"Win, Lose or Draw"
"One Moment in My Time"
Two more vintage films of the 1970 Indianapolis 500 have just been restored by Rare Sportsfilms, Inc., neither of which has ever been released to the public before on DVD! Both films are different than our first 1970 DVD ("That Other Unser" and "Victory in May" ), which was released in 2005 and is still available. The two new restorations also are totally different, even as they both show the action from the 1970 race, but from different perspectives and for different sponsors.
Filmed for STP Corporation by Dynamic Films and narrated by Ralph Camargo, "Win, Lose or Draw" tells the story of Andy Granatelli's newest racecar innovation, the #1 Ford McNamara, driven by defending Indy 500 champion Mario Andretti. Included is also the team car #20 for George Follmer and what happened to the STP team during their month of May at the speedway in 1970. The film opens with Andy at the McNamara shop in Greece where the revolutionary McNamara is being built. You'll hear Andy explain his philosophy of innovation and the design of the new car. Next you'll see the finished car at brand new (but as yet unfinished) Ontario Motor Speedway, as Mario shakes the car down on a practice run in front of press photographers, and the red #1 McNamara becomes the first car ever to run on the new California speedway! However, the true test comes at the 50-year old Brickyard at Indianapolis, where the film begins to show practice and qualifications for the upcoming 500-mile race. On a practice run a broken half shaft causes Andretti to spin and then hit the inside wall requiring the crew to re-build the new car from the wreckage in only three exhausting days and weary nights. Nonetheless, the rebuilt car is ready for qualifying on Saturday and with only 70 miles on the car, Mario qualifies it 8th on the grid on the first day of time trials! At this point, the film begins to cover many of the other contending cars and teams as they also prepare for Indy. There's a short piece on frustrated Jerry Karl not being able to keep his #52 Trackstar Helmet Spl. running long enough to qualify. Al Unser and the George Bignotti Johnny Lighting crew are also shown in practice, as well as spins by Gordon Johncock and Sam Posey, neither of whom could qualify. You'll hear the voice of Harlan Fengler as he talks about several subjects concerning the 500, and see nice closeups of drivers A.J Foyt, George Snider, rookie Donnie Allison, Jim McElreath, Dan Gurney and others. You'll see the following drivers during qualifying: A.J. Foyt, Al and Bobby Unser, Mario Andretti, George Follmer, Johnny Rutherford (second fastest behind pole-winner Al Unser), and after five blown engines during the month, Lloyd Ruby. There is some brief parade footage, and then the race!
As the cars come down for the start, a radius rod on Jim Malloy's #31 breaks, causing him to spin across the middle of the field just as the green comes out, and then immediately the red flag. When the race is restarted, Rutherford dives into the first turn ahead of pole-sitter Unser, however on the backstretch, Al motors the Johnny Lightning Special past J.R. to lead lap one. With Unser leading most of the way, others have their problems. A broken oil gasket causes the engine to blow in George Follmer's STP #20, and Art Pollard burns a piston, ending his race after only 28 laps. During the first 125 miles, the big story of the race is the charge of the veterans. Jim McElreath, starting last, is up to 19th. Jack Brabham moves up from 26th to 12th. But the BIG move is by Lloyd Ruby, who after starting 25th, is up to 2nd behind Foyt when leader Al Unser comes in for his first pit stop! When Foyt pits, Ruby finally has the lead, but only briefly. His engine erupts in a ball of flame all the way up the back stretch, as for the fourth time in the last five years, "tough luck" Lloyd is out after leading the race! Others are also shown falling out: Joe Leonard, Peter Revson and Mike Mosley. Throughout the race, pit stop closeups show other drivers in for service: Rutherford, Andretti, Foyt and Bobby Unser. The most spectacular accident occurs late in the race when Roger McCluskey, driving in relief of Mel Kenyon, breaks a wheel and smashes into the third turn wall. Ronnie Bucknum and Sam Sessions are also involved and spinning out to miss the wreck are Jack Brabham and Jerry Grant. From there, Al Unser breezes home to win the first of his four Indy 500 victories.
"One Moment in My Time" is the story of the J.C. Agajanian-Leonard Faas team of Billy Vukovich, Bruce Walkup and Carlos Pairetti (his only year at the speedway). It shows the 1970 race, but with totally different scenes and from the perspective of the Wynn's three-car team. The film begins by following the Wynn's team truck to the track and into Gasoline Alley, unloading parts, equipment and the cars. In this film, you'll hear the voices of Bruce Walkup and mostly crew chief Leonard Faas, as he talks to the drivers and the crew as they practice and attempt to qualify Walkup and Vukovich. Like the Granatelli STP team in the first film, they have big problems starting Friday before qualifying. Vukovich (#98) has a broken suspension member, and (#97) Walkup has burned a piston, so the crew must work all night to repair both cars. Next day, Walkup becomes the 4th qualifier (166.459) and at the end of the day is starting 14th on the grid. In practice, Vukovich can't get the #98 up to speed and is released to seek another ride. Other drivers shown qualifying in this film are Dan Gurney, Bobby and Al Unser, Peter Revson and Lloyd Ruby. At this point, the film follows Walkup throughout the race. The Jim Malloy aborted start is shown from the south, rather than the north in this film and scenes of pitstops and the McCluskey wreck are different. Early in the race, Walkup begins to have some sort of an ignition problem, as his car is becoming 4 MPH slower than it was during qualifying. When he comes into the pits, you'll hear live sound as Faas tries to find the problem. Quickly he discovers the cover is off the cam gear, and after valiantly fighting to get it fixed, finally decides the gears are broken. Walkup, already out of the car on this long pit stop, is now standing behind the wall. Faas goes over and with a grease rag in his hands, sadly tells Bruce, "Gotta be a cam gear. Sorry, Baby". He then motions to meet them in the garage, as the crew starts to push the car away. Walkup's race has ended at 110 miles. The rest of the race is shown and scenes of pit stops and the McCluskey wreck are all different - Roger is seen with a dazed look on his face as he watches cleanup. After the race and with the track nearly empty, Walkup is cleaning out his locker, walking out of Gasoline Alley, climbing into his 442, driving out the tunnel and then turning right to head west on 16th street as the film ends.
Now you can get these two historic, action-packed 1970 racing films, both on one DVD (53 minutes long) for only $29.95 plus $3.00 for shipping. Add $10 for Blu-Ray. (Illinois residents must add $2.30 tax).
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