1958 SEBRING 12 Hour Grand Prix of Endurance

A Film by Alex Xydias

Reviewed by Shin Takei

Yes, you read it right.  Alex Xydas, most notably known as the founder of So Cal Speed Shop not only built and raced some record holding historic land speed vehicles competing at Muroc and Bonneville but also filmed some awesome footage of important racing events in this country featuring Ferrari racing cars.  The first release is the 1958 Sebring 12 Hour Grand Prix of Endurance now available on VHS.

Founded by George D Sebring, who came to escape from the cold climate of the North, Sebring was a basically sleepy town except during spring when it became a Mecca for auto racing with participants coming from all over the world.

With names like Barth, Behra, Boss, Brooks, Collins, Crawford, Cunningham, Fitch, Flockhart, Gendebien, Genther, Gregory, Hansgen, Hawthorn, Hill, Kimberly, Kunstle, Lovely, Martin, Miles, Moss, Musso, O?Connor, Salvadori, Scott-Brown, Seidel, Shelby, Shell, Von Trips and Von Newmann driving Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati, Jaguar D-Type, Lister Jaguar, and Porsche race cars this film is an important historic event captured brilliantly by Alex. It is  wonderfully and humorously narrated by Alex as well.  From the Le-Mans style start to the action in the pits where the rules required the driver to sit on the pit wall until all service has been performed, this film captures the true essence of the times and brings us back to those good old days of racing when racers were gentlemen.  Witnessing Mike Hawthorn sporting a bow tie in his tidy attire and controlling cars with skinny tires wearing out on the tarmac at Sebring makes us appreciate that these men drove those cars at ten/tenths like their contemporary brethren drive today.

The Sebring 12 Hour Grand Prix of Endurance is a must have for all sport car racing enthusiasts.  Those of you who own the actual cars can view this film to authentically restore the cars to the period because it is in color.

Also available are the Sebring 12 Hour G.P. film from 1956 and 1957, available directly from Alex Xydias, P.O. Box 11316, Burbank, CA 91510 at $24.95 each plus $4.95 S&H. Send him a check or Money Order.  Or buy it at the Petersen Museum Gift Shop the next time you visit.   And oh yes, he has also filmed Road America, Torrey Pines and Palm Springs which we can look forward to.