Twenty One Days In May, Speed With Safety and The Glory Line are three vintage films about the memorable 1974 Indianapolis 500, and all three films are included in beautiful COLOR on a new 73-minute DVD from Rare Sportsfilms, Inc! “Twenty One Days In May” is the most complete generic story of the race and features the seven rookies to make the 500 that year. “Speed With Safety”, focuses on the three-car Pat Patrick STP team of Wally Dallenbach, 1973 winner Gordon Johncock and young Steve Krisiloff. “The Glory Line”, narrated by track announcer Tom Carnegie, shows the new track improvements and illustrates rule changes for ’74, including the new mandatory fuel allotment, all the while showing the big race from yet another contrasting perspective. All three different films tell the story of the '74 Indy 500, with each showing completely different footage of the event and the story of the month of May at Indy leading up to the historic 58th running of the race!
The DVD begins with “Twenty One Days In May”, produced by Championship Racefilms for Firestone. Great shots throughout all three films show the drivers and racing personalities at the speedway in 1974, from Andretti to Zimmerman and from Linda Vaughn, to the “Snake Pit” streakers, to Mrs. Mary Unser and her potent “Albuquerque Goulash”! You’ll see National Champion Roger McCluskey, Al and Bobby Unser, A.J. Foyt, Billy Vukovich, Lloyd Ruby, Mike Hiss, Salt Walther, Jerry Grant, Jim Hurtubise, Mike Mosley, Jimmy Caruthers, Gary Bettenhausen, Tony Hulman, Rodger Ward, new chief steward Tom Binford, car owner Parnelli Jones and Roger Penske with team manager Mark Donohue. Practice is covered with footage of Larry McCoy’s spin, the crashes of Lloyd Ruby, Gordon Johncock, Denny Zimmerman and most spectacular of all, the smash-up of Tom Bigelow and Lee Brayton in turn one! Coverage of qualifications is included. A.J. Foyt is first out in his new tubocharged Gilmore Ford V-8, and his speed of 191.632 stands up throughout the first day of time trials, giving him his third Indy pole. Others shown qualifying are Duane “Poncho” Carter, Bobby Unser, Mike Mosley, Wally Dallenbach, Steve Krisiloff, and Tom Sneva. Second weekend qualifiers shown include Gordon Johncock, Mike Hiss, Johnny Rutherford, John Martin, Al Unser, Johnny Parsons, Jr and Mario Andretti. In all, a nice crop of seven rookies make the race, including Sneva, Carter, Bill Simpson, Jan Opperman, Bigelow, Larry Cannon and Johnny Parsons, Jr. All three films cover the race itself and at the drop of the green flag, Wally Dallenbach, in the #40 STP special beats Foyt into the first turn and stretches his lead for the first three laps. After only one lap, Dick Simon, Mario Andretti and Gary Bettenhausen are out of the race with dropped valves. Foyt takes the lead from Dallenbach on lap four, when Wally burns a piston. Mike Mosley’s #98 blows after only 6 laps. Meanwhile, some fast qualifiers in the back of the field are moving up rapidly, including Johnny Rutherford and Al Unser. After 50 miles it’s Foyt, Bobby Unser, Rutherford in that order. The crowd is divided, some cheering Rutherford’s charge from 25th starting position, and others rooting for Foyt to win his 4th 500! By this time, Johnny Parsons has retired (turbocharger), Larry Cannon (differential), Hurtubise (blown engine), Caruthers (gearbox). Jan Opperman spins in the north chute, flattens all four tires and is out. After 260 miles Jerry Karl hits the turn three wall hard and is through for the day. After 131 laps, Al Unser is running 4th behind Foyt, Rutherford and Roger McCluskey, but blows his engine and must settle for 18th position. Foyt, still leading after 141 laps has an oil line rupture and his departure puts Rutherford in the lead, with Bobby Unser second. A few laps later, as Jim McElreath attempts to pass Poncho Carter in turn one, leader Rutherford dives below them and passes. Carter loses control and spins into the infield grass! The car is not hurt however, and Carter gets a push and continues to race! During the day, pit stops are covered, with Caruthers, Mosley, Jerry Karl, Bill Simpson, Vukovich, Carter, Ruby, Jerry Grant, David Hobbs, Foyt, Rutherford and Al Unser all shown in for service. Unser’s last stop is shown from beginning to end, a quick 18-second stop! Rutherford’s last stop is even quicker at 16 seconds, and “Lone Star J.R.” (best finish 9th in ’73 of 11 tries), in the yellow #3 McLaren goes on to win his first Indianapolis 500 after starting back in 25th spot!
The second film on this DVD is “Speed With Safety”, by Allend’or Productions for STP. It covers the race from the perspective of the three-car Pat Patrick STP team of #40 Wally Dallenbach, #20 defending champion Gordon Johncock and #60 Steve Krisiloff. Not only does it show practice, qualifications and the race with all-new shots, it also goes behind the scenes with the STP team, especially regarding the week-long controversy over crew chief George Bignotti’s new, more efficient supercharger which he hoped would minimize fuel consumption within the new 1974 rules of mandatory fuel allotment. In a special interview, Wally Dallenbach talks about the new, larger-intake supercharger. At the height of the controversy, USAC impounds Dallenbach’s car and padlocks the STP garage! Indignant, car owner Patrick demands a dyno test to prove the new turbocharger does not give the team an advantage. The car is taken to the dyno, and in a dramatic demonstration the test is conducted in front of USAC technician Frank DelRoy and USAC officials, car owner Pat Patrick, STP board chairman John J. Hooker, chief mechanic George Bignotti, Sonny Meyer and the STP crew. The big question is, will the big air pump produce more than the allowable maximum of 80 inches of mercury in terms of pressurized air-fuel mixture? The performance you’ll see is exactly what Bignotti claimed would be the result, hence the STP team’s new turbo intake is allowed and the great ’74 controversy is over! The race is also shown from the STP crew’s perspective. Dallenbach is out after only four laps. Both Johncock and Krisiloff run out of fuel during the race, with Krisiloff eventually blowing out his clutch after 72 laps during his impatient effort to catch up after refueling. Johncock has a solid race, finishing 4th even after running his fuel tank dry at one point!
“The Glory Line”, produced by McGraw-Hill 6 Productions and narrated by track announcer Tom Carnegie, is yet another great film on the 1974 Indianapolis 500! Shown are many of the new safety features at the speedway, implemented for 1974 after the tragic 1973 race. Most noticeable is the new flag stand for the starter and chief steward at the outside of the start-finish line. In “Speed With Safety”, track superintendant Clarence Cagle talks about the new stand as well as the additions to the track walls and enlarging the pit lane for ’74. In addition to a mandated limit of fuel per car, the rear wings are reduced from 62’ to 43” wide. A “pop off” valve is used by USAC to govern the boost of turbochargers. More new scenes of practice, qualifications and the race itself make this film an integral part of this new 1974 Indy 500 DVD!
Now you can get your own DVD
containing all of this rare vintage film for only $29.95 + $4.00 for shipping.
(Illinois residents must add $2.00 sales tax.)
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