Posts Tagged ‘1967 Le Mans 24 Hours’



The geography of racetracks prior to the seventies highlights the need for accuracy to avoid damage to the local scenery let alone car and driver…

It’s Le Mans 1966, the 18/19 June weekend. The Ecurie Francorchamps Ferrari 365P2 of Pierre Dumay and Jean Blaton starts the long run along the Mulsanne Straight ahead of a factory Ford Mk2 and Pedro Rodriguez in the NART Ferrari 365 P3 ‘0846’ he shared with Richie Ginther.

I’m not sure which Ford it is but the two Ferrari’s failed to finish- the Francorchamp’s car with engine dramas and the NART machine with gearbox failure.

Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon won in a Ford Mk2, click here for a short article about the race;

The Ginther/Rodriguez Ferrari P3 ‘0846’ ahead of a couple of Ford GT40’s at Le Mans in 1966 (LAT)

‘0846’ was the first of the Ferrari P3’s built and was the official press car.

Built as a Spyder, the 4 litre, 420 bhp, 24 valve, Lucas injected V12 machine raced throughout 1966-at Sebring, Targa and Le Mans- all DNF’s. At the end of the year it was converted to P4 specifications for 1967- becoming one of four factory P4’s raced that season in the International Championship for Sports Prototypes and Sportscars.

At the 1967 opening round- the Daytona 24 Hour, Chris Amon and Lorenzo Bandini shared the drive and won the race in it.

Two Ferrari at Daytona in 1967- the winning Amon/Bandini P4 ahead of the third placed Mike Parkes/Jean Guichet 412P (unattributed)

Entered at Le Mans, Chris Amon and Nino Vaccarella qualified the car in twelfth position amongst a sea of Ford GT40’s and Mk2’s.

On lap 106 Chris Amon encountered a puncture and tried to change a Firestone out on the circuit but the hammer he was wielding broke so he then sought to drive the stricken P4 back to the pits.

During this trip the shredded tyre somehow ignited a fire and as a consequence the car was severely burned- and subsequently thought by most historians to be destroyed.


Amon lapping early in the ’67 Le Mans 24 Hour- the beached car is the NART entered Ferrari 365 P2 shared by Chuck Parsons and Ricardo Rodriguez which retired after completing 30 laps during the race’s fourth hour- Chuck is wielding the shovel.


Incapable of economic repair, the P4 ‘0846’ chassis was discarded into the Ferrari scrapyard after inspection back at Maranello.

In recent times it has been confirmed, by Mauro Forghieri, that the repaired remains of the ‘0846’ chassis form the basis of the James Glickenhaus’ owned P4. Somewhat contentious, and the subject of much discussion on various Ferrari internet forums about the place, and ‘The Nostalgia Forum’ for more than a decade, some of you will have seen the car in the US or Europe.

Click here for an article about the Ferrari P4, and P3 in passing, and towards its end a link to the TNF debate about the restoration of ‘0846’;

‘Veloce Todays’ bullshit-free summary of the car is here;

Glickenhaus Ferrari P4 (unattributed)

Forghieri’s letter to Glickenhaus in relation to the chassis of the car, in full, dated 23 February 2016 is as follows;

‘Dear Mr Glickenhaus,

I am submitting my expertise regarding your Ferrari P4. It is based on the documentation that’s been made available to date and, to avoid any misunderstanding, I am submitting it in both English and Italian, the binding version being the Italian one.

1. The P3/4 denomination was never used in Ferrari and it is therefore deemed as incorrect. (Cars were either called P3 or P4)

2. The P4 chassis was almost identical to the P3’s, which were therefore routinely modified to produce P4 chassis.

3. The chassis I examined bears signs of modifications which are different from what was done in Ferrari as current practice. My opinion is that they were done by some other outfit after the accident of Le Mans 1967. The car involved was a P4 built upon a P3 chassis bearing the SN#0846, SN which was carried over as practice and regulations mandated. The car itself was seriously damaged in the 1967 accident and never repaired. The chassis, also damaged by fire, was returned to the Ferrari “scrapyard”.

4. It is my opinion that original parts of that chassis (as modified by some outfit; see above) are currently mounted on the P4 vehicle owned by you.

5. In spite of point 4 above, however, and as indicated in the factory statement that Ferrari sent you, it must be concluded that, for all legal purposes, SN #0846 has ceased to exist. Your car cannot be designated as “#0846”.

6. I can nonetheless state that your car, albeit containing non-standard modifications, is indeed a Ferrari P4.

Best Regards,

Mauro Forghieri

Modena, February 23 2016’

Chris Amon settles himself into ‘0846’ before the 1967 Le Mans classic in 1967. Injection trumpets clear as is the MoMo steering wheel, it looks pretty comfy in there.


Klemantaski Collection, LAT Images

Tailpiece: Nino Vaccarella during the 1966 Targa Florio…


P3 ‘0846’ was shared by Nino Vaccarella and Lorenzo Bandini in Sicily during the May 1966 Targa Florio.

The hometown team had completed 6 laps before Bandini crashed the car having misunderstood the intentions of the hand signals provided by the driver of a privateer Ferrari he was seeking to pass.

The race was won by the Filipinetti/Works Willy Mairesse/Herbert Muller Porsche 906.


John Surtees struggles to restart his stalled Lola T70 Mk3 Aston Martin at the commencement of the Nurburgring 1000 Km, 28 May 1967…

Alongside him , slightly obscured, poleman Phil Hill in the sensational Chaparral 2F Chev is also slow away, meanwhile a gaggle of Porsche 910’s sprint away, likely culprits the works cars of Rolf Stommelen, Gerhard Mitter and Jo Siffert.

A happy confluence of events was the construction of Aston Martin’s new V8 engine and racer/entrant Jackie Epstein’s approach to Eric Broadley to build a coupe variant of the 1966 Can Am Championship winning Lola T70 Spyder Group 7 machine. John Surtees of course won the very first Can Am series in a T70 Mk2 Chev. Eric Broadley and Surtees formed Lola Racing Ltd as a works development and racing arm, Surtees honed the T70, he outlined his philosophy in developing the car in a MotorSport interview in August 2003.

‘With a long distance car you can’t have something that rides on a knife edge like a top F1 car…You are trying to get consistency, you don’t want an unpredictable and volatile character. By the time the T70’s got some running in them they were very driveable, very predictable cars which you could drive up to the limit and perhaps a little bit over. This gave the driver confidence’.

Surtees in ‘SL73/101’ at the Nurburgring upon the Lola Astons race debut. The sensational body of the Mark 3 was designed by New Zealander Jim Clark for Specialised Mouldings to make. It was the first racing car to use carbon-fibre reinforced bodywork. Tony Southgate, then at Lola, spent many hours in the Imperial College wind tunnel to give both low drag and some downforce front and rear. The cars side windows were made of Perspex and had small diagonal flaps which could be set open to aid cockpit ventilation, as here (Schlegelmilch)

Surely one of the swoopiest, voluptuous and sexiest racers ever- the Lola T70 Mk3 Coupe ‘SL73/101’ was the first Lola Aston built and was shown to rapturous crowd approval at the annual Racing Car Show at London’s Olympia in January 1967. Tadek Marek’s new Aston Martin ‘DP218’ V8 engine also made its first public appearance at the show on the Surtees Racing stand, the announcement of the relationship between the concerns- Lola, Astons and Surtees was made at the show.

On the face of it the association had every chance of success.

The combination of one of sportscar racings best chassis, a lightweight, powerful engine which promised to provide the Lola with better balance than the Chev engined T70’s and John Surtees track testing ability and sheer speed promised much. Aston Martin chief David Brown was of the view that ‘racing improves the breed’ whilst his chief engineer Tadek Marek was not especially enamoured of the a high risk strategy. After all, his new engine was designed as a road car motor not a race engine.

Undaunted David Brown proceeded and Aston Martin Lagonda supplied special versions of Marek’s design with a capacity of 5008.5cc- bore/stroke of 98x83mm. The all aluminium, duplex chain driven quad cam, 2 valve, dry-sumped, Lucas fuel injected V8 was quoted by Astons as producing 450bhp @ 6750rpm and 413 lb/ft of torque at Le Mans 1967.

‘SL73/101’ in the Nurburgring paddock. Note the shape of the aluminium monocoque chassis, high pressure fuel pumps, note that the engine is now Lucas injected compared with the Webers used at the Le Mans test weekend. DOHC, but 2 valve and chain driven cams. The two suspension radius rods are clear as is the top of the coil spring and roll bar. Ditto the ‘luggage box’ (Schlegelmilch)

‘DP218 was first tested in a T70 Spyder in Autumn 1966. At that first development stage, using a compression ratio of 11:1 and fitted with four Weber 48IDA carburettors the engine was quoted as giving 421bhp @ 6500rpm and 386 lb/ft of torque. Testing showed there were many problems with the engine most notably the motor popped a rod through the side of its aluminium block due to oil starvation. Eventually a much developed engine, one of a batch of ten that had been delivered, with attention to the dry sump system, was installed in March 1967 into the new Coupe for Team Surtees to run. The most obvious problems in testing were a bad vibration and an inability to rev beyond 6100 rpm.

Surtees aboard ‘SL73/101’ at the Le Mans test weekend in 1967 running ahead of the Claude Dubois Shelby Mustang GT350

The big, booming car was the third fastest machine present in the dry and fastest in the wet at the Le Mans test days on April 8 and 9…

The car was fast through the corners but was unable to top 186mph as a consequence of not being able to pull more than 6000rpm on the Mulsanne. Aston’s were convinced that Lucas fuel injection, which was shortly to be installed would cure the problem. The quickest cars were the works Ferrari P4’s of Bandini, Amon, Scarfiotti and Parkes with Bandini at the end of the day the quickest. The two Fords driven by McLaren and Donohue ‘rumbled ominously but did not press the button’. Mind you the Mark 4 was timed at 205mph and Ferrari 198 on the Mulsanne.

T70 ‘SL73/101’ exposed at the Le Mans test weekend. Note the Weber 48IDA carbs and wild exhaust system- two variants were tried that weekend. Gearbox is Hewland LG600 5 speed. Surtees with helmet to right (LAT)

The MotorSport report of the test weekend wryly observes ‘…the two giants (Ford and Ferrari) kept an eye on Lola, Ford knowing that their whole racing effort was born of the brain of Eric Broadley and Ferrari knowing that Surtees can never be underrated’… ‘Although on paper Ferrari left Le Mans as top dog, no one was being fooled by the freak circumstances, for had it been dry on Sunday it might have been a different story and both teams were very impressed with the Lola Aston Martin efforts, remembering their own experiences when running a brand new design for the first time. It seems that Ford did not want to run in the rain for fear of a repetition of the accident to Hansgen last year…’

So, in short, Lola Astons peers were impressed by the car and the threat it potentially represented.

Great front end shot of ‘SL73/101’ at the Nurburgring- the aluminium monocoque chassis, upper and lower wishbone front suspension, magnesium upright and 12 inch ventilated disc brakes. The brakes were a mix of Kelsey Hayes rotors, Girling calipers with some Lola bits too. Steering rack was from the BMC Austin 1800 and wheel widths 8 inches at the front with 10 inchers at the rear. Beautiful Lola knock on mag-alloy wheels  (Schlegelmilch)

Lola Astons first race appearance was at the Nurburgring 1000 Km on May 28…

It was planned to race the car at Spa but it was not ready in time so the beautiful beast made its race debut at the daunting Nurburgring. Lucas fuel injection was amongst the latest refinements to DP218.

On the face of it the car was far from the most nimble present, nor was the Phil Hill/Mike Spence Chaparral 2F Chev on pole, but Surtees popped ‘101’ second on the grid, he shared the drive with David Hobbs. Porsche 910’s were the next quickest group of cars.

Surtees stalled the unfamiliar car at the start but was soon up to 7th place by lap seven when a rear wishbone broke going down through the Fuchsrohre. Surtees managed to stop the car without damage to either the machinery or the driver, but that was the end of the meeting- and of useful testing miles. Udo Schutz and Joe Buzzetta won the race in a 910.

Great contrasting shot of the ‘standard’ T70 rear bodywork at left and ‘more streamlined’ aluminium body at right. #12 Irwin/de Klerk ‘SL73/101 and #11 Surtees/Hobbs ‘SL73/121’. Note mandatory ‘spare’ mounted atop the ‘box. The T70 standard rear bodywork was aerodynamically groundbreaking at the time by rejecting the usual fastback and ‘Ferrari ridge spoiler for a flat rear deck with a slot down the middle to provide visibility for the pilot and largely undisturbed air for the engines injection trumpets. Porsche/John Wyer famously adopted a similar configuration in evolving the 917 from its original far from satisfactory ’69 rear body to its race-winning 1970/71 configuration (Friedman)

At Le Mans the team had both ‘101’ and a new chassis ‘SL73/121’ which was fitted with a longer tail made of aluminium, the standard cars body was in fibreglass made by Specialised Mouldings. The new car was to be driven by Surtees/Hobbs, the other by Chris Irwin and Peter de Klerk.

Both cars had problems in practice caused by overheating, with the Lola mechanics looking after chassis setup claiming the engines ignition timing to be 180 degrees out. Some sources have it that the overheating was caused by the different aerodynamics of the longer tail which enclosed the engine. In addition, against Aston’s advice, Surtees negotiated a sponsorship agreement to use Marchal spark-plugs. The stage was set for the disastrous events which followed.

Before the off, Le Mans ’67. Surtees/Hobbs car in shot with the sister car behind- well down the grid after dramas in practice. Another angle on the unique for Le Mans rear body of chassis ‘SL73/121’ (Friedman)

Poor Surtees started the classic from grid 13 and then only covered 3 laps when ‘121’ was outed by a burned piston. ‘101’, the car started by Chris Irwin was back on grid 25. The drivers struggled with the car for 2.5 hours during which time the mechanics replaced a broken camshaft driveshaft, the engine lost oil pressure, overheated and finally broke a crankshaft damper.

The race was won by the Shelby American entered Ford GT Mk4 driven by the all-American crew of Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt.

Post race the Lola Astons were were returned to Slough, the ‘DP218’ engines removed and both cars re-engined with Chevrolet pushrod V8’s, the Aston experiment was over. It was clear the short term prospects of getting the engine race worthy were slim.

When the race engines were returned to AML and stripped it was found that the blocks had twisted and cracks were found in the main bearing housing. The engine went through a major redesign to strengthen the motors bottom end which prevented the launch of the Aston Martin DBS V8 road car until 1969, initially 6 cylinder variants were sold.

Early laps with Surtees T70 ahead of one of the John Wyer Mirage M1 Fords. Lola a handsome beast (Friedman)

Surtees had this to say about the Lola Aston Martin program…

‘The Aston V8 could have achieved so much but was a total disaster. We didn’t expect to compete on out and out speed- we were hoping to a degree that weather would play a hand. If it rained a bit as it did at the Nuburgring and the Le Mans practice we were very competitive. Before Le Mans we did a long test at Goodwood, ten or twelve hours, but in the race we only lasted a few laps because Aston Martin had changed the design of the head gaskets! As soon as we got the cars back from Le Mans we took the Aston engines out and that was the end of that’.

In addition Surtees felt the T70 Mk3 chassis was inferior to his Can Am T70 Mk2 ‘I didn’t like the Mk3. The front suspension was altered and i hadn’t done any development or testing on the changes. I didn’t like the effect on the character of the car, it lacked the positiveness of the original and didn’t suit my style of driving. I didn’t mind a car being a little loose at times, but i couldn’t stand something which you couldn’t point where you wanted. Some people tried to compensate by playing with the aerodynamics, but i just stopped using the Mk3. Luckily the previous years car was still in America so we dragged that out of retirement’.

In the same MotorSport article Surtees notes the contribution of Firestone tyres to the package. He did most of the Firestone testing in the UK, with a lot of work done on springs and dampers, and working closely with Koni to keep pace with tyre development, a spin-off of the Firestone/Goodyear war of the time. ‘That brought its problems too, because as you improve the tyres you put greater stress through everything, but the car retained its user-friendly character’.

There are some contradictions in the quotes above, Surtees was a tough character, after all, despite the Lola’s shortcomings he was off the front of the grid at the Nurburgring so the chassis cannot have been too bad!

In the end the Lola Aston Martin program was one of unfulfilled promise, but David Brown was right- racing did indeed improve the breed. The rigours of competition identified design shortfalls in the original DP218 engine which were not apparent during road testing. As a consequence the modified production V8 proved to be a strong, reliable unit- and the basis of a good race engine in the decades to follow!

From Surtees perspective he had bigger fish to fry. He was juggling multiple race programs on both sides of the Atlantic with the Lola/Honda F1 exercise, Lola T100 Ford FVA F2 car and in the Can Am where Lola’s dominance was being overtaken by the ‘papaya menace’- Bruce McLaren’s M6 McLaren Chevs. John’s endurance T70 program was best advanced by bolting Chevy’s into the back of the cars in place of the Aston engines. Only a week after Le Mans Surtees ran at the front of the pack so engined at the Reims 12 Hour…before popping his Chevy engine. Unfortunately the Chevs rarely provided the reliability the T70 needed for endurance success in the blue riband events. But what a car all the same!…

Another engine shot similar to one above. Nutty, mandated spare wheel/Firestone clear. Aston all-ally engine very compact and light compared with the cast iron pushrod Chevys which usually inhabited this space. Nurburgring 1000 km’s 1967

1967 Endurance Season…

I wrote an article a while back about the Ferrari P4 which also profiled the main protagonists of sportscar racing in ’67- Ford Mk4, Ferrari P4 and Chaparral 2F Chev which may be of interest. The article also has photos of the Lola Astons at Le Mans.

See also this article on Le Mans 1967.


‘Aston Martin: A Racing History’ Anthony Pritchard, ‘Lola, The Illustrated History 1957 to 1977’ John Starkey, MotorSport May 1967 and August 2003, Team Dan

Photo Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch, Dave Friedman Archive, Autosport, MotorSport, LAT


Tailpiece: The Lola Aston Martin relationship was rekindled a while later, here the Lola B08/60 Aston Martin 6 litre V12 in 2009…





1967 was one of the most intensely interesting years of Sportscar Racing; the last year of the ‘unlimited cars’ saw the 4 litre Ferrari P4 and 7 litre Ford GT40 Mk4/2B’s and Chaparral 2F at it tooth and nail in a battle for dominance before new rules came into force rendering the cars obsolete at the stroke of the rule-makers pen…

I’ve written a couple of long articles about the Ferrari and Chaparral which also cover that seasons racing in some detail, click here to read them;

Chaparral 2F;

Ferrari P4;


This article is largely pictorial using as it’s base the phenomenal work of American Dave Friedman.

He was a still photographer on movie sets after serving in World War 2. His passion was motor racing though, he was soon engaged by Ford and others to document their racing history. The photos I have chosen are from an archive of nearly 900 of this race alone!

The race was famously won by Fords ‘All American Boys’ Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt, the latter adapting rather well to road racing given his oval background on both dirt and bitumen.

The images are all monochrome and all the more evocative for it!


Race Entries…

Ford won the 1966 Le Mans classic taking the first three placings after the failings of 1964 and 1965. In 1964 the GT40 was simply too new and lacked the necessary development, in 1965 cracked brake discs from unforeseen levels of heat were the problem which eliminated most of the 7 litre Mk2’s.

For 1967 FoMoCo entered four new, fabulous 7 litre Mk4’s, two prepared by Holman & Moody and two by Shelby-American. They also fielded Mk2’s designated Mk2B’s, these beasts also powered by the same 530bhp V8’s as the Mk4.

ford interior

Business end and cockpit of the Hulme/Ruby Ford Mk4 chassis ‘J8’. Aluminium honeycomb chassis, Ford 7 litre OHV cast iron V8 fed by 2 4 barrel Holley carbs. Circa 530bhp. Suspension; single top link, inverted lower wishbone, 2 radius rods, coil spring/damper unit, cast magnesium upright, adjustable roll bar. Ford Kar Kraft T44 4 speed transaxle.

Ferrari entered 4 litre cars; 3 new P4’s and a P3/4, these cars powered by the latest 450bhp 36 valve, fuel injected V12.

Two Chaparral 2F’s were entered, despite 7 litres of Chev V8 they were lighter than the P4’s.

The P4 weighed in at circa 2200lb, the 2F 1980lb, the Mark4 2200lb and the Mk2B, without the benefit of the lighter honeycomb construction of its newer sibling, was about 2500lb.

The 2 Lola T70 Aston Martin’s tipped the scales at 2320lb, the Aston 5 litre V8’s fuel injected since the April pre-race Le Mans trials at which they had been very fast.


Lola T70 Mk3 Aston Martins’ a big disappointment. #11 John Surtees/David Hobbs car engine shat itself on lap 3 with piston failure , #12 Chris Irwin/Peter de Clerk lasted till lap 25 also withdrawing with engine failure.

In the 2 litre class the Porsches’, always outright contenders such was their speed and reliability, would do battle with the Matra BRM’s. Ferrari chose not to race their Dino’s focusing on the ‘main game’ and Alfa withdrew their T33’s as not being not sufficiently ready for the rigours of la Sarthe.

jochen and nina

Jochen Rindt with the lovely Nina Lincoln, Finnish fashion model and daughter of racer Curt Lincoln, he married her in ’67. Jochen raced Porsche 907 #40, (above) he and Masten Gregory famously won the race in a Ferrari 250LM when the factory Ford GT40 Mk2’s and Ferrari P2’s failed in 1965. The other Porsche #41 is the 5th placed, 2 litre class winning 907 of Jo Siffert/Hans Hermann.


ford and babes

#2 McLaren/Mark Donohue 4th and #1 Gurney/Foyt 1st Ford Mk4’s with friends before the start.

Ford had windscreen troubles in practice but this was remedied with a fresh batch of correctly tempered screens which arrived pre-race.

As if to assert Ford’s authority Bruce McLaren took a Mk4 out and lapped at 3.24.4, an average of 147.316 mph and topped 215mph on the Mulsanne, in the dark. It gave him pole, McLaren was Ford’s victor in 1966 in a GT40 Mk2 he drove with fellow Kiwi Chris Amon.

mc laren

Bruce McLaren jumps out of his Ford Mk4 ‘J6’ during practice. Bruce the pole sitter in this car.

Fords times gave them five of the six top slots. Frank Gardner and Roger McCluskey qualified their Holman & Moody Mk2B 6th, here is FG before the off, the race not quite so successful, his co-driver became part of an accident not of his making…

frank gardner

The Race…

race start

Dan Gurney is the bolter at the start in #1, #2 McLaren Mk4, #7 Chap Spence putting on his full harness, alongside him #3 Andretti and #4 Hulme both in Mk4’s doing the same.


start 2

A second or so later; Spence, Andretti and Hulme still ‘belting up’ whilst #62 Mike Salmon DNF fire and #11 Surtees Lola Aston, #23 Attwood Ferrari P3 and #21 Scarfiotti Ferrari P4 come thru.


start 3

Love this start shot as it gives a sense of the depth of the field but also the speed differentials for which Le Mans is infamous; #42 Robert Buchet/Herbert Linge 14th Porsche 911S 2 litre, #48 Roger Delageneste/Jacques Cheinisse 10thAlpine A210 Renault 1.6 litre, #60 Andre Wicky/Philippe Farjon DNF Porsche 911S and the rest…Mike Spence just away in the winged Chap 2F at far left.

300,000 people attended the race on 10 June in overcast, warm weather, Henry Ford 2 and wife arriving by ‘chopper shortly before the race…

After the traditional start Pedro Rodriguez led initially in the NART Ferrari but was quickly passed by the Paul Hawkins Mk2B, who led at the end of the first hour by which time both Lola’s were out; Surtees with engine trouble after 3 laps, Chris Irwin on lap 25 later with fuel pump problems.

early laps

#21 Scarfiotti in the 2nd placed Ferrari P4 from the #4 Hulme Ford Mk4 during the early laps. Below is the Surtees Lola also during the first 3 laps…

After the first pitstop the Chaparral 2F took the lead, the Fords getting about an hour out of a fuel tank, the Fazz’ and Chaparral about 15 minutes longer.

chap pitstop

The Hill/Spence Chap 2F circulating fast at this point doing 3 min 29 sec laps…

After the second refuelling the Gurney/Foyt Mk4 lead from the Hill/Spence Chaparral followed by the Andretti/Bianchi and McLaren/Donohue Ford Mk4’s.


Oopsie; Ricardo Rodriguez (no relation) in the ‘kitty litter’ on Lap 30, the NART Ferrari 365P2 retired at this point. Car shared with Chuck Parsons. In the background in the lower photo is the works Austin Healey Sprite of Clive Baker/Andrew Hedges which finished 15th, first British car home.



The ill-fated Andretti/Bianchi Mk4 ahead of Chris Amon/Nino Vaccarella Ferrari P4 DNF puncture/fire and Denny Hulme/Lloyd Ruby Mk4 DNF accident, in The Esses in the first quarter of the race.



‘British Racing and Sports Car Club’ fireman in the latest gear.

After 4 hours the Gurney car was still ahead.

This time from the Andretti Ford. Three Fords led from the Chaparral, with Ferrari further back, the leading Ferrari’s were driven by Amon/Vaccarella P4 and Rodriguez/Baghetti, P3/412P.

chap 8

The #8 Bruce Jennings/Bob Johnston Chaparral 2F in the pits for its final pitstop on lap 91, car out with battery and starter failure.


butt shot

2 P4’s, the white car the NART P Rodriguez/Baghetti P4/412P entry chasing the Jennings/Johnston Chaparral 2F and a 911S about to be ‘swallowed’ by all 3.

After 6 hours the 2nd #8 Chaparral failed to restart after a pitstop.

Hill pitted at about the same time in the #7 Chap with the transmission, the cars weak link checked leading to speculation about its health. The stop lasted 9 minutes, the car rejoined in 7th place.

Rindt (below) retired his Porsche 907, having over-revved its 2 litre flat 8.

rindt 2


The #7 Chaparral 2F Chev of Spence and 5th placed Porsche 907 ‘Langheck’ of Siffert/Hans Hermann with Jo at the wheel. Car also the 2 litre winner.

At 2 am it was still 1-3  for Ford but the pattern of the race changed hugely after Andretti took over his car from Bianchi, it was fitted with fresh brake pads.

As he approached The Esses and braked one disc grabbed, pinging the car instantly between the unforgiving earth banks until finishing in the middle of the track with bits of ‘Big Henry’ scattered all over the place.

Roger McCluskey arrived in the Mk2B he shared with Frank Gardner, braked, spun and hit the banks wrecking another factory Ford. Schlesser then added to the party arriving in the Ford France Mk2B  he shared with Guy Ligier and spun in avoiding his teammates- three Fords were out on the spot!

rooted fords

Rooted Fords #3 Andretti Mk4 and #5 McCluskey Mk2B. (Rainer Schlegelmilch)


foyt 2

The winning Mk4 of Gurney/Foyt ahead of #57 Ronnie Bucknum/Paul Hawkins Mk2B DNF and #14 Mirage M1 Ford of David Piper/Richard Thompson,DNF .


ferrari dead

Dead Ferrari’s atop the transporter in the middle of the race, both with piston failure; #22 Jean Guichet/Herbie Muller Ferrari P3/412P #25 Pedro Rodriguez/Giancarlo Baghetti Ferrari P3/412P


foyt 3

AJ Foyt aboard the winning Ford Mk4 chassis ‘J5’.

At half distance the Gurney/Foyt Mk4 had a huge lead

But there were three Ferrari’s and a Chaparral between Gurney and the next Ford.

At dawn it was Gurney/Foyt 7 laps ahead of the Parkes/Scarfiotti Ferrari, the Hill/Spence Chaparral then Ferrari-Ford-Ferrari, it was anybody’s race at this point.

At 5.30am Hill’s Chaparral pitted for investigation of an oil leak; and stayed for 3 hours whilst the mechanics heroically removed the transmission and fitted a new oil seal but the car was finally retired with an oil-less transmission.


Chaparral council of war in the middle of the night. Jim Hall , Phil Hill and Mike Spence curse the cars auto gearbox, its weakness that year. The one bright spot for the fastest, most innovative and stunning sports/prototype of 1967 was its season ending Brands Hatch 6 Hour victory in July.

With 6 hours to go the Gurney/Foyt Ford only lead by 5 laps!

But it was one Ford from three Ferrari’s with the Italian cars being driven very hard, Mike Parkes said ‘I have never driven a car so hard for so long’ of his Ferrari P4 after the race.


What am i going to tell The Commendatore!? Franco Lini, Ferrari Team Manager ponders the teams prospects late in the race. It was an honorable defeat, to say the least, against the onslaught of the then second largest motor manufacturer in the world.

With less than 2 hours to go the Ferrari’s were lapping 10 seconds a lap quicker than the leading Ford, with 90 minutes to go both cars stopped for fuel for the last time, Ferrari’s only hope a Ford failure but it was not to be…


Car #24 the 3rd place Willy Mairesse/Jean Blaton Ferrari P4 and winning #1 Mk4, ‘victory lap’. Small shots; Franco Lini, Bruce McLaren Mk4 pit, ‘pit popsie’.

It was the first ‘All American’ win ever; car and drivers. Ford were both first outright and won ‘The Index of Thermal Efficiency’, which seems somewhat of a contradiction in terms for a car powered by a 7 litre cast iron, OHV V8!…

The first six placings were;

1st. Gurney/Foyt Ford Mk4 388 laps

2nd. Scarfiotti/Parkes Ferrari P4 384 laps

3rd. Mairesse/Blaton Ferrari P4 377 laps

4th. McLaren/Donohue Ford Mk4 359 laps

5th. Siffert/Hermann Porsche 907 358 laps 2 litre winner

6th. Stommelen/Neerpasch Porsche 910 351 laps


Winners are Grinners…

The winning Ford covered a record distance and was pushed hard all the way- Dan Gurney at left and AJ Foyt, right, below.


Mike Parkes (L) and Ludovico Scarfiotti looking suitably tired after fantastic drives in pursuit of the Ford Juggernaut!


Henry Ford 2 and his wife Maria look well pleased with the results of their teams work.

Its interesting to reflect on how different automotive/motor racing history may have been had Enzo Ferrari not withdrawn from the final stage of negotiations for the ‘Boys from Dearborn’ to buy his Maranello outfit in July 1963.

Whatever the case, motor racing had a friend in Henry Ford 2. Without his patronage and support of racing to build Ford’s global brand we would not have had many of Ford’s programs which enriched racing during his tenure of either direct or indirect control of FoMoCo.

mr ford

Tailpiece; The Morning After the Night Before…


Photo Credits…

The amazing Dave Friedman Archive, Rainer Schlegelmilch


Team Dan WSC Archive, Automobile Year 15