Jump to content


Photo

Mlle. Helle-Nice


  • Please log in to reply
177 replies to this topic

#51 Jimmy Piget

Jimmy Piget
  • Member

  • 530 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 09 July 2002 - 20:15

I own copies of her birth & death certificates, but I ask until tomorrow to find them.
I also own photocopy of a letter she wrote in her late years about her Brazilian crash (until tomorrow too)

What my memory can yet provide is that she was called Mariette Hélène DELANGLE, that she stayed bachelor and that she signed her letter "Hellé"

Advertisement

#52 Jimmy Piget

Jimmy Piget
  • Member

  • 530 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 10 July 2002 - 16:41

Here is what the certificates read :

Mariette Hélène DELANGLE, born 15 December 1900 in her parents' house in Aunay-sous-Auneau (Eure-et-Loir) — not far from Dreux and Rambouillet
Daughter of Aristide Léon DELANGLE, 35 year old, facteur-receveur (postman cum post office boss — he obviously was the only employee in the post office of Aunay, at the time...)
and of his wife Alexandrie Estelle BOUILLIE, 27 year old, no occupation
Never married
Died 1 October 1984 at 18 p.m. at Nice, 38 avenue de la République
She was then considered as a "retraitée"

Both letters which I own a photocopy are from the late 1970s. They are very sad to read (heavy problems of health, money and everyday life).
Is it really necesary that I try to translate them ? Who cares ?

#53 Barry Lake

Barry Lake
  • Member

  • 2,169 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 11 July 2002 - 05:25

Jimmy

Thanks a million for that information! :clap:

As for "who cares" about her letters from late in life; I do, for one.

I regard this sort of thing as similar to fatal crashes - not nice to read about, but it is part of history and it is fact - and I want to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Yes, thank you, I would love to see a translation of the letters.

Also, as with crashes, knowing the fate of people who lived the high life but didn't plan for their later years, gives one the opportunity to work towards avoiding a similar fate.

The facts should be known.

#54 Yves

Yves
  • Member

  • 183 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 11 July 2002 - 07:31

Originally posted by Jimmy Piget
Here is what the certificates read :

Mariette Hélène DELANGLE, born 15 December 1900 in her parents' house in Aunay-sous-Auneau (Eure-et-Loir) — not far from Dreux and Rambouillet
Daughter of Aristide Léon DELANGLE, 35 year old, facteur-receveur (postman cum post office boss — he obviously was the only employee in the post office of Aunay, at the time...)
and of his wife Alexandrie Estelle BOUILLIE, 27 year old, no occupation
Never married
Died 1 October 1984 at 18 p.m. at Nice, 38 avenue de la République
She was then considered as a "retraitée"


Funny : she is born no more as 3 kms from where I live today !!!
For sure, at that time it was a small village close to Auneau, ~60kms south-west-south of Paris, not far from Dourdan and you are right, Rambouillet (I read somewhere it's the place where JP Wimille is born but cannot get my source back ?)
It's also close to Ablis where a world speed record has been established at the very end of the 19th century (another record was established in the same period near Dourdan).
So this area could have something special for motor sports ?

Both letters which I own a photocopy are from the late 1970s. They are very sad to read (heavy problems of health, money and everyday life).
Is it really necesary that I try to translate them ? Who cares ?

I you want me to translate it for you (if you think my english is good enough for that ;) ), it will be a plaisure.

Y.

#55 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,172 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 11 July 2002 - 08:08

Originally posted by Jimmy Piget
I own copies of her birth & death certificates.....

Jimmy, by any chance do you have death details about Isadora Duncan, the famous American born dancer, who was the belle of the Belle Epoque in Paris. She died September 14, 1927 in Nice, when she went for a short ride in a two-seat open car (Bugatti or Amilcar?). When the driver pulled away, her heavy trailing scarf around her neck got caught in the rear wheel and her neck was wrenched against the side of the car. Who was the driver? What car was it? We discussed this before but I could not yet find the thread.

#56 Yves

Yves
  • Member

  • 183 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 11 July 2002 - 09:01

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Jimmy, by any chance do you have death details about Isadora Duncan, the famous American born dancer, who was the belle of the Belle Epoque in Paris. She died September 14, 1927 in Nice, when she went for a short ride in a two-seat open car (Bugatti or Amilcar?). When the driver pulled away, her heavy trailing scarf around her neck got caught in the rear wheel and her neck was wrenched against the side of the car. Who was the driver? What car was it? We discussed this before but I could not yet find the thread.


Such a tragical destiny, this lady got only bad things from cars and ... France :

"Severe tragedy struck at the peak of her fame. Her two children were drowned when their car rolled into the Seine".

From : http://www.dancewrit.../prelude03.html

The above site says 19th of september as her death : is here death date as mysterious as her birth date ?

From the Washington post a precision of the place (Negresco is on the "Promenade des Anglais", the famous seefront avenue in Nice :

Then came the artists like Matisse, who fell in love with the light, and Isadora Duncan, who died in front of the Negresco Hotel when her scarf caught in the wheel of her Bugatti.
http://www.washingto...A5684-2002May24


I know, this doesn't answer your question :(

Y.

#57 scheivlak

scheivlak
  • Member

  • 11,310 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 11 July 2002 - 09:31

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
[BWho was the driver? What car was it? We discussed this before but I could not yet find the thread. [/B]


According to this source http://homepage.mac....Hunt/Q-076.html the car was most likely an Amilcar, and the driver might have introduced himself as "mr. Buggatti"....

#58 Leif Snellman

Leif Snellman
  • Member

  • 1,076 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 11 July 2002 - 11:02

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
We discussed this before but I could not yet find the thread.

Hans, its at:
http://www.atlasf1.c...=&threadid=9925

#59 Patrick Italiano

Patrick Italiano
  • Member

  • 412 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 11 July 2002 - 12:16

Originally posted by Jimmy Piget

Both letters which I own a photocopy are from the late 1970s. They are very sad to read (heavy problems of health, money and everyday life).
Is it really necesary that I try to translate them ? Who cares ?


Well, if translating the whole stuff is too much a work, maybe the most relevant parts. Or post it even in French. Some of us can translate it

I would like to read it.

Thanks :up:

Advertisement

#60 Jimmy Piget

Jimmy Piget
  • Member

  • 530 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 11 July 2002 - 21:55

Yves,
I do not know if Jean-pierre Wimille was born in rambouillet (must check my archives for that), but Robert Benoist was from this area — St Benoît near Auffargis. This latter town was also the place where Ferenc Szisz died in 1944. At last there were also two huge Voiturette races in 1906 & 1907 at the "circuit de Rambouillet" (I guess it was a long road one around the town).

Hans,
Sorry but I do not know more about Isadora Duncan that is written here...
I just remember, when I was a teenager, having seen his brother Raymond walking in the Quartier Latin of Paris. He used all his life to be clothed as the Greeks from b.c. I think he died circa 1966, and I was then still a teenager.

Everybody,
OK, I'll try to translate both Hellé-Nice letters, into my broken English and with the help of my precious Harrap's. But tomorrow Friday, please.

#61 Jimmy Piget

Jimmy Piget
  • Member

  • 530 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 13 July 2002 - 20:42

I am a little bit late but I've finished the translation of Hellé's first letter I own.

By the way, I've also a copy of a signed photography by her, she signed "Hellé Nice" with no hyphen. both the letters I own are signed just "Hellé". So : I stop immediatly hyphenating her name...

This is what her first letter reads (apologies for typos and broken English) :

<< Nice, 23 Septembre 1977
Dear Janalla (1),
(…) [personal sentences concerning Mrs Jarnach]
I had received, about my teeth, notice to attend at the hospital for 8 a.m., I answered that it was not possible for me, getting out of bed at 6.30 while I hardly fall asleep before 5, dressing up, looking for, and waiting for the bus to come and walking towards the hospital, and doing all of this only to wait there until 11 or 12, in a waiting room that stinks nauseatly. I went there once, after Beaulieu (2) when I was not allowed to visit a private dentist (3), this right having been given to me before, since there is no hospital in Beaulieu. I did vow not to go there again. And I just saw my home helper who takes care of all the approaches, and it seems that I’ll be obliged to go to the hospital, with the same notice to attend but at the time as I wish.
I resumed receiving care at the Institut (4), 50 metres from my place.
After having extracted mu left teeth, mu dentist woman opened nearly my whole lower gum in order to file down the bone excessences and then she stitched it up, it was far from fun but she is a student both skilled and competent.
I phoned the social worker Mrs Bertrand, who had been told of the letter to President Giscard d’Estaing (5), but she does not know more. This is an annoyment for me because I am anxious about the bill (6), I cannot pay it.
Perhaps I’ll stay without any tooth, but it won’t prevent the treatments to be paid. The only pleasure of all this is that I am not in pain anymore.
You know that the fall of my teeth, which were not diseased and fell by themselves, could be due to my accident in Brazil, when I have been thrown off my car and crashed 100 metres away, head foirst into the chest of a poor guy that I killed, and I had stayed 3 days in coma. This could well have shook my jaw.
As I was anxious about the quality of the teeth I’ll be put, my sentist told that she’ll choose the best available.
About my skin, for it matters too, the dentist repeated again that it is incurable. I answered her that if psoriasis (7) does not depart me, then I’ll depart it, and I am speaking seriously, for this is not a life. I use to spend 3 or 4 hours a day and I am obliged to, otherwise I cannot sleep, and how many times must I get out of bed at 5 a.m. in order to do it again.
An I cannot find the time to complete all the works I began on the clothes you sent me (8). I do not have any courage.
I have an appointment next Tuesday for my teeth, I was yet been taken the plaster cast. The argument is to resume… How can I pay ?
And I just receive 2 local council tax returns, both for 1977 on 2 different entries, for a total amount of 63 500 AF (9), I fear they’ll seize the little I have left.
Well it’s the total world-weariness. And I am fed up.
But even if, I kiss you a lot (…)
Hellé >>

Translator’s notes
(1) Mrs Janalla Jarnach, founder president of « La Roue Tourne », an association for a mutual aid in the show business. This association, still active, provides help and food to ancient artists in misery. As an ancient dancer, Hellé Nice was so helped.
(2) Beaulieu, small town on the Côte d’Azur, where Hellé lived before getting to Nice.
(3) Obviously by the Social Security administration, which managed the situation of meanless people.
(4) A dental college.
(5) Then the French Republic President (1974-1981).
(6) Very probably her dental care bill. She perhaps wrote to the President, asking for some additional aid.
(7) Psoriasis : dermatosis with plaques and squama. It can land on the whole body, that becomes red and irritable. It can occur after a serious accident or a moral shock (from the « Larousse médical »)
(8) Were these clothes sent for Hellé’s own use, or was it a paid work for her to get a little money ? I can’t tell.
(9) « AF » means « anciens francs », i.e. « centimes », so 635 F (circa 95 €).

Next time for the second letter.

#62 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,172 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 14 July 2002 - 00:59

Jimmy,
Thank you very much for sharing this sad letter with us. Your translator's notes have indeed been very helpful to better understand the text. Her reference about the accident proved what I had read somewhere before to the effect that the person she hit upon falling into the crowd died from the impact.

This letter made me contemplate about the sad and lonely life some people must live.

#63 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,106 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 14 July 2002 - 05:24

Interesting that the French health service in 1977 sounds as bad as the British one today!

#64 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,012 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 02 August 2002 - 00:30

David Venables' new book on Bugatti says she was not only a strip-tease dancer, but also the mistress of Marcel Lehoux. Now there's a new twist!

#65 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,172 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 02 August 2002 - 00:59

"Girl friend" may have probably been the more realistic translation. ;)

#66 paulhooft

paulhooft
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 06 February 2003 - 19:50

What has happened to all those photo's?
::rotfl:

#67 dmj

dmj
  • Member

  • 1,956 posts
  • Joined: August 01

Posted 07 February 2003 - 17:28

Well, that's one of key reasons why I bought "Memoirs of a Bugatti hunter", with a lot of her pics inside. Researching... So I am independent of Internet while doing this. ;)

#68 paulhooft

paulhooft
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 07 February 2003 - 17:44

Yes,
I have the book in my collection...
Paul Hooft

#69 550spyder

550spyder
  • Member

  • 177 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 07 February 2003 - 20:05

I live in Sao Paulo, Brazil where the 1936 race happened. Even though I was born in 1948, I remember my father telling about the race and Helenice. This is the way people spell her name here and this name became popular. There are some ladies born in the 30's called Helenice.
My father told me that Helenice and Manoel de Teffé, a brazilian driver that became diplomat, were very close and ended crashing - In my father opinion it was Teffé fault but this is only a opinion.
I believe the reamains of Helle Nice Alfa Romeo stayed in the Motor Vehicle Department until the sixties because I saw them in the Department Junkyard. I was very young at that time but I still could reconize a Alfa Romeo even destroyed. Later the car disapeared like so many old race cars in Brazil.
Regarding the race course I can inform that the place was a new Sao Paulo Neighborhood called Jardins, Gardens in english. This is a very high class development made by a Canadian Company called City that owned at that time railroads, eletric generatin and distribuition, gas ie all the utilities in São Paulo. The course was the Avenida Brasil, a long avenue. I believe the race concept was similar to Avus. Two long straights and two bends. The Interlagos race track did not exist at that time, being oppened in 1940.
Best regards,

Roberto Zullino - 550spyder
Sao Paulo - Brazil

#70 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,837 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 07 February 2003 - 21:06

Always nice to add a personal touch to a thread like this one... thank you 550spyder...

I look forward to reading your post in the New Introductions thread.

#71 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,327 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 25 January 2004 - 17:46

Reviving this thread after reading with interest two features on this lady in today's London 'Sunday Telegraph Review' newspaper section and 'Sunday Telegraph Magazine' - based on a new book about Helle-Nice, by Miranda Seymour (Simon & Schuster, GB £15.99 - available from Telegraph Books Direct (0870 1557222) for GB £13.99. The book-based feature story is very interesting claiming she was denounced as a wartime Gestapo collaborator by Louis Chiron - whom she previously detested and had perhaps rejected? - at a drivers' dinner party claimed to have been "before the 1949 Monte Carlo Rally". French law offered her no protection in Monaco and "without redress her humiliation was public and absolute".

Heading the magazine story is a dazzling photo of her jazzily two-tone Alfa 'Monza' at St Gaudens, Comminges, in 1935.

DCN

#72 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 25 January 2004 - 18:55

To which can be added a review in the 'Books' supplement to Saturday's Daily Telegraph. This one had a much more captivating photograph - but the silly girl had forgotten to put her clothes on before it was taken.
The Saturday review, whilst mentioning her given name, referred to her throughout as Hellé Nice (two words). I wonder if the book itself gives a plausible origin for the nom de course?

#73 paulhooft

paulhooft
  • Member

  • 873 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 25 January 2004 - 21:15

Doug ,
what is the name of the book? and the ISBN??
Paul Hooft

#74 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,327 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 25 January 2004 - 21:31

Ah - sorry! The title is apparently 'The Bugatti Queen' - it has 301 pages but helpfully 'The Telegraph' cites no ISBN. Sorry. Incidentally it is inferred that there is absolutely NO evidence to indicate that Chiron's devastating claim was in any way grounded in fact and so was foul slander...

DCN

#75 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Member

  • 14,280 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 25 January 2004 - 21:42

Currently offered here for £11.19:

http://www.fair-shop...-locale-uk.html

#76 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,012 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 25 January 2004 - 21:57

Originally posted by paulhooft
Doug ,
what is the name of the book? and the ISBN??
Paul Hooft


The ISBN was about all I could find on Simon & Schuster's website - no blurb, just a few bibliographic details!

0-743-23146-5

#77 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,837 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 25 January 2004 - 22:12

Originally posted by Doug Nye
.....claiming she was denounced as a wartime Gestapo collaborator by Louis Chiron.....


Very interesting... I think probably untrue.

The 'why' to this is what I heard from Louis Chiron's nephew, who virtually never knew his uncle. It seems that Louis' contract with the M-B team (1935/36?) was the cause of a huge break in family relations and, by extension, I would say that Louis well knew the result of such charges on a person.

On the other hand, it would seem to me that if Louis made these charges he would only have made them with solid evidence.

#78 Macca

Macca
  • Member

  • 3,322 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 27 January 2004 - 11:17

I saw those reviews and have glanced through the book in a shop - the author says there was nothing in the comprehensive German wartime records to implicate Helle-Nice in collaboration, let alone actively assisting the Nazis, although details of how she actually spent the war are sketchy. She was never investigated, prosecuted or even persecuted, as most collaboraters were.

The mystery is why she didn't slap Chiron's face and tell him off.

Perhaps it is just that Chiron might have been one of the few men of her acquantance that she DIDN'T favour at some time. Ironically he spent the war in Switzerland, IIRC.

Paul

#79 VAR1016

VAR1016
  • Member

  • 2,825 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 27 January 2004 - 11:41

Originally posted by Macca
I saw those reviews and have glanced through the book in a shop - the author says there was nothing in the comprehensive German wartime records to implicate Helle-Nice in collaboration, let alone actively assisting the Nazis, although details of how she actually spent the war are sketchy. She was never investigated, prosecuted or even persecuted, as most collaboraters were.

The mystery is why she didn't slap Chiron's face and tell him off.

Perhaps it is just that Chiron might have been one of the few men of her acquantance that she DIDN'T favour at some time. Ironically he spent the war in Switzerland, IIRC.

Paul


AH! well I hope it was not what the French called "collaboration horizontale"

PdeRL

Advertisement

#80 Ron Scoma

Ron Scoma
  • Member

  • 244 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 03 February 2004 - 20:18

Originally posted by Jimmy Piget
This is what her first letter reads (apologies for typos and broken English) :

I had received, about my teeth, notice to attend at the hospital for 8 a.m., I answered that it was not possible for me, getting out of bed at 6.30 while I hardly fall asleep before 5, dressing up, looking for, and waiting for the bus to come and walking towards the hospital, and doing all of this only to wait there until 11 or 12, in a waiting room that stinks nauseatly. I went there once, after Beaulieu (2)



Jimmy:

Do you have an address where she lived in Beaulieu?
Thanks,

Ron Scoma, who often thinks about moving to B-s-M....

#81 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,106 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 04 February 2004 - 09:55

Originally posted by Ron Scoma



Jimmy:

Do you have an address where she lived in Beaulieu?
Thanks,

Ron Scoma, who often thinks about moving to B-s-M....

'Villa des Agaves,on the steep boulevard Edward V11 next to the summer home of the Prince of Bourbon' from 'Bugatti Queen' by Miranda Seymour.

#82 Jimmy Piget

Jimmy Piget
  • Member

  • 530 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 05 February 2004 - 11:22

Originally posted by Ray Bell
On the other hand, it would seem to me that if Louis made these charges he would only have made them with solid evidence.


Not so sure, Ray.
Louis "le débonnaire" seemed to actually as behave flearing up very easily.
Remember the Alf Francis memory book when, after an race incident with another driver - not named, but probably Alexander Todd Orley — he claimed that he'll do anything he can to forbid this driver racing again and that he had the power to do it...
So, I suspect him to accuse Hellé in such a way, only because he did not like her (an unsuccessful bed story, may be ?).

I have an other source (but without any evidence) that Hellé spent some of the war years in Brazil, returning there after her horrific 1936 crash, but acting as a brothel boss (???)

#83 humphries

humphries
  • Member

  • 918 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 09 February 2004 - 12:51

In "Bugatti Queen" it mentioned the driver Mme Derancourt and discloses her first name as Albertine. Another gap filled to gladden this anorak's heart. Albertine raced for a few years but was rather slow although she did enjoy all the fuss that was made of her, despite her tardy performances. When "Helle-Nice" appeared on the scene it was the very physically fit Helene that took the limelight. How many other drivers could do a headstand on the bonnet of their car?! ( The men only when they were crashing!). To be fair to Helene, although she was never a contender for victory, she did compete against the best and could hold her own in the mid-pack.

Only two women drivers in the inter-war years could be right on the pace with the men in similar cars, Elisabeth Junek and Violette Morris . The photogenic Junek was brave, skilled and her deft handling of a Bugatti a joy to behold, it is said. Morris, a world shot-put record holder, was not that skilled but she was mighty strong and aggressive. Remember she won the single-handed 1927 Bol d'Or 24 hour race, a real feat of endurance.

Perhaps understandably Morris was hairbrushed out of the history of French motor sport after the war. Her open support for Germany in the war, and her death at the hands of the Resistance when she was shredded by machine gun fire whilst sitting in her car, has meant that little has been written about her. Well, I say that but apparently a small book has been written about her. Has anybody read this book? Violette was an interesting character to say the least. Does anybody know more about her? Her much publicised court case in 1930 ( Even got into the Autocar ) where she demanded the right to wear male clothes is considered a landmark by those championing the cause of sexual freedom. After losing her case the humiliation she suffered at the hands of the establishment and the press may explain her decision to support the Nazis, especially after they invited her as an honoured guest to the 1936 Olympic Games, and eventually wreak revenge. One of the problems about being invaded is to decide if the invaders will be the ultimate winners. A few million Iraqis and Afghans have this dilemma.

Back to "Helle-Nice". In the book it is claimed she had a fling with a Neuilly garage owner called Roger Bonnet. The name Bonnet does appear in some hill-climb results but in 1934 there was a driver called Eonnet who enjoyed some success in a Bugatti. Eonnet competed with and against "Helle-Nice". Bonnet, Eonnet. Is this a typo, now potboiled or were they different people?

John

#84 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Member

  • 14,280 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 09 February 2004 - 15:49

Have you had a look at this old thread on Morris?

http://forums.atlasf...violette morris

#85 alessandro silva

alessandro silva
  • Member

  • 756 posts
  • Joined: August 00

Posted 09 February 2004 - 17:21

Originally posted by humphries


Perhaps understandably Morris was hairbrushed out of the history of French motor sport after the war. Her open support for Germany in the war, and her death at the hands of the Resistance when she was shredded by machine gun fire whilst sitting in her car, has meant that little has been written about her. Well, I say that but apparently a small book has been written about her. Has anybody read this book? Violette was an interesting character to say the least. Does anybody know more about her? Her much publicised court case in 1930 ( Even got into the Autocar ) where she demanded the right to wear male clothes is considered a landmark by those championing the cause of sexual freedom. After losing her case the humiliation she suffered at the hands of the establishment and the press may explain her decision to support the Nazis, especially after they invited her as an honoured guest to the 1936 Olympic Games, and eventually wreak revenge. One of the problems about being invaded is to decide if the invaders will be the ultimate winners. A few million Iraqis and Afghans have this dilemma.


Violette Morris volunteered to carry out tortures for the Gestapo. Which she did with abundance, apparently. Hers is one of the bleakest stories of Nazi occupation. It pertains more to the realm of pathological hate than to the choice of collaborating. One can hardly feel sympathetic to her.
She is a textbook sadomasochistic case: she had things made to her body before the trial you mention, which did not help her case.

#86 Jimmy Piget

Jimmy Piget
  • Member

  • 530 posts
  • Joined: April 02

Posted 09 February 2004 - 20:18

Originally posted by humphries In "Bugatti Queen" it mentioned the driver Mme Derancourt and discloses her first name as Albertine. Another gap filled to gladden this anorak's heart. Albertine raced for a few years but was rather slow although she did enjoy all the fuss that was made of her, despite her tardy performances.


DERANCOURT, « ALBERTINE » (F)
– Marie Léonie PONCHON, épouse DERANCOURT
– born : 1886
– lived at Etampes (about 50 km south of Paris) where her husband was a garagist
– no information on her death date
– she was the mother of demonstration child-driver Albert, who drove her Bugatti in public when he was 8 or 9. I guess she was nicknamed "Albertine" from her son's name that she was so proud to exhibe...
I think there yet is a TNF thread on him.

(information on birthyear & actual name, out from Albert Derancourt birth act)

Originally posted by humphries Only two women drivers in the inter-war years could be right on the pace with the men in similar cars, Elisabeth Junek and Violette Morris .


What about Kay Petre ?

#87 humphries

humphries
  • Member

  • 918 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 09 February 2004 - 22:08

Tim

Thanks for reminding me of the BB. So Violette Morris was not only a champion shot-putter and javelin thrower but also a boxer. a wrestler, a racing cyclist and a racing driver. Little wonder she is referred to as an Amazon.

Ajessandro

Where as I would not condone Morris's conduct during the war I would like to read an impartial account of her life. It would seem she was a very embittered person after her treatment by the sporting authorities and courts who denied her the right to wear what she wanted and also by her total humiliation with their decision to ban her from all sport for having cosmetic surgery. Breast size reduction is not an issue nowadays. When the Nazis responded by inviting her to the 1936 Olympics they must have had a very willing and intrepid spy in the making. Like I said her alleged atrocities are inexcusable if true but she was not tried for war crimes and was unable to defend herself. As we all know war brings out the very worst in some people. Those on the winning side were excused for making the wrong decisions because of stress; just a temporary aberration for which they were not prosecuted, in most cases.

Jimmy

Any other insights into this woman? Was her sporting achievements celebrated at the time? Was she a "works" driver or purely a wealthy amateur? Her father was a general. Any information on him?

Thanks for the Derancourt information. When I began my interest in motor sport back in the Fifties so many drivers were just names. TNF is doing much to shed light on the lesser-known drivers who as far as I am concerned are as equally as interesting as the famous drivers. Great!!

Kay Petre was a talented driver but compared to her male team-mates second string. The Austin drivers Bert Hadley and Pat Driscoll were top flight in my opinion, on par with Bira and Seaman. Charles Goodacre and Charlie Dodson were also quicker than Petre. I class Petre behind "Helle-Nice". Just my opinion. However, Kay was a very brave and a very popular driver, especially with the press.

John

#88 robert dick

robert dick
  • Member

  • 936 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 11 February 2004 - 10:37

"Albertine" Derancourt :
According to Raffaelli's "Bugatti Hunter book", Madame Derancourt bought the ex-Vincenz Junek Bugatti 35 no. 4329, registered for Mme. Derancourt/Paris on 8 July 1927, and for Mme. Derancourt/26, rue Saint-Jacques/Étampes on 25 March 1930.

Any infos about Charlotte Versigny?
(she drove a French Talbot in the 1928 Rallye de Monte Carlo and won the second "Championnat de l'Automobile Féminin sur Route sur le circuit de Saint-Germain" on 15 July 1928 at the wheel of a Bugatti 35)

#89 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,837 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 11 February 2004 - 17:42

Originally posted by humphries
.....Only two women drivers in the inter-war years could be right on the pace with the men in similar cars, Elisabeth Junek and Violette Morris.....


Apart from Kay Petre, there was also an Italian lady who toured Australia after winning some acclaim (it would seem...) as a racing motorist. She raced at Penrith Speedway, I know, about 1924/25... ***** **** would know the name...

#90 Barry Lake

Barry Lake
  • Member

  • 2,169 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 12 February 2004 - 13:24

Baronessa d'Avanzo, but I'm not sure she was all that good, really. More of an adventuress, I would think. Seemed more intent on travelling the world than anything else.

#91 Rob29

Rob29
  • Member

  • 3,106 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 12 February 2004 - 13:53

Originally posted by Barry Lake
Baronessa d'Avanzo, but I'm not sure she was all that good, really. More of an adventuress, I would think. Seemed more intent on travelling the world than anything else.

A lady I have been trying to find more about for ages. Did not know she ever raced outside of Europe. Any more details?

#92 Barry Lake

Barry Lake
  • Member

  • 2,169 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 12 February 2004 - 21:36

Baronessa d'Avanzo raced in Australia in 1925, in borrowed cars, although the records suggest that she was paid starting money, so it would appear to have been pre-arranged.

I always thought it a possibility that she was married to someone who had to be in Oz on business, and used the opportunity to earn a bit of pocket money for herself - but I have never been able to find evidence to support that.

For some reason I thought she also had raced in the USA, but I can't at the moment lay my hands on anything that confirms that. I could be thinking of someone else.

If I come across anything, or find more in my files, I will let you know. I would like to know more about the lady myself.

There is a photo of her in a book - but which one? Maybe Venables' fairly recent Alfa Romeo book, First Among Champions?

#93 Leif Snellman

Leif Snellman
  • Member

  • 1,076 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 01 March 2004 - 08:22

Originally posted by Doug Nye
The book-based feature story is very interesting claiming she was denounced as a wartime Gestapo collaborator by Louis Chiron

Aha, here is a thing I have missed until now! Miranda Seymour's book is ready! She sent me an email some two years ago about the Gestapo collaboration subject, asking if I knew more. She seemed very determined to get to the bottom of that mystery.

#94 davidsmanson

davidsmanson
  • New Member

  • 15 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 02 March 2004 - 00:02

"Baroness Maria Antoinette Avanzo, a large landholder in Italy and part proprietress of an Italian sporting paper largely devoted to automobilism and aeronautics" (Australian Motor Owner, Sep.1924). She may have spent 18 months in Australia, with a son and daughter, and the same mag says she bought a farming property here. This source says she was on a world trip to recover from a motor racing accident, another says the accident happened in an aeroplane over Mount Vesuvius!

Claimed to have driven in the 1922 Targa Florio, second place in the 1922 Circuit de Brescia, and to have driven in 'the Grand Prix of 1922'. Pictures show her among a group of seven shovellers turning the first sod of the Monza Racing Track, and at the wheel of what could be a 20-30 ES Alfa Romeo (could be a lot of other things, too).

At Penrith Speedway on 21 Feb.1925 she drove in a match race against Fred Berry, whose Alvis 12/50 usually ran Penrith's mile of loose dirt surface at 5000 rpm in 3rd gear at about 70 mph. The Baroness was given Fred Withers' Essex Four which was an inter-city record-breaker and probably quite unsuitably geared - she did the five miles at 54.35 mph, Berry said to be taking it easy to finish .2 of a second ahead. Withers himself won a later challenge in the Essex at 56.2 mph so the Baroness wasn't necessarily disgraced.

The normally very polite Stan Hill told me "She was a woman with balls".

#95 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,012 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 02 March 2004 - 00:27

Originally posted by Barry Lake
Baronessa d'Avanzo raced in Australia in 1925, in borrowed cars, although the records suggest that she was paid starting money, so it would appear to have been pre-arranged.

I always thought it a possibility that she was married to someone who had to be in Oz on business, and used the opportunity to earn a bit of pocket money for herself - but I have never been able to find evidence to support that.

For some reason I thought she also had raced in the USA, but I can't at the moment lay my hands on anything that confirms that. I could be thinking of someone else.

If I come across anything, or find more in my files, I will let you know. I would like to know more about the lady myself.

There is a photo of her in a book - but which one? Maybe Venables' fairly recent Alfa Romeo book, First Among Champions?


Spot on Barry. Page 22 has a picture of her in her 20-30 after taking third place in the Gran Premio Gentleman, 1922. Venables says she was the first woman to drive an Alfa Romeo in a speed event and may also have been instrumental in showing Enzo Ferrari the possibilities of the 12-cylinder engine: she had driven a 12-cyl Packard in the 1921 Fano speed week, later part-exchanging it for a Fiat 501 at Antonio Ascari's dealership. Ferrari spent a long time looking at the Packard while Ascari had it.

She did drive in the 1922 Targa Florio and Sheldon has her in several 1921 races too.

#96 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,172 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 02 March 2004 - 06:18

Originally posted by alessandro silva
Violette Morris volunteered to carry out tortures for the Gestapo. Which she did with abundance, apparently. Hers is one of the bleakest stories of Nazi occupation. It pertains more to the realm of pathological hate than to the choice of collaborating. One can hardly feel sympathetic to her.
She is a textbook sadomasochistic case: she had things made to her body before the trial you mention, which did not help her case.

Posted Image

A 1929 published picture of Violette Morris with the following caption:
Too masculine!
The French Women Automobile Club has excluded the well known Mme. Violette Morris on the grounds that her dress was too manly. Mme Morris, who had gained a great number of victories with B.N.C., does not let it rest at that and has sued the club. As can be seen in the picture, Mme. Morris looks indeed a bit masculine.

#97 scags

scags
  • Member

  • 405 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 02 March 2004 - 22:26

A BIT masculine? She looks tougher than half the current F1 drivers!

#98 VAR1016

VAR1016
  • Member

  • 2,825 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 02 March 2004 - 22:57

Originally posted by scags
A BIT masculine? She looks tougher than half the current F1 drivers!


Good God, yes :eek:

I think that the Baroness d'Avanzo is in contrast rather an attractive character.

PdeRL

#99 humphries

humphries
  • Member

  • 918 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 03 March 2004 - 09:35

Violette Morris raced a 1100cc car called the VM, obviously her initials. What actually was it? I suspect a modification of a familiar French marque.

Advertisement

#100 robert dick

robert dick
  • Member

  • 936 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 03 March 2004 - 10:11

Originally posted by humphries
Violette Morris raced a 1100cc car called the VM, obviously her initials. What actually was it? I suspect a modification of a familiar French marque.


Probably she had renamed the Ruby engined Benjamin she drove in 1923.

= = = = =

In the thirties she managed a spare part shop in the 17th arrondissement in Paris.

Violette Morris has to be seen in the context of the twenties : She was a "garçonne", a surréaliste, a "lesbienne d'avant-garde" who had invented herself, had built up her own identity in the same sense as Claude Cahun, Josephine Baker, Tamara Lempicka, Jeanne Lanvin or Sonia Delaunay.