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  • sracer56
    replied
    Donahue is really spelled Donohue.....I've been misspelling it for 50 years myself until it was pointed out by a customer in the last month in my ebay listings.

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  • Old - Mech.
    replied
    I see this conversation has really escalated. I do want to join in and add my 2 cents of knowledge & speculation here. Many of you know of my lifelong passion of being fortunate to have been around and involved with some very special cars. I feel I know cars & racing history as well as any man who has been around all that. I went to my first sportscar race at 6 mos. old.
    Cradle robbed as I have been told! That would have been the fall of 1962. After that I watched my uncle race for years. Finally racing karts myself at 13-14 yrs. old. I had rebuilt and put my first car together at 15. And the family story/rumor go's I only got my drivers license to show the SCCA registrar's I had one to race. That's all you needed back then,plus a few hours at a regional driver's school. I still race my Triumph TR4 in vintage races,plus a very fast Spitfire. When time permits I go to the venues and race all the old tracks I grew up on. My first Vintage race with the TR4 was 1985,so I do have lots of racing years under my belt.

    Speculation? In racing fate is fate! Southgate,Bryant,Nichols,were all great designers/engineers. If your sponser is titanium you will work it into the car somewhere? It's like if STP was your sponser. Are you going to say "ya,but we never use it?" Not quite! It was Southgate's fate to design the DN series Shadow's for F1. Just as it was for Revson to step into one and die. In racing shoulda,coulda,woulda,does not exist. The facts are the facts,and history is what happened. I watched all my boyhood heroe's die. Revson was one of them as well as Donahue. I read about it in the paper's,I heard it on the radio,it was in the magazines of the day.
    I think I have seen everyone go that was my fav except for Andretti,Gurney. My whole paternal family side was from England. So Clark was my F1 Indy Car legend too! I can still remember the lull cast over my family when he died in 68. That wasn't fair,that was not supposed to happen,but it did!
    Jim Clark; I used to watch him when he came over to places in N. America like Mosport or Indy.
    He was not human compared to other driver's of the time. He could lap you over and over again on a good day with a good car. He was actually Superhuman,just ask anyone who raced with him. Jimmy could drive anything fast,which has more to do with his natural talent than his family roots of driving around a Scottish farm with a tractor. I actually think his first race was in a Porsche 356,of all things. His lifelong friend Jacque Swater's brought him into the Scottish racing club of the Border Reiver's. While Ecurie Ecosse was already well known. Just "Goggle" Border Reiver's sometime and you will see the definition basically being old land pirates.

    Hockenheim 4/7/68. Yes I have heard the final definition of what happened to Jimmy on that fateful day. Hopefully it is true,makes sense and I believe it? Much speculation revolves around it and several things have already been mentioned here. The official opinion/response was always a deflating rear tire. The insider true theory has been Jimmy would have felt that,he was too good a driver to not realize what was wrong with a car and address it. Derek Bell of LeMans,big Sportscar racing was intervied several years back about this fateful day. Back then Bell was an aspiring F2 driver,as was people like J.Ickx,and Jo Rindt. D. Bell sat at the dinner table with Clark and other F2 driver's,the nite before the fateful day. In his interview he was asked about what Clark had to say about his car. The story go's Clark said his Fuel Injection which was new at the time,was cutting out. His race mechanic's were actually driving his car down the road past the hotel. Bell said,he could hear the car cutting out as they drove it up and down the road. So the basic theory is J.C."s car had a F.I. failure during the race and with the sudden stoppage of the engine. That was enough to make the car twitch and sail off to the bushes. You have to remember it was a rainy wet day there during the race. That is all I know on this subject and what I have learned up to this point. Cheers to everyone who is a fan of racing!

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  • Speedhoppy
    replied
    ctdurf, if I am guilty of anything, it's that I sometimes type too fast and put in the wrong word; I frequently go back and correct on my own, but I don't mind my typos being pointed out. You are correct: it was John Wolfe who was killed in a Porsche 917, and not the author TOM Wolfe!

    Once in a while, I type the wrong year, or name, and don't catch it. I'm afraid I am slowing down as I get older; the memory gets a bit shaky, too........

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  • Ntxslotcars
    replied
    Rindt had specifically requested to run the Lotus 49 at Monza, something proven and predictable as the 72 was still experimental. Maybe because of his championship run? Maybe the crash didnt happen if he ran the 49? Still, as you pointed out, his refusal to run a submarine strap sealed his fate. Rindt was afraid the belt arrangment with that strap would be too slow to exit if there was a firey crash. Horrible way to go.

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  • ctdurf
    replied
    Jack Brabham had been following Clark for a few laps and had noticed him correcting a few small slides in the left hand turns of the stadium section . On the lap before the crash he though that Clark's right rear time looked a little odd and made an attempt to get far enough up along side to signal him that it might be going flat . He did not succeed in doing that and it lost him a little ground . The "straightaway" at Hockenheim wasn't straight . It was actually a long , narrow , tree-lined arc . This characteristic was just enough to allow Clark to go out of Brabham's sight as the exited the stadium so he did not see the actual crash . He did comment that he hadn't heard any evidence of Clark letting off the throttle before the car left the road .

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  • ctdurf
    replied
    In 1969 Andretti had a crash in the Lotus 64 due to the failure of an improperly heat treated rear hub . Once USAC and Chapman figured this out new , stronger hubs were manufactured ans shipped over to be fitted to the cars .
    Prior to his accident Andretti had sort of been stinking the month up by running 3 to 5 mph faster than anything else on the Speedway . It has been a point of some speculation and even direct comment over the years what influence this had on USAC's actions . They wouldn't allow the cars on the track with the new parts nor would they send them out for engineering inspection . Granatelli and Chapman both felt this was USAC's way of levelling the playing field for the race and for preventing a third consecutive year of watching a day-glo red STP car dominate the race . Chapman was so furious he promised to cut the cars up with a hacksaw , dig a big hole , and bury them .

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  • ctdurf
    replied
    If you want to put Rindt's death at Chapman's feet then you would have to blame Chapman's unwillingness to stand up to his star driver when the chips were down . Chapman wasn't convinced of the safety of running the 72 without it's wings . He felt the car would be unstable without them . At least he insisted they remove the fronts once the rear was taken off to try to keep some balance . Miles had his wings put back on as the car was undriveable and Denis Hulme had commented that Rindt's car was snaking all over the road without his .
    The second problem was Rindt's choice of seat belt arrangements . Although Rindt was wearing a lap belt and shoulder belts he refused to wear anti-submarine straps . This will kill him .
    There was some inconclusive evidence that there may have been a front brake shaft failure . This was never proven or dis-proven as the Italian authorities confiscated the parts and never really had them thoroughly inspected .
    For whatever reason Rindt's car speared off the track and hit an improperly assembled guard rail . The nose of the car went under the rail and struck the mounting post . This ripped off the front of the car , entangling Rindt's feet and lower legs in such a way as to pull him down so far into the car that the seat belt buckle slit his throat . Had he been wearing sub straps he certainly would have had gruesome injuries to his legs and feet but would not have bled to death from the slit throat .

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  • ctdurf
    replied
    Tom Woolfe was an American writer of such books as "The Right Stuff". John Woolfe was the English PRIVATEER racer killed at LeMans in 1969 in a 917 he had bought . As it turns out the two words "privateer' and "bought" are central to what happened . Woolfe's greatest claim to fame is in that the manner of his death brought about the end of the "LeMans" start .
    Porsche realized they had bad aero-instabiity issues with the 917's in 1969 . They went to Woolfe and asked him to withdraw the car . He declined that request along with one that he let Lindge his vastly more experienced team mate start the race . Woolfe did not want to do this as he wished to be seen in the car at the start .
    He crashed on the first lap and was killed when he was ejected from the car at speed because at the start he had not taken the time to put on the seat belts .
    Porsche had tried to avoid an outcome like this but was thwarted by the fact Woolfe owned the car outright and made his own choices about operating it .

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  • ctdurf
    replied
    If you want to blame someone for Clark's death Jim Hall of Chaparral fame is as if not more likely a target than Chapman was .
    After the crash Chapman had RAF Farnborough , England's equivalent of our NTSB take the car and all the parts to do a thorough forensic examination . No structural damage was found on the car or any of the suspension parts not consistent with accident damage . There was though evidence of a small puncture in the right rear tire and some beginnings of internal delamination indicating overheating from low air pressure . This information was confirmed with Firestone , the manufacturer of the tire ,
    The conclusion drawn was that an under-inflated/flat tire de-beaded from the rim at speed causing the crash . This is also consistent with the single skid mark on the track and Jack Brabham's statements on the condition of Clark's rear tire on the previous lap .

    If Jim Hall hadn't shown the world that a 6" tread tire worked better on an 8" bead rim , an 8" tire on a 10" rim ans so on Clark's tire might not have violently decompressed . Does this make it Hall's fault ? I think not .

    Later on , our man Bryant re-enters the picture as he starts to have this decompression problem on the 13" wheel Shadow with "fully inflated" tires . This led them to start screwing the tire beads to the wheels .

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  • ctdurf
    replied
    Bryant was an interesting guy. He designed the TI-22 around Ti components (hubs , stub axles , suspension arms , etc and alloy wheels) he bought in from AAR. They are all adapted Indy car parts as on the McLeagle .

    It was through both of their connections to AAR that Bryant and Southgate were introduced to titanium components .

    Bryant had figured out that the next generation of Can Am cars needed to be much smaller and lighter with something between 40 and 50% of the fuel capacity . He had realized that a 1200lb racecar that had to carry 700lbs of fuel created a lap time deficiency way in excess of the time it would take to make a refueling stop .

    Revson's crash may have been caused by a faulty ball joint but his death was more attributable to faulty guard rail installation . If the car hadn't gone under the rail his injuries may very well have not been fatal . Faulty guard rail installation was a recurring theme in accidents and deaths in the early 70's .

    Southgate had been working with and using Ti components on cars since 67-68 . Revson's crash came in '74 and is more an indictment of man's ability to make a mistake producing the actual part than a condemnation of the material's use .

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  • Ntxslotcars
    replied
    That's what she said...

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  • Speedhoppy
    replied
    Gentlemen, I didn't mean to create a "he said/she said" kind of situation here with speculation. You can go on Google and pull up video of Jim Clark's fatal crash; one can read any number of opinions about the crashes at Indianapolis with Lotus cars (or elsewhere). You read the stories and opinions, and you decide for yourself what you feel makes sense.

    The plain fact is there have been a LOT of crashes with Lotus cars due to parts breakage; a LOT of DNF's with Lotus cars due to parts breakage. Is Colin Chapman simply a genius, or did he cut corners too much in terms of achieving lightness in his cars? Maybe, he was both......

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  • thatguy01
    replied
    I've never heard of any driver account of Clark's fatal crash.

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  • Ntxslotcars
    replied
    Thanks for the redirect Guy!
    Have you ever heard a driver account of Clark's crash?

    Leave a comment:


  • thatguy01
    replied
    Originally posted by Ntxslotcars View Post
    I know. No arguement here. Are you sure that wasnt 1968 with Surtees and Honda? Clark had a rookie mechanic with him for that race. Jim was worried in practice because he couldnt get any heat in the tires for grip. I think it was a cold damp day. Who knows what really happened. I havent ever found a driver account telling what he saw. As trajic as that was, I think the death of Jochen Rindt was more directly linked to Colin Chapmans decisions.
    Jim Endruweit was at Hockenheim with Clark. He'd been a mechanic for Team Lotus for ten years.

    The suspension components were not up to USAC specs, and Granatelli got all of them replaced in time for the race
    Mike Spence's fatal head injury was caused by a part broken by the crash. (It was similar to the swinging suspension/wheel that killed Scott Brayton in 1996.) No defect was found in Spence's car after the accident. The other Lotus 56s were grounded as a precaution. The next day, May 8, the other Lotus 56s were inspected. No defect was found, and they were allowed to return to the track.

    https://files.secureserver.net/0sX33gsCgmeqh5
    Last edited by thatguy01; 08-03-2017, 09:50 PM.

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