Charter member Tom Countryman was a filmmaker as well as a Porsche enthusiast. 1959 he made a film about racing at Road America called “Road America.” It was filmed during the 1959 June Sprints SCCA National event. All the in-car footage, extremely cutting age 60 years ago, was filmed in practice with the massive film camera sown below. I’ve heard him tell the story a couple of different ways, but basically he “forgot” to tell SCCA about the camera. The most plausible story is that he made it through the first practice session and then was promptly black-flagged in the second and told to get rid of the camera. When Tom first told me the story of the film he joked that when SCCA saw the film they told him he should have told him what he was doing and they would have given him permission. His response was “yeah right…”
All the in car footage you see was spliced into film from basically one practice session.
Pretty amazing to compare Road America then and now. Note how the corner workers are standing at the very edge of the track. Different times, indeed.
The January 1963 issue of Panorama showcased the Nord Stern Region. There was a short feature on Tom. The above scan is from that issue and shows the massive camera and mounting which was state-of-the-art in 1959.
The film is 28 minutes long and I posted it here many years ago. Or click on the above photo. Enjoy!
One more thing – here is a photo of Tom taking a checker flag lap. Its a bit hard to see but his young daughter is riding on his lap! My how times have changed.