The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Fatal Crash of 1964

Eddie Sachs / Dave MacDonald

There were quite a variety of race cars in the 1964 Indy 500. More than half the field were still driving the front-engined roadsters and of course, Foyt won this race in one of the 12 Watsons entered in the race. However, Eddie Sachs and rookie, Dave MacDonald, would start this race mid-pack in these cars:

Eddie Sachs drove the only Ford Hallibrand in the race.

Eddie Sachs in his Ford Hallibrand

Dave MacDonald drove a Ford Thompson.
Dave MacDonald's Ford Thompson

Dave MacDonald's Ford Thompson

Dave MacDonald's Ford Thompson
Dave MacDonald drove one of the two Ford Thompson's that qualified for the race. He started in the middle of row 5, directly infront of Eddie Sachs. This was his first 500.

On the second lap, MacDonald's car swerved into the inside wall, his gasoline tanks exploded and sent a huge plume of black smoke into the air. This caused more cars to crash. Sachs hit the Thompson and it too exploded. Both drivers burned to death. 5 other cars were damaged, including rookie Johnny Rutherford. The race was postponed for almost two hours.

MacDonald smacks wall
McDonald Smacks Wall

Eddie Sachs

looking from the south

1964 accident

1964 accident 1964 accident

Eddie Sachs "I think of Indianapolis every day of the year, every hour of the day, and when I sleep, too. Everything I ever wanted in my life, I found inside the walls of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I love it all, from the first to the last day in May. On the morning of the race, if you told me my house had burned down, I'd say, "So what?" The moment that race starts is always the greatest moment of my life, and the day I win that race, it will be as if my life has ended. There is nothing more I could want out of life." - Eddie Sachs.

Eddie Sachs Indy 500 Record
Year Car # Car Laps
1957 88 Schmidt 105 2nd 23rd
1958 88 Schmidt 68 18th 22nd
1959 44 Schmidt 182 2nd 17th
1960 6 Dean Van Lines 132 1st 21st
1961 12 Dean Van Lines 200 1st 2nd
1962 2 Dean-Autolite 200 27th 3rd
1963 9 Bryant Heating 181 10th 17th
1964 25 American Red Ball 1 17th 30th

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