Tuesday, May 17, 2011

United States Grand Prix Riverside 1960

Fellow blog follower and contributor Marty Goldsmith sent these images that he had taken at the U.S. Grand Prix, held at a juvenile Riverside International Raceway in 1960. The following is his eyewitness account.

"Today's Formula 1 series exceeds in hoopla and track design even the classic "Indie" race. But it was not always so. In 1960, the final year of the 2.5 litre formula, the last race of the season was the US Grand Prix, staged at the Riverside Raceway. As one can see in the accompanying photos, the paddock facilities were small canopies, and there were no garages. In fact, cars were prepared in garages in the city of Riverside, and some were driven on the street to the track. Facilities for spectators - no problem - the Als and Annies (the slang for porta-potties) were scattered about, and a vendor tent might take care of your gastronomic needs. Anyone recognize Riverside's homie, Dan Gurney, in the paddock?

The venture was a financial failure, offering little money and attracting relatively few spectators. The race wasn't so hot, either. But the driver's list was just outstanding. In order of finish, Stirling Moss, Innes Ireland, Bruce McLaren, Jack Brabham, Jo Bonnier, Phil Hill, Jim Hall, Roy Salvadori, Wolfgang von Trips, Chuck Daigh, Pete Lovely, Olivier Gendebien, Bob Drake, Henry Taylor, Maurice Trintignant, Jim Clark. Not finishing were, Graham Hill, Ian Burgess, Brian Naylor, Dan Gurney, Ron Flockhart, Tony Brooks, and John Surtees.

It was the only Formula 1 race I have ever seen - I was a scrutineer for the Cal Club at the time."

U.S. Grand Prix Riverside Start/Finish. Image Copyright, Marty Goldsmith

U.S. Grand Prix Riverside heading into turn one. Image Copyright, Marty Goldsmith

U.S. Grand Prix Riverside turn two. Image Copyright, Marty Goldsmith 

U.S. Grand Prix Riverside, notice the fuel cans. Image Copyright, Marty Goldsmith

U.S. Grand Prix Riverside, not the pits you would see today. Image Copyright, Marty Goldsmith
The 1961 U.S.G.P. was moved to Watkins Glenn, New York where it finally found a home after Riverside. Its first year in the U.S. was at Sebring, Florida.

Related post: Watkins Glenn, 1961.

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  1. That was the first car race I ever went to when I was 14 years old. We watched from turn 6. After the race, we were waiting in a line of cars driving out of the track area when one of the Lotus cars sneaked by between the waiting cars to drive to their team garage which was in the garage of a house next to the track!!

    Also, Stirling Moss drove the open wheeled CERV 1 (Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle 1) around the track before the race. The bellow of its V8 a stark contrast to the 4 banger F1 engines.

    The hook was set, I have been an F1 fan since.

    Bob Gagnon

  2. Did I see Bernie Ecclestone by one of the canopies?

  3. How old was Bernie in 1960...anyone know?