Jim’s daily best speeds in build-up to Qualifying May 3: first laps of Speedway. Best lap: 152.500 (P2); May 4: 152.284 (P1); May 6: 154.772 (P1); May 7: 156.500 (P1); May 8: 158.926 (P1); May 9: 158.7 (P1); May 10: 157.168 (P2); May 11: 157.800 (P2); May 12: 156.9 (P3); May 13: 160.142 (P2); May 14: 160.100 (P1); May 15: (Pole day)
Jim’s qualifying lap speeds: 160.772, 160.973, 160.714, 160.456 = 160.729 average (P2)
Jim’s official driver stats: Home town: Duns, Scotland; Age: 29; Birthdate: March 4, 1936; Height: 5ft 8in; Weight: 160 lbs; Marital status: single
Jim’s pit stops: L66 (17sec; fuel only), L136 (24.7sec; fuel only)
Jim’s winning time: 3hr 19min 5.34sec
Jim’s winning speed: 150.686 mph
Top three finishers 1) Jim Clark (Lotus 38-Ford); 2) Parnelli Jones (Agajanian Lotus 34-Ford); 3) Mario Andretti (Dean Van Lines “Brabham”-Ford)
Rookie of the Year: Mario Andretti
Jim’s race prize money: $166,621; equivalent value in 2015: $1,251,504; Jim’s share of race prize money: £46,000; equivalent value in 2015: £833,559
Plymouth Sports Fury Convertible Pace Car; Borg-Warner Trophy; L.Strauss & Co Trophy; Bardach Brothers Ring; WFBM Trophy; John Hobbs Trophy; Wynn Oil Co diamond-studded pin; Premier Corp engraved watch; $1000 wardrobe from Dick’s Mens’ store, Wabash; Power twin-welder from Marquette Corp; Proto Tool Co “tote tray”; $100 merchandise certificate from Dorothy’s Inc; Speedway blanket from College House studios
(Note: Jim led 190 of the 200 laps, earning an extra $28,500 at the rate of $150 per lap although Colin Chapman always reckoned they were owed another $150 for the extra lap driven by Jim when the chequered flag was waved a lap late)
Jim’s Qualifying prize money: $1700; equivalent value in 2015: $12,769
1965 Festival Queen: Miss Suzanne Devine, of Chevy Chase Lane, Carmel, In.
Official race day attendance: 350,000
And so it was time for qualifying. Saturday, May 15. Over 200,000 fans streamed into the Speedway. The sun was warm, the atmosphere electric. Jim wore a short-sleeved shirt to the track, then changed into his Hinchmans. It was a media frenzy; the qualifying line was a mass of people, cars and equipment. Jim found shelter under the Lotus pit wall gantry. He was due on track shortly after Mario, who took the temporary pole with a four-lap average of 158.849mph in his Clint Brawner/Jim McGee Brabham copy.
Jim and Mike fired up the Ford V8. The first engine had covered an amazing 1500 miles over the opening week, with a new boost-venturi fuel injection system providing improved consumption with no loss of power. Jim had revved the engine to 9,300 in this period but would restrict the race engine to 9,100 for qualifying and then 8,800 for the 500 miles. No-one believed that Firestone could take the pole – and so it proved. Having said that, Jim’s second lap broke the 160mph barrier (160.973mph) for the first time and paved the way to a four-lap average of 159.405mph. Amazingly, as Colin and the media swarmed around him, Jim apologised for “making a mess of it” on laps three and four due to the sudden gusts of wind.
AJ Foyt (below) stalled his Ford engine just prior to his run but eventually took to the track in calmer conditions. Maximising his softer Goodyears, he won the pole at a stunning average of 161.233mph. Jim would start from the middle of the front row, with Dan to his right.
Then, for Jim, came a welcome break: he headed for the airport and a flight back to London. He would spend a few days in Scotland and then return, with Sally Stokes, to Indy for the race. Jim’s team-mate, Bobby Johns, would “sit in” for him during the traditional front-row photographs on the Monday.
Images: The Henry Ford Collection, The Peter Windsor Collection
Unfamiliar in peakless helmet in the early testing days at Indy, Jim quickly established the race-winning potential of the Lotus 38. As intense as the programme quickly became, there was also a feeling of isolation in the vast Speedway and within the town of Indy itself. Jim’s season until that point had been a blur of different cars, circuits, airports, aircraft, hotels and restaurants. Now he was at The Speedway and the rest of his European racing friends were preparing first for the non-championship F1 race at Silverstone and then for Monaco. Everyone, that is, except the driver closest to Jim’s heart – Dan Gurney. Dan had initially run as Jim’s Indy team-mate but was now managing his own, Yamaha-sponsored Lotus 38 on Goodyears as a precursor to his AAR F1 programme in 1966. Both drivers were going to miss the International Trophy at Silverstone (where Pedro Rodriguez would deputise for Jim, finishing fourth behind team-mate Mike Spence) and the Monaco GP; both had so much in common – including, while Jim tested them, Goodyear tyres (below and below right). The Goodyears proved to be a little quicker than the Firestones but, as Jim Smith remembers in the adjoining video, Team Lotus eventually opted for Firestones after the Goodyears began to show signs of chunking. Tyres were always a concern for Jim Clark (using a new white peak from the second week onwards), particularly after the problems with the Dunlops at Indy in 1964
Also at the back of everyone’s minds was the loss of Bobby Marshman, the ultra-quick US-based Lotus development driver (left) who had crashed heavily when the throttle stuck open while engine testing at Phoenix late in 1964; he had subsequently succumbed to his second- and third-degree burns
And so the month swept on. Colin Chapman couldn’t resist a bit of aircraft-spotting;
Jim often sat it out on the track; the boys took impromptu naps after the frequent all-nighters; and, while the inevitable joke-signs appeared on garage windows in Gasoline Alley, Jim worked hard, thinking of every possible angle.
Images: The Henry Ford, The Peter Windsor Collection
First things first: Andrew Ferguson, Team Manager, was corralled by Colin Chapman at the beginning of May to paint the number “82” on the nose of Lotus 38/1. This was the result:Very quickly, Colin employed the services of an Indy professional signwriter (George Gruber). The result, complete with serifs, was artistic magic. Andrew (pictured below right in the background, in dark polo shirt) later recalled the incident in his excellent autobiography.
In terms of performance, the month of May began well…and grew better by the day. First time out on the famous Speedway, Jim loved the feel of the Lotus 38. Very quickly, the month became a systematic box-ticking exercise punctuated by frequent breaks: fuel consumption runs, tyre choice, transmission tests…engine change. Here, Jim’s climbing into the 38 at the still-empty Speedway. At this stage of the month he was wearing his Bell Magnum minus peak (as he had done since Easter Monday Goodwood) but was already using a new design of Firestone/Hinchman overalls. Later in the month he would add a Team Lotus badge to the top-right chest space. As Jim wore seat belts (shoulder and waist) as per the Indy regulations, he required the assistance of Chief Mechanic Dave Lazenby, Jim Smith (left) and Mike Underwood to climb into the cockpit. This was a far cry from F1, where, on the same weekend as Indy, Graham Hill would win a classic victory at Monaco after spinning his BRM in avoidance of a slower car, climbing out, pushing it back into position with the assistance of the marshals and then rejoining the race
Images: The Henry Ford, The Peter Windsor Collection
From the Silverstone International Trophy, Jim Clark, Dan Gurney and Colin Chapman flew straight to Indianapolis for testing of the new quad-cam Ford-engined Lotus 43s. In the photo album below we follow Jim’s progress through the month of May – back to Europe for the Monaco GP on May 10; to the US again for Indy qualifying on May 16; to Mallory Park and then Crystal Palace for May Bank Holiday racing; to Zandvoort for the Dutch GP on May 24; and then back to Indy for the 500 on May 30 (Memorial Day – a Thursday in 1964). That’s three big races in one month – with F2 and sports car meetings and lots of testing in addition. Images: LAT Photographic and The Henry Ford