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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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The 1964 Indy 500 Tire Wars, Part 2: Dunlop Exits and Firestone Takes the Win

Posted May 18, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto Indy 500 racing tires

Among the first to arrive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on race morning in 1964 was Firestone’s junior rep Humphrey “Humpy” Wheeler. One of his jobs was to obtain every driver’s signature on a release form allowing for the driver’s picture to be used in the annual Firestone “Win” ad.

Although a Firestone win wasn’t as certain as in past years when every car in the field rode on the tires, only the two Lotus-Fords of Jim Clark and Dan Gurney on Dunlop tires and the Thompson-Fords of Dave MacDonald and Eddie Johnson and Sears Allstate tires posed a challenge.

Wheeler’s predecessor had told him the best time for getting the signatures would be race morning, as the drivers were preoccupied and would sign anything. Armed with a handful of crisp new one-dollar bills, he’d hand each driver a release form and new dollar, saying it was “for luck.”

It's just the first step in Firestone's road the Indy winner's circle.

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