image

Engine 4 cylinder monobloc, 1 inlet and 2 exhaust valves, SOHC, 4493cc-100X143mm bore/stroke, 4 speed box, 4 disc clutch, brakes on transmission, front and rear wheels, 1025Kg

Antonio Fagnano blasts his Fiat through a village during the 14 July 1914 event, Lyon…

Fagnano was a Fiat all-rounder and institution, he was a mechanic, foreman, member of the test department and graduated from riding mechanic to race driver of the works team!

For 1914 the GP ‘Formula’ provided for an 1100Kg maxiumum weight and engines of no more than 4.5 litres in capacity. The race was a contest between Peugeot and Mercedes in the context of imminent war; Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated less than a week before the GP at Lyon which drew a crowd of over 300,000 filling hotels within a 50Km radius of the course.

Christian Lautenschlager and riding mechanic on the way to winning the 1914 French GP, Mercedes GP 35HP. Engine 4 separate cylinders, 4 valves per cylinder, SOHC, 3 plugs per cylinder, 4456cc-93X164mm bore/stroke, claimed power 115bhp@2800rpm. 4 speed box, leather cone clutch, brakes on transmission and rear wheels, 1080Kg, top speed circa 110mph (unattributed)

Christian Lautenschlager won from teammates Louis Wagner and Otto Salzer in 7 hours 8 minutes 18.4 seconds at an average speed of 65.665mph.

Sailer led by 18 seconds at the end of the first lap, by lap five he had built a lead of almost 3 minutes and then retired with a blown engine on lap 6.  Boillot’s Peugeot took over the lead for 12 laps, at one point he led by over 4 minutes.

The Mercedes drivers made one stop during the race for new Continentals. This contrasted with the poor wear of the Dunlops of Peugeot, Boillot made eight stops for tyres, the Frenchman’s many tyre changes allowed Lautenschlager to pass on lap 18. By the end of that lap, Christian had opened up a lead of over 30 seconds.

Fagnano’s Fiat was the best placed of the Italian cars, the talented driver died of an illness, aged 35, on 8 July 1918.

France, 1914 and the Art Historians…

If you have a hankering for this era of racing here is a very interesting article with a completely different angle.

http://www.king-of-the-boards.com/articles/france1914.pdf

Credit…

Roger Viollet, Alinari Archive, T Mathieson ‘Grand Prix Racing 1906-1914’, Patrick Ryan Collection

image

Tailpiece: Dealership ‘in period’, the first Fiat dealership in Geneva with two 501’s out front, circa 1921…

balilla

(Alinari Archive)

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Hoi Polloi says:

    Thanks Mark for another wonderful story. You never fail to amaze me with more excellent vintage stories and pictures I’ve never seen before. Great website!

    • markbisset says:

      Thanks Hoi,
      Much appreciated, I wrote that one a long time ago and had forgotten just how interesting that link I posted is! I enjoyed re-reading it too.
      I don’t know much at all about the Edwardian period so it’s always an enjoyable learning experience doing the research into the earliest motoring times. Difficult tho as my own library is relatively light on about this period.
      Regards,
      Mark

  2. David Rees says:

    Man, I do love the photos from that period, and those are great Mark. My own library has grown considerably in the last ten years on this time in motor racing and these shots are a fantastic addition.

    • markbisset says:

      David,
      The wonderful thing about the internet is how freely information, inclusive of photos are distributed, especially personal happy snaps which none of us in days bygone would have ever sighted. I try to attribute carefully to do the right thing by the artists concerned. There are some amazing photos out there- and every one of my articles is inspired by the ‘lead shot’, that’s where the topics come from. Weird but it seems to work ok!
      Mark

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s