“The Ragged Edge”
“The Indianapolis Challenge”
“The Ragged Edge”, “The Indianapolis Challenge” and “33 Men” are three vintage films about the 1962 Indianapolis 500, and all three are included in beautiful COLOR on this new 91-minute DVD from Rare Sportsfilms, Inc! All of these half-hour films are entirely different, even as they each show the events recorded during the month of May, 1962 at the speedway and the 500-mile race itself!
Presented by Bardahl, “The Ragged Edge” by Championship Racefilms covers the race with emphasis on driver Jack Turner and the #45 Bardahl Special. It opens with footage of the spectacular flip of Jack’s car the previous year on the main straightaway and later covers the big ’62 pileup at the north end of the straightaway involving Turner, Bob Christie, Allen Crowe and Chuck Rodee in more detail than any other film. Qualifications show Dick Rathmann, rookie Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Eddie Sachs and Jim Hurtubise as well as officials, mechanics and personalities: Toody and Muldoon (Car 54, Where Are You?), Harlan Fengler, winning car owner Bob Wilkie, J.C. Agajanian, Al Dean, first year flagman Pat Vidan and more. During the film you’ll also see many spins and crashes, both during practice and the race, including those of Bruce Jacobi, Jim Hurtubise, Shorty Templeman, Bobby Grim and both of Norm Hall’s crashes!
Narrated by Ralph Camargo and sponsored by Bowes Seal Fast, “The Indianapolis Challenge” by Dynamic Films begins with a special introduction by last year’s 1961 winner A.J. Foyt, who talks about the different types of cars expected to make the race and the elusive 150 MPH barrier that everyone will be shooting at. You are there during practice in early May as new car designs and new equipment is shaken down on the track, which has just been totally paved with asphalt during the off-season. You’ll see Mickey Thompson’s new 8-cylinder rear-engine car #34 and the #44 Simoniz-Vista Spl with an unusual air foil invented by chief mechanic Smokey Yunick. The yellow #52 turbine car of John Zink is shown, but is not able to make the race and neither is Jack Fairman’s #78 English car, which is underpowered. Other cars shown in nice closeups are those driven by A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Don Branson and Chuck Rodee. The practice crashes of Norm Hall and Ebb Rose, plus Chuck Arnold’s skid are all shown. Top car builder A.J. Watson is interviewed and other personalities shown include Gene Marcenac, George Bignotti and John Pouelsen.
The first day of qualifications is hot, with the temperature hovering around 90! First out to qualify is Dick Rathmann in the #9 Chapman special at 147.161 MPH. Also shown qualifying are Jim Rathmann, Shorty Templeman, Len Sutton, Bobby Marshman at 149.349 and Rodger Ward at 149.371. But Parnelli Jones’s run is the one everyone still remembers. “P.J.” becomes the first driver ever to qualify at over 150 MPH, and Phil Hedback of Bryant Heating & Cooling is shown pouring 150 silver dollars into Parnelli’s helmet in recognition of the historic event! The front row for the race is set, with Jones, Rodger Ward and Bobby Marshman, and Ward gives an insight into his thinking about starting on the front row between two drivers who were rookies only a year ago! Qualifying continues during the month and you’ll also see Troy Ruttman, Eddie Sachs and Dan Gurney in action, plus the turn 2 crash of fan favorite Jim Hurtubise. Scenes of the parade, 500 Queen Jerilyn Jones and the evening festivities the night before the race are covered. On raceday the Studebaker Avanti Pace Car leads the field for the start and Parnelli Jones immediately jumps into the lead heading into the first turn! Ward is second, Foyt is up to third and Marshman is back to fifth as the cars move up the backstretch. Before long, Jones has a nice four second lead, with Foyt now second. After 4 Laps, it’s Jones, Foyt, Sutton, Ward and Marshman, with Eddie Sachs, who started 27th, moving up fast. Soon, Parnelli has built up an 11-second lead and 7th place starter rookie Jim McElreath has passed Foyt for second. Home movies show some of the big 4-car crash at the north end of the main straightaway on the 19th lap involving Jack Turner, Bob Christie, Allen Crowe and Chuck Rodee. Foyt passes McElreath on the track, but Jim loses 6 more spots soon after during a long pit stop. Now, Parnelli has stretched his lead to 22 seconds over second place A.J. Foyt. Ward begins to move up, and passes Foyt, who now is beginning to have handling problems. On his 71st lap, Foyt loses a wheel and spins into the infield and out of the race. Ward is running well, but Parnelli seems to be slowing – in fact, Ward is now close on his tail. Ward, however must come in for a pit stop and his crew gets him out after only 18 seconds! Soon Ward has caught up to Jones again and passes Parnelli at the end of the main straightaway! After 300 miles, Jones comes into the pits, and everyone realizes he has no brakes, as his crew tries to hang onto his car and drag him to a stop! By the late stages of the race, teammates Ward and Len Sutton are running 1-2 with a surprising Eddie Sachs in third place! Ward wins, his second victory at Indianapolis in 4 years, insuring his name will forever be remembered as one of the racing legends of the Indianapolis 500!
"33 Men" by Sportlite Films and narrated by legendary track announcer Tom Carnegie has some actual live sound and includes some behind-the-scenes "eaves dropping" on officials and race drivers. You are there at the annual drivers meeting to hear Sam Hanks speak and also hear comments by Speedway President Tony Hulman. You'll "listen in" as fan favorite Jim Hurtubise talks to his wife through the fence after a crash. Also interesting is eventual race winner Rodger Ward's conversation with A.J. Watson before a practice run. In addition, the film is loaded with close-up action shots of personalities and drivers such as Len Sutton, Eddie Sachs, A.J. Foyt, Jack Turner, Paul Goldsmith, Troy Ruttman, Bob Christie, Roger McCluskey, Dan Gurney, Don Davis, Lloyd Ruby and others. Shown qualifying are Bobby Marshman in the silver and black #54 Bryant Heating & Cooling Special, Len Sutton in the blue #7 Leader Card Spl, national champion A.J. Foyt in his #1 Bowes car, Eddie Sachs in his white #2 Dean Autolite Spl, Dan Gurney in the Mickey Thompson #34 stock-block Buick rear engine car, and Jim Hurtubise, who after wrecking two other cars, climbs into Jim Robbins' #91 near the end of qualifications and without ever having driven the car before, qualifies for the race! There are plenty of spins, crashes and interesting incidents shown, beginning when Eddie Sachs loses a RF wheel in practice before opening day qualifying, and continuing with Hurtubise crashing the yellow #99 Demler Spl. During the race Shorty Templeman loops the #4 Forbes Racing Spl on the main straight, and Bobby Grim just misses the wall after spinning his red and white #18 Morcroft car. Toward the end of the race Roger McCluskey spins out in turn two and tags the inside wall in the yellow #17 Bell Truck Lines Special. “33 Men” brings back the color and excitement of race day with great shots of the white Studebaker Lark pace car and live sound of pre-race festivities! Parnelli Jones charges into a substantial lead early and holds it most of the way until a worn brake line forces him to reduce speed for cornering. Foyt and Ward are battling for second much of this time, until Foyt comes into the pits with handling problems. Foyt is shown jumping out of the car and searching through a tool box in an effort to get what he needs to get his car back in the race. Just after he leaves the pits Foyt loses a LR wheel in the south chute and car #1 is out of the race. Great camera work during pit stops also shows closeups of Bobby Marshman, Paul Russo, rookie Jim McElreath, Eddie Sachs, Jim Rathman, Len Sutton and Parnelli Jones. Jones, with no brakes, is shown running over tires in pit lane in a frantic effort to get his car stopped for service. Ward's last stop is shown in its entirety, a smooth 18-second stop that helps him win the race!
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