Journal: 5 Period Films That Celebrate The Golden Age Of Single Seat Race Cars

5 Period Films That Celebrate The Golden Age Of Single Seat Race Cars

By Michael Banovsky
December 10, 2015

It must be the cigar-shaped bodies, and fat tires sat so far from the car that ’60s single-seat race cars, from Formula 1 on down, all tend to look like kayaks hovering above the road. 

Yes, safety in those days was heavily influenced by luck, but the cars… I mean, who hasn’t dreamed of stealing Jim Clark’s Lotus 25 and sliding through the nearest S-turn?

These period films are a mostly cheery look at that era, with awesome footage, great sounds, and the single seat race cars that we all hold in such high regard. 

Ah, Formula Ford, the bottom of the single seat ladder. But don’t worry, even with a humble Ford Cortina engine, these cars are good for about 140 mph. This period film is surprisingly watchable, too.

Back when the cars were all different, and this massive track in the heart of Indiana attracted manufacturers from around the world—not to mention many drivers from other series—the Indianapolis 500 was sort of like Formula 1…if Formula 1 had started in Indiana. 

Get past the first few seconds of its soundtrack’s orchestral swell, and you’ll enjoy it. 

Another on the Formula Ford, this time with a look at how “similar” it is to the Cortina. Ok…

The Lotus 49 won on its debut at the Zandvoort Grand Prix, a feat that this excellent period documentary explains in detail.

Also on the Lotus 49, but moreso about the development of the legendary Cosworth DFV engine, 9 Days in Summer is a highly recommended film to watch. 

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