Mario Andretti and Lucien Bianchi were reunited at Le Mans in 1967, having competed together at Le Mans in 1966 in the #6 Mk II. Many expected Andretti, the fiery, young Italian-American, to take the start of the Le Mans race in the lovely copper metallic #3 GT40 Mk IV. But this was not to be. The more experienced and patient Bianchi was assigned to the opening laps.
The #3 Mk IV was waiting in third position for Bianchi at the end of the "Le Mans start" sprint. He got away cleanly and initially all was well. Every Ford would soon be coming through the pits with one trouble or another, with the exception of the #1 car. Bianchi was in after a small stone damaged his windshield. Normally this might not have been a big concern, but at 200mph on the Mulsanne and with a rash of windshield failures in practice, he wasn't taking any chances.
At 4 o'clock in the morning, Andretti regained the circuit, having taken over from Bianchi. The #3 Holman-Moody prepared Mk IV had just received new brake pads. A moment after disappearing over the hill and into the darkness, the yellow lights around the circuit began to blink, reporting an accident. One of the front brakes had locked and sent the Ford into an uncontrollable spin. The Mk IV came to a rest in the center of the course after clobbering the walls on both sides of the track and demolishing itself. Andretti scrambled over the barrier to await medical attention.
They say bad things happen in threes. Two cars circulating with Andretti at the time got away without incident. The next car on the scene, however, was McClusky in his Mk IIB; he purposely spun to avoid hitting the stopped Mk IV, not knowing that Andretti had abandoned the big Ford. Now the debris of two cars left no room for safe passage and Schlesser, in another Mk IIB, was the third victim. And so ended Holman-Moody's day: three cars lost in a heartbeat.
Happily, Andretti still had an enormously long and successful career ahead of him. For Bianchi, the highlight of his career was just one short a year away: victory at Le Mans (in another GT40, no less)!