Rare Sports Films


“THE 52ND 500"

     “Preview For The Future”, “The 52nd 500” and “Racing Revolution” are three vintage films about the 1968 Indianapolis 500, and all three films are included in beautiful COLOR on a new 76-minute DVD from Rare Sportsfilms! “Preview For The Future” is a generic film that has the best overall race coverage. “The 52nd 500”, sponsored by PepsiCo-Frito Lay shows the race with emphasis on the white #56 PepsiCo roadster driven by Jim Hurtubise. “Racing Revolution” is sponsored by STP and shows the race totally through the eyes of the STP turbine team! Even as they all show the ’68 500-mile race, each shows completely different footage of the race and the story of the month of May leading up to the spectacular classic on Memorial Day!

     The DVD begins with “Preview For The Future”, which covers practice, qualifications and the race itself. Jim Malloy spins #27 in practice and Sam Sessions crashes his #94 Valvoline car. Shown qualifying are some of the greatest names in racing - Lloyd Ruby, Bobby Unser, A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, Joe Leonard, Al Unser, Mario Andretti Art Pollard and Jim Hurtubise. Because of rain delays, qualifying is extended into the evening, with Bill Puterbaugh shown qualifying at “night”! Other drivers shown are Gary Bettenhausen, Billy Vukovich Jr., Parnelli Jones, Larry Dickson, Arnie Knepper and Mike Mosley. Before the race, a commercial for Bowes Seal Fast features Sid Collins interviewing chief mechanic George Bignotti. During the race, incidents involving Jim McElreath, Johnny Rutherford and Billy Vukovich are shown. The crashes of Al Unser, and Carl Williams are included. During the 500, cameras capture action in the pits, as Lloyd Ruby, Andretti, Bubby Unser and Joe Leonard are all shown in for service.

     "The 52nd 500" (produced by Dynamic Films) also tells the story of the 1968 race from qualifications through raceday, with special emphasis on the #56 PepsiCo Frito-Lay front engine roadster driven by fan favorite Jim Hurtubise. Graham Hill in the #70 STP Turbine Wedge is first to qualify, and sets a new qualifying record! Later, his STP Turbine teammate Joe Leonard in #60 wins the pole position with a speed of 171.559 MPH. Many other drivers are shown during, or just after, their qualification attempts, such as Gurney, Ruby, Bobby Unser, Wally Dallenbach, Pollard, Andretti, Denis Hulme and rookie Sam Sessions. Because of rain, qualifications are extended by one day, and Jim Hurtubise is shown qualifying the only front engine car in the race. During this practice and qualifying segment, some spins (Jim Malloy and Mel Kenyon) are shown, along with many nice closeups of drivers, car owners and racing personalities, such as Roger McCluskey, Bob Hurt, Bob Harkey, Jerry Grant, Bill Finley and George Salih. At the drop of the green flag, Joe Leonard in the #60 STP Turbine leaps into the lead, with Bobby Unser second and Roger McCluskey up to third by the end of the first lap. After only nine laps, Jim Hurtubise in the PepsiCo Frito-Lay special has burned a piston and is out, finishing 30th! About this time, Bobby Unser is now hard after Leonard, and at the end of the main straightaway he passes to take the lead! On lap 41, the caution flag flies for the first time when Al Unser loses a wheel and hits the first turn wall, with Arnie Knepper and Gary Bettenhausen also involved. Shown in the pits are Dan Gurney, Lloyd Ruby, Joe Leonard, and Bobby Unser. Ruby is out first and leads after this first round of pit stops. After 200 miles, A.J. Foyt is out with a blown engine and the defending champion's bid for his 4th Indy win is over for this year. After 110 laps, Graham Hill loses a wheel and smashes into the turn two wall, bringing out the second caution. On lap 127, Mel Kenyon and rookie Billy Vukovich tangle in turn four. Both are able to re-enter the race, but Johnny Rutherford, trying to slow down, is rear-ended by Jim McElreath. Mike Mosley also loses it in turn four trying to avoid the mess. When Bobby Unser makes his last pit stop, his car is stuck in high gear. As he leaves his pit, struggling to get up to speed, both Leonard and Ruby pass him. With only 16 laps to go, Joe Leonard still has the #60 Turbine in first place, but on the backstretch, Carl Williams hits the wall, bringing out the final caution. After cleanup, the green comes out with nine laps to go, and several cars between leader Leonard and second place Unser. But the turbine is slowing and coasting to a stop in turn one, with Bobby Unser now sweeping into the lead! At this moment at the other end of the track, the STP Turbine team suffers a double whammy as #20 Art Pollard in the remaining turbine coasts to a stop with the same problem as Leonard - a broken fuel pump drive! A poignant camera shot catches a dejected Leonard walking past a waiting Victory Lane, on his way up the pit lane to an also disappointed Andy Granatelli. A happy Bobby Unser is shown in Victory Lane with beaming car owner Bob Wilkie. Gurney Eagles finished first, second and fourth, with drivers Gurney, Mel Kenyon, Denis Hulme and Lloyd Ruby finishing in that order behind Unser. The Offy fans have indeed enjoyed "The 52nd 500"!

     The STP turbine team left the track in an entirely different frame of mind, however. “Racing Revolution” traces the two-year history of the STP turbine cars at Indy and covers the preparation of the three cars for drivers Joe Leonard, Graham Hill and Art Pollard in 1968 for the second and final round of the “Turbine vs Offy” battle at the speedway! The film is an effort to make the public aware of the ongoing rules changes that constantly hindered the progress of the turbine effort, not only for the 500, but throughout the season. While also covering qualifications and the 500, it explains why the turbines were able to post outstanding qualifying times, but were not able to outrun the Offys during the race. Interesting shots of both Offy drivers Mario Andretti and Lloyd Ruby trying out the turbines in practice! Plans were to run last year’s STP #40, but when Parnelli Jones declines to drive what he called an “underpowered” car for ’68, Joe Leonard is chosen to replace him, with Jones standing by as team advisor. After Joe wrecks the #40 in practice, he becomes the driver of a new turbine “wedge” and Leonard puts the #60 on the pole for the race with a new track record! Graham Hill’s #70, also a wedge, qualifies second and turbines start the race 1-2, with Bobby Unser’s Offy on the outside front row! Pit stops, spins and incidents during the race are all covered from a different perspective, including the Hill, Unser and Carl Williams crashes. For the second year in a row the controversial turbine effort comes to a heartbreaking end within sight of victory. The film continues along the championship trail to Milwaukee the following week where the tragic Ronnie Duman wreck is shown. With more new legislation limiting a potential turbine effort for 1969, the legendary but brief “Turbine Era” at Indy comes to a close forever.

To get your own 76-minute DVD containing all three of these vintage films, send only $29.95 plus $4.00 shipping. (Illinois residents must add $2.00 state sales tax).

1126 Tennyson Lane
Naperville IL 60540
(630) 527-8890

Go Back

Home | Auto Films | Football Films | Baseball Films | Other Sports | About us |

1126 Tennyson Lane Naperville, Illinois 60540
(630) 527-8890