The Levi Strauss Trophy

Contributed by Jim Clark Room

The Levi strauss Trophy was one of many prizes awarded to the winning driver in the Indy 500 race.

Jim Clark was the first British driver to win the Indy 500 race.The Indy (Indianapolis) 500 was first contested in 1911 and ever since then, although the cars have changed, the race format of 500 miles on an oval track has remained the same. Jim Clark was the first non-US driver to win the race and the first person to do so in a rear-engined car. In five races (1963-1967) he and Lotus revolutionised the race. His quiet and dignified nature turned initial hostility into admiration and affection. He finished 2nd in 1963 and 1966 and in his winning year of 1965 he led for a 190 of the 200 laps.

As well as the Levi Strauss Trophy, prizes for the race included the enormous Borg-Warner, a glass of milk consumed in Victory Lane and a $1,000 of clothes of his own choice!

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 12:01 on 12 October 2010, le garcon de la plage wrote:

    I felt that your statement that the great Jim Clark was the first non-US driver to win the Indy 500 was incorrect so I checked the official statistics at the IMS site as below:
    International (24 victories among 19 drivers from ten countries)
    Country (number of drivers-number of wins)
    Australia (1-1) Brisbane: Scott Dixon (2008)
    Brazil (2-5) Sao Paulo: Emerson Fittipaldi (1989, 93), Helio Castroneves
    (2001-02, 09)
    Canada (1-1) St. Jean de D?lberville, Quebec: Jacques Villeneuve (1995)
    Colombia (1-1) Bogota: Juan Pablo Montoya (2000)
    England (3-3) Newcastle-On-Tyne: George Robson (1946)
    London: Graham Hill (1966)
    Emberton: Dan Wheldon (2005)
    France (4-4) Paris: Jules Goux (1913), Rene Thomas (1914), Gil de Ferran (2003)
    Beaune: Gaston Chevrolet (1920)
    Italy (3-3) Trois: Ralph DePalma (1915)
    Milan: Dario Resta (1916)
    Montona: Mario Andretti (1969)
    Netherlands (1-2) Sommelsdyk: Arie Luyendyk (1990, 97)
    Scotland (2-2) Kilmany: Jim Clark (1965)
    Edinburgh: Dario Franchitti (2007, 2010)
    Sweden (1-1) Karlstad: Kenny Brack (1999)
    Some drivers like Mario Andretti were US citizens by the time they won at the brickyard but I believe that many of Clark's predecessors retained the nationality of their country of birth.

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