Rare Sports Films


     The story of the 1959 500-mile race at Indianapolis, produced by two different motion picture companies on two entirely different films, is now presented on one 55-minute high-quality video by Rare Sportsfilms! As was the custom for many years at the speedway, several filmmakers produced different versions of movie highlights of the race for different sponsors. We have selected the two best films that show the crashes and action from different angles and the history that was recorded during the month of May 1959, presented from two contrasting perspectives. Both "The Final Test" by Craig Stewart Productions and "Race Against The Clock" by Dynamic Films are entirely different even as they both show the 1959 race, won by Rodger Ward. Here's what you'll see on this video:

     Johnnie Parsons, scheduled to drive the black #45 Bardahl car, announces his retirement. In an odd twist, 46-year-old Duane Carter comes out of a four-year retirement, qualifies Smokey Yunick's #37 and finishes 7th on Memorial Day!

     Tony Bettenhausen's horrifying practice crash is shown, and during qualifications, Johnnie Tolan spins out and hits the wall in the #43 Chapman Special. Great closeups throughout the films show many drivers and racing personalities of the day, including Jimmy Bryan and George Salih, Pat Flaherty, Johnny Boyd, Bettenhausen, Eddie Sachs, George Bignotti and A.J. Watson, who built four cars in the race: Flaherty's #64 John Zink Special, Dick Rathmann's #73 McNamara Special and the cars of Rodger Ward and Jim Rathmann which finish 1-2 on raceday! Three generations of Rathmanns are also shown: Dick and Jim, their father Cecil and grandson.

     Johnny Thomson's pink #3 Racing Assn. Special sets a 1-lap record in qualifying to grab the pole. Eddie Sachs and Jim Rathmann make up the rest of the front row. Also shown during qualifying are Dick Rathmann, Jimmy Bryan, Ward, young A.J. Foyt and Paul Russo (who takes over the Bardahl ride when Parsons retires).

     Early in the race, Sach's thrilling skid in turn 1 is shown, as he narrowly misses Bettenhausen. Seen from two different angles also is Len Sutton's wreck in turn 1, as well as Ray Crawford's crash on lap 116. The most memorable incident of the race is covered, a four-car tangle that begins when Chuck Weyant spins, squeezing Mike Magill against the outside wall. Magill flips over and slides upside down off the track and into the infield. Meanwhile both Jud Larson and Red Amick spin trying to avoid the mess, then are both shown lifting Magill's car upright to help get Mike out. Roll bars, made mandatory for '59 after the first lap Pat O'Connor disaster of '58, save Magill's life.

     For most of the race, it's a four-car duel between Thomson, Flaherty, Jim Rathmann and Ward. Flaherty stalls in the pits and later crashes on the main straight. Dick Rathmann's car catches fire during a pit stop and Dick is forced out of the car and the race at the 150-lap mark. Others shown during pit stops are Jim Rathmann, Thomson, Flaherty, Sachs and finally, the last pit stop that helps Ward win the race! A happy Rodger Ward is shown in victory lane with wife Jo and screen star Erin O'Brien.

     Now you can get these two historic, action-packed 1959 racing films, both on one 55-minute color video for only $24.95 plus $5.00 shipping & handling. (Illinois residents must add $2.00 tax).

"RARE SPORTSFILMS N", 1126 Tennyson Lane, Naperville, IL 60540 (630) 527-8890

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1126 Tennyson Lane Naperville, Illinois 60540
(630) 527-8890