Uncovering a gem from Sebring '66

by Dickie Meaden on 25th August 2017

Getting to know the characters of a bygone era

If you’re a regular visitor to my admittedly rather random online missives you’ll know I have a rather serious YouTube habit. Specifically, anything that offers a window on bygone eras of the sport I love.

Years of tireless trawling means I have countless go-to favourites, but every now and again I stumble upon a previously unseen gem. One such treasure is this 26-minute archive film of the 1966 Sebring 12 Hours –  a race that has particular significance for me, as I race a GT40 that honours the Comstock Racing Ford of Bob McLean, who was tragically killed in a fiery crash during this very race.

The colour balance will make you squint a bit, at least until your eyes adjust, but there’s no arguing with the quality of coverage it offers. Fabulous footage of the best sports cars and GTs of the day being driven absolutely flat-out by the greatest drivers is a rare enough treat, but the track action is interspersed with truly excellent pit lane interviews with legends such as Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Jim Hall (he of Chaparral fame) and Mike Parkes to name but a few.

I’m sure you’ll have seen interviews with some of them, but by no means all, so it’s a real and unexpected treat to hear their voices and get a sense of their characters. When the drivers in question are sadly no longer with us the interviews are strangely poignant, bringing them to life in glorious – if slightly wonky – Technicolor.

So, set a bit of time aside, make yourself a coffee, sit back and engross yourselves in a truly fabulous piece of history.

Sadly the internet is often a portal for utter dross, but all the time it occasionally leads me to riches such as this, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. Enjoy.

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