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.