Posts Tagged ‘Peugeot L76’

(B King)

Known as ‘The Giant of Provence’, this 1900 metre mountain dominates southern Provence; its bald, treeless, summit gives it the appearance of being snow covered.

It will be familiar to those who watch ‘Le Tour de France’ (and who doesn’t?) as a particularly gruelling hill climb, but few will be aware that it is also famous as a car and motorcycle hill climbing venue.

This short review was prompted when Mark Bisset spotted the featured photograph of George Boillot in my collection. Boillot, driving a Peugeot Lion, achieved FTD in 1910; this photograph shows him near the summit on a 7.6-litre, DOHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder Peugeot L76 on August 11, 1912. His time in 1910 was 21 min 30.4, in 1912 17 min 46 sec, and in 1913, again on Peugeot, he ascended in 17 min 38 sec.

Note the W-registration, a factory trade plate. No-doubt George and his compatriots had driven the car 600 kilometres from the Lion Peugeot factory in Sochaux to the Mount.

Boillot and passenger in 1912, lack of L76 front brakes doubtless added to the challenge! (unattributed)
Ettore and passenger aboard his 5-litre chain drive Type 16 (B King)

Ettore Bugatti also competed on one of his Type 16 5-litre, SOHC, three-valve, four-cylinder machines; his journey from Molsheim would have been 750 kilometres.

Note the luggage rack on which he mounted his suitcase for the journey from Molsheim! C/n 471 still exists…as does the suitcase.

Bugatti and passenger aboard T16 at Mont Ventoux. This view is perhaps not the racer’s best angle (unattributed)

The hillclimb dates back to 1902 and the “Palmares Autos” is decorated with many famous names – to mention just a few: Rougier, Boillot of course, Thomas, Divo, Carraciola, Straight, Von Stuck, Trintignant, Behra, Barth, Hermann, Stommelen and Mitter – a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of Grand Prix and Hill Climbing talent.

With no safety barriers and a winning average speed of almost 150 kph there were no more open events after 1976, presumably for safety reasons.

Etcetera…

Boillot, Peugeot again, year uncertain, advice welcome (B King)

Credits…

Bob King Collection

Tailpiece…

In 2002 an event was held to commemorate 100 years since the first event. My wife and I were lucky enough to chance on this celebration as we were holidaying in the region.

And what an event with over 250 racing cars and motorcycles with everything from a 1902 Paris-Vienna Renault, through scads of barely known French voiturettes (D’Yrsan, BNC, Darmont, Rally and so on), to a Porsche 906 Carrera 6 that competed in 1967, and an Abarth SP 2000 which was the European hill climb champion in 1970. What a feast for eye and ear!

The French even manage to make their brochure ads cool rather than gauche!

Finito…