F Sheff at Sebring   -1-

"12-Hour Florida International Grand Prix of Endurance for the AMOCO Trophy"
"It had to run at least 12 hours or its name would have been longer than the race"
Sebring  Photo taken from the front yard of Arnolt's place

Jean-Pierre Kunstle* just before noon. This is maybe 40% of the area of a Kodachrome 35mm slide. Scanned in an HP PhotoSmart.

S.H. "Wacky" Arnolt was one of the original MG importers. He was an entrepreneur who got his name on a hybrid sports car of some accomplishment (Arnolt-Bristol). He was accustomed to renting a formerly-military housing unit, a duplex if I'm not mistaken, for most of the month of March.

I laid down on the grass in the back yard of Arnolt's little fiefdom, my head propped against a tire on my MG TD. As I dozed off a pleasant fellow stopped by and said, "You know this is Wacky Arnolt's place, don't you? If he doesn't like you sleeping there, he's likely to make sure you never get another MG part as long as you live." I don't think he was serious, but I did have a better appreciation for the perception of the power of an early icon in the business.

The Jean-Pierre Kunstle picture was taken
from the front yard. The end of the long sweeper after esses leading to the hairpin turn was just over there. In the olden days there wasn't much worry among the gentlemen racers—of whom Kunstle may or may not have been one—about mailboxes at the edge of the road, the height of rollover bars, or bare arms with the short hairs vibrating in the breeze.

Course diagram - Click to see a larger image
I presume this is the layout of the Sebring International Raceway Airport course as first used in 1952, since the GIF I obtained from North American Motor Sports Pages was named "sebring-52" (Wrong: the first race was in 1950, won on Index by a Crosley). Wait. Maybe that means it is a "5.2 miles" configuration (That's right). I don't recall that set of 90s in the Warehouse Straight (Just didn't get there).



Thumbnail: monochrome view of Moss on the pit counter

To Résumé 1958

Stirling Moss** standing high up on the pit counter (orange helmet). The Aston Martins were pretty fast (Moss set fastest lap at 3:20 and change), but apparently fragile. They failed early ( DBR1/1, Shelby/Salvadori 62 laps; DBR1/2, Moss/Brooks 90 laps; both "gearbox"; winners did 200 laps). I remember one of them ran for a while without a bonnet. This picture is a print from an overexposed slide. I made a monochrome negative using whatever film it was I scrounged in the lab. I found a small print of the original, washed-out color version and scanned it. I'm not sure I don't like the arty monochrome better.

Photo full frame of Moss on wall shot          Photo: enlarged center of full frame

I found the original overexposed slide. As you can see, there is some surface damage; however, a 3000X2000 scan in the PhotoSmart® allows for a much better view of the famous Moss** standing on the famous pit counter, with his head stuck well into the famous "A" of famous Aston Martin. The #24 car finished 90 laps prior to retiring with transmission woes.

Click either picture or appropriate text to see a larger version.
On the left, the full frame. On the right, a section.


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* So, I am embarrassed once again by my faulty memory, although this time it seems as if I just mis-perceived: I've been selling this picture as Joachim Bonnier since I took it in 1958. I look at it and at some photos I took of ACTUAL BONNIER in the Riverside paddock a few years later, and I still think "Bonnier." Maybe the Bonnier at Riverside was also Kunstle. Maybe I just like the "Bonnier" name better than "Kunstle." Any road, both the results and the program list drivers of the #45 Porsche 550 RS as Ken Miles and Jean-Pierre Kunstle. DNF, clutch, 59 laps.
Excuse me, please.

** Gil Bouffard wrote: "The guy on the wall (actually a counter) is Tony Brooks. That's what happens when you get old.. BTW Stirling never wore anything but a white helmet- - - - Ever! "

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View of Moss on the pit counter View of Bonnier from Arnolt's front yard View of the Testa Rossa