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Thread: New Book coming about 1964 500

  1. #1

    New Book coming about 1964 500

    Saw where the book titled Black Noon" by Art Garner is coming out in May...the 50th Anniversary of the tragic 1964 500. This is Art's first book. Looked around the web, Amazon, etc. and it looks like it will be quite interesting. Wondering if anyone has heard of this author, or any insights on the book's contents. I know I will be adding it to my racing library.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmorris View Post
    Saw where the book titled Black Noon" by Art Garner is coming out in May...the 50th Anniversary of the tragic 1964 500.
    http://us.macmillan.com/blacknoon/ArtGarner

    Wish the publisher used a less sensational book jacket photo. But at 320 pages, hopefully there will be some substance to it. Besides the crash, the `64 race had other interesting storylines. Hope these are included as well, going a step beyond Levine's 'The Dust and The Glory.'

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by tmorris View Post
    Saw where the book titled Black Noon" by Art Garner is coming out in May...the 50th Anniversary of the tragic 1964 500. This is Art's first book. Looked around the web, Amazon, etc. and it looks like it will be quite interesting. Wondering if anyone has heard of this author, or any insights on the book's contents. I know I will be adding it to my racing library.
    I used to work with Art when he was the Manager of Product PR for American Honda Motor Company in CA. during the late 90s/early 2000s. Most any automotive journalist who has been around during the past 30 years should know him. He's was with Toyota PR for a long time before jumping to Honda. I always thought he was a good guy. He would help arrange executive or designer interviews, product drivers and info, etc. at the auto shows or for one of our stories. I didn't know, at the time, that he was so in to Indy and it's history. Wish I had so we could have talked a little about it.

    When it comes to writing he should be pretty good. I don't know how much he's done in long form but he knows how to write.

  4. #4
    I have no problem with the photo on the dust jacket cover, sadly, that's what happened that day and why that race is most remembered. As I listened to coverage on the radio, I could see the flames and black billowing smoke from my backyard off of 30th & Georgetown. It's imprinted in my mind as deeply as anything I've ever experienced. The next year my parents let me go over to the track to see my first Indy 500 and I haven't missed one since.

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    CMF rrrr's Avatar
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    The selling price is reasonable for a niche book, and it comes with an eight page photo insert. I will probably be a buyer.

    St. Martin's Press
    Thomas Dunne Books
    5/6/2014
    Hardcover
    ISBN: 9781250017772
    ISBN10: 1250017777
    6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 320 pages, Plus one 8-page black-and-white photograph insert
    $27.99
    Garner has an auto racing blog...it's pretty good.

    http://www.autoracingreview.blogspot.com/

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    At one time, back in the late 60s, I had an STP-produced film of that race. Wonder what happened to it?

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    Amazon is offering a pre-publication discount for Black Noon. Release scheduled for May 2014.

    BigJohn: Is this the film you referred to?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9PYzK_bC7U

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    CruzBay, I'm sure it is. I've never forgotten the poem there at the end. Our STP rep in Louisville, who spent a lot of time at the Fairgrounds, put it in my custody for a couple of years. I have no idea what happened to it. Now I need to figure out how to copy that video. If anybody already has it and can e-mail it to me, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

  9. #9
    Hi all. I'm Art Garner, author of Black Noon, upcoming book on the '64 Indy 500. I've been following various threads on TrackForum for some time, but I believe this is my first post. Just wanted to let you know I'm a member and would be happy to try and answer any questions you might have and join the discussion as appropriate.

    In addition to my previously mentioned general racing blog, I've also started a blog specific to the book. A link follows. Several of the first posts discuss the title and cover. I understand the concern about the cover photo. I submitted several different suggestions, but the marketing group went in a different direction. Most seem to like the cover, or at least understand why it was selected.

    Anyway, thank you for your interest and let me know if you have any questions.


    http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00GEDVGPK

  10. #10
    Welcome to the forum, Art!

    The book looks like a great read on a great subject. I hope you have dispelled some of the myths that were perpetuated after the horrific crash.

    How about sending me one today so I can be the first to read it?

  11. #11
    Thanks Clovis. Sorry, but the book won't be out until May 6, in conjunction with 50th anniversary of the race. Hopefully addresses the misunderstandings and myths that have grown during those 50 years, and found some new topics you'll find interesting.

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    Art, thanks for signing up and contributing to the forum. I enjoy reading about the history of the 500, and the events of May 30, 1964 are a significant part of that history.

    I will be purchasing your book. Many times a fresh look at an event will have the benefit of previously undiscovered facts and personal stories from witnesses that did not come forward in the months and years immediately following the occurrence.

    I see the MacDonald family has cooperated with your efforts, and I look forward to reading their reflections regarding that terrible day.

    I hope you will become a contributor here and share your knowledge of other racing history. I plan on becoming a regular reader of your blog.
    Last edited by rrrr; 12-02-2013 at 11:15 PM.

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    Administrative Fool doitagain's Avatar
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    Welcome, Art
    "The series may be hesitant to say it, but the day is here for everybody that loves IndyCar racing to link arms and help each other out. Anybody who doesn’t want to do that needs to find something else to do with their time.”

    -- Eddie Gossage, President, Texas Motor Speedway, ICONIC Advisory Committee & TrackForum member

  14. #14
    Thanks rrrr. The '64 race took place a year or so before I became a fan, so it was mostly new to me, one reason I found it so interesting. Some new information and certainly some great personal stories from Foyt, Gurney, Unser, Andretti and others. Wouldn't have been possible without the cooperation of the MacDonald family. Sherry MacDonald opened her heart for the first time about that day. I just hope I did her justice.

  15. #15
    I am definitely buying the book...Art--is the book specifically about the 1964 500? or is it focused solely on the drivers involved in the lap 2 accident? or do you take us through any of the other USAC Championship Trail events?

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    Indy since '66 kevin99's Avatar
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    Art, thank you so much, I will be purchasing this book as soon as it becomes available . To me the 60's were the biggest and best decade of racing, and sadly very tragic. I was a very big fan of Parnelli. I am looking forward to your book.
    "You just don't know what Indy Means", Al Unser Jr.

    "That's why to me it does feel more precious when an American wins it...", Michael Andretti

  17. #17
    Thanks for your interest tmorris. While the book is centered around the 1964 500 and stories of Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald, there are many subplots and many of the drivers involved in the race are profiled and featured. It actually starts at the end of the '63 race, with Sachs crashing in the oil from Parnelli Jones' car and MacDonald listening to the race on the radio at home in California. There are chapters on the Speedway history, the cars and drivers of the day, etc. I've tried to capture the spirit of the era, when whole teams slept on cots in the garage of nearby home and, as Bobby Unser put it, drivers figured they had a 50/50 chance of being killed in a race car. Some of the other races are touched on, and there's a day-by-day diary for the month of May, 1964.

  18. #18
    Thanks kevin99. I had an opportunity to talk with PJ and he shed some new light on the race and his problems. He also gave me a tour of his private museum, which included Jimmy Clark's car from the '64 race. He was given it by Ford late in the year and I believe that's the one shown in your profile photo. He has returned the car to its original Clark/Lotus green configuration and it may currently be on loan to the Speedway museum. If you haven't read his new book yet -- you should.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by racing28 View Post
    Thanks kevin99. I had an opportunity to talk with PJ and he shed some new light on the race and his problems. He also gave me a tour of his private museum, which included Jimmy Clark's car from the '64 race. He was given it by Ford late in the year and I believe that's the one shown in your profile photo. He has returned the car to its original Clark/Lotus green configuration and it may currently be on loan to the Speedway museum. If you haven't read his new book yet -- you should.
    Welcome Art - I too look forward to your book.

    I believe the Lotus - and most of the Parnelli Jones collection is now property of IMS.
    "Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate."

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  20. #20
    Art---thanks for your answer about the book and what it includes. Sounds like a book all of us will dive into and read again and again. I still have memories of listening to the '64 race on the radio while living in central Indiana. I was 10 yrs old...and my dad and I were glued to the radio knowing the lap 2 accident was a bad one. The Sid Collins and his radio crew did a great job during the long clean up. My first race was 1965.

  21. #21
    MichaelP, thanks for the update on the Jones/Clark car.

    Tmorris, I've listened to the broadcast of the '64 race many times. I included Collins' entire eulogy of Eddie Sachs in the book. Some thought it should be edited down, but I felt it needed to be included in its entirety. The exchange between Collins and Freddie Agabashain later in the broadcast when the car of Dave MacDonald is towed past the broadcast booth is chilling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzBay View Post
    http://us.macmillan.com/blacknoon/ArtGarner

    Wish the publisher used a less sensational book jacket photo. But at 320 pages, hopefully there will be some substance to it. Besides the crash, the `64 race had other interesting storylines. Hope these are included as well, going a step beyond Levine's 'The Dust and The Glory.'
    The copy here might better read "switch from gasoline back to methanol," correct?
    Last edited by lkchris; 12-04-2013 at 09:13 PM.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by racing28 View Post
    [... at the end of the '63 race, with Sachs crashing in the oil from Parnelli Jones' car ......
    Sachs crashed in Turn Three because his left rear wheel came off; not because he spun in anybody's oil. Sachs had spun earlier at the other end of the track and the reverse torque effect as he went backwards apparently loosened the left rear knockoff spinner. Sachs then got a restart from a rope on the back of a tow truck and reentered the race. He never went back to the pits to have any of his tires checked or his wheels hammered tight before his second incident.

    Sachs may have used Parnelli's oil leak as an excuse but it probably wasn't the cause of his crash at all. And Parnelli knew it, too. That's partly why he slugged Sachs the next day when Eddie wouldn't shut up.

    As for 1963 Parnelli did have an oil leak in his tank through a crack in the welding around a mounting bolt. Once the oil level went below the crack the leak stopped. And Parnelli was in more danger from his oil leak than was anyone else since it was leaking on his left rear tire until it stopped.

    Every car in the race lost a gallon or two of oil during the 500 miles in those days. As mentioned in another thread an Offy could probably safely run (depending on oil tank design) on as little as three gallons of oil in the dry sump system. But since the Offy engine was a notorious leaker and some oil was burned as well most oil tanks held a minimum of around five gallons with many being even larger. All of those old photos showing drivers uniforms and faces being soaked in oil after a 500 point out just how much oil was actually being leaked by everyone back then.

  24. #24
    You're right, of course, about Sachs crashing in turn three after losing the wheel loosened in his turn one slide. Not sure I agree about PJ's oil not being the cause of that original slide. Officials had warned before the race that anyone leaking oil would be black flagged and they had done just that earlier to Jim Hurtubise. Colin Chapman and J. C. Agajanian were arguing with officials that Jones should be black flagged, and he nearly was until the oil level, as you noted, fell below the crack line. Sachs wasn't the only one upset with the oil from Jones's car, Roger McCluskey also was very outspoken after spinning in oil while trying to pass Jones.

    Even Jimmy Clark, ever the gentleman, had this to say: "I could see Parnelli up front and I could see that he was losing oil. I really can't say it was all from Parnelli or no, but even on the straights at 180, I could see lines of oil. I figured if I can actually see the oil on the track, he must be losing it something shocking. I suddenly went completely sideways and I was lucky to collect it again. Then in the next turn, I saw Sachs do the same thing, only he wasn't so luck. I said to myself, 'we've come this far, it's bloody silly to pile into the wall in the last 20 laps.'"

    Interesting to note that one of the changes the team made to Calhoun for the '64 race was to move the offending can of ham auxiliary oil tank inside the car, out of view.

  25. #25
    Indy since '66 kevin99's Avatar
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    McCluskey spun in front of Parnelli on the last lap, not when trying to pass Parnelli, in fact Parnelli had to do some fancy driving to miss him.

    Dempsey Wilson finished 11th, totally out of oil when he pitted at the end. Many cars besides #98 were leaking that day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by racing28 View Post
    Thanks kevin99. I had an opportunity to talk with PJ and he shed some new light on the race and his problems. He also gave me a tour of his private museum, which included Jimmy Clark's car from the '64 race. He was given it by Ford late in the year and I believe that's the one shown in your profile photo. He has returned the car to its original Clark/Lotus green configuration and it may currently be on loan to the Speedway museum. If you haven't read his new book yet -- you should.
    I watched Parnelli at Milwaukee driving a green Lotus...dominating...was this the green car?

    Also, if the leak was as bad as claimed, Parnelli would have been the first to spin...

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by racing28 View Post
    .... Not sure I agree about PJ's oil not being the cause of that original slide. .....

    Interesting to note that one of the changes the team made to Calhoun for the '64 race was to move the offending can of ham auxiliary oil tank inside the car, out of view.
    Actually, Parnelli didn't have a standard "can of ham" oil tank in 1963. Pouelson had built a longer and more slender tank which may have been part of the problem. In hindsight, maybe the longer tank could have used one more mounting bolt to spread out the load a little more. Eddie Kuzma was the builder that did the rebuild on the Agajanian Watson for 1964. He changed both the bodywork (lower profile cowling), changed the oil tank, added the nose air scoop, and completely changed the torsion bar and radius rod frame mountings to accommodate the new smaller (15") wheels and wider rubber. And while he was working on the Agajanian car he was doing basically the same thing to the Sheraton Thompson Foyt car for Bignotti. The 1964 Foyt car was driven in the 1963 race by Ebb Rose and was considered a real slug that year. Kuzma brought both cars back to life to the point that while slower than the rear engined Fords on the straights their corner speeds were comparable during Practice in 1964.

    And you're probably right about Parnelli's oil being a factor in Sachs first spin. But as others have stated Parnelli wasn't the only car putting down oil. And while Sachs may have spun a whole bunch of other drivers somehow managed to keep their cars between the fences. Parnelli, as the leader, attracted a lot of attention with his problem. But unlike Hurtubise, Parnelli apparently (to my knowledge) never left any big oil puddles in his pit after stopping. That might also have been a factor in why Fengler decided against black flagging him as he led the race.

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    I'll just bring up the 2 points I always bring up when 1963 is brought up.

    1. I am ALWAYS grateful that both heroes of mine, Jim Clark, and Parnelli won the 500.

    however.................................

    2. "Cars leaking oil WILL be black flagged". Drivers Meeting Instructions 1963.
    "I think of Indianapolis every day of the year, every
    hour of the day, and when I sleep, too. Everything I
    ever wanted in my life, I found inside the walls of
    the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
    - Eddie Sachs.

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    Parnelli always maintained that Sachs' first spin in 1963 happened before he began to leak oil.




    Dan
    Tibi Fumus Obsidio Septum Doro

  30. #30
    Indy since '66 kevin99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tifositoo View Post
    Parnelli always maintained that Sachs' first spin in 1963 happened before he began to leak oil.




    Dan
    That's what I heard, that both Sachs and McCluskey were blaming Parnelli but neither spin could be directly attributed to #98 since so many others were leaking.

    Love that we can still discuss this 50 years later.

    LPBF, USAC said they were going to a lot of things, and didn't.

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