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  • Rollover hoops

    Over on the AtlasF1 Nostalgia Forum they are discussing when rollover hoops being compulsory

    In formula 1 it was 1961
    We think that Indianapolis and USAC made them mandatory in 1959
    But nobody knows about US sports car racing - early fifties is as close as anyone will go.

    Can anybody here help?
    Duncan Rollo

    The more you learn, the more you realise how little you know.

  • #2
    Originally posted by D-Type
    We think that Indianapolis and USAC made them mandatory in 1959
    But nobody knows about US sports car racing - early fifties is as close as anyone will go.
    Actually, I think that as of January 1, 1959 all USAC divisions made roll bars mandatory. This should have included sports cars as well. USAC still had a sports car division and was sanctioning many of the major professional sports car races at the time such as those held at Riverside. I'm not sure about the "amateur" (they prided themselves on being amateur at the time) SCCA. To go along with the roll bars you would have thought that shoulder harnesses would have been made mandatory at the same time. However, this wasn't the case. Although lap belts were mandatory in USAC it was several more years before shoulder harnesses were used by everyone (especially in championship dirt cars, sprints, and midgets). Eddie Sachs never wore a shoulder harness when he sat on the pole at Indianapolis in 1960 and may have still been wearing only a lap belt in his roadster through (at least) the end of 1962. And he wasn't alone. What's even more amazing is how long it took drivers in Formula One to warm to using even a lap belt. I once heard Dan Gurney state that he never wore any seat belt until very late in his Formula One career. And he also stated that the famous car that he won the 1967 Belgium GP in didn't even have any seat belts at all. I believe it may have been at least 1967 before drivers started using lap belts and about 1968 or 69 before shoulder harness usage was mandated. It might have been even later than that. I seem to remember that Jack Brabham was one of the last holdouts on seat belt usage. Maybe D-Type knows more about this.

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    • #3
      I know the State of New jersey and Conn mandated roll bars in 57. Funny the roll bars on the 1963 Lotus Fords were bolted to the engine block.
      "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved
      body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting
      "...holy $^!+...what a ride!"
      >

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