1955: Winston Churchill resigns from Downing Street, James Dean is killed, and Marty McFly narrowly avoids a compromising situation with his mother. It was also the year in which Fangio led a Mercedes one-two at Spa.

This weekend, Belgian GP sponsors Shell invited the paddock to a vintage cinema in Malmedy to watch a film they recorded at the time, showing the heroes of their heyday wheel-to-wheel, and the spectators living it up long before F1socialdiary came on the scene.

A typical Belgian street was taken over and lined with classic Ferraris, Alfas, and vans. We were encouraged to wear period costume: Some came as Elvis and the Pink Ladies from Grease. Sky’s Martin Brundle arrived in his (Eagle) Jaguar E-Type FHC with his face blacked-up save for goggle marks.

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa dressed up too, Fernando in particular looking like he could easily have traded places with a Pampus Bull or El Chueco.

At the screening, we were treated to popcorn, Coke in glass bottles, a boogie-woogie band and some great Shell ads from the time.

Click above to watch the film, and just marvel in the simplicity of it all. And the courage.

F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Previews


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