films on the 1963 Indianapolis 500, never before offered on DVD,
are now available from "Rare Sportsfilms"! "The 1963 Indianapolis
500" presented by Chrysler, and "Challenge!" presented by Ford Motor
Company, are both on a 54-minute color DVD, which documents the
month of May at the Speedway in 1963.
For the first time in a decade, a
wide variety of different types of cars make their appearances at
the track. Besides the traditional Offy roadster, the redesigned
Novi is back for the first time since 1958. Mickey Thompson enters
five rear-engine cars with controversial 12" wheels. There is the
British Cooper, and perhaps most significant of all, Colin Chapman's
lightweight rear-engine Lotus Fords are ready for their first Indy
500. Even though the two-car Lotus team doesn't win, it makes a
strong statement. As it turns out, Chapman, with a second-year driver
(Dan Gurney) and a rookie from the Grand Prix circuit who has never
driven at Indy before (Jim Clark), has designed the Indy car of
the future. After almost three quarters of the race, the Lotus Fords
are running 1-2! Not only do both cars finish (only 12 other cars
do), but Clark is second by only 34 seconds and Gurney takes 7th!
The remarkable story of the Gurney-Clark Ford team is told in the
second chapter of this DVD, "Challenge!".
The DVD opens with "The 1963 Indianapolis
500", which covers practice, qualifications and the race. All the
great drivers of a generation ago are seen in nice closeups throughout
the video: A.J. Foyt, Rodger Ward, Len Sutton, Dempsey Wilson, Jim
McElreath, Don Branson, Johnny Boyd, Roger McCluskey, Jim Hurtubise,
Gurney and rookies Clark, Art Malone, Johnny Rutherford and Bobby
Unser. Included are shots of many of the cars such as the #1 Kaiser
Aluminum Spl, Vita Fresh Spl, Harvey Aluminum Spl, #35 Gabriel Shocker,
and of course, the winning car, J.C. Agajanian's #98 Willard Battery
Spl. You'll also see rare shots of cars that did not make the race
such as those of Bob Christie, Norm Hall, Len Sutton, Chuck Rodee
and Jack Turner.
Shown qualifying are pole-winner Parnelli Jones, Jim McElreath, Rodger Ward, Jim Hurtubise, Bobby Unser, Eddie Sachs, Troy Ruttman, Clark & Gurney. Some drivers have equipment failure or try too hard. Fifty-year-old Duane Carter has to bail out of Mickey Thompson's "roller skate" #84 during a cockpit fire. Then he spins out in #83, but later qualifies the car 15th on the grid. Colby Scroggin is shown spinning out #24. Bob Harkey crashes #31 in practice. For the third year in a row, Ronnie Duman fails to make the race, trashing #15. But the most frightening crash of all is Jack Turner's series of barrel rolls in practice, caught by the camera in slow-motion!
The excitement of the race is covered, including the drama of the Lotus effort and Parnelli's ultimate victory. Spins and crashes shown during the race include those of Bobby Unser, Bud Tingelstad, Allen Crowe, Eddie Sachs and Roger McCluskey. Shown in the pits for service during the race are Art Malone, Ward, McCluskey, rookie Johnny Rutherford and of course Clark and Gurney. As winner Parnelli Jones makes a triumphal post-race tour around the track in the blue Chrysler pace car, knowledgeable railbirds realize that the performance of the light-weight Lotus Ford has just unofficially begun the rear-engine revolution.
The second film on this DVD, "Challenge!",
shows the development and building of the Lotus Fords for the 1963
"500". After a couple shots of Barney Oldfield driving Ford's famous
#999 on an old board track in 1903, engineers at Ford headquarters
in Dearborn are shown designing a new car to challenge the traditional
Offy roadster. Testing is shown, both at Ford's Arizona proving
ground and at Dearborn, with great closeups and a good description
of Ford's new race engine. President of Lotus LTD, Colin Chapman,
is shown supervising the building of the chassis at the Lotus plant
in England. The film follows the Lotus team at the speedway and
once the race begins, Clark and Gurney prove the Lotus not only
can compete with the offys, they are a threat to win the race! At
the end of the race Clark is runner-up behind winner Jones by only
34 seconds! The Ford film proudly ends with the prophetic line,
" the Lotus Fords will run again."
To get your own DVD of "The 1963 Indianapolis
500" plus "Challenge!", send only $29.95 plus $4.00 shipping. (Illinois
residents must add $2.00 tax).
"RARE SPORTSFILMS N",
1126 Tennyson Lane,
Naperville, IL 60540