Posts Tagged ‘Crystal Palace’

John Surtees, the reigning World F1 Champ, aboard his Cooper T75 BRM P80 during the ‘London Trophy’ weeekend at Crystal Palace in June 1965…

He was a busy boy that year, fitting in F2 races around his primary programs for Ferrari in F1 and Endurance events.

Ken Tyrrell entered two Coopers that weekend, the other for Jackie Stewart, above, very much on his career ascent- he scored his first GP win with BRM that season at Monza in September aboard a P261 after a great dice with his teammate Graham Hill.

Surtees, Cooper T75 BRM

The London Trophy comprised two heats of 25 laps, the top four in each race were the same, Jim Clark, Lotus 35 Cosworth SCA, Graham Hill, Brabham BT16 BRM, Richard Attwood, Lola T60 SCA and Jochen Rindt, Brabham BT16 SCA.


The off, Heat 1.

Stewart at left and Clark right, Brabham on the inside of row 2.

Clark won both heats, the Tyrrell Coopers had problems in this heat which were fatal for their chances of a start in the second race- Stewart had half-shaft failure after completing 16 laps and a rod let go in the BRM engine after 21 of the 25 laps in Surtees case.

There was plenty of depth on the grid, other starters included Mike Spence, Trevor Taylor, Chris Amon, Denny Hulme, Jack Brabham and Peter Revson with the DNQ list including Jo Siffert, David Hobbs and Chris Irwin.


Getty Images

Tailpiece: Jim Clark, Lotus 35…

Jim Clark aboard his Lotus 35 SCA, final chat to his mechanic who has a tyre pressure gauge at the ready. I’m not sure this is Crystal Palace, if it is, the car behind is Bill Bradley’s Brabham BT10 SCA.


Nice bit of promotional artwork, I wonder what car is being characterised though?…

The image is a crop from a London Midland & Scottish Railway poster to promote the Crystal Palace 21 May 1938 meeting. The Sydenham Trophy, the car feature event of the day, was won by the John HT Smith, MG at an average speed of 52 mph.

It seems possible the inspiration is the Alfa Romeo 308C, although the bodywork is not an exact fit, mind you maybe its a stylised Mercedes W125 or an Alfa 8C-35 or perhaps something else?


The image above is of Manfred Von Brauchitsch taking some air on the Melbourne Rise during the October 2 1937 Donington Grand Prix weekend.

Bernd Rosemeyer won in an Auto Union B Type from the Mercedes W125’s of Von Brauchitsch and Rudy Caracciola, perhaps the artist, a ‘Mr Light’ attended the weekend with his art an impressionist interpretation of the car, but in red?


Mechanics attend to one of the W125’s in an unidentified paddock. Click here for an article about this great car;

How about the Alfa 308 or 308C then?

Four of these Colombo engineered cars, with independent front suspension and 2991 cc versions of Vittorio Jano’s long-lived straight-8 were built and first raced by Tazio Nuvolari at Pau in 1938. A leaking fuel saddle-tank caused the accident which was the catalyst for the great Mantuan to leave Alfa.


Raymond Sommer, above Alfa Romeo 308C during the July 1939 French Grand Prix.

Sommer and Chinetti in two of the machines were fifth and eighth. The race was won by Herman Muller from George Meier, both aboard 3 litre V12 Auto Union Type D’s- third was a Talbot MD 4.5 litre straight-6, the driver Rene Le Begue.

It is possible Mr Light used these cars as inspiration but the two vents either side of the radiator aperture are missing.


Qsqui Jarillo advises ‘The photo was taken in Buenos Aires city in 1949 and is probably the car being moved in front of the Automobile Club of Argentina building. In the background is the ‘Bosque de Palermo’ park, the place where pre-F1 age Grand Prix cars were raced.’

‘The car is the 1938 Alfa Romeo 308 Tipo C, chassis number 50017, engine 80017 and raced by local driver Oscar Galvez, now displayed in the Fangio Museum.’


Etcetera: 1938 Sydenham Trophy…


Light, Fox Photos,, ‘Alfa Romeo’ in kolumbus.f1

Tailpiece: Alfa Romeo 8C-35 perhaps?…

Light’s car could be I guess, the Alfa 8C-35- the donor chassis for the four Alfa 308C’s were ‘old 8C-35/12-C36 tubular chassis used with only minor updates’.

The car above is the Hans Ruesch Alfa Romeo 8C-35 cruising through the Brooklands paddock past the Clubhouse and about to be tested by wealthy Australian John Snow in 1938.

John Medley in ‘John Snow: Classic Motor Racer’ wrote that after the Brooklands test Snow hired the car for meetings at Crystal Palace, Donington, Brooklands and Cork. Unfortunately the car, with Buddy Featherstonhaugh at the wheel crashed badly during practice at Donington and was then sent back to the factory for repair.

In a sidebar of Australian motor racing history Snow brought another of Ruesch’s cars to Australia, the Alfa P3/2900 Tipo B #5002 which he sold to his friend Jack Saywell.

It’s possible Mr Light saw the 3822 cc car in the UK and liked it so much he used it as a base for his poster? The 8C-35 was Alfa’s post Tipo B response to the Silver Arrows onslaught.


Hans Ruesch in his Alfa Romeo 8C-35 during the 1937 Monaco Grand Prix.

He was seventh, five laps adrift of the three W125’s at the head of the field raced by Von Brauchitsch, Caracciola and Christian Kautz. Three of the four 8C-35’s contested the event and finished line astern from sixth to eighth places- Giuseppe Farina, Sommer and Ruesch, ‘best of the rest’ behind five German cars…



(Fox Photos)

Dick Seaman and Herr Heck in their Mercedes’ at Crystal Palace in 1937…

This promotional shot dated 7 October preceded the ‘International Imperial Trophy’ race, ‘the first international road race organised in London’ on 9 October. The event was the decider of the 1937 ‘BRDC Gold Cup’ between B Bira and Ray Mays ERA’s.

The cars above are Seaman’s Mercedes W125 GP car and Heck’s 1903 Mercedes Tourer. Seaman, a works Mercedes driver was back in the UK having contested the 1937 Donington GP a week earlier. He retired from the Leicestershire event after a collision with Muller’s Auto Union having started on the outside of the front row, Bernd Rosemeyer’s Auto Union Type C won the thrilling race.

Seaman did not contest the International Imperial Trophy race but was scheduled to thrill the crowds with some demonstration laps in his Mercedes. The race was significant as the first ever live BBC TV outside broadcast of motor sport.


BBC man in evidence as one of the Maserati 4CM’s and an Austin passes. Interested to know both driver names and the name of this corner if any of you can help? (Imagno)

The entry included Britain’s best plus the Scuderia Ambrosiana, which fielded Maserati 4CMs for Count Piero Trossi, Count Johnny Lurani and a Maserati 6CM for Luigi Villoresi. Private Maseratis were driven by Robin Hanson and Peter Aitken (6CM’s) and Archie Hyde (8CM). They were challenged by the ERA’s of Ray Mays , Arthur Dobson, B Bira, Ian Connell, Peter Whitehead and Charlie Martin.


It looks a bit chilly! L>R: Trossi, Senor Rovere, Lurani and Villoresi with one of the Ambrosiana Maserati 4CM’s (David Savill)

During Thursday practice Mays blew his ERA’s 1100cc engine, becoming a non-starter and effectively giving the ‘Gold Star’ to Bira by 3 points.

Leiff Snellman reported the race in thus; ‘The race was run in two heats plus a final and raced as a handicap event with Hyde and his 3 litre Maserati starting from scratch, the 1.5 litre Maseratis and ERA’s having a 10 seconds advantage and the Austins, MGs and the MG-Riley having a 50 seconds advantage’.

‘Winner of the first 10 laps heat was Maclure (Riley) followed by Dobson (ERA), Lurani and Whitehead. Villoresi retired with an engine problem. Trossi (Maserati) won the second heat after a tough fight with Martin (ERA) and B Bira (ERA) who finished second and third with Goodacre (Austin) fourth’.


Top left; Seaman, Bira, Trossi. Top right Trossi Maserati 4CM (David Savill)


Unidentified gaggle of cars during the meeting (Central Press)

Between the races Seaman jumped into the ‘Benz W125 and carefully did several laps in 2 min 4s, about the same speed as the cars during the heats. Many of the spectators must have heard stories about the spectacular show by the German cars the week earlier and were as thrilled by the speed, wheel spin and noise from the ‘Silver Arrow’ as the Donington crowd had been.


Seaman practices his W125 at Crystal Palace prior to raceday, the slippery nature of the surface evident from the gloomy English day (Getty)

‘Twenty cars started in the 15 laps final to fight for the £150 first prize. The race became a great duel between ERA drivers Bira and Dobson who left the rest of the field behind. Bira won by half a car length while Dobson received the Jarvis Trophy for the fastest lap. Goodacre’s Austin finished third. The Scuderia Ambrosiana cars were unable to challenge for the lead with Trossi an early retirement and Villoresi and Lurani having problems to follow the ERA’s. Villoresi finally finished in fourth place’.


Bira the happy winner (Central Press)

The Mercedes W125 went on display at the Mercedes-Benz showrooms in Park Lane, as was Rosemeyer’s car at the Auto Union showrooms.


Fox Photos, Imagno, David Savill, Central Press

Leif Snellman’s Crystal Palace article in