|12 Hours Of Sebring : 1963-1970
|1-DVD : 145 min. Quality : Good to Excellent
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|The 12 Hours Of Sebring was known as the American version of the famous 24 Hours Of Le Mans race.
Cars had to endure 12 straight hours of grueling punishment, while rotating drivers, and running in any
type of weather. The main difference between the 12 Hours Of Sebring and the 24 Hours Of Le Mans
race was that the Sebring race, located in Florida, contained a great deal of American cars. And better
yet, the specific 1963-1970 time period saw some of the greatest American cars (and drivers) in history
competing side-by-side. Mark Donahue, Jim Hall, Roger Penske, Carroll Shelby, and many more, running
Chaparrals, Shelby Cobras, Corvettes, Ford GT40's, these were really exciting times!
|1963 12 Hours Of Sebring (color - 20 min)
An excellent color film from 1963. Some legendary cars (and drivers) are seen in this race. John
Surtees (who takes the win) is in a Ferrari 250P, Graham Hill in a Ferrari 330 TRI/LM, Roger Penske
in a 1963 Ferrari GTO, Bruce McLaren in a Jaguar E-Type, Phil Hill and Dan Gurney in Shelby Cobras,
A.J. Foyt in a Nickey Chevrolet sponsored Corvette, Jim Hall and Hap Sharp in a Chaparral 1, and many
others. A great variety of cars are seen throughout this film, such as Morgans, Triumphs, Austins,
Porsches, Alfa Romeos, and the occasional Lotus. This is an old Speedvision broadcast (watermark in
corner) from the series Victory Circle.
1964 12 Hours Of Sebring (color - 10 min)
1964 provided more of the same action as was seen in 1963. This year, Roger Penske is driving a
Corvette, but unfortunately suffers a suspension failure out on the track. According to Sebring rules,
he had to walk back to the pits to get the replacement parts necessary to fix his Corvette, which put
him back 1-1/2 hours in the race. Beautiful Ferrari GTO's in this one, as well as Dinos and others.
Ferrari dominates this year, but Carroll Shelby and his Cobras take 2nd, making the Ferrari teams take
notice. Ferrari would see a lot more of Ford in the next few years.
1965 12 Hours Of Sebring (color - 24 min)
Subtitled the "12 Hour Grind", this excellent color film has a lot of footage of the new Ford GT40's,
and pit commentator Chris Economacki has some great pit interviews. Enzo Ferrari pulls his cars out of
competition in protest just before the race starts, but 8 prototype Ferrari's are still in the field. The
Chaparral Team, consisting of Jim Hall and Hap Sharp, are the class of the field. This year Jim Hall
recruits Roger Penske to be Chaparral's pit manager. Torrential rains hit the Sebring Florida track
just as the sun is going down, and creates rivers and lakes around the course. At one point, the cars are
driving through water nearly a foot deep. Leader Jim Hall's lap time is a painfully slow 12 minutes, but
in the end, the popular Chaparral Team take the win.
1966 12 Hours Of Sebring (color - 30 min)
An original ABC Wide World Of Sports broadcast, the 1966 race was filled with excitement and
tragedy. The Ford GT40 and Mk II were the dominant cars, and 1966 was the year that Ford pulled out
all the stops to defeat Ferrari both here and abroad. Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart fielded a Ford
GT40, while other Ford drivers included Mark Donahue, Peter Revson, and A.J. Foyt. In this race, pole
sitter Dan Gurney had an ominous start when his Ford Mk II failed to start on the grid. As the rest of
the field ran away, it took Gurney several minutes to get his Ford fired up. Finally underway, it took Dan
less than an hour to put his 427-powered Ford back in the lead, making the Ferrari teams quite
nervous. Team manager Carroll Shelby couldn't have been happier as the race was winding down, with
Fords running 1-2. But on the last lap, Gurney's Mk II quits. Out of the darkness, we see Gurney
pushing his car across the finish line for 2nd place. After review, he was stripped of that position
because rules state that all cars had to finish under their own power. This gave 2nd place to Mark
Donahue, with 3rd place going to Peter Revson. A tragedy occurred during the race when Canadian
driver Bob McLean was killed in his Ford GT40. Other drivers in this race included Don Yenko, and the
first female driver in Sebring history, Donna Mae Mims, driving a Yenko Stinger Corvair. Also of note
is that Ferrari did not win any of the classes, a sign of things to come for Ferrari in 1966.
1968 12 Hours Of Sebring (color - 24 min)
1968 would be another tremendous year for the 12 Hours of Sebring. Porsche was the new
dominant team, and would take 1st and 2nd overall, while Roger Penske would take 3rd and 4th
places with his Chevrolet Camaro Team led by driver Mark Donahue.
QUALITY NOTE : This footage is not as good as the other segments. The videotape source
wavers, but we have cleaned it up as best we could to make it watchable.
1969 12 Hours Of Sebring (color - 22 min)
Very clear footage of the 1969 12 Hours Of Sebring, and a very exciting race. The overall winner
would be the team of Jackie Ickx and Jackie Oliver (also known as the "pair of jacks") in a Ford GT40,
followed by the factory Ferrari team of Chris Amon and Mario Andretti, 6th place overall was TV's
own Dick Smothers driving a Porsche 906 E for the Smothers Brothers Team, and even screen star
James Garner has a Lola T70 entered. Roger Penske, with driver Mark Donahue, also has a Lola T70 in
the running, but suffered suspension failure. Porsche captures 4 of the 5 top spots on the grid.
Chris Economaki is once again the pit reporter.
1970 12 Hours Of Sebring (color - 22 min)
In what is considered to be the greatest Sebring race ever, the factory Ferrari Team of
Giunti/Vaccarella/Andretti had the race won with 2 hours to go when a wheel bearing let go, a problem
seen by another factory Ferrari team car hours earlier. This forced the Ferrari into a lengthy pit stop.
The new leader was now the Porsche 917K of Rodriguez/Siffert, and in the 2nd place was a little 3.0
liter Porsche 908/20 driven by Peter Revson and Steve McQueen. With the laps winding down, the
Rodriguez/Siffert Porsche suffers a suspension problem, and the Revson/McQueen Porsche find
themselves now leading the 12 Hours of Sebring. The Ferrari Team manager makes a bold move, and on
their final pitstop, decides to replace his driver with Mario Andretti. In a masterful bit of driving,
Andretti overtakes Revson's Porsche with just a couple laps to go, and goes on to win by a scant
22 seconds, very close considering this was a 12 hour race.
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