Dan Gurney asked his mechanic Terry “Piggy” Malone to make the trip from All American Racers in California to Florida in 1966. As a trusted pair of hands to place on Ford’s new GT race cars at the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, Malone was meant to assist the factory Ford mechanics, and specifically, to bring an increased level of comfort for the Big Eagle while wielding one of the V8-powered prototypes.
Territorial pissings scuttled Gurney’s plans for Malone. Disinvited by the Ford mechanics, Piggy found himself in Sebring without a job to do, and with those idle hands, Gurney called on his man to embark upon a reconnaissance mission.
Among the staples in Malone’s travel bag, his 35mm camera and rolls of slide film also traveled coast to coast. Handing Piggy his driver’s credential, Gurney sent Malone on a three-day trek through the Sebring garages, up and down pit lane, and out to the corners to capture photos of Ford’s competition.
Looking like a photo journalist, he was welcomed inside the wooden enclaves where Ferrari’s cars were prepared. Access to the latest Porsches, and other rival machinery also came with ease for the mechanic-turned-spy photographer.
The result of Malone’s unfettered access has gifted us with a most glorious visit to an iconic year for the Sebring race. The fleet of GT40s along with Ford Mk 1 Roadster and MK II versions, Porsche 904s and 906s, Ferraris of 206 Dino, 250 LM, 330 P3, and 365 persuasions, Chaparral 2Ds, and a litany of big-bore and small-bore production cars formed a giant field of 64 qualifiers.
The driver’s names are of the Mount Rushmore variety.
Andretti. Foyt. Hills—Graham and Phil. Stewart. Hall. Donohue. Bondurant. Miles. Ruby. Bandini. Revson. Gregg. Bonnier. Rodriguez. Herrmann. Follmer, and a dozen more, at least. And Gurney, of course.
Through the lens of Piggy, on a cloak and dagger mission to capture film the Big Eagle would review after the race, elevated by action and candid shots deserving of praise, here’s Sebring 1966.