Tom Pryce Oddities

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Starling
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Tom Pryce Oddities

Post by Starling » 4 months ago

Just wanted to share some weird Internet finds.

https://ans-wer.com/tom-pryce-crash-vid ... h-obituary
Nice pic of Tom Pryce! Never knew he looked so much like that other driver whose name escapes me! The most glaring of many mistakes in the article.

https://it.discussioni.misteri.narkive. ... la-ferrari
Italian page. Translation: "Tom Pryce is still alive: cover up (probably engineered by Ferrari)". I'd laugh if I weren't crying.
WARNING: for Italian speakers, very bad language and attitude in the comments.

I found this madness while looking for a certain accident pic (relatively SFW) that doesn't tally with the others and makes me think it was retouched. If I find it again, I'll post it with warnings.

And then of course the biggest oddity is the fate of poor Jansen Van Vuuren. I came across Pryce's fatal accident because it's often compared with Senna's, and luckily this made me discover a likeable and talented young driver. But the sources keep quoting each other with the same words, indicating that Van Vuuren was identified only by gathering the other marshals and checking who was missing. It seems absurd to me, an urban legend created to increase the gruesomeness of the already bad affair. The marshal who survived had to know who his companion was, and the CPdB pics show Van Vuuren's body and possibly face relatively intact.
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Post by Starling » 4 months ago

So I'm an idiot. The pics I was looking for were on the CPdB under my nose. http://the-fastlane.co.uk/cpdb/crashpho ... ditid1=327

This is my problem. In the first batch of pics immediately after the crash with Van Vuuren, there are some in BW and some in colour. The pics in BW show dead Tom in his speeding car, without helmet (how sad is that image of his helmet lying by the track) and with what looks like a dark balaclava with a whitish stripe in the middle. I don't doubt there was a lot of blood, but the design is very regular and crisp; it doesn't look like splotches of blood. Maybe it's the inner lining of his helmet? In all his living pics you can see a normal white balaclava peeking out from the visor.

In the colour pics, from an Italian and a German magazine, his head is just a red blot. No trace of the whitish stripe. In the spirit of the discussion about morality and fatal pics, I had the suspicion that the magazines had altered the photos to make them even more gruesome. Which would be highly unethical. I hate when an already terrible accident is sensationalized by the press. I've had friends (some friends!) telling me details about Senna's death, right when I was trying to avoid any mention of it, which turned out not to be true.

Not to mention the BW pics where the Shadow crashes with Laffite, in particular the tenth pic. They are often posted with a caption like "Car with headless driver" and we know that it is not so. I think Tom was slumped to his left.

The marshals carried him away in full view, with a dangling arm, like an animal... what a clusterf*ck that GP was.
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Post by Michael Ferner » 4 months ago

Actually, it was an excellent Grand Prix. A very close and exciting motor race. I don't understand why people must focus on the accident, I bet most who do don't even know who won or finished second. That is really goulish in my opinion. Tom Pryce lived for about ten thousand days, but people are only interested in his last. Effing geeks. :down:
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Post by Motorsportrace » 4 months ago

It was such an absurd and violent crash, that I'm not surprised in the slightest that this race is "famous" (or, better, "infamous") because of it.
Just look at the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix, for example: it's very similar.
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Post by Starling » 4 months ago

Michael Ferner wrote:
4 months ago
Actually, it was an excellent Grand Prix. A very close and exciting motor race. I don't understand why people must focus on the accident, I bet most who do don't even know who won or finished second. That is really goulish in my opinion. Tom Pryce lived for about ten thousand days, but people are only interested in his last. Effing geeks. :down:
Lauda won, I can tell without googling it. Scheckter and Depailler followed, but alas I don't know them very well so I didn't remember. Very true, but unavoidable, I think. I don't think the whole race is online. Unfortunately it's like Imola '94 in the memory of many. For me the difference is that I had followed Senna since 1987, while I discovered Tom Pryce only recently. Would he be so iconic if he were still alive? I hope so, I wish he'd be a 3 times World Champion.
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Post by Starling » 4 months ago

Motorsportrace wrote:
4 months ago
It was such an absurd and violent crash, that I'm not surprised in the slightest that this race is "famous" (or, better, "infamous") because of it.
Just look at the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix, for example: it's very similar.
I forgot the date, but of course, Williamson and Purley. Stewart, Cevert and Hunt ended up on the podium. It's hard to separate the actual race from the accident, like Kyalami '77. Maybe it's easier for those who were there to follow those three. Poor Cevert himself did not have long to live.

Zandvoort '73 is infamous in the memories of those who weren't there to judge in person, also for the age-old question: why did no other driver stop and help Purley? I recently found a pic of Graham Hill trying to overturn Peter Revson's car at Kyalami '74. Was Hill racing at Zandvoort? People blame Stewart for talking about security but not doing anything on the track when there was an accident; in his autobiography he is strangely non-committal about the WIlliamson accident, "we had to drive past..." He does not even invoke the classic excuse that they thought Purley was trying to save his own car. I love Stewart, but I really wonder about his actions that day.
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Post by erwin greven » 4 months ago

Starling wrote:
4 months ago
Zandvoort '73 is infamous in the memories of those who weren't there to judge in person, also for the age-old question: why did no other driver stop and help Purley? I recently found a pic of Graham Hill trying to overturn Peter Revson's car at Kyalami '74. Was Hill racing at Zandvoort?
Yes. Hill raced that day. The race director, Ben Huisman and Graham Hill were friends in those days. Ben went after the accident to Hill's camper and both sat a while in that camper. Both could not say a word, except that Graham said to him: "Not so good, Ben".

We had a documentary about this accident years ago. Good documentation about what exactly went wrong that day. Ben Huisman, the marshal at Post 10 (Tunnel-Oost) Gijs van Lennep and also Allard Kalff, were interviewed. Van Lennep scored 1 point there and Allard was a spectator, being a kid back then.
Starling wrote:
4 months ago
People blame Stewart for talking about security but not doing anything on the track when there was an accident; in his autobiography he is strangely non-committal about the WIlliamson accident, "we had to drive past..." He does not even invoke the classic excuse that they thought Purley was trying to save his own car. I love Stewart, but I really wonder about his actions that day.
Actually ALL the drivers were convinced Purley was the driver. In the documentary, Gijs van Lennep, got told after the race that the driver, Williamson, was still in the car.
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Post by Starling » 4 months ago

Yes, I understand. If everybody was convinced Purley was trying to save his car, I can understand Hill's and Stewart's (and everybody else's) distress afterwards. The bottom line is that if one wasn't there, racing at inhuman speed and seeing things just from the corner of their eyes, it's hard to judge.

I recently found a video about drivers' reactions to Grosjean's fiery accident, and they all were concerned, because they could just glance at the wreckage. Even in today's times of team radios, they were not sure about what had happened. (Warning: Leclerc is very... expressive.)

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Post by Starling » 4 months ago

I've found a partial answer in this forum to the inconsistencies in Tom Pryce's fatal accident pics. He did wear a red balaclava with a white stripe in the middle:
viewtopic.php?p=257390#p257390

WARNING: some of the pics linked in the above thread are really bad.


However, the pic linked in this particular post is very nice. It's so rare to find images of him alive. :sorrow:
viewtopic.php?p=357520#p357520
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Post by erwin greven » 4 months ago

The guy was partly decapitated. Where do you think the red colour is coming from?
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Post by Starling » 4 months ago

Yes, but of course in the BW pics you don't see the red, just a dark balaclava with a white stripe. It was the white stripe that confused me, and instead it was indeed part of the design. So probably the colour pics are not doctored as I first thought; it's the red of the balaclava and the blood, and probably the angle of the head that doesn't show the white stripe.
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