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Get a Load of This Stunning 4K Footage of Sixties Formula 1

Why was this film made? I haven’t a clue. But it shows perhaps the greatest snippets of early Sixties F1 I’ve ever seen. If you’re an F1 dork, a racing dork, a travel dork, or a nostalgic of any measure, you owe this upscaled 4K footage a watch. It’s magic.

The plot of the documentary (is there a plot?) centers on a bunch of sailors dressed in their campy little Crackerjack outfits, traipsing around the Mediterranean. Of course, the group stops to take in the Monaco Grand Prix, which looked about 1000 times sexier in 1962 than it did in 2024.

Monaco, the place, looks breathtaking, but it’s the racing footage that steals the show. A portion of the footage was shot on a live track, looking over the nose of a silver convertible while the Formula cars whip past through Monaco’s iconic corners, the banners of a hundred different Italian liqueur sponsors line the footage in an impossibly chic wrapper.

The race itself is captured too, with views of Monaco’s most-iconic corners as you’ve never seen them. The audio was dubbed after the fact, but it’s a treat to see the cars working their suspension, bias-ply tires slipping their way toward certain catastrophe at the outside of every corner, the cars at full chat.

Pre-race footage shows a mechanic changing spark plugs with hand tools. He’s clad in a tucked-in button-down and a pair of light-blue trousers. It’s an impossibly romantic and casual pitstop; I want to lay in an easy chair and let this footage ease my skin into a golden tan. It’s just nostalgic perfection.

An absolutely awesome side note: That mechanic was changing spark plugs on the Porsche 804, driven by none other than American Dan Gurney. As with many on our staff, Gurney is a personal hero, responsible for Porsche’s first and only F1 win that very same year (in the #30 804 at the French Grand Prix. Gurney qualified third at Monaco this year, but DNF’d with a crash). 

Bruce McLaren (who the announcer calls Jack Bartram) makes a cameo in his Cooper-Climax, so does American Ritchie Ginter in the #8 BRM. We meet Graham Hill’s mustache up close (and the narrator erroneously mentions his Ferrari).

If you’re not into the race machinery, it’s still worth sticking around for a cherry red Porsche 356 ferrying “Princess Grace,” who you seasoned readers will know as Hollywood starlet Grace Kelly (check out Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” for her finest work).

There’s even more people spotting: Monegasque hometown hero Louis Chiron waves the processional starting flag. Chiron raced in the twenties and now has a Bugatti model which bears his namesake. 

I could go on. But if I spend more time on this story I may collapse into a syrupy heap of contented nostalgia and then I’ll probably lose my job (the IRS won’t file a W-2 for syrupy heaps).

Please just watch this video. You won’t see anything better this weekend. 

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