If you have a coolness meter sitting close to your computer, phone, or tablet please shut it off because that mother will explode about half way through this fantastic video that dates back to 1969. The film features James Garner as the car owner for the Scooter Patrick driven Surtees chassis Formula 5000 car that is the real star of the show. In case you don’t know, Formula 5000 was a class of road racing contested from the late 1960s and into the early 1980s that featured open wheel cars with a 5,000cc maximum displacement. Know what that means? It was packed full of small displacement V8s that sounded beyond awesome and ran very, very hard. This is 100% our favorite old school open wheel class and we suspect lots of you out there loved it too. Lots of world renowned racers competed in Formula 5000 action here in the USA during the days when it was most popular (the early-mid 1970s). The cars were initially intended to be a more “budget” friendly type of machine than the all out Can Am cars that were drawing huge crowds all over North America with their wild big block engines and completely untamed attitude.
This video is cool because we see Garner and Patrick talking about the setup of the car in the pits with Patrick trying to figure out the handling bugs that have been hurting them. Garner asks Patrick if he thinks the changes will get those issues licked and Patrick responds, “We’re either going to be completely out to lunch or we may be fairly close.” Damn that rules.
The best part of this video is when the car actually hits the track and we gets a nose-eye view of a lap in the thing and whoooo-weeeee is it wild. The car pulls all day long down the straights and slices through several other cars out on the track for practice. The sound of the motor screaming along with the others is fantastic as well. Every now and again you can catch a Formula 5000 car or two at the vintage races. They’re boss and you won’t mistake the sound of a Formula 5000 racer with a Formula Vee unless you are truly clueless!
PRESS PLAY BELOW TO SEE JAMES GARNER, SCREAMING V8 ENGINES, AND BITCHIN’ ROAD RACING ACTION FROM ’69!