…chance doesn't exist; there's always a cause and a reason for everything – Elahi

Mexican scrapbook – 1963

Thanks to David Friedman Collection and The Henry Ford ( I am delighted to be able to publish an additional collection of images from the historic 1963 Mexican Grand Prix in Mexico City. Many of these are being shown for the first time; and, collectively, I think they paint an almost ethereal picture of that country’s first World Championship Grand Prix: there was the ever-present army. There was the daunting Peraltada corner, which in 1962 had taken the life of Ricardo Rodriguez. There was Pedro, Ricardo’s elder brother, having his second F1 race in a third works Lotus 25-Climax. There was the rain on Saturday. And, on Sunday, after the arduous, two-hour, nine-minute race, there were the laughs in victory circle. Jim Clark, the new World Champion, had won his sixth Grand Prix of the season. I’m delighted, in addition, to show here a little-seen Solana family 35mm film shot over the weekend of the 1963 Mexican GP. Moises Solana, who had practised but not raced a Bowmaker Cooper in Mexico in 1962, had no worries about racing the following year with Number 13 on his Centro Sud BRM. Here we see it being loaded onto the Solana trailer behind a Chrysler Valiant and then in action at the circuit. This film includes lots of rare images from the weekend, including shots of Jim and the Lotus 25s, so I’d also like to say a very big thankyou to Cesar Galindo and the Solana family for the sights and the memories.

10578925075_549c3cf4d710579217993_2e9a7a3fb710579001924_29d047625210579019686_09b9670b8f10579298963_305b974bd110579307323_29c1f68ae710579558203_bdca5efaec10579201015_9204a7f73610579320686_00a6b26f4110579828836_9587e7ce1010579355873_45824a2cbf10579160794_034823633910579521713_4b50a9d54910579253715_3b2d397ee710579300216_b92973da0dCaptions, from top: wide-angle view of the banked hairpin; Saturday scene in the rain, looking away from the Peraltada towards the modern pit/garage complex; Tony Maggs and Richie Ginther within the Peraltada, showing new, two-tier outer Armco and half-tyres on the inside; the army stand guard over the Team Lotus entries prior to first practice; Team Lotus drivers Pedro Rodriguez, Jim Clark and Trevor Taylor prepare for that first practice session; Jim and Colin Chapman confer with the now-retired Stirling Moss while a dusky Mexican fan feigns disinterest; another view of the drivers’ briefing shown in the recent race report post (“Jim Clark in Mexico: 66 per cent at 7,000ft”):  a flash convertible serves as a useful dias as, from foreground, anti-clockwise, Chris Amon, Trevor Taylor (in natty shirt), Giancarlo Baghetti, Tony Maggs (in ski jumper), Hap Sharp, Masten Gregory, Jim Hall, Pedro, Count Godin de Beaufort (in jacket and tie), Jim, Moises Solana, Dan Gurney, Jo Siffert, Jo Bonnier, Graham Hill, Rob Walker, Richie Ginther and Bruce McLaren listen in; Cedric Selzer and Jim Endruweit push Jim’s 25 onto the starting grid whilst BRM’s Chief Mechanic, Cyril Atkins, sits comfortably on the right front Dunlop of Graham Hill’s car;  Michael Tee (left), father of LAT’s Stephen Tee, shares a pre-drivers’ parade joke with (from left), Jim, John Surtees, Godin de Beaufort and Colin Chapman; a lovely, low-line shot of Jim in the 25, pushing hard through the esses. Jim Hall is in the background with his BRP Lotus 24; Jim has his arms fully-crossed in the hairpin; Colin and Jim Endruweit are the first to congratulate Jim as he drives in towards the victory arena; Cedric Selzer (left) joins in the fun as the first three line-up with the race queen; and here are the first three – Jim, Jack Brabham and Richie – posing for the photographers; Colin’s gesture says it all  Images:

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13 thoughts on “Mexican scrapbook – 1963

  1. Ivo Boogaerts on said:

    Thank you very much for this gem to Mr. Solana and you Peter. This is relived glory as opposed to lost glory. It almost hurts.

  2. jimmy on said:

    Enchanting. So interesting when gems like this are dug up. Wonderful stuff, thanks P. Wonder if any of the Solana machines or that Climax engine remain today …

  3. Que tiempos tan peligrosos, que lindos autos, puro motor! y que pilotos tan valientes, ahí se jugaba la vida en cada carrera, yo tenia 10 años… gracias.

  4. Very kind of you to say so.

  5. Yes – Moises definitely drove some nice cars. That was the Centro Sud BRM that Lorenzo Bandini drove to the front row of the grid at the Nurburgring in 1963.

  6. Brilliant that you keep finding this stuff for us. Will you do the 65 season in 2015?!!

  7. David R on said:

    Fabulous Peter – real gems. I can’t tell you how much this means to me. Like I’ve said before: the best blog on the ‘net.

  8. Blows me away to see an F1 car pulled out of a regular home garage by a regular stock car. The 60s were so wonderful!! thanks Peter for sharing your passion, the video brings warm feelings to my heart!

  9. Such amazing article. Wow! a F1 BRM pulled out of a regular home garage! most people won’t believe this nowadays.

  10. Thanks. In reality, not THAT much has changed: the guys still go racing on Sunday afternoons and sometimes do silly things. It’s just that they spend a lot more money doing those silly things….

  11. Makes me look forward to returning to Mexico, too!

  12. Pingback: Mexican scrapbook – 1963 - A Las Carreras

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