SPECTER OVER EUROPE
Ford Motor Company confirmed last week what the motor sports world has long supposed: it is out to win the major international sports car races of 1964. Having dominated American stock car racing, stood Indianapolis car builders on their ears with the Lotus-Fords, blitzed Chevrolet's Corvettes on U.S. courses with the Shelby Cobra and, with Falcons, thrown a fright into foreign manufacturers who once had European rallies to themselves, Ford now proposes a head-on collision with Italy's conquering Ferrari sports cars.
We shall be cheering unashamedly for the Yankee upstarts; it is about time that this, the biggest automotive country of all, became a power rather than a nullity in world road racing.
We can expect to see the new Fords in combat no later than June in the renowned French 24-hour race at Le Mans. They might be ready to engage the glamorous Ferraris in all the so-called Big Four sports car races, beginning in March in our own Sebring 12-hour event and continuing with Sicily's Targa Florio in April and Germany's 1,000-kilometer grind on the N�rburgring in May. They will return for the North American fall season at Bridgehampton, Mosport ( Canada), Kent, Riverside, Laguna Seca and Nassau.
Ford's weapon is a rear-engined closed two-seater, powered by the lightweight aluminum Indy engine, which now produces some 370 horsepower. Conceived in Dearborn, the racer has been put together in the English workshop of Eric Broadley, whose Lola sports car this one roughly parallels. It weighs about 1,900 pounds and will do 200 mph.
BULL MARKET FOR BEEF
This is the season when the wallets of millionaire owners of pro football clubs grow thinner as drafted college seniors choose between offers from the rival leagues. The competition has been hot this year. Bud Adams, Houston Oiler owner, gloomily foresees the day of the $50,000 tackle.
Consider the contract the Oilers awarded Baylor University's Don Trull, college football's national passing champion. It provided a $30,000 bonus and an uncuttable salary of more than $20,000 a year for three years. There is also a contract Owner Adams has promised to give to a Houston advertising-novelty firm, whose newest sales representative is a fellow named Don Trull. This will guarantee Trull thousands of dollars in commissions for the next several years.
Adams' chief talent scout, John Breen, was discussing the high price of college beef with Pete Finney,
New Orleans States-Item sportswriter, and said he had offered $40,000 and a Lincoln Continental to Bill Truax, Louisiana State end drafted by the Cleveland Browns.
"His father is handling negotiations," Breen said, "and he told me, 'You're not even close.' "