NOTE: A watchful friend has correctly pointed out that although the text below correct for 1967, the photo above was taken in 1964. This resulted from a long ago mislabeling of the image in our files. Even so, it is a nice photo. In 1964 Ginther and Graham Hill were both driving for BRM and Bondurant was with the Shelby Cobra Team in GT racing. Ginther qualified eighth and finished second, one lap down to his winning teammate.
Standing in the old Monaco Grand Prix pits during practice before the race which took place on May 7, 1967 are Bob Bondurant, wearing his Shelby Cobra jacket, and Richie Ginther. Ginther would drive the second Eagle-Weslake V12 from Dan Gurney’s Anglo-American Racers. It looks like Graham Hill, who is driving a works Lotus 33, standing behind Bondurant and BRM’s designer Tony Rudd behind Ginther. Bondurant was not driving at Monaco, having had several F1 drives in 1966, but would soon pilot a Chevrolet Corvette at Le Mans.
Ginther would join Bob Anderson and Jean-Pierre Betoise as a non-qualifier although all three had posted times faster than the Cooper-Maserati of Pedro Rodriguez who had benefitted from a guaranteed starting spot. This would be Ginther’s last Grand Prix appearance. He qualified for the year’s Indianapolis 500 but retired with a methanol fire which, after Lorenzo Bandini’s fatal fire at Monaco in the 1967 Grand Prix, encouraged him to retire. Gurney in the other Eagle qualified seventh at Monaco, almost two seconds faster than Ginther was able to do. That said, Gurney would only last four laps before his fuel pump drive failed.
Bondurant would suffer serious leg injuries in a huge accident in a McLaren CanAm sports car at Watkins Glen two weeks after Le Mans. During his recovery, realizing that his driving career was over, he came up with the idea of his eponymous driving school which would become a very successful second racing career for him.
Photo by Robert Daley ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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