Archive for September, 2016

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(John Arkwright)

Check out the view Maxxy!

Niel Allen and Max Stewart having a contretemps at Skyline, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, Easter 1969…

The bucolic terrain of New South Wales Central Tablelands stretches into the distance, the view probably not what the two drivers were focussed upon at the time. The race was the ’69 Bathurst Gold Star round, the field of which was substantially reduced by this first lap prang. The incident happened when Max misjudged his braking behind John Harvey, locked a brake and boofed the fence in his Mildren Waggott 1.6. Niel was right up Max’ chuff in his ex-Piers Courage McLaren M4A Ford FVA 1.6 and couldn’t avoid him. Out of shot is Queenslander Glynn Scott’s Bowin P3 FVA who also joined in the fun!

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Nice butt shot of Harvey’s BT23E; note wing mounted to cars uprights at rear, ‘RB740’ ‘between the Vee engine’ and oil cooler up in the breeze (oldracephotos.com)

Here (above) is a shot of Harve’s Bob Jane owned Brabham BT23E Repco, it was Jack’s works ’68 Tasman car, sold to Bob at the end of the series then raced by John in the following years. In fact it wasn’t a lucky car for Harvey, he had a big accident at the same Easter meeting in ’68 when an upright broke, rooting the car and John. He was in hospital for quite a while after the prang, his speed undiminished when he returned to racing Jane’s stable of racers, sports-racers and tourers.

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Harvey’s BT23E at Bathurst after his big practice accident on 14 April 1968 (Dale Harvey)

Click here for an article on this car;

https://primotipo.com/?s=brabham+bt23e

These fellas are favourites; property developer Allen was later as quick as Australia’s F5000 ‘Gold Standard’ Frank Matich without nearly as many seat miles, Stewart a multiple ‘Gold Star’ (1971/4) and AGP winner (19734/5) and Harvey a winner in everything he raced; speedcars, single-seaters, big sportscars and touring cars, the Bathurst enduro included.

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Start of the Bathurst ’69 Gold Star race: front row comprises Max’ yellow Mildren Waggott, Niel Allen McLaren M4A FVA and on the inside Leo Geoghegan’s Lotus 39 Repco. The blue car behind is Glynn Scott’s Bowin P3 FVA and Harvey’s red Brabham BT23E, the torque of which clearly gobbled up Stewart and Allen on the steep climb up the mountain for Max to nearly run into him heading down the mountain. The white car is Henk Woelders’ 3rd placed Elfin 600 Ford t/c. You can just see Jacks red Brabham on the outside beginning his charge. He had fuel feed problems in practice so was off grid 7 with times well below the cars potential (Neville McKay)

The race was won by Jack Brabham’s F3 based Brabham BT31 Repco on a rare Gold Star Australian appearance fitted into his European program. This little jigger was powered by a 2.5 litre ‘830 Series’ SOHC, 2 valve Repco V8. Easter Bathurst is an historically significant meeting in Repco terms; it was Jack’s last Repco race and win in Australia. Brabham’s last International Repco races were those contested by he and Peter Revson in the USAC Championship that year in Brabham BT25’s powered by Repco ‘760 Series’ 4.2 litre DOHC, 4 valve, methanol fuelled V8’s.

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Brabham between Skyline and The Dipper, BT31 Repco during the race (Dick Simpson)

Check out, rather than repeating myself these articles on the BT31;

https://primotipo.com/2015/02/26/rodways-repco-recollections-brabham-bt31-repco-jacks-69-tasman-car-episode-4/

and on Brabham’s 1969 and 1970 seasons;

https://primotipo.com/2014/09/01/easter-bathurst-1969-jack-brabham-1970-et-al/

This article was inspired by Lindsay Ross uploading quite a few images of this meeting on his oldracephotos.com Instagram page, check it out, they pop up a post every day or so. It seemed an idea to put the images floating around of this meeting in one place. I’ve an Instagram page too, as well as Facebook, just key ‘primotipo’ into the respective search engines and follow the prompts. The FB page has quite a lot of shots I don’t use on primotipo so may be worth a look every few days.

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Brian Page in BT23A with ‘740 Series’ Repco, DNF with broken exhaust on lap 15 in the ex-Brabham/Scuderia Veloce machine (oldracephotos.com)

The first lap accident ruined what could have been an interesting race, Jack cruised to an easy race win by 1.5 minutes from Harvey’s car and Henk Woelders F2 Elfin 600B Ford t/cam.

Historically interesting is that this meeting was on the weekend of 7 April 1969, high-wings were banned globally at Monaco on the GP weekend of 18 May 1969, so it’s interesting to see the ‘Australian State of the Art’ in terms of fitment of said aero devices immediately before they were banned. Brabham tried the ‘bi-wing’ below setup on his BT31 in practice but raced with only a rear wing fitted.

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Of arcane interest, perhaps (from the master of the arcane and tangential) is that all of Jacks ‘works’ Repco engined Tasman cars competed in this race bar one…

Brian Page’s BT23A(1) is JB’s ’67 Tasman car, Harve’s BT23E(1) is the ’68 weapon and Jack raced BT31 the car, late arriving in Australia, which did the ’69 Sandown round only.

Missing is BT19(F1-1-65) the chassis in which Jack won the ’66 World F1 Drivers and Constructors titles, and in 2.5 litre ‘620 Series’ engined form, raced in the ’66 Tasman Series, putting valuable pre-GP season race miles on Repco’s ‘brand-spankers’ V8 at Sandown and Longford.

The only car not in Oz now is BT23E(1) which was, and still may be in the US.

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Jack Brabham guiding BT19 (F1-1-65) into The Viaduct, Longford on his way to 3rd place during the South Pacific Trophy on 7 March 1966, the third race for the new RB ‘620 Series’ V8. The race was won by Jackie Stewart’s BRM P261

Whilst on the arcane it occurs to me is what a versatile, influential and successful design Ron Tauaranac’s BT23 space-frame was in the Brabham Pantheon…

’twas Ron’s clean sheet design for the new for ’67 1.6 litre European F2; it’s variants won a million F2 races over the following years in the hands of aces like Rindt but also in the care of privateer ‘coming-men’. Mind you it didn’t ever win the title despite winning 6 of the ten championship rounds in 1967, ‘graded drivers’ like Rindt were ineligible for championship points. Matra and Lotus took the ‘works entry’ approach more seriously than Jack and Ron during these years, in any event, as a customer racing car the BT23’s won lotsa races, the 1968 Rindt driven BT23C the most successful car of the year.

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Jochen Rindt typically all ‘cocked up’ on the way to a win in the 9 July 1967 ‘GP de Rouen-les-Essarts’, Brabham BT23 Ford FVA. 1.6 litre F2 formula one of great chassis, it not engine diversity, Ford’s Cosworth FVA won every title from 1967 to 1971. F2 was 2 litre from ‘72 (unattributed)

From an F1 perspective the ’67 World Championship winning BT24 Repco was a ‘beefed up’ BT23, to the extent that Ron initially raced his BT24’s with an FT200 Hewland, the Maidenhead gearbox gurus ‘F2 box’ but found that tranny overstressed with ‘740 Series’ Repco V8 torque tearing away at its gizzards, its CWP in particular. I won’t bang on about the BT24 now as I’m in the process of writing an article about the ’67 Brabham/Repco winning season and go into much BT24 detail. Suffice it to say that the F2 BT23 begat the F1 BT24, my favourite Brabham.

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Denny Hulme jumping his BT24 Repco at the Nurburgring during his ’67 Championship winning season. He won the German GP by 40 seconds from Jack (unattributed)

From an Australian viewpoint the BT23 Repco Tasman cars were very important as they provided much needed cars on skinny local grids…

The Tasman Series 2.5 Formula grids were ‘chockers’ with cars and stars, the domestic championship contained quality but not quantity. Budgets for these relatively expensive cars were hard to find in the sixties and Australia’s march to Touring Car domination was already well underway so ‘taxis’ were starting to absorb sponsorship budgets previously devoted to real racing cars.

Funnily enough, even though there was a swag of Repco engined BT23’s running around it was Alec Mildren’s, one off, 2.5 litre Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 V8 engined BT23D(1) which took a Gold Star. Frank Gardner raced this car in the ’68 Tasman, it was then taken over by Kevin Bartlett, the Aussie ace took the ’68 Gold Star in it. Repco never won a Gold Star title, a topic to explore at some stage during the Repco series of articles I am gradually writing with Rodway Wolfe and more recently Nigel Tait’s help.

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Simply sensational Dick Simpson shot of Kevin Bartlett in BT23D Alfa, Hell Corner Bathurst Easter 1968, KB was walking away with the race until a broken rear upright ended his run. Dominant in this car in ‘68/9 (Dick Simpson)

Delving deeper into this BT23 tangent, whilst a BT23 Repco never won a Gold Star, a BT23 Waggott nee Mildren did…

Denny Hulme raced a works F2 Brabham BT23(5) FVA in the ’68 Tasman Series comprehensively boofing the car in the New Zealand Grand Prix at Pukekohe on 6 January, the series opening round.

Denny’s chassis was Jochen Rindt’s Winkelmann Racing entry in ’67, he won 9 Euro F2 races in it including the Rouen event pictured above. Another car (BT23-2) was sent from England for Denny to race in the rest of the series. Feo Stanton and Ian Rorison of Rorstan Racing bought the wreck and sent it to Rennmax Engineering in Sydney for Bob Britton to repair.

Instead of doing so Bob made a jig from the bent frame and sent a new chassis, the Rorstan Mk1 back to the Kiwis. Seven cars were built on the BT23 jig; the Rorstan, Mildren, two Rennmax BN2 and three BN3’s. Of these the Mildren, so named by Alec Mildren, the Sydney Alfa Romeo dealer, team owner and former Gold Star champion was the most successful. The Britton jig was also put to good use over the coming years repairing cars like Harvey’s bent BT23E!

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Max Stewart ‘harry flatters in top gear’ heading down Surfers Paradise main straight and about to guide his 2 litre Waggott powered Mildren missile under the fast right hander and Dunlop Bridge. 9th in the ‘Surfers 100’ Tasman round in 1970 against the F5000’s. Graham McRae’s McLaren M10A Chev won the race but Bartlett’s 2 litre Mildren Mono Waggott was 2nd on this power circuit (Dick Simpson)

So…the Mildren pictured resting against the Skyline Armco fencing at this articles outset is a BT23 design. Max Stewart was prodigiously fast in the Mildren Waggott, he was one of those guys who seemed to get quicker as he got older, in ’69 he was quick, by the mid-seventies he absolutely flew in his Lola F5000’s. He was one of the very small number of blokes in Oz who squeezed absolutely everything out of these, big, demanding, fast, spectacular, fabulous 500bhp V8’s.

Bartlett, Matich, Allen, John McCormack, Bruce Allison, Warwick Brown, John Walker and Stewart in my book were the F5000 aces with Matich, if I have to pick one, the first among equals. Mind you, on sheer speed Alf Costanzo who came relatively late to the F5000 party could have been ‘the one’. Its an interesting topic to debate, end of F5000 tangent!

One of the pit sights which always amused me, and admittedly small things amuse small minds was big Max, he wasn’t a ‘fat bastard’, but he was 6’2”, crammimg himself into one of his cars before setting off for the dummy grid. If there was a taller bloke than Max in F5000 globally I’d be intrigued to know his name. He must have given away at least 10Kg to the rest of the grid before he even plopped his arse into the tight aluminium monocoque confines of the F5000 Lolas in which he excelled.

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Max was big of stature and heart; here he is after winning the Rothmans International Series ‘Sandown Cup’ on 20 February 1977, his last big win, Lola T400 Chev, sadly not too long before his untimely death at Calder, 19 March 1977 (Ian Smith)

By the time Merv Waggott was building 2 litre variants of his superb DOHC, 4 valve, Lucas injected, bespoke aluminium blocked engines they were outright winners in 2.5 litre Tasman Formula events in the hands on the Mildren Duo, Messrs Bartlett and Stewart. The first Gold Star for F5000 was in 1971; Max’ Mildren Waggott won the Gold Star with about 275bhp from his close mate Bartlett in a much less nimble and reliable 500bhp McLaren M10B Chev in a year of speed and consistency. I don’t care what anyone says, F5000’s driven to their limit were always a little brittle.

So, to join the dots, a BT23 design did win the Gold Star albeit called a Mildren. Stewart’s Mildren Waggott and Bartlett’s Mildren ‘Yellow Submarine’ Waggott are tangents too far for this article and a wonderful future topic, there is a sensational article to be written there with Kevin Bartlett’s first-hand assistance on both chassis’ and engine if I ask him nicely…

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Merv Waggott changing plugs in his baby, Wigram 1970. Bartlett’s Mildren Mono ‘Yellow Submarine’ Waggott (Bill Pottinger/the Roaring Season)

Merv Waggott changing plugs in one of his superb jewels. An all alloy, DOHC, gear driven 4 valve Lucas injected circa 275bhp 2 litre engine. Its in the back Of Kevin Bartlett’s Mildren ‘Yellow Sub’ Waggott, shot is in the Wigram paddock, 1970 Tasman round on 17 January on 7 December. KB had a lousy meeting, not setting a practice time and DNF on lap 6 with engine dramas, Stewart was 3rd though in his car, Matich the winner in his McLaren M10A Chev.

The Waggott 2 litre engine was first built in late 1969 and initially developed circa 250bhp, its output later circa 268-275bhp with about 160 lbs/ft of torque. It raced to a win in KB’s hands in the ‘Sub upon debut in the ’69 ‘Hordern Trophy’ at WF, KB won again at the 1970 Warwick Farm Tasman round ahead of all the F5000’s and 2.5 Tasman Formula cars.  2 litre Waggotts won Australias’ Gold Star in 1970 for Leo Geoghegan (Lotus 59) and Stewart in ’71 as noted above.

An article about Merv and his creations is a wonderful feature for another time. Briefly for international readers Waggott’s Sydney shop built race winning engines from the 1950’s, checkout the article below on the WM Special/Cooper T20 Waggott Holden twin-cam 6 cylinder raced by Jack Myers and tested by Stirling Moss in the late ‘50’s as some background.

https://primotipo.com/2015/02/10/stirling-moss-cumberland-park-speedway-sydney-cooper-t20-wm-holden-1956/

Winding the clock forward, as the ANF1 2.5 litre formula spluttered on in the late sixties a ‘battle to the death’ was fought for the new ANF1 category in Oz between opposing forces who supported either F5000 or 2 litre F2. The latter to commence in Europe from 1 January 1972, F5000 commenced in Europe in 1969 and was born in the US as Formula A earlier still.

Waggott engines were initially of 1600cc, then later 1860cc and used the ubiquitous Ford Cortina block, same as Cosworth’s 1’6 litre FVA wherein Keith Duckworth tested his design ideas in advance of finalising his DFV design. In 1600 form the Waggott would have been Euro F2 legal, it used a production block as the regs required. The 1.6 litre F2 started in ’67 and ended in 1971 when it grew to 2 litres. There were a few FVA’s racing in Australia, the 1.6 Waggott more than a match for them, no Waggott’s, sadly, ever raced in Euro F2.

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Lance Ruting studio shot of one of the engines, Ford block by the look of it so 1600 or 1860 (autopics.com)

Waggott 2 litre engines used a bespoke aluminium block as the stock cast iron Ford block maxxed out at about 1860cc. Beyond that the pistons kissed! Mike Hailwood’s Surtees TS10 won the ’72 Euro F2 Championship running Brian Hart built Ford BDA’s of 1850cc, those competitors running greater capacity than that had unreliability. The final Euro 2 litre F2 regs required production blocks from 1972-75 until ’76 when ‘racing engines’ were allowed. So, in the earliest years of the class the Waggott was ineligible.

Merv’s engines could have raced in F2 from ’76 but he had long before told CAMS to ‘shove it’ after F5000 was chosen (probably rightly given the backing of Ford, Holden and Repco who were building V8’s/wanting to develop an F5000 variant of the Holden engine in Repco’s case) as Australias’ new ANF1 from the 1971 Gold Star competition.

Had the ingenious, beautifully built little engine been Euro F2 Championship legal in 1972 Sydney’s Waggott Engineering had the winning engine! The engines were tried, tested championship winning donks ready to pop into any car. 275bhp and a big fat torque curve, Kevin Bartlett quoted the usable rev range of 6800-8750rpm, would have done the trick in 1972, the BMW M12 changed the F2 game from ’73 of course.

A wonderful ‘mighta-been’ all the same. Merv could have ‘stolen the F2 march’ in 1972 in much the same way Repco did in F1 with its Olds F85 production block based ‘620 Series’ V8 in 1966…

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Max Stewart on the way to winning the ‘Angus & Coote Trophy’, the 1971 Oran Park Gold Star round on 27 June. Mildren Waggott 2 litre, Graeme Lawerence was 2nd in a Brabham BT30 FVC, the little cars succeeding as the F5000’s fell away (Dick Simpson)

Credits…

John Arkwright, oldracephotos.com, Dick Simpson, Dale Harvey, Bill Pottinger/The Roaring Season, Ian Smith, Neville McKay, autopics.com.au

Bibliography…

oldracingcars.com, F2 Register

Tailpiece: A Lotus to end an article on Brabhams…

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Leo Geoghegan’s Lotus 39 Repco with ‘830 series’ Repco V8, started from the Bathurst ’69 pole but out on lap 12 with a gearbox problem, his time would shortly come with this car, winning the JAF Japanese GP later in 1969 amongst a classy field (oldracephotos.com)

Click here for an article on this ex-Clark chassis;

https://primotipo.com/?s=lotus+39

Finito…

 

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Amazing Reims background as Nuvolari blasts his Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Tipo B/P3 to French GP victory on 14 July 1932…

What an endurance test, the race 5 hours in duration! Grands Prix have been 200 miles for so long its easy to forget what the ‘titans’ coped with nearly 100 years ago. Maserati didn’t race so it was a straight fight between Bugatti and Alfa Romeo with the Milan brigade winning comprehensively in their new 2.65 litre straight- 8 Vittorio Jano designed machines.

It was Nuvolari from Baconin Borzacchini and Rudy Caracciola in Alfa Corse entered cars, the best placed Bugatti T51 that of Louis Chiron in 4th.

This article is some words around some great shots of  Nuvolari from the Getty Images archives, treat it as the first in an occasional ‘at random’ series.

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Tazio, Bremgarten, Swiss GP, Bern 21 August 1938 (Klemantaski Collection)

 Swiss GP, Bern 21 August 1938…

Tazio during the race held in awfully wet conditions. Seaman’s Mercedes lead from pole from teammates Stuck and Caracciola, he opened up a good lead but lost it after being boxed in by backmarkers allowing Rudy to sneak through.

Muller’s Auto Union raced well, Stuck spun and Tazio had undisclosed mechanical dramas in their mid-engined Type D’s. Mercedes 1-3 result was Caratch from Seaman and Manfred von Brauchitsch, all in W154’s.

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Donington GP 1938

’38 Donington GP…

The winds  of change were blowing in Europe, the race date was changed due to the Munich crisis by three weeks, the race held on 22 October 1938. Nuvolari’s exciting weekend started in practice when his Auto Union Type D 3 litre V12 ran into a deer! But he lead the race from the start then ceded the lead to Herman Lang, pitting an additional time. The engine of Hansons Alta blew with Hasse spinning and crashing on the oil and Dick Seaman losing a lap. Tazio sneaked past Muller back into 2nd, then Herman slowed with a broken windscreen giving the plucky Mantuan the lead which he held to the end of the race. Lang was 2nd and Seaman 3rd both in 3 litre V12 Mercedes Benz W154

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Tazio with some Nazi flunkies, ‘International Automobile and Motor Cycle Show’ 18 February 1939 Berlin. Hard to avoid these pricks racing for a German team at the time i guess (Popperfoto)

International Automobile & Mototcycle Show, 18 February 1939…

The first German automotive show was held in Berlin in 1897 with 8 cars, visitor numbers grew exponentially together with the growth of motoring itself, by 1939 825,000 people attended to see the new VW and other more sporting exhibits.

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TN Jaguar XK 120, Intl Trophy Meeting, Silverstone 26 August 1950 (J Wilds)

Silverstone International Trophy Meeting 26 August 1950…

Tazio was entered in a red, standard, ex-demo factory XK120 Jaguar in the production sportscar race during this famous annual meeting.

The MotorSport report of the meeting records ‘It was splendid to see Nuvolari go round at 75.91 mph in a hard-used Jaguar demonstrator, using his gearbox where others trod on their brakes, but on Friday he was said to be ill from methanol fumes – odd, for the production cars were on petrol – and Whitehead drove for him’.

Nuvolari was quite ill by this stage and struggled, he did three slow laps on the first day of practice then Jaguar team manager Lofty England had the task of telling Tazio that he was too slow as a consequence of his fitness.

Doug Nye made this observation of the genius on ‘The Nostalgia Forum’; ‘In his final years Nuvolari was a variably sick man, varying from being in frail shape to being in terrible shape. I have been told by many who met the great man at that Silverstone meeting that he was, indeed, in terrible shape that weekend…and they were all greatly concerned for him…some even wondering if he might not survive the journey home…

Nuvolari had at least as a high a proportion of admirers amongst British racing enthusiasts as he had in his native Italy, and possibly higher, and for many it was like seeing a retired old thoroughbred racehorse, attemping one last gallop on grass, arthritic, blown, sway-backed, and broken down … for many present that weekend it was remembered as a terribly sad sight… particularly for those who recalled the sight of Nuvolari in his pomp at Donington Park, 1938’.

Nuvolari died on 11 August 1953 having suffered a stroke which partially paralysed him the year before, a second one killed him.

Credit…

Imagno, J Wilds, Getty Images

Tailpiece: Moss and Nuvolari at the International Trophy meeting, Silverstone 1950. Shot is symbolic of generational change but it’s also clear just how fragile the great man had become…

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Blondie surrounded by World Champs; Messrs Hulme, Hill and Clark, Melbourne, 1968…

Ford Australia’s 1967 ‘XR’ Falcon was a big step forward in its market competition with General Motors ‘Holden’ who had a dominant position.  The XR GT packed a 289cid V8 and started the trend of local pony cars which provided wonderful road cars and iconic Bathurst racers for years.

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Barry Cassidy, Ford Falcon ‘XR’ GT, Newry Corner, Longford March 1968 (oldracephotos.com)

This photo is no doubt part of Ford’s ongoing repositioning of their product, ‘Going Ford is the Going Thing’ was FoMoCo’s ‘tag line’ of the day.

‘Blondies’ car is the 1968 ‘XT’ Falcon 500 ‘poverty pack’. A 302cid V8 was cranked under the bonnet to create the GT, a 4 speed box, slippery diff and front disc brakes with firmer springs and shocks completed the performance makeover. This was the only one of the ‘Big Henrys’ which didn’t win the Bathurst enduro classic. An ‘HK’ Holden Monaro 327 coupe driven by Bruce McPhee took the ’68 win.

‘Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday’ is the adage…

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The Spencer Martin/Jim McKeown XT Ford Falcon GT auto!,Bathurst 500 1968. The pair were 42nd, the highest placed Ford was the XR GT driven by McIntyre/Stacey which was 7th (unattributed)

The local ranges of Ford and Holden were full of mundane stodge in 1966, perhaps the Cortina GT the ‘highlight’. Times ‘were a changin tho’, by 1970; Ford offered the Falcon 351V8 GT/GTHO, Lotus engined Escort Twin-cam, Capri GT V6 and 1600GT and Holden the Monaro HG 350V8 and Torana XU1 which sported a 186cid ohv triple-carbed straight six, all wonderful cars for 13 year olds to dream about…

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Ford Oz ad for the 1972/3 ‘XA’ Coupe GT; 351cid 300bhp V8, 4 speed ‘top loader’ box, slippery diff, disc/drum brakes, great cars!

Ford provided some support to Team Lotus who campaigned Lotus 49 DFW’s for both Jim Clark and Graham Hill during the ’68 Tasman Series which Clark won.

The Falcon shot at the articles start has Victorian plates so the shot was probably taken in the week of 25 February to 4 March 1968. Clark took the Sandown, Victorian round. The world champs were then in Melbourne for a few days before heading to Longford, Tasmania for the series ending race won by Piers Courage’ McLaren M4A FVA F2 car in a stunning wet weather drive.

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Clark ahead of Graham Hill, slices into The Esses during the ‘Warwick Farm 100’, another win for the Scot’s Lotus 49, he took the ’68 Tasman (oldracephotos.com)

Credits…

Ford Australia, oldracephotos.com

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The trouble with so many shots of Maria Teresa de Filippis is that many were shot by non-racing photographers so are devoid of the detail we want!…

‘Maria Teresa with racing car’ is about as precise as it often gets, it gives we amateur historians a research challenge I guess. Having trawled through the ‘F2 Register’ Formula Junior Archive as best I can (although the listing for this event does not include competitor numbers) this is the ‘Confronto Nord-Sud’ contested at Vallelunga on 1 November 1958. Lucio de Sanctis won the final in his own de Santis Fiat with Maria Teresa 4th in the first heat and 6th in the final. I wrote a short article after de Filippis died last year, click here to read it;

https://primotipo.com/2015/11/29/maria-teresa-de-filippis/

The car behind Maria Teresa is another Stanguellini, unfortunately the mid-engined car has been largely cropped out of the shot, ‘twould be interesting to know what it is if any of you FJ experts can identify the machine.

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MTdF in her Stanguellini at Vallelunga in 1958 (Popperfoto)

Formula Junior had 11 events in 1958, 9 of them in Italy, the category’s champion was Count Giovanni Lurani an Italian who saw the need for a relatively inexpensive entry-level single-seater class. The category was for cars with engines of 1100cc and a minimum weight of 440Kg (their was a 1000cc class as well with a lower weight limit) exploded in 1959 with meetings all over Europe, the UK from mid-year and a couple towards the end of the year in the US.

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Count Giovanni ‘Johnny’ Lurani, here in the mid-30’s, was an Italian auto engineer, driver and journalist who raced Salmson, Derby, Alfa and Maserati’s after graduating in engineering at the Politecnico di Milano. He won his class in the Mille Miglia thrice and founded Scuderia Ambrosiana in 1937. Post WW2 he worked with the FIA, his credits include the creation of FJ in ’59 and the GT Class in ’49. He also designed record breaking motorcycles and was president of the FIM in a life of achievement (ISC Images)

The category was immensely successful largely due to a progressively more buoyant post-war global economy, improving personal incomes and the arrival of consumer credit which meant young aspirants to Fangio’s world crown could buy a car.

There was plenty of choice of weapon too as builders of chassis and related componentry popped up all over the joint from Australia to Russia. An article on FJ and its incredible growth is an interesting one for another time!

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Stanguellini factory in Modena with a swag of FJ’s lines up out front in 1959 (stanguellini.it)

Stanguellini were beautifully placed to build cars for Formula Junior given their rich history of racers based on the Fiat parts bin…

That glib phrase does not do the heritage of this firm justice however, click on this link to the marques website which provides a great summary of their cars and engines since the 1930’s, the photographic archive is also rich, take the time to cruise through it; http://www.stanguellini.it/en/100-years-of-history-stanguellini-car/

The ‘Stang’ is often often said to be a mini-250F but its as much Vanwall or Lotus 16, either way those comparisons don’t do justice to a car which has a beauty all of its own.

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Stanguellini Fiat FJ cutaway drawing, all the key elements of the car clear and as described in the text (unattributed)

Vittorio Stanguellini engaged Alberto Massimino who was very clever in his design approach; its not innovative in terms of its ladder frame chassis, or choice of front-engined layout although the first cars appeared in late ’57 or ‘early ’58, the ‘Cooper Revolution’ wasn’t necessarily clear at that exact moment in time. A year later the mid-engined trend was, but the Stang with its circa 80bhp, twin Webered 1098cc pushrod engine was the most competitive thing around in 1958 and 1959.

In part it was due to a clever layout which provided the driver a low driving position, getting the weight down by the use of an offset drive line, the Fiat 4 speed gearbox kinked to the right, the driver to the left. The cars had conventional upper and lower wishbone front suspension and a Fiat live axle nicely located with parallel trailing arms and sprung by coils, co-axial shocks were used front and rear. The ‘look’ was completed by the use of Borrani 12 inch wire-wheels, brakes were finned Fiat 9.8 inch drums front and rear. The wheelbase was 79 inches, front and rear track 48 inches.

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Snug cockpit of Norm Falkiners Stanguellini FJ in late 2015, offset transmission to get the driver down nice and low clear . Engine and ‘box Fiat 4 speed (Bisset)

None of these Stanguellini’s raced in Australia ‘in period’ but Melbourne driver Norm Falkiner imported one a decade or so ago. I happened to be testing my Van Dieman RF86 Historic Formula Ford at Calder when its restoration was just completed by Jim Hardman, who still fettles it. These mixed track days are interesting to see how different cars do their stuff (or not!) up close; I can still recall how nice the thing put its power down, and how much punch it seemed to have, I could hear the little Fiat engine buzzing to circa 7500rpm each time I ranged up near it. It was less impressive under brakes, but chances are they were still being sorted.

Maria-Teresa’s views on the ‘Stang relative to the GP machines she was piloting at the time would be interesting!

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de Filippis in her 250F at Spa in 1958, 11th in the Belgian GP won by Tony Brooks Vanwall VW57 (unattributed)

Robert Lippi won the Italian Championship in 1958 and Michel May won both the ’59 Monaco FJ GP and ‘Auto Italiana International Championship for Drivers’ and Stanguellini the ‘Quattroroute International Championship of Makes’. The ‘Campionato Italiano’ went to Stanguellini driver Raffaele Cammarota.

In 1960 things got tougher. The Brits ran their first championships for the class, Chapman’s mid-engined Lotus 18 was just as quick with an 1100 Ford bolted into the back of it as a 2.5 litre Coventry Climax FPF. It and the Cooper T52 BMC made the pickings tougher for the ‘front-engined brigade the best of which that year was perhaps the Lola Mk2.

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The GP Icecar, Cortina 17/18 January 1959. In Italy racing on ice was a novelty, circuit at Monti Pallidi, contestants line up for the first heat. L>R Stanguellini Fiat’s of Crivellari, Zanarotti and De Carli. At right the VW based Mathe VW of Otto Mathe. The final was won by Manfredini’s Wainer Fiat (Stangullini)

In 1960 Colin Davis Osca Fiat won the ‘Campionato A.N.P.E.C/ Auto Italiana d’ Europa’ from Jacques Cales Stanguellini Fiat, Denny Hulme in a Cooper T52 BMC and Lorenzo Bandini, Stang Fiat.

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Beautiful period shot; Michel May lines up his #33 Stang Fiat FJ on the front row of the second heat of the Trofeo Vigorelli, Monza on 24 April 1960, which he won. 2nd in the ‘final 2’ . Car #57 alongside is Rob Slotemaker’s Cooper T52 DKW (stanguellini.it)

That FJ was nurturing drivers of great talent is shown by the fields of the 1960 championship which included Henry Taylor, Giancarlo Baghetti, John Love, Gerhard Mitter, ‘Geki’ Russo, Kurt Ahrens, Trevor Taylor, Jo Siffert, Peter Arundell, Ludovico Scarfiotti and Jim Clark, to name a diverse global few!

Clark won the ‘BRDC/Motor Racing’, ‘British FJ Championship’ and ‘John Davey British FJ Championship’ aboard his works Lotus 18 Ford and Peter Arundell the ‘BARC Championship’ in the other works 18.

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Jim Clark happy after winning the ‘Kentish 100 Trophy’ at Brands Hatch 27 August 1960, Lotus 18 Ford (Lee)

Stanguellini rose to the mid-engined challenge, building the multi-tubular chassis Delfino FJ. Again Fiat engined, but inclined at 45 degrees, it had a very distinctive high mounted exhaust. By 1962 Cosworth modified Ford engines were well out of the Fiat’s reach, the car had little success, with Stanguellini losing interest in the class.

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Colin Davis testing the Stanguellini Delfino Fiat at Modena in winter 1962, distinctive exhaust system clear. ‘Sharknose’ styling modelled on Carlo Chiti’s 1961/2 Ferrari 156 F1 machine (stanguellini.it)

Credits…

Botti, Popperfoto, Lee, Stanguellini.it, F2 Register, ISC Images

Tailpiece: Maria-Teresa helping get her Stanguellini into position at Vallelunga, car behind a 250F. I’ve a feeling the ‘ogling fans in the background are focused on the lines of the lady not her car…

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(Popperfoto)

 

 

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(Schlegelmilch)

Peter Gethin subbing for Denny Hulme in the tragic 21 June 1970 Dutch Grand Prix, McLaren M14A Ford…

1970 was a tragic season for driver deaths, Piers Courage perished in a gruesome fiery accident in his De Tomaso 505 Ford in this race.

Peter was drafted in the McLaren team after Bruce’s death at Goodwood on 2 June. To make matters worse Denny Hulme burned his hands at Indianapolis so McLaren were represented at Zandvoort by Dan Gurney, Gethin with Andrea de Adamich in an Alfa Romeo V8 engined M14A, the other team cars Ford Cosworth DFV powered.

What draws the eye to this shot is the helmet, Gethins and Jackie Olivers designs were so similar to Jim Clark’s at the time.

McLaren’s weekend was poor; Andrea DNQ and both Dan and Peter retired with a mechanical problem and accident respectively. John Surtees M7C was the best placed McLaren in 6th, the race won by Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 72 Ford, the iconic car scoring its first win. Surtees drove the ex-works 1969 car until his own Surtees TS7 made its debut later in the season.

Credit…

Rainer Schlegelmilch

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I’ve been to the ‘States but never done a ‘motor racing tour’, when I do so Road America, Elkhart Lake will be one of the ‘musts’…

I first saw the place in books on the CanAm Series as a teenager and was taken by its undulating terrain, challenging layout and wooded setting in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine.

These photos of Sebastien Bourdais in the 2007 Champcar round there seemed worth sharing.

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Bourdais reflection in the pits, Road America 2003 (Ingham)

The Le Mans born second generation racer burst from French karting and junior formulae and vaulted from European Formula 3000 success in 2002 to Indycars in 2003. He became the series dominant driver taking the title from 2004-2007 before jumping to F1 with Toro Rosso in 2008 and into 2009.

Bourdais won the Road America ‘Generac Grand Prix’ from pole extracting all the mandated Panoz DP01 2.65 litre single-turbo Cosworth V8 had to offer. His Newman Haas entered car won from Dan Clarke and Graham Rahal.

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Bourdais remains a competitive racer in Sportscars and Indycars having won a ‘Chevrolet Dual in Detroit’ race at Belle Isle Park in this years (2016) series.

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Credits…

All images Darrell Ingham

Tailpiece:Bourdais Panoz DP01, Road America 2003…

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bmw 328 11 rob roy 1946

The year is 1946, it isn’t Germany!…

Many thanks to Stephen Dalton for identifying the car and driver who are famous in the pantheon of Australian motor racing indeed. Frank Pratt drove this 328 to victory in the Australian Grand Prix at Point Cook, not too far away from Rob Roy in January 1948. The event featured is the 11th Rob Roy on 24 November 1946, one of Pratt’s first drives in the car.

This much raced 328, chassis #85136, was imported to Oz by Sydney driver/businessman John Snow on one of his trips to Europe. He bought it from a German General in 1937, Snow acquired it on behalf of George Martin, president of the Light Car Club, Melbourne.

Martin raced it in the ’38 AGP at Bathurst won by Peter Whitehead’s ERA R10B, then unfortunately lost his life in the car on the return trip to Melbourne in an accident near Wagga Wagga.

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George Martin in the 328 at left 15th, and John Crouch MG TA 5th, 1938 AGP at Bathurst, some of the challenges of the gravel track obvious in this shot (Dave Sullivan)

Repaired, by 1946 the car passed into the hands of Geelong motor cycle racer/dealer Frank Pratt who famously won his first circuit race in it; the 1948 Australian Grand Prix, at Point Cook airforce base west of Melbourne.

As a very successful motor cycle racer he was not new to competition and racecraft. He also had a favourable handicap, the AGP was run to F Libre and handicapped for many years. Pratt scored a lucky win with high speed consistency, the car prepared by racer/engineer Harry Firth.

Dalton adds; ‘..Les Murphy (was) mentioned as a possible driver of the car, because Pratt was injured at a Ballarat Motorcycle meeting. But not car preparation, Harry Firth said he did the brakes, chassis and gearbox on the BMW. Mick Scott did the engine. Harry also mentions preparing the Gaze HRG 1500, but wasn’t allowed to do the Alta’ which Gaze retired after 5 laps.

In a race run in horrid, stifling hot summer conditions which took their toll on both cars and their pilots especially the highly strung single-seaters and racing cars, Frank triumphed.

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Pratt on his way to victory on a horrible Melbourne summers day, AGP, Point Cook, January 26 1948, BMW 328 (George Thomas)

Click here for an interesting article about Frank Pratt, little has been written about him. ‘Pratt and Osborne’ still exists as a motor-cycle dealership in Geelong, a port city 75 Km from Melbourne on Port Phillip Bay. http://www.smcc.com.au/docs/Leonard%20Frank%20Pratt.pdf

The BMW was later raced by Peter McKenna all over Australia; at Fishermans Bend, Ballarat Airfield and Albert Park in Victoria and as far afield as Southport’s 1954 Australian Grand Prix. The car passed through various custodians hands in Oz before leaving the country in the 1990’s.

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The BMW in the Nuriootpa paddock, Australian GP meeting 1950, Peter McKenna (SLSA)

Credits…

‘Historic Racing Cars in Australia’ John Blanden’, George Thomas, Stephen Dalton, Dave Sullivan, State Library of South Australia

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Jacques Laffitte and Tico Martini swapping notes as the old mates catch up in 1977…

This shot is dated 1 June 1977, note the presence of Didier Pironi’s ’77 Monaco F3 GP winning Mk 21. There are a few cars being assembled in the Magny Cours ‘shop, by the looks of the brakes on the monocoque in the foreground it’s probably a Mk22 F2 chassis.

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Jacques at Paul Ricard in 1971, Alpine Formula Renault

Jacques first sprung to prominence with a win in the ’72 French Formula Renault championship aboard a Martini Mk8 and proved his inherent speed with Monaco F3 GP and French F3 championship wins in a Martini Mk12 Ford in 1973. He was also 4th in the British Championship in the same car. His Martini pedigree went back further though, to 1969 when he started to put together some good results in the F3 MW4, he was not an overnight success mind you, doing plenty of time in the junior formulae  before his ultimate progression.

Tico Martini built his first racing car, a hillclimber in Jersey in 1962. At the Boulay Bay hillclimb he met Bill Knight, who was running the Jim Russell Racing School at Magny Cours. The following year Martini moved to Magny Cours to look after the school cars and prepare a fleet of its F3 cars which he also raced.

In 1965 the Knights acquired the school and renamed it ‘Winfield’. In 1968 Martini built the MW3 F3 car (MW-Martini Winfield) F3 car. And so a firm which went all the way to F1 with Rene Arnoux in the Mk23 Ford DFV in 1978 was born, the full history of the marque a feature for another time.

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Laffitte, Williams FW04 Ford on his way to 2nd place to Reutemann’s Brabham BT44B Ford at the Nurburgring in 1975. German GP (Schlegelmilch)

Jacques jumped up to F2 in 1974 initially with a March BMW, he switched to Tico’s Mk16 BMW in 1975 winning the title in emphatic fashion with six round wins; Estoril, Thruxton, Nurburgring, the Pau GP, Hockenheim and Enna. Michele Leclere and Patrick Tambay completed a French sweep of the placegetters in March 752 BMW’s.

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Estoril 1975, Jacques 1st in the opening round of the Euro F2 Championship in ’75. Martini Mk16 BMW. March had the works BMW engines and their distribution rights, Jacque’s engines Schnitzer BMW M12, DOHC 4 valve, injected 2 litre circa 300bhp units (unattributed)

Mind you, by ’75 Jacques had made his F1 debut the year before, in one of Frank Williams Iso Fords.

Martini’s 1977 F2 car was the Mk22 Renault which convincingly won the European F2 title in Rene Arnoux’ hands from Eddie Cheever’s Ralt RT1 BMW and Didi Pironi in the other works Martini.

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Thruxton 11 April 1977, Brian Henton on the way to a great win in the Boxer PR276 Hart, Didi Pironi on the inside in his Martini Mk22 Renault DNF and Michele Leclere in the Kauhsen nee Jabouille 2J Renault DNF (unattributed)

Tico took the journey with Arnoux to F1 in 1978, a tough year to do so with Lotus 79 ground effects dominance. The Ford DFV powered MK23 with backing from Elf, RMO and Silver Match was uncompetitive. The team failed to qualify at Kyalami and Monaco but Rene made the field and finished 9th in the Belgian, Austrian and US GP’s and 14th in France. He retired in Holland and Canada, lack of sponsorship caused the teams withdrawal from F1 at seasons end.

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French GP, Paul Ricard, July 1978. Rene Arnoux Martini Mk23 Ford 14th leads a mid field gaggle including Clay Regazzoni Shadow DN9 Ford, Vittorio Brambilla Surtees TS20 Ford, Hans Stuck Shadow  DN9 Ford, Bruno Giacomelli McLaren M26 Ford and Rupert Keegan Surtees TS20 Ford (Schlegelmilch)

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Rene Arnoux, Martini Mk23 Ford  during Monaco 1978 pre-qualifying, he was 27th of 30 and didn’t make the cut, the race won by Patrick Depailler’s Tyrrell 008 Ford (Schlegelmilch)

Martini bounced back with Alain Prost’s success in the 1979 European F3 Championship, he won 7 of the 11 races in a Martini MK27 Toyota.

The company continued to win in F3 right through the 1980s and returned to F2 in 1983-84. Tico continued to build Formula Renault chassis with much success until 2004 when he sold the company to Guy Ligier and a new assault began on Formula 3.

The car beside Tico and Jacques, Pironi’s Monaco winner is a Toyota powered Mk21 chassis, behind him at Monaco was Elio De Angelis’ Chevron B38 and Anders Oloffsson’s Ralt RT1, the ‘Class of  1977′.

The Martini chassis were period typical aluminium monocoques with upper and lower wishbone front suspension and single top link, twin parallel lower links and twin radius rods for fore and aft location with outboard coil spring/shocks and roll bars at the rear. We are a couple of years before the ground effect era and its knock on impacts on chassis design and aerodynamics.

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Didi Pironi Martini Mk21 Toyota 1st from Elio de Angelis Chevron B38 Toyota 2nd Monaco F3 GP 21 May 1977 (Schlegelmilch)

The gearboxes were Mike Hewland’s ubiquitous, reliable 5 speed transaxles; the Mk9 and FT200 for F3 and F2 use respectively. Both classes specified 2 litre engines, the F3 rules inlet restrictions limiting the 4 valve, fuel injected 4 cylinder Toyota unit to circa 190bhp. Francois Castaing’s gorgeous ‘CH’ Renault Gordini 90 degree, 4 valve, fuel injected 1997cc V6 gave around 300bhp @ 10500rpm. It won Euro 2 litre sportscar and F2 titles and spawned Renault’s successful turbo-charged Le Mans and GP winners, stories for other times.

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There is a great book about Tico and his cars, inevitably its only published in French, which is a bumma for me at least!

Credits…

Benjamin Auger, Gerard Rouxel, Rainer Schlegelmilch

Tailpiece: Jacques in his ‘Winfield Racing’ F3 Martini MW4 Ford, ‘Coupe de Salon’ Montlhery October 4 1969…

He didn’t finish the race won by Emerson Fittipaldi’s Lotus 59 Ford from Francois Mazet and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud both in Tecno 69 Fords. The field included Depailler, Brambilla, Jarier, Jabouille, Wisell, Schenken and Peterson in a sea of talent!

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(Klemantaski)

I chose these two shots of the thousands of the great Argentinian as they demonstrate his delicate touch and judgement at very high speeds…

The first is driving the Alfa 159 for his beloved ‘Alfa Corse’ at Reims on 1 July 1951, his first championship winning season. He is clipping the inside grass on the back section of this French Grand Prix road course in the Champagne Region.

The second is at Bremgarten driving the Mercedes Benz W154 bang on line during the Swiss Grand Prix on 22 August 1954, also a title winning season of course.

Marvel at the finesse, it’s as clear in these neutral or slight understeer shots as the many high speed oversteer shots many of which are at Reims at well over 125mph…

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(Klemantaski)

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1954 French, Reims GP: Victory in #18 Mercedes Benz W154 upon its debut (Klemantaski)

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Fangio, French GP, Reims 1954 (Klemantaski)

Credits…

Klemantaski Collection, Maurice Jarnoux

Tailpiece: Mobbed in Milano, 1 September 1958…

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(Maurice Jarnoux)

 

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(Max Staub)

Count Giannino Marzotto and Nearco Crosaro spur their Ferrari 340MM on ahead of Fangio’s Alfa Romeo 6C3000CM during the 1953 Mille Miglia…

The Italian duo won the race, held from 25-26 April by nearly 12 minutes over Fangio’s car navigated by Giulio Sala and Felice Bonetto/U Peruzzi Lancia D20.

The new Alfa’s, powered by a 3 litre DOHC 6 cylinder engine led 4/5ths of the race but Marzotto’s victory was emphatic, he broke  the average speed record set in 1938, leaving it at 142kmh.

Credit…Max Staub