The grim realities of early motor racing

I saw this extraordinary video of accidents from the early days of motor racing over at Axis of Oversteer.

Note: This video is probably not for you if you are squeamish about seeing people being flung out of cars at high speed.

It is a shocking but fascinating video from a truly different era of motorsport. As the video keeps saying (as noted by Axis of Oversteer), “no-one was seriously injured”. But of course injury and death was a part of motorsport back then. Indeed it is today, even though great safety improvements have been made in recent decades.

But some of the stuff in this video is shocking. A particular stand-out is the flaming driver-less car free-wheeling around in the pitlane!

It seems that the video is a collection of clips from ‘Shell History of Motor Racing’. From what I gather, it was available on VHS years ago but has not been released on DVD. This is a great shame (even though it seems a bit strange — are the cartoon-like sound effects really necessary?).

You don’t often get the chance to see footage like this, and I find it absolutely fascinating to see the sport I love as it was so many decades ago. How many changes there have been!

1 comment

  1. outstanding flick have been to silverstone lemans and brooklands i now get to see those daring youmg men in their racing machines…however i saw them at a later safer time MSGT THOMAS KAYE RET