Clunk-click every race - even in '64

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

While the 1953 Carrera Panamericana regulations demanded the fitting of seat belts in closed cars, such devices remained a source of contention well into the 1960s. Some early American racers found that a lap strap was a good idea to keep them in their seats as their speedway cars jounced and pounded around the high-banked board tracks, and at Brooklands we have movie of Prince ‘Bira’ drawing up in the paddock and unknotting the length of rope tied around his seat and waist before alighting from his Maserati 8CM.

It’s quite easy to mistake body belts which were worn effectively just to brace one’s midships against the bumps and jolts with some form of lap strap when a photo just catches one edge of the device. When Cunningham ran its fabulously brutal-looking Cunningham C4RK at Le Mans in 1952-53 it was fitted with what was apparently a military surplus fighter ‘plane lap strap. It’s made of strong, thick webbing about four inches wide with a massive metal toggle catch and lever for quick release. This device would have been virtually identical, I am sure, to those fitted in the vast majority of contemporary Indy cars. But still racing drivers commonly preferred the notion of being thrown clear of a crashing car rather than being caught and crushed beneath it, or – worse – being strapped into it after the thing had caught fire.

But seat belts were progressively becoming accepted even by the hardest of road racing nuts. Here’s a photograph of Innes Ireland – yes, happy-go-lucky, hard-driving, hard-drinking Innes – sitting in the Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari 250GTO/64 on the pitlane at Le Mans in 1964, and as you can see he’s wearing a full modern-style harness, 46 years ago. The previous year his friend and rival Roy Salvadori had been forcibly ejected from his crashing Cunningham Lightweight E-type through the rear window on the Mulsanne Straight. Dear old Innes was all for one-upmanship, “…but only in the right place, Boy”. Here he plainly did not intend to be separated from Col Ronnie Hoare’s Ferrari – and was wearing the assurance to stay in it. Co-driving with Tony Maggs everything turned out fine – they finished sixth.