Journal: Classic Amateur Racing Footage Is What YouTube Was Made For

Classic Amateur Racing Footage Is What YouTube Was Made For

By Michael Banovsky
September 2, 2016

The “Weekend Playlist” series has been going for some time now, and there’s one big bridge we’ve yet to cross: footage shot by amateurs. Somehow, the magic of the internet has spurred on countless racing enthusiasts eager to share their old home movies with the world. It may not all be well-produced or very watchable, but these clips are an entertaining link to the past.

If you’re restoring an older car, trying to track down history, or gain some inspiration for a period-correct build, what’s better than real footage of the way things used to be?

We begin, naturally, with Group B cars being flogged through the 1000 Lakes Rally in period, a contest known for its notoriously fast gravel stages and epic jumps. I should mention: this single clip is longer than an episode of most TV shows, but miraculously has no plot holes.

When we were busy filming the Revs Institute’s Targa Florio-winning Porsche 718 RS 60 back at the Targa Florio earlier this year, we stumbled on YouTube user enzomanz’ channel, which features an impressive array of classic—you guessed it—Targa Florio footage.

This one’s labeled like a home movies would have been: “1960s Longford Australian Grand Prix”. There’s not much here, but finding clips of similar quality is no more than a search away.

Some car clubs have enough history and luck to draw upon years of service to its membership. Founded in 1934, the Vintage Sports Car Club definitely fits the bill, with this mid-’60s clip a great reminder that many of the cars we love have been motoring for a long time.

I’m sure it was much more exciting to hear the roar of the Indianapolis 500 cars as they faced the track in 1941, but we’ll have to make due with silent footage paired with a mute-able soundtrack.

OK, maybe this footage isn’t strictly “amateur”, but it’s not like this was filmed by a CBS crew assigned to cover the Warwick Farm Touring Cars Division 1 race in Australia. Volvos, Mustangs, Minis…it’s definitely a trip back in time. Be happy there are multiple camera angles—it’s a great race.

Have you found any interesting racing clips filmed by amateurs?

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Tomislav VukovicBradley TarltonDe DionBryan Dickerson Recent comment authors
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Tomislav Vukovic

My father told me of classic races around Rijeka in his youth. They stopped due to danger. I found this link.

Bradley Tarlton
Bradley Tarlton

Seriously I cannot believe the following video was missed out.

It has Graham Hill driving into a lake at Oulton Park!

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson

I was so looking forward to some Targa Florio but we got Circuito Reggio Calabria instead. I’d never heard of it. Also, I don’t think that the Thousand Lakes footage is amateur but it is awesome. I’ve watched it numerous times and it never gets old! Have you noticed how well the Quattros fly? The Renault 205s, not so much. I think I saw an interview with one of the drivers (Marco Allen ?) where they said the Renaults were not great in the air. Can you guys do a video featuring one (or both!) of these cars? I bet… Read more »

De Dion
De Dion

It is Peugeot 205 not Renault. Markku Alén drove for Lancia, it was Timo Salonen, the 1985 champion, who commented that it was quite tricky to jump the Peugeot. You had to be on throttle just before the car got into air. If you were on brake, you would land nose first. This was of course due to the weight distribution and the relatively low polar moment of inertia.