View Full Version : The time machine

Michael Clark
11-26-2011, 10:02 PM
One of the races that would be on the top of my 'time machine' list would be the 1960 Indy 500 - assuming of course I arrived back in May 1960 in Indiana as an adult and not a 23 month year baby.

The winner was Jim Rathman who has died in the last week and his passing inspired me to start this thread. If you want to read one of the best obits on a racing driver - check the Jim Rathman thread on The Nostalgia Forum.

bob homewood
11-26-2011, 11:17 PM
Michael,one bit of trivia ,attached to Jim Rathmann,when Indy was classed as counting towards the World Championship,he accumulated the largest number of championship points won by a Indy driver during that time

11-27-2011, 12:34 AM

11-27-2011, 06:29 AM
.....Bob Jane purchased his Two ZL1 Camaro's from Jim Rathmann's Chevrolet dealership in Melbourne, Florida / USA / 1970...... thunder427/MJ:cool:

11-27-2011, 10:35 AM
One of the interesting things about the 1960 Indy 500 is that it was the last '500' before the appearance of Jack Brabham in the rear-engined (Kimberley) Cooper, which triggered a rapid change in Indy car design and the eventual disappearance of the heavy front-engined roadsters.

11-27-2011, 06:18 PM
Yeh, called.........'Big Cucumbers'.

11-27-2011, 08:34 PM
Another great read of that era is a book by Joe Scalzo who was around at the time of the Indy roadsters...'Big Cucumbers' The book is called ..... 'City of Speed'. Is a fascinating insight into the 'goings on', at the track and off, based on the LA area. Some of the characters are just incredible, and it is mainly about the characters, and the language is very colourful......not rude.....'Hot-rod' speak!!!.........'We got earthquakes, rattlesnakes, milkshakes, heartbreaks, and everything thats good. Thats Los Angeles! The 'big cucumbers' were all, special this and special that........John Zink Special......Belond Exhaust Special.. etc, and some of them, to my eyes, were quite gorgeous. Read it, its well worth it.

Michael Clark
11-28-2011, 07:39 AM
If you like his 'City of Speed' book, you should get his Roadsters 1952-64 book. His writing style is unique - I really enjoy his stuff.

Anyone who was at the last Bruce McLaren Trust quiz evening might recall 'Big Cucumbers' in the 'Nicknames' section...

Stu, I'm not near my books at the moment but I seem to recall that another distinctive thing about the 1960 Indy 500 is that every car in the race was Offy powered - no Novis, certainly no C-Cs, or Fords...I think.

Imagine hanging out with then owners of the winning car - the ultimate good time boys.

If I could dial my time machine to 'the best of' famous races, it would go:

Indy: 1960, then 53 and 54, 65 and 67
Le Mans: 66 of course - 67, because all the leading cars were things of beauty, 59 would have been pretty good, and 65 to see who was driving through the night!
Daytona: 1979 - the Cale v Brothers Allison!
Monaco: 1968 with Amon winning in the Ferrari - oops, I was in my Dream Machine, not the Time Machine

11-28-2011, 10:16 AM
I think you are right Michael, about the all Offy-powered field. There were 2 Novi V8's and 2 presumably Chevy V8's entered, but none made it to the starting 33 according to the Floyd Clymer 1960 yearbook. Fastest qualifier was Jim Hurtubise whose 4-lap time was over 4 seconds faster than the next, but he was only 23rd on the grid as he didn't record it on the first day. He ran in most of the 60's 500's but didn't ever or wouldn't drive a rear-engined car, apparently.


11-28-2011, 11:20 AM
......This should 'Float-ya-Boat'....http:/www.musclecarfilms.com, Steve won't get to bed for a week !!!!!!!!!!!....way C:cool::cool:L, Enjoy!!......regards thunder427/MJ:)