This film — presented by Dodge, the official pace car of the 1954 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race — gives viewers a chance a to experience the sights and sounds of the 1954 race featuring the country’s top drivers, which was won by Bill Vukovich. The event was part of the 1954 AAA National Championship Trail, and was also race 2 of 9 in the 1954 World Championship of Drivers. The film opens with footage of the 1954 Dodge pace car as it drives by the grandstands, and various other cars speeding around the track. Jack McGrath positions his no. 2 car for qualifiers (01:21); he races on the track and smashes the qualifications record (02:00). Other drivers then qualify for the Indianapolis 500, including Jimmy Daywalt (02:35) and Duane Carter (02:52). Mechanics review the engines of their cars (03:57). The film then takes viewers on a tour of a roadster that is taken apart to show the various components of the car (04:30), before cutting back to footage of drivers trying to qualify for the race. Bill Vukovich, winner of last year’s Indy 500, sits in his red no. 51 (05:48) while other drivers relax, waiting for their turn (06:41). Frank Armi drives around a corner and spins out (06:58). The red Dodge emergency fire truck goes out to make sure a driver and car that spun out are ok (08:05). No. 45 with Art Cross at the wheel takes off (09:05) as his mechanic nervously paces. The qualifying drivers celebrate with their teams. Crowds leave the stands after the conclusion of the qualifiers (10:19). Engines are examined and approved by AAA Officials, and Jack McGrath receives a trophy from the Mechanics Dinner (11:05). Fans enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere the night before the race (11:24). When race day arrives, the gates open and fans flood into the park, setting up stands and camps. At Control Point (12:50), officials check the state of the track. An aerial shot of the speedway shows the size (13:06). Cars and crews move onto the track (13:27) and begin prepping with last-minute pitstops. The Purdue University marching band marches down the track (13:58). Marie Wilson, who’ll kiss the winner, rides in the pace car (14:54). The Dodge pace car rolls out and the drivers follow (15:28), heading down the straight-away into the first turn. The race begins as the pace car pulls off the track (16:48). Cars speed around turns, with McGrath taking the lead. Footage of the race shows various drivers pushing each other, to the amusement of the fans who pack the stands. McGrath pulls into the pitstop (19:06) and his crew changes tires and refuels the car. Troy Ruttman spins out on the third turn (20:15), and he is forced to head in. Sam Hanks is in the lead as he makes his first pitstop (21:00). There is a number of shots of the race crews doing their jobs during pitstops. McGrath and Vukovich battle for first place (22:35), but McGrath stalls after his second pitstop (23:21), falling farther behind Vukovich. Troy Ruttman is sidelined but talks excitedly about his spinout (24:18) at a speed of over 130 mph. Pat O’Connor spins out (26:52); another car spins out near the pitstop. Marie Wilson and the trophy make their way to Victory Lane (27:36). The checkered flag waves, signaling Bill Vukovich as the winner (28:04). Mechanics celebrate as Vukovich pulls off the track, where he collects his kiss from Marie Wilson and holds up a newspaper proclaiming his victory (29:20).
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com