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Granatelli & Paula Murphy Nov 11 1963 at IMS

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  • Granatelli & Paula Murphy Nov 11 1963 at IMS

    Thanks to James Bell for digging up this 4 minutes of neat old B&W period footage and passing it along.

    It's obviously all publicity about Paula Murphy, "Miss STP," as she became the first woman to drive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Andy Granatelli had her run some tire tests in his Novi Racer on November 11, 1963. I accept no responsibility for the background music:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLcxvjN1ASU


    Bonus: I believe the fellow in the black cap helping Ms. Murphy out of the race car early-on is a popular, famous Indianapolis 500 driver who would lose his life barely six months later in the 1964 Indianapolis 500 mile race.

    Who is he? BP
    Last edited by BobPalma; 09-05-2013, 08:30 AM. Reason: added music disclaimer
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  • #2
    That has to be Eddie Sachs....He hit another driver....Mc Donald, I believe, and got burned up in a fireball.
    McDonald was running gas as the fuel and oversized tanks. He spun into the wall....Exploded, then Sachs ran into him.
    I saw the whole thing on closed circuit TV in Los Angeles...........I will never forget it..........

    Comment


    • #3
      Truely a great peice to watch,thanks for posting it.
      Joseph R. Zeiger

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      • #4
        Yep, Eddie Sachs....the "Clown Prince" of racing.......... Paula sure was a nice looking woman......... Note the 'wear and tear' on the front of car #6.

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        • #5
          The only thing "Studebaker" on that racecar was the decal...
          The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah, My Dad and I were there in the infield on the inside of turn 3. I remember only a few cars came by on the second lap and looked over toward turn four and saw a huge column of black smoke going up. Dave McDonald was in one of Micky Thompson's neat little racers which the rule makers at USAC ruined by outlawing the 13" tires they were designed for and forcing them to run huge tires like everybody else, upsetting the balance and aerodynamics.

            Macdonald was a seasoned road racer but had no experience running at the speedway with full tanks. The allowance by the rules to run gasoline was an unfortunate decision in that era before fuel cells. Today such an accident would barely make the highlights in the evening because there would be no fire.

            Thanks for posting the clip! They made sure Paula mugged for the camera doing lipstick and so forth. She was a nice looking lady. I know she set some records for Andy so she must have been a decent driver too.

            The Novi engine was designed by Leo
            Goosen, who also designed the venerable offy. It was first run in a front drive chassis. The one shown is one of the Kurtis chassis built for the NOvi. The one I wish would have been developed more was the ferguson 4wd version run later.
            Last edited by t walgamuth; 09-05-2013, 03:30 AM.
            Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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            • #7
              Yep; Eddie Sachs.

              Yes, the other driver's name was MacDonald, with an "a" in the "Mac" part. As I've reported earlier, I was 18 years old and my younger brother was 15 when we attended the 1964 Indianaplis 500 Memorial Day Race. Mom had won two tickets to the race in a local hot dog company's sweepstakes.

              Sadly, those tickets were so close to the horrific fire that it would have been difficult to buy better seats from which to watch those men perish in the collision and resultant inferno. We had ash on us from the fire, although we were never really in danger, being several rows up from the track surface. But it happened dead-on in front of us.

              (Chris: Whaddya' bet there was Studebaker's Chemical Compounds Division STP Oil Treatment in the engine's crankcase?) BP
              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

              Ayn Rand:
              "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Must have been awful Bob, but I guess neither guy knew what happened when the respective cars exploded.
                Paula was cute.
                John Clements
                Christchurch, New Zealand

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by avantilover View Post
                  Must have been awful Bob, but I guess neither guy knew what happened when the respective cars exploded.
                  Paula was cute.
                  True, John, on both drivers' fate...and Paula!

                  IIRC, they concluded one driver died due to impact, not fire. The other (I forget which was which) died of smoke inhalation before suffering the pain of burning.

                  It was a terrible sight to watch, I tell you...but at ages 18 and 15, hard to turn away. BP
                  We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                  Ayn Rand:
                  "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                  G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Did anyone else notice the period hilarity between about 1:30 and 1:55 in the video?

                    Not only do you have Paula putting on her lipstick, but you have Andy holding her purse for her while she buckles her helmet in place. Then, at about 1:55, you can see she appears to be ready to go out on the track....with her purse in her lap!

                    Great stuff; I love it! Innocence defined. BP
                    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                    Ayn Rand:
                    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Paula went on tour driving a 1964 Avanti R-2...complete with STP decals on the front vent and rear side windows. The car read "Paula Murphy World's fastest Woman on Wheels". On the rear quarter panel it read:"161.29 M.P.H. Bonneville Salt Flats". Judging by my B&W photo, the car looks Avanti red.
                      63 Avanti R1 2788
                      1914 Stutz Bearcat
                      (George Barris replica)

                      Washington State

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
                        Did anyone else notice the period hilarity between about 1:30 and 1:55 in the video?

                        Not only do you have Paula putting on her lipstick, but you have Andy holding her purse for her while she buckles her helmet in place. Then, at about 1:55, you can see she appears to be ready to go out on the track....with her purse in her lap!

                        Great stuff; I love it! Innocence defined. BP
                        Sure did notice that hilarity Bob. But then it was normal PR to accent anything feminine related to motorsports. I also watched that race on closed circuit TV in a theatre in Hamilton and sat in absolute shock when that fatal accident involved Eddie Sachs occurred. I was particularly interested in Sachs because he was a personal friend of a honky-tonk piano player by the name of Charlie Young "The Old Timer" who I had worked with in Toronto prior to coming to Studebaker.

                        Stu Chapman

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There's a couple of other Paula Murphy videos posted here earlier.....
                          http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...ghlight=murphy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For years, car #6 was hidden away...but now I understand it may be on display at the Bobby Unser Racing Museum in New Mexico. The car Paula Murphy is shown driving, (car#56), is owned by the IMS, and is occasionally put on display. (with post '63 bodywork)....(less NOVI engine)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Boy does all this dredge up some old memories. I was a kid in '64 and I remember me, my dad and my brothers all listening to the race on the radio in the garage. After the crash my dad went into the house to tell mom. She started crying because she had know Eddie. She was born and raised in Indianapolis and all us boys had been born there as well. I don't remember how she and Eddie knew each other.
                              We all idolized Paula Murphy back then. After she broke some records at Bonneville in an Avanti she became the darling of the Studebaker gang.
                              My dad was friends with Andy Granatelli and my brother still talks to him now and then.
                              Just thinking about all this sends me back.
                              Ed Sallia
                              Dundee, OR

                              Sol Lucet Omnibus

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