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Car numbers

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#1 Dironey

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Posted 07 October 2000 - 12:13

A very trivial question: How were car numbers decided before they became fixed for the entire season in the early seventies?


#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 October 2000 - 10:11

Probably allocated by race organiser, with preferences expressed by the teams possibly noted...

#3 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 04:23

A simple question it is not.
Since I don’t dwell these days too much in the Seventies, I can only quote an example from the first Masaryk Race, 1930 in Czechoslovakia. Three months before the race, the organizer announced that the official race numbers would be determined in the order of entries received by the CAMS, the organizing club. Entries were usually sent by mail for this international event. The mail service delivered the local entries the fastest, therefore number 2, 4, 6 and 8 went only to local drivers. Mail from Germany took a bit longer, so Caracciola had #10. Entries for Nuvolari and Borzacchini in the factory Alfa Romeos were received rather late; their numbers were 32 and 34 accordingly. Grids were very often assembled in order of the starting numbers and this rule was applied here also. The organizer had assigned #2 to #38 for group A cars, over 1500 cc (GP cars) and from #40 to #80 for group B cars up to 1500 cc.

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 09:18

I'm sure this happened elsewhere, too, Hans, but my response was assuming the question related to immediately prior to the seventies... ie, the sixties, and my mind immediately went to Monza, where only even numbers were used.
Some organisers wouldn't allocate the number 13, either... whereas others did and the drivers getting it didn't like it. The Australian Grand Prix of 1937, which was really the South Australian Centenary Grand Prix of 1936 (yeah, that's tricky, isn't it?) had Les Burrows in car 13. Les liked it not, so it became 12A for the race.