Home Can-Am at Laguna Seca Can-Am History Or Lack of at Speedvision

Can-Am History or Lack of at Speedvision

by John Krill

Cam-Am does have a history and it is recorded on film. Hopefully that film is being well taken care of. My question for Speedvision is: Why haven't you shown any of it?

January 6, 2004: In the Fall of 2002 CanAm-at-LagunaSeca was asked to help in locating the film that was shot during the years of the Can-Am. He informed us that he believed that there was a 30 minute film for each of the Can-Am races in 1966, 1967 and 1968 with a one hour film for the entire 11 race 1969 Can-Am season. He thinks that 1969 was the last year that Triangle made Can-Am films.

So who produced these films and where are they now?

When Rand Miller of the Bruce McLaren Trust contacted us about searching for the films he stated that the only information he had it that they may have been produced by Triangle Films.

Through my own searching I learned that Triangle Films was owned by Triangle Publications. Another of their properties was TV Guide.

Through company sales Triangle Films became part of News Corp. I contacted their Marketing VP, Mr. Andrew Butcher, who let me know that:

"Triangle Films was part of the TV Guide group, which our company bought and then merged to form Gemstar-TV Guide International. It is now a separate company."

I gave this information to Rand Miller and that's where it stood until now.

I recently sent an e-mail to Mr. Miller and asked him how his hunt for the Can-Am films was going and got this reply back from him. It has been edited by CanAm-at-LagunaSeca but the important stuff is here.

I did have some success with locating some CanAm films but not due to my actual efforts! Anatoly Arutunoff does have two full length CanAms that would be truly great to see. These were made and broadcast for ABC-TV in 1971. They are the 71 Glen and 71 Road Atlanta Can-Ams. According to Anatoly, Speed TV has offered a riduclously low sum for these films, and Anatoly has kept them to himself, waiting on someone to offer a reasonable price. I think many or most of the famous and truly great Triangle films are tied up in the same way although I have heard from several sources that they are owned by the Australian parent company of Fox. Somehow, the story goes, they refuse to give them up, even to a company that is one of their subsidiaries! On the positive side, I found a guy on EBay who offers videotapes of some good CanAms and pre-CanAm sports car events of the 60s. These are mostly taken from ESPN2 broadcasts of the 60s films done during the 1980s. The narrator, Dave DeSpain, now of Speed TV, says these films are locked up tight and he does not have much hope for sales or broadcast. For me, the best ones this EBay guy has are the 67 Elkhart Lake and 66 Las Vegas (both Triangle) and Riverside (ABC-TV) races, and there is some material from Speed TV (like a short bit on the 69 Glen CanAm). However, much more footage exists than anyone is willing to part with. Speed TV did a special on Jackie Stewart and this show featured some great but very brief footage from the 71 Laguna Seca race. I have also heard that Speed TV considers the broadcast of these films to be unprofitable. I am not sure. I think video/DVD sales might be brisk!

So here we are with all this material on the Can-Am series that no one will give up or no one is willing to pay for. How do we get over this hurdle?

I have a very strong suspicion that the folks at SpeedVision know where all the film is. The problem is they feel there is no interest is Can-Am and therefore no profit. This coming from a company that shows cartoons to fill air time.

Solution: Flood the company with e-mails. The only e-mail address I could find at SpeedTV.com was for Dave Despain of Wind Tunnel. If you know of any other please let me know at editor@photoessayist.com.

The only other option I have is to use the SpeedTV.com feedback page.

Let them know you are a BIG Can-Am fan and want to see some documentaries about the series.