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Le Mans test weekend 1960


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#1 proviz

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 07:45


I'm doing research on Finnish racing/rally driver Carl-Otto Bremer. It came as quite a surprise that according to contemporary press reports he took part in the 1960 Le Mans Test Weekend driving a Ferrari.
Bremer is vaguely referred to having driven a "3-litre GT Ferrari". To my knowledge the only "GT" Ferrari present was the Belgian 250 GT LWB #1321GT. However, I can find no logical explanation to why Bremer would have driven an old car with people he otherwise never had any contact with.
On the other hand, it has been reported that quite a few drivers turned up to try the two works Testa Rossas, one of them the new version with independent rear suspension. In a later interview Bremer is quoted describing the experience of doing "340 kph" in Le Mans. Obviously an optimistic figure, this, but it leads one to think that perhaps he had actually been trying a Testa Rossa. Bremer regularly drove for Swedish Ferrari importer Tore Bjurström. Could Ferrari have been trying to persuade Bjurström to buy a new Testa Rossa and therefore ask him to attend the session, where Bremer perhaps tried the car to give his opinion?
Any information on this subject, or even educated guesses, would be greatly appreciated.

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#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 09:22

According to the list posted by Fred Gallagher in this earlier thread there were two 250GTs taking part, but, as you say, there is no reason why Bremer should have driven either of them.

#3 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 13:37

Swedish motor magazine Racing wrote: "One of Finland's best drivers and the anchor of the Finnish Ferrari-team, Carl-Otto Brehmer, has been invited by Ferrari to try out one of their new 3-litre cars at Le Mans. Practice for the classic race begins in April and Carl-Otto, who was over the moon of joy has already flown down to Le Mans in his own private airplane, a Saab Safir. Ferrari will take part in the Le Mans race with four 3-litre cars and a couple of Berinlettas."

Bremer didn't really "drive for Bjurström". Bremer owned his Ferrari and had only racing service provided from Bjurström. There is no talk about Bjurström being involved in this Le Mans test. Bjurström was very PR-minded and would certainly have told the press about such a connection. Bjurström instead at the same time told the press about his new FJunior team with a Stanguellini for Erik Carlsson (no, not the SAAB-driver).

Edited by Tomas Karlsson, 21 November 2010 - 13:44.


#4 proviz

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:31


Tusen tack Tomas, I was kind of counting of you shedding light on the matter!
This may be stretching the topic a bit, but from Finnish press cuttings in Bremer's own albums one rather gets the impression that he more or less "drove for Bjurström", at least on occasion. I know he bought the Monza (#568) from Bjurström, but there seems to be some uncertainty about when exactly it changed hands. Bremer's loyal mechanic says he was kept totally in the dark about Carl-Otto's first outing in that car, which was in Kiruna. Later that summer (1957) he took charge of preparation though. Also, Bremer did share Bjurström's Monza with Gunnar Carlsson in Nürburgring 1958, where again mechanic Pertti Aronen was not present. Furthermore, in contemporary press reports Bremer occasionally mentions the possibility of maybe participating in some Continental sportscar races, if his "expenses are paid by Ferrari Sweden".
Perhaps we should carry on this conversation via PMs for fear of straying from the actual topic of Bremer's presence in 1960 Le Mans Test Weekend.


#5 David McKinney

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 07:47

Perhaps we should carry on this conversation via PMs for fear of straying from the actual topic of Bremer's presence in 1960 Le Mans Test Weekend.

TNF threads have a habit of straying off-topic
I'm sure I'm not the only person who'd be interested in seeing how this side issue develops :)


#6 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:46

Well, Bjurström had a kind of service agreement with his Ferrari customers. They bought the cars, but he entered them under the Scuderia Ferrari Svezia banner. He also serviced the cars and had a very skilled mechanic who had been approved by Ferrari. The cars (at least the Swedish ones) were usually kept in Bjurström's garage in Örebro. I think this more or less ceased around 1958.
There were talks about more international races, but it never happened. I don't know how they should have been funded. Bjurström was just a car dealer, so the money must have come from somewhere else.

Edited by Tomas Karlsson, 22 November 2010 - 08:49.


#7 d j fox

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 19:48

Check this out

http://forums.motorl...a...697&page=17

Scroll down to Message # 338 which shows the entries/times for the 1960 Essais préliminaires des 24H .

No mention of your man.

This is a great Le Mans site and these lads ( or should that be garçons?) really know their stuff!

#8 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 20:15

Check this out

http://forums.motorl...a...697&page=17

Scroll down to Message # 338 which shows the entries/times for the 1960 Essais préliminaires des 24H .

No mention of your man.

This is a great Le Mans site and these lads ( or should that be garçons?) really know their stuff!


The only thing is that this list is not complete.

#9 camerat

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 09:12

The only thing is that this list is not complete.

What is wrong in this list ? What is missing ?

#10 proviz

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 09:17

What is wrong in this list ? What is missing ?


At least a number of drivers who tried the two Testa Rossas. Prunet reports in "Ferrari - Sports Racing and Prototype Competition Cars": "Several drivers, in turn, tested first the normal car with de-Dion rear axle and then a TRI60 (0780) fitted with independent rear suspension."



#11 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 10:35

What is wrong in this list ? What is missing ?

And there are several cars without any drivers at all :eek:

#12 camerat

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 11:38

And there are several cars without any drivers at all :eek:

Yes, and do you have any name to complete this list ?

#13 camerat

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 11:41

At least a number of drivers who tried the two Testa Rossas. Prunet reports in "Ferrari - Sports Racing and Prototype Competition Cars": "Several drivers, in turn, tested first the normal car with de-Dion rear axle and then a TRI60 (0780) fitted with independent rear suspension."

I had ask a friend who's Ferrari specialist and have a lot of books about them. His response for these drivers is Phil Hill, Clif Allison, Richie Ginther and Ludovico Scarfiotti.

#14 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 12:06

Yes, and do you have any name to complete this list ?


No! I can only see that there are a lot of empty spaces. The list is probably made up from what is known through newspaper reports. I suppose that only the cars were entered for the test days, not the drivers. But anyone can't have been let out on the track, so there might be some sort of official papers on which drivers that were present. Somewhere...