Presented by Ford Autolite Sparkplugs, this historic film shows the racing circuit circa 1963 beginning with the 1963 Daytona 500, the 5th running of the event held on February 24, 1963. The 1963 Daytona 500, won by beloved underdog Tony Lund is one of the great stories in American motorsports. At 17:21, the film moves to the 1963 Indianapolis 500. with a focus on the new Lotus Fords. 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 (spoiler alert) winner Parnelli Jones by only 34 seconds! And -- "the Lotus Fords will run again."
The 47th International 500-Mile Sweepstakes was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana on Thursday, May 30, 1963.
Parnelli Jones took his only Indy 500 win despite his car (nicknamed "Calhoun") spewing oil from a cracked overflow tank for many laps, which allegedly caused at least one driver to spin and crash. USAC officials put off black-flagging Jones after car owner J. C. Agajanian ran down pit lane and convinced them that the oil leak was below the level of a known crack and would not leak any further. Lotus owner Colin Chapman, whose English-built, rear-engined Lotus-Ford finished second in the hands of Scotsman Jim Clark, accused USAC officials of being biased towards the American driver and car.
The non-black flagging of Jones remains controversial. Many, including Chapman and journalist and author Brock Yates, believed that had it been an American driver and car in second place instead of Clark in the British built Lotus, officials would have black flagged him.
Goodyear arrived at the track and supplied tires for some entries, but participated only in practice. No cars used Goodyear tires during time trials or the race itself. It was the first time since about 1921 that Goodyear attempted to compete at Indy. Goodyear had last won the race in 1919.
The 1963 Daytona 500 race was affected by the weather -- with temperatures reaching up to 75 °F (24 °C) and wind speeds up to 20 miles per hour (32 km/h). The race was won by Tiny Lund driving a 1963 Ford in three hours and 17 minutes. There were 2 cautions flags which slowed the race for 10 laps. Lund won by making only four pit stops, but he would not have been able to make the distance on four pit stops had the first ten laps not been run under caution to dry the track from earlier rains. Had the race not started under caution, Lund would have had to make five pit stops, just as Fred Lorenzen and Ned Jarrett did. He was able to win on four pit stops along because of the slow start time.
Lund filled in for an injured Marvin Panch, who suffered injuries after a crash in a Maserati. Panch was to drive a Wood Brothers car in the 500. The win was Lund's first victory of the season.
The transition to purposely-built racers began in the early 1960s and occurred gradually over that decade. Changes made to the sport by the late 1960s brought an end to the "strictly stock" vehicles of the 1950s; most of the cars were trailered to events or hauled in by trucks.
This race marked the first time that ABC's Wide World of Sports covered the great American Race. It also helped to dispel the long-standing stereotypes of the Southern United States after the rest of the United States witnessed an emotional inspiring win.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com