Ferrari Team 1-2-3 Finish at the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours

1967 24 Hours of Daytona – Race Profile

1967 24 Hours of Daytona – Page Six

With the leading car out of the race the Ferrari 330 P4 of Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti took the lead with the Amon/Bandini P4 in second, Gurney and Foyt in third in their Mk. II and the Mairesse/Beurlys Ferrari 412P in fourth.

Somewhere in that top five mix was the Ford GT40 Mk. II of Andretti and Ginther but they were in the pits for a transmission repair along with the Donohue/Revson Ford GT40 Mk. II that needed a new shock absorber. Long faces and dashed hopes seemed to have settled into the Shelby American and Holman Moody pits.

As more and more of the GT40 Mk. IIs made unscheduled pit stops a gaggle of reporters, photographers, race officials and lookie-loos began to crowd the Ford pits corralling anyone they could find to ask them what was going on with the Mk. II’s.

Finally several signs were posted by the pits to “Keep Out” and in those pits mechanics, drivers and crew were told to keep their mouths shut. If you asked them anything the response was always the same, “I dunno nuttin.”

Holman Moody garage Daytona 1967 24 Hours
Holman Moody garage area at Daytona. The garage began to fill up with retired Mk. II’s early in the race.

In the garage area the bays now housing the growing number of broken Ford cars had their garage doors unceremoniously closed to prying eyes.

After six hours of racing the picture was becoming clearer and in that picture you could see Ferrari in the first four positions with no one to challenge them save the Foyt/Gurney Mk. II
in 5th place. Unfortunately they were also in and out of the pits for such mundane things as a bad battery and clutch trouble.

Back on the track there was a bit of excitement when the Porsche 906 LH of Walter Habegger collided with the Ferrari 275 GTB/C of Carlos Salas Guterrez. The Porsche hit the retaining wall near turn one, then flipped and burst into flames that shot thirty feet into the night sky.

Habegger miraculously escaped but had to be hospitalized with shock and deep facial cuts. Guterrez was not injured and both cars had to be withdrawn from the race with the Porsche getting the worst of it by being totally gutted by the fire.

Almost forgotten in the drama of the 6th hour was the lone remaining Chaparral 2D of Bob Johnson and Bruce Jennings. Ford’s bad luck with their Mk. II’s meant that the 2D was moving steadily up the field from 14th to 7th. It later had to retire when their secret 3-speed automatic transmission crapped out after completing 334 laps.

With both Chaparrals now out of the picture and the Ford’s plagued by transmission problems (Ford mechanics would use up all 12 spares) there was little for Ferrari to worry about in the over 2-liter category. At the 9 p.m. mark the Parkes – Scarfiotti Ferrari was averaging 109.410 m.p.h. and Ferraris were running 1-2-3-4.

In the 2-liter and under category the works team of Hans Herrmann/Jo Siffert continued to lead in their Porsche 910. They held a comfortable lead over the two older Porsche 906’s that followed.

In group 4 (Sports +2.0) category the John Wyer GT40 of Jacky Ickx and Dick Thompson was leading and would remain there for the rest of the race with the William Wonder – Ray Caldwell GT40 far behind.

Porsche 910 Hans Herrmann Jo Siffert Daytona 24 Hours 1967
#52 Porsche 910 of Hans Herrmann and Jo Siffert finished 1st in class and 4th overall. (photo credit: Al Wolford Collection)
John Wyer Ford GT40 Dick Thompson Jacky Ickx photo
John Wyer Ford GT40 driven to a 6th place finish by Dick Thompson and Jacky Ickx. In the business suit is David Yorke, one of the geniuses behind the success of the J.W. Automotive

From 10 p.m. on the Ferraris continued their smooth and relentless pace with few to challenge them. The only car that had a chance was the Gurney/Foyt Mk. II but they were 30 laps behind the leader and at 1 a.m. they had to pit for a new transmission.

Learning from their problems with the faulty T-44 transmissions the Ford mechanics installed an older model GT40 transmission in the Gurney/Foyt Mk. II. A second one was installed in the McLaren/Bianchi Mk. II when it also came in for a transmission repair. Unfortunately those two older transmissions were the only ones available to the Ford team. After the quick transmission swap the Gurney/Foyt Mk. II reentered the fray and began to reel in the Ferraris and after 18 hours of racing actually made it back up to 5th position when the engine gave out after completing 464 laps.

At this point there was only one Ford GT40 Mk. II left and it was the McLaren/Bianchi car but they were many miles behind and still having to make frequent pit stops due to overheating. After Dan Gurney’s car retired he was allowed to drive the McLaren/Bianchi car but after several very hot laps the car had to slow down due to the overheating problem. So ended Ford’s last remaining chance to salvage something from this event.

Average lap times began to fall for the leaders as the word went out to the Ferrari drivers to slow down and conserve their cars. Around 8 a.m. on Sunday the race average had dropped to 106.7 m.p.h. which was far off the record 118.5 m.p.h. set by Phil Hill in the Chaparral 2F during the early hours of the race.

Ford GT40 Mk II Bruce McLaren Lucien Bianchi Daytona 24 Hours 1967
#1 Shelby American Ford GT40 Mk II of Bruce McLaren and Lucien Bianchi. (photo credit: Al Wolford Collection)

1967 24 Hours of Daytona – Race Profile Continued

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  1. Another Galanos masterpiece! Thank you, Louis. As an aside, isn’t it a shame that Ford and Chaparral didn’t develop their lighter, higher revving, and less torquey small blocks, rather than feeding transmissions to the big blocks?

    1. David: That has mystified me for years. Time and time again the Chaparral was a DNF due to automatic transmission failure. We can’t change history but it is fun to speculate on the “what if…..”

  2. Thanks Lou and SCD – you feed us great stuff. The ’67 24 Hours of Daytona snaps into sharp focus. If I said that racing was never better, I’d be dating myself, but it never was… Ferrari vs. Ford – nothing is forever, but good writing prevails. I look for SCD every week, and I’ll see you in the pits, Doug

  3. Thanks Lou for the great article. It’s also very see good dad’s photos accompanying it. At that time in the mid to late 60s he was a glove rep/salesmanager for an industrial glove firm which had just begun marketing a sports/golf glove. Dad thought it might make an excellent driver’s glove. Being a huge motorsports enthusiast and photographer he parlayed the lot and headed off to Daytona. He was able to spend time with all of the major teams, Ferrari, Ford, Porsche, and Chaparral, meeting with the drivers, establishing friendships and handing out free samples of the gloves. I remember us getting phone calls from him at the track, we being just as enthusiastic about the sport (thanks to him) and occasionally he would put someone on the line saying “There’s someone who’d like to say hello to you”. I and my brothers were awe struck when the likes of Chris Amon, Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill would take a few moments to speak with us. Dad’s archives span 60+ years of motor racing, everything from Grand Prix and F5000 to Can Am, Trans Am, ALMS, CART, Indy Car, and IMSA and I know he is thrilled to see his photos here along with your superb write up. Many thanks Lou and cheers!

  4. Great article….actually much more than an article, an in depth documentary! Yup, we had a great time that year. Mechanic, Bill Cannons of Daytona Beach entered two TR-4s (an A and an IRS). Ara Dube’ and Dana Kelder were 14th OA and 1st in class, Steve Sumner and I finished 16th and 2nd in Class. A little side note: During the testing days for the Ferraris, Steve asked if he could take his personal Ferrari GT around the track a few times. The Ferrari people said why not, expecting Steve to just cruise around….I rode as passenger and Steve proceeded to put ‘the peddle to the metal.” Well we came into turn one a little too hot ,and low and behold we started spinning circles through the entire turn. When we finally came to a stop and were still right side up and not having hit anything, I climbed out of the passenger seat with my knees knocking and here comes Bandini driving a stationwagon and Scarfiotti as passenger checking on our condition. They were concerned and then laughed a bit and we all returned to the pits. I wasn’t laughing a whole lot. Guido Levetto

  5. Lou, another impressive piece of work, very much appreciated. You may be interested to know that the Dragoni saga had gone on for sometime. Franco Lini was a friend of mine and told me once that the real problem was that Dragoni had a number of close contacts within the Italian press. He used them to pressure Enzo Ferrari to gain things he wanted…mainly number one spot for ‘his’ man Bandini. Bandini found Dragoni’s approach embarrassing. Phil Hill on Dragoni was wonderful…the only person I think Phil was openly critical of. Phil said he couldn’t find enough bad things to say about Dragoni!!!

    1. Ed, do you think that Enzo Ferrari connived with the factory drivers to violate the orders not to break the Daytona track record in order to give him a public reason to fire Dragoni?

  6. Another fantastic article with great photos –
    A super performance; you’ll have a hard time maintaining this level of quality in future articles !

    1. Not for the first time, I am amazed that no ‘real’ colour photograph of the famous Ferrari finished has ever emerged!

      Surely this was not a race from the stone-age era and one would have thought the U.S.A. would have enjoyed ready availability/use of colour film stock at the time – any thoughts/comments? Was there any film footage taken, perhaps?

  7. Outstanding work, Lou. Do you have plans to do the 1969 Daytona 24, the year we were filming James Garner’s “The Racing Scene” there?

  8. Great article Lou. You really go into details in the behind the scenes antics of racing. Thanks for taking the time to document a great race.

  9. Terrific job Louis. I don’t remember reading an account that weaved the facts in such a way as they setup what happens on the track so concisely interesting. The drama of the politics plays out against the mechanical realities of the race. And let me thank you for Bob Johnson, the driver of the Chaparral 2D, who passed away recently. He would have loved it. Our friend, and later our crew chief, he told stories that were this thick with life. I’ve already passed this on to several of our semi-old racing friends. Thank you Sports Car Digest for finding writers as good a s Mr. Galanos to keep alive the memories of a time when cars were actually different from one another and the personalities were bigger than life.

  10. Lou:

    Nice lead-in to the race this weekend. Thanks for setting the stage for us – excellent report with great photos!

  11. Stirling Moss was never World Champion, and all the Ferraris were “normally aspirated.” Two were fuel-injected and one was carburated. Other than that, great piece.

  12. Wow, what an article. This was when I lived and died with the Fords (my dad was a Ford man all his life). Thank you for an great behind the scenes look. Also, to all who added commentary, it adds immeasurably to the experience. Thank you all.

  13. Hello Guido. Fred Schmidt here. Remember me? I am the current owner of both the #42 and #43 Triumph TR4A’s. A few years ago while I was gathering information on the Triumph’s, you sent me some motion picture film that your brother shot of the cars. I still have the copies and they are great to watch. Have you been in touch with Bill Cannons, Dana, Ara or any of the others?. The last time I saw Bill was about 10 years ago. He gave me the actual Trophy from that race. So, I still have both cars and they look and run fantastic. Email me anytime. Thanks, Fred

    1. Just read your article, glad the cars are in good hands. Bill is still in good shape but “a mite older oi say”, I haven’t heard from Dana in quite a time. Ara passed away some years ago. Drop me an e-mail. Guido

  14. I am not sure about this statement: “Stirling Moss, at the time a retired world driving champion, commented: “…. Sir Stirling was a huge hero of mine then, as now, but I do not believe that he was ever world driving champion. He won a huge number of races in his career, usually in privateer cars, principally belonging to Rob Walker, methinks, and he was at one point a teammate of Fangio’s, but, better look that claim up.

    I attended that race with two college buddies, Randy De Stefano and George McNeese. Both of those guys were big (“irrationally exuberant”) Ford fans. I was a Ferrari fan. Needless to say, we goaded each other a good deal on the way to the race about who was gonna whip whose a$$. Ford had come out with overwhelming numbers of both 289 and 427 GT 40s, I think it was. Early on Sunday morning, after a long, cold night, we were out along the fence line (from the infield side) when along came Mario Andretti, helmet in hand, looking very very despondent. “What happened Mario,” we asked. “Fifty cent dog-screw in the transmission,” was all he said, as he walked back to the pits, leaving his Ford GT 40 on the track. It was very cold that morning, as I recall, chillingly cold for the Ford fans, as the Fords just continue to drop out in droves.

    At the end of the race, it was Ferrari, Ferrari, Ferrari, with two Porsche 911s tucked in a respectable distance behind them. That outcome did not please my two friends, at all. When leaving time came, there was more unbelieving silence than celebration on their part. And I had to pretty much struggle not to crow a little.

    I remember taking a picture of the number 32 Ferrari 250 LM on the infield course from about half-a-mile away with a Nikon F1, with a standard 50 mm lens on black and white Kodak PlusX film. Needless to say, I had to rotate the enlarger 90 degrees and project the image onto the floor to get a full 8 x 10 images, and was it ever grainy!

    That was a great race. Hugely exciting. Let’s see: 2013 – 1967 is … Oh, never mind. It was just yesterday in my memories.

  15. Such a great article and memorable race. I just read your race story for the third time, and suddenly realized that I had never left a comment! Thanks, Lou!

  16. Great article, I enjoyed the details.. I grew up in Lakeland FL and went to all the races at Sebring and Daytona during the 60’s. I later lived in Daytona and worked as a photographer at DIS. I really like the local look at Daytona at the time, San Remo. It was a small town. Very small crowds at Daytona and Sebring, not like today. How about an article about 1966 24 hrs. to correct the movie, “Ford vs Ferrari”.

  17. ALWAYS great to read and re-read and re-read your factual accounts of historic races and viewing again and again the photos. Mario

  18. In 1985 I sold my 275 GTB to a guy named Armand Blaton who revealed he had bought it on behalf of his Jean Blaton who was the “Beurlys” mentioned in this report and who also competed successfully for several years at Le Mans. They owned the best hotel in Brussels. The reason for the Beurlys nom de plume was that the family did not want him to race so he assumed the name and used it throughout his career. I believe the car is still in the family. I wish it was still in mine!