Featured > GALLERY: Formula 1 at Dallas 1984

GALLERY: Formula 1 at Dallas 1984

Goodyear tire technicians measured the track temperature for 1984’s Dallas Formula 1 Grand Prix at 150 degrees F. On Track magazine also reported Michelin engineers probed the temperature of a set of its tires stacked on pit lane, and saw the number 178 appear.

The brutal, scorching heat, combined with F1 cars propelled by engines approaching the mythical 1000hp mark being hurled around a 2.4-mile street course set in a park, was a recipe for misery. Baked and crumbling corners, unable to withstand the fearsome power being put to the ground by sticky tires, and genuine heat exhaustion, marred the two-hour, 67-lap event.

Won by Finland’s Keke Rosberg in the unwieldy Honda-powered Williams FW09 chassis, the Japanese powerplant found its perfect match in Dallas. It’s everything-or-nothing power delivery helped Rosberg to deliver a sublime point-and-shoot performance while many of his rivals wilted under the sun or crashed when gobs of turbo boost arrived on shaky surfaces.

Held in front of singers, soap opera actors, and even former president Jimmy Carter, the one and only Dallas GP lives on as a cautionary tale of when a good idea is felled by impossible circumstances. Enjoy the newly-scanned images from the Marshall Pruett Archives, shown for the first time below.

Hard to imagine a time when fans could stand six inches from the front wing and watch as F1 cars were prepped.
Nigel Mansell leads Alain Prost, eventual winner Keke Rosberg, an teammate Elio de Angelis.
Jacques Laffite’s unclothed Williams FW09-Honda.
The extreme Dallas heat let Brabham to employ the largest nose-mounted oil cooler and bodywork opening seen at that point in the 1984 season. Keeping the BT53-BMW and its 900-plus horsepower below the melting point was critical for the most powerful engine in the field.
Honda’s fearsome V6 turbo in the Williams FW09.
Polish time for the Toleman T184 bodywork shells used by rookie Ayrton Senna and Johnny Cecotto.
Eddie Cheever’s stubby, angular Alfa Romeo 184T.
Corrado Fabi and another look at the big nose oil radiator devised for Dallas with the Brabham BT53-BMW.
A dangling Spirit 101B-Hart arrives in pit lane.
Another start shot of the Dallas Grand Prix, Round 9 of the 1984 Formula 1 World Championship.
Nelson Piquet during practice prior to the nose cooling modifications that became necessary for his Brabham BT53-BMW.
Thierry Boutsen’s Arrows A7-BMW in the pits.
Alain Prost was in the hunt for the win until a crash late in the race left the Professor down in 10th with his McLaren MP4/2-TAG-Porsche.
An estimated crowd of 80,000 turned out to watch F1 in Dallas.
The Alfa romeo 184T, precursor to Benetton turning the Toleman team into its works effort.
Time to modify the gear stack.
Clear sailing for Dallas GP winner Keke Rosberg in his Williams FW09-Honda.
BMW’s brilliant 1.5-liter single-turbo four-cylinder F1 powerplant, with massive intercooler, KKK compressor, and rear drivetrain attached while being prepper for installation in a Brabham.
Shirtless and sexy: Williams teammates Jacques Laffite and Keke Rosberg sport period-correct sunglasses and necklaces in Texas.
Exhaust, turbo, wastegate, and inlet screen for the Arrows A7-BMW.
A blur of Ayrton Senna in his Toleman T184-Hart.
Carbon Lotus 95T chassis and its V6 turbo Renault powerplant.
Front straight at Dallas, looking at the right-hand entry to Turn 1.
Martin Brundle’s Cosworth DFY in the back of his Tyrrell 012.
Victory lap for Keke Rosberg.
Pit and paddock access in 1984 was…relaxed.
Patrick Tambay in his Renault RE50.
Ayrton Senna and the double-wing Toleman T184-Hart at Dallas.
Fans, some shirtless, some sporting marvelous hats, observe as McLaren mechanics work under the boiling sun.
Start of the Dallas Grand Prix, Round 9 of the 1984 Formula 1 World Championship.
More BMW with Arrows’ A7 chassis.
The tiny Spirit team and its 101B-Hart at speed with Holland’s Huub Rothengatter.
The great Gordon Murray checks his sums as Brabham mechanics bolt a new BMW into his BT53 chassis.
A look at a brief period where twin brake calipers were the rage in F1, seen here on a McLaren MP4/2.
Eddie Cheever through the fence.

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