Spraying the ChampagneHide Text
Le Mans Champagne Story
"I was so stoked that when they handed me the Magnum of MOËT ET CHANDON , I shook the bottle and began spraying at the photographers, drivers, Henry Ford II, Carroll Shelby and their wives. It was a very special moment at the time, I was not aware that I had started a tradition that continues in winner's circles all over the world to this day" - Dan Gurney
What happend to the bottle that started a tradition?
Among the friends on the podium was distinguished LIFE photographer Flip Schulke, who managed to avoid being sprayed because Dan had pulled him up on stage before he aimed the bottle at those in front. "I took one photo and then ducked" Schulke says. "When it was over, Gurney handed me the bottle and autographed it". Schulke kept it for a decade and another decade and another. All those years it had reposed as a lamp base in his house in Florida. "Then a few years ago, I went back to visit him in Southern California and gave it back" says Schulke. "After all, he is the one who should have it".
Racing vicariously with Gurney and Andretti for the better part of 20 years kept many of us into F-1. Those two will be here (Indianapolis for the United States Grand Prix) this weekend. They'll draw the largest crowds and cheers because they're our most recognizable F-1 heroes. And they won't try to run and hide from the fans like most of today's supposed big-time racers. They'll stop and reminisce because they appreciate the history they made. Almost as much as we do.