Two rare films on the 1963 Indianapolis 500, never before offered, are now available from “Rare Sportsfilms”! “Accent On Speed” by Sportlite Films and “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!” by Whitmore Productions for Raybestos, are both on a new 1-hour color DVD, which documents the month of May at the Speedway in 1963.
“Accent On Speed”, narrated by track announcer Tom Carnegie, emphasizes the wide variety of different types of cars making their appearances at the track in ’63. 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 and rear-mounted V-8 engines. 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. You’ll hear the actual voice of former winner Peter De Paolo mentoring rookie driver from Mexico, Pedro Rodriquez. Jim Rathmann comments about the speeds for this year’s race, and perhaps most amusing, Eddie Sachs has a discussion with his mechanic Wally Meskowsky about spark plugs. In qualifying, Parnelli Jones wins the pole for the second year in a row with a new record 151.153 MPH. Don Branson puts the Leader Card #4 in the front row, and to the delight of many railbirds, Jim Hurtubise qualifies the #56 Novi in the middle of the front row. Also shown making the field are Jim Clark, Rodger Ward, A.J. Foyt, Eddie Sachs, Dan Gurney, Troy Ruttman, Bud Tingelstad, Ebb Rose and rookie Al Miller. In all, three Novi’s make the race, along with two Lotus Fords, two Thompsons and 26 traditional Offy roadsters, most built by A.J. Watson. Practice crashes shown involve Dan Gurney, Lloyd Ruby and Len Sutton.
As the race gets underway, Parnelli Jones jumps into the lead in the first turn, however in the second turn Jim Hurtubise takes the lead and holds it at the completion of lap one. By lap two, Parnelli has passed “Herk” and leads when the yellow comes out for the crash of Bobby Unser’s #6 Tropicana Novi in turn one. A.J. Foyt and Roger McCluskey are near the front and Jim Clark has improved his position several spots since the start. During the race several other incidents are shown, including those of Bud Tingelstad, Allen Crowe, Jim McElreath and Bobby Marshman on pit lane, and Eddie Sachs’ spin and later crash when he loses a wheel. Pit work is shown on several cars including those of Art Malone, Foyt, Gurney, Clark, Jones, McCluskey, Duane Carter, Bobby Grim, Jim McElreath and Rodger Ward. Several cars are found to be leaking oil and are forced out of the race. Near the end, Clark is closing in on Parnelli (only 4 seconds back at one point) and on the last lap, third place Roger McCluskey spins in oil and does not even finish the race. At the end, Eddie Sachs is shown walking down pit lane, waving and rolling his lost wheel back to the garage!
“Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!” is yet another entirely different and rare film on the 1963 race. Qualifying, spins, crashes and the race are all shown from different angles and from a different perspective. To start the presentation, we have added a classic Eddie Sachs commercial for his sponsor, Bryant Heating and Cooling! This film shows the official opening of the track, the downtown parade, some fabulous behind-the-scenes views of shop work (a look inside Mickey Thompson’s facility) and work in the garage area, cars arriving at the speedway, the old museum, pole-position mechanic’s banquet, racing personalities at Raymond Firestone’s complimentary buffet, the USAC banquet and annual car-owner meeting. Benson Ford and young Lee Iacocca confirm in interviews that racing has indeed benefitted US auto manufacturers in developing better cars for the motoring public. Smokey Yunick is shown leaving Gasoline Alley in his new ’63 Impala towing the wrecked #12 Fiberglas Special on a trailer back to Daytona Beach.
Shown qualifying are Parnelli Jones, Dan Gurney, Bobby Unser in the #6 Hotel Tropicana Novi and rookie Jim Clark in the #92 Lotus Ford. Other cars you’ll see include those of Duane Carter, Dan Gurney, Lloyd Ruby and Dick Rathmann as well as some that did not even make the race – Len Sutton, Gig Stephens, Bob Christie, Cliff Griffith, Paul Russo and the #64 Kimberly Buick of Porky Rachwitz! Other drivers and racing personalities you’ll see throughout this DVD include Sam Hanks, Tony Hulman, Jean Marcenac, Ted Halibrand, Stirling Moss, Ralph Liguori, Jimmy Daywalt, Bill Finley, J.C. Agajanian, Bob Wilkie, Andy Granatelli, Masten Gregory, Johnny Boyd, Jack Turner, Don Freeland, Johnny Pouelsen and more! During the race, shown pitting or in the pits for service are Duane Carter, Roger McCluskey, Lloyd Ruby, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Eddie Sachs, Troy Ruttman and rookies Al Miller and Johnny Rutherford. Some drivers are also shown post-race: Clark and Gurney finish 2nd and 7th in Lotus Fords, Al Miller brings home a ninth for Mickey Thompson, Foyt is third, while Leader Card drivers Ward and Branson finish 4th and 5th for Bob Wilkie.
To get this new DVD of the 1963 Indianapolis 500, send $29.95 + $4.00 S & H to:
(Illinois residents must add $2.00 sales tax.)
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