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George Abecassis in the 1955 Mille Miglia


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#1 Roger Clark

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 12:42

Everybody knows that GEorge Abecassis finished 11th in the 1955 Mille Miglia, a very good performance in an Austin-Healey.

Autocourse published the top 10 and their times at each of the major controls; it showed Abecassis as fourth overall at Bologna. This is clearly wrong as he wasn't in the top ten at Firenze and woould have had to have driven far faster than Moss over the Futa pass to have achieved his reported time.

Does anybody have the true position at Bologna? I've looked in contemporary Motor Sport, Autosport and books by Orsini and Lawrence but none contain that detail.

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#2 longhorn

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 13:59

Everybody knows that GEorge Abecassis finished 11th in the 1955 Mille Miglia, a very good performance in an Austin-Healey.

Autocourse published the top 10 and their times at each of the major controls; it showed Abecassis as fourth overall at Bologna. This is clearly wrong as he wasn't in the top ten at Firenze and woould have had to have driven far faster than Moss over the Futa pass to have achieved his reported time.

Does anybody have the true position at Bologna? I've looked in contemporary Motor Sport, Autosport and books by Orsini and Lawrence but none contain that detail.



Roger

According to Healeys and Austin Healeys by Browning & Needham, Abecassis was in 26th place at Rome; to Siena he recorded 15th fastest time and was in 14th place at Bologna. He then averaged 100.5 mph to Brescia resulting in the 11th place overall. His drive is regarded as one of the highlights of Healey history.

Healey - The Specials by Geoffrey Healey adds that Abecassis had run out of petrol in the mountains before Rome but was able to cadge some from a spectator to reach the next refuelling point. This delay cost him 52 places which presumably he was able to make up in part in order to reach Rome on 26th place.

Without the earlier delay he would have been in the top ten.

Macklin, in one of the other 100S's, probably wasn't that much slower. He had spun onto a straw bale which then caught fire resulting in a two minute loss in retrieving the car. He then stopped to ensure that Flockhart was OK when the sister car crashed through a bridge parapet into a river, right in front of him, and, finally suffered a deranged throttle linkage resulting in him having to drive on the ignition switch. He was placed 36th.

#3 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 14:01

Was George Abecassis 4th in his class (Sports Cars over 2000cc) at Bologna, as he was 5th in his class at the finish?

#4 Paul Parker

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 14:30

For those interested by this period and George Abecassis in general it should be noted that Paul Skilleter is writing a book on George in collaboration with his son.

#5 David McKinney

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 16:30

What does Paul's son know?

#6 D-Type

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 17:16

Pedant! :mad:

I disagree with you on this one. If he had meant Paul's son then Paul would have written: "~ Paul Skilleter, in collaboration with his son, is writing a book on George." I suppose Paul could have written: "~ Paul Skilleter, in collaboration with George's son, is writing a book on him.", but as written I don't think it's ambiguous as "George" is nearer to "his" than "Paul Skilleter".

But who am I to argue with an expert?

#7 Allan Lupton

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 17:23

"Which Tyler" strikes again!

#8 Roger Clark

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 18:20

I think there's no doubt that Abecassis' drive was a highlight of Healey racing history. I don't know how much time he lost when he ran out of fuel, but at the finish he was a little over 10 minutes behind Casella's 300SL so a top ten finish was not out of the question.

To put his fifth in class into perspective, he was beaten by Moss, Fangio, Malioli's 3-litre and Sighinolfi's 3.7-litre Ferraris. It seems strange that an Austin-Healey should be in such company.

I apologise for introducing this trivial note to a serious discussion about English usage. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

#9 tonyb

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 06:26

What does Paul's son know?

It's George's son, David ...

Here is some info from Paul on this and another book that's underway with help from another TNF member:

"It's been rather a long time coming, but the book on Lister cars is now well under way and disasters aside, will be published by November this year (2009). Essentially a picture book, it will tell the story of Brian Lister and the cars he built, primarily through the photo archives of Ted Walker (Ferret Fotographics). Ted has been acquiring motor racing negatives for the past 30+ years (almost but not quite as long as I've known him!), many of which have never been printed before, and we have agreed to collaborate on series of high quality books to show-case them.

"The Lister book is the first, and Ted's photographs will be augmented with pictures from my own collection and from Brian Lister himself, who is helping with the project. The book will be the same format as Golden Boy, but those suffering from muscular disorders will be relieved to learn that it will have rather less pages, probably 260 rather than the 460+ of Golden Boy.

"Secondly, looking ahead to September 2010, I have just signed a contract with David Abecassis to publish the biography of his father George which he is writing. This is going to be absolutely fascinating, as David is well-placed to tell the story of this race-car constructor and amateur driver who launched a number of notable drivers on their careers - Stirling Moss, Peter Collins and Lance Macklin amongst them. George had a successful racing career pre-war, gained a DFC while serving in Bomber Command during the war, continued motor racing after hostilities ended, and collaborated with his business partner John Heath on the HWM F2 cars, then built the HWM-Jaguars.

"All this is being recorded by David in some detail with the help of family archives and those who knew George, and we are allocating a large budget so that we can produce the very best images of George and his cars taken by the very best photographers of the day, Louis Klemantaski, Guy Griffiths and Geoff Goddard amongst them. And, the book is going to be very affordable - publication will be September 2010."

Anyone wanting more details of either of the above via e-mail when available, please contact Paul on jagworld1 (at) aol.com.

I'll post this on the book thread as well. Paul will be at the Revival on the TT Garage set Friday and Saturday if anyone wants a chat.

#10 Paul Parker

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 07:40

Oh dear I've fallen foul of the ambiguity syndrome and the omnipresent ASAPA (Antipodean Smart Arse Pedants Association), President D. McKinney arf, arf!


#11 tonyb

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 07:42

Oh dear I've fallen foul of the ambiguity syndrome and the omnipresent ASAPA (Antipodean Smart Arse Pedants Association), President D. McKinney arf, arf!

:rotfl:

#12 terry mcgrath

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 08:32

George Abecassis Biography
I believe it is covering some stuff on HWM motors as well so we might get some good info on another of my favourite cars the Facel Vega
terry
owner of the last RHD HK500 built CF8

#13 bradbury west

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 10:44

..........another of my favourite cars the Facel Vega
terry owner of the last RHD HK500 built CF8


Terry, have you seen the Martin Buckley tome on Facel Vega, publ by Palawan?
Roger Lund
btw, there is an excellent example of one of the early, 1954, Facels in the Musee de l'Automobile in les Sables d'Olonne, photo available if you e mail me
RL

Edited by bradbury west, 21 August 2009 - 10:46.


#14 Paul Parker

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 11:24

Further to my earlier post, I was only joking David!

Yours sneeringly,

Paul I'm often in the wrong Porker



#15 David McKinney

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 12:43

As are we all :)

#16 Speedwell

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:15

[quote name='Roger Clark' date='Aug 20 2009, 14:42' post='3801690']
Everybody knows that GEorge Abecassis finished 11th in the 1955 Mille Miglia, a very good performance in an Austin-Healey.

Was he driving in OJW 303?

Ivo

#17 David McKinney

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:25

Was he driving in OJW 303?

I believe Abecassis was in NOJ 391 and Ron Flockhart in OJW 303

#18 Healeyhero

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 08:49

I believe Abecassis was in NOJ 391 and Ron Flockhart in OJW 303


Abecassis was in OON 440 one of the 55 season works cars.
391 was still damaged after the Tour de France