualifies as a downpour cuts short first day action when Bill crosses the finish line after his last lap! Other qualifiers are shown during the second weekend of qualifications: Sam Hanks in the black #3 Bardahl Special and Duke Nalon in the while #9 Novi. One of the more astounding feats of the month is turned in by veteran Bill Holland. After getting bumped, he hops into the red #49 Crawford Special and, in spite of never having driven it before, qualifies the car easily!
Also covered is behind-the-scenes action in the garages as mechanics work on 4-cylinder Meyer-Drake offy engines and the powerful 8-cylinder Noviís. Wilbur Shaw is heard addressing the driverís meeting the day before the race. One raceday, closeup camera shots of several drivers such as Tony Bettenhausen, Freddie Agabashian, Jack McGrath, Paul Russo, Duane Carter, Duke Nalon and rookie stock car driver Marshall Teague, make for nostalgic viewing. The beautiful white í53 Ford Sunliner convertible leads the field for the pace lap and when the green flag falls, itís pole-sitter Vukovich grabbing the lead in the first turn with #88 Manny Ayulo second. Throughout the video, great camera shots catch dramatic pit action as some drivers pit for mechanical troubles and especially late in the race, others pit for relief drivers. Walt Faulkner pits with magneto trouble. Car #97 Chuck Stevenson is retired with a leaking fuel tank. Action is shown in the north chute as Gene Hartley hits the wall. A little later, Carl Scarborough pits and is overcome by heat as relief driver Bob Scott takes over for him. Don Freeland, driving the Bob Estes special, spins into a water-filled ditch and is out. Paul Russo retires the #7 Federal Engineering Special with a bad drive coupling and later relieves Agabashian in #59. Then some spectacular camera shots catch Pat Flahertyís bright red #77 crashing in the north chute after 115 laps. Next shown is Vukovichís second stop, as he comes in with a two-lap lead over Art Cross and Sam Hanks. Tony Bettenhausen is next to give in to a relief driver, then Marshall Teague must also give up. Henry Banks is standing by for Vukovich as he makes his third and final pit stop with only 28 laps to go, but Bill doesnít want relief! He throws one cup of water down his back, drinks another, then goes back out to win the race! Gene Hartley, who has by now replaced Stephenson as the second relief driver in the white #98 Agajanian Special, spins into the infield near where he spun his own car earlier in the race! After three hours and 53 minutes of searing heat, the race ends with Bill Vukovich the winner. Great shots of Vuky in victory lane with wife Esther and movie actress Jane Greer culminate this fascinating look at one of the most grueling of all 500-mile races!
Now you can get your own copy of this
historic 500-mile race for only $29.95 + $4.00 for shipping and
handling. (Illinois residents must add $2.00 per DVD for sales tax.)
"RARE SPORTSFILMS N",
1126 Tennyson Lane,
Naperville, IL 60540