‘Bois de Boulogne’, Paris, 9 September 1945…

Posted: September 16, 2015 in Obscurities, Who,What,Where & When...?
Tags: , ,
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Start of Coupe de Robert Benoist. #2 Amedee Gordini, Gordini, #17 Creuchet Bugatti, in between them the Ferry Riley, #5 Brunot Riley, #3 Cayeux Simca Gordini, #14 Boucard Salmson and #9 Pozzoli Lombard at the rear. (unattributed)

The horror of World War 2 ended, the first post-war race meeting in Europe was in Paris 70 years ago on a circuit which passed in front of the Porte Dauphine, went off into the Bois de Boulogne and around the Lake…

The guns fell silent in Europe on 8 May 1945 but not until 2 September in the Pacific, the efforts of the ‘AGACI’ an independent club for racing drivers and it’s president Maurice Mestivier in running the event on September 9 in the context of the times is amazing.

It was a time of immense devastation and mourning, industry was having trouble restarting and ‘coupons’ were required to get basic foodstuffs let alone fuel, metals and tyres.

With the agreement of the acting government of France, the American authorities provided fuel, and Major Rogers, the area commander a group of MP’s to assist local gendarmes with crowd control.

There were two and four wheeler races, the car events comprised the ‘Coupe Robert Benoist’ in memory of the Pre-War GP driver and Le Mans winner who had joined The Resistance and been executed by the Nazis, the ‘Coupe de la Liberation’ and ‘Coupe des Prisonniers’.

Competing cars were a mixture of ‘Specials’ and Bugatti, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Delage, Delahaye and Talbot cars.

The big event was the ‘Coupe des Prisonniers’ for over 3 litre racing cars, the race a short one of 75 miles given materials shortages with Jean-Pierre Wimille victorious in his Bugatti T59/50B 4.7 litre supercharged car ahead of Raymond Sommer in the Talbot T26 ‘Monoplace’.

Racing on an international scale did not really begin until the spring of 1946 but the Bois de Boulogne was deeply symbolic of change and renewal…

coupe des prissoniers start

‘Coupe des Prisoniers’ start with the #3 Philipe Etancelin Alfa Monza 8C2300, #4 Louis Gerard Maserati 8CM to the left Raymond Somners’ Talbot Lago T26 ‘Monoplace’ and #17 Roger Wormser Delahaye 135S in shot. (Unattributed)

wimille coupe des prissoniers

Jean Pierre Wimille, at left in the dark driving suit and Ettore Bugatti in light colored suit holding hat, beside his victorious Bugatti T59/50B, Coupe des Prissoniers 1945. (Unattributed)

Bibliography…

Automobile Year 44

 

 

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