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1946 St. Cloud Grand Prix - Coupe Rene le Begue


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#1 taylov

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 13:42

I have just added the 40 page programme for the 1946 races at St Cloud, Paris to my collection. The main event, the Coupe Rene Le Begue, was for Grand prix cars and voiturettes (more or less to the 1938 International formula). As many will know from the Bill Mason/Shell History of Motor Racing video this event attracted a remarkable entry for a race barely a year after the end of the European War.

It was the first post-war appearance of the Works Alfette 158s in their 1940 configuration for Wimille and Farina. Facing them were no less than 6 Delahayes including the single-seater 155 which had been raced by Rene Dreyfus at the 1938 Donington Grand Prix, a single works-entered Lago Talbot for Louis Chiron and a mass of Maserati (of more later) driven by Sommer, Nuvolari, Schell, Trintignant. Ruggieri, Louveau and Mazaud.

Great Geo. Ham artwork too -

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Alas, neither the entry list printed in the programme (reproduced here) nor the lap chart insert details the entrants for the cars and the lists that are available in books and on-line are somewhat inconsistant, especially when it comes to the Maserati cars.

The dominant Maserati entrant in 1946 was Scuderia Milano - a semi-works outfit who entered several 4CLs on behalf of the Modena manufacturer. The team's patron was Arialdo Ruggeri (or Ruggieri) who drove one of the cars. A second entry was made for Raymond Sommer. The third Scuderia Milano driver is listed by Pritchard (1976) "Maserati - a History" as Tazio Nuvolari. However a detailed report of the race of the Forix 8W website published in 2000 states that their third 4CL was driven by Henri Louveau and that Nuvolari drove a privately entered 4CL, retiring on lap 11. Can any of our Maserati experts confirm who had the third Milano car, please?

Mazaud's 4CL entry is sometimes given as "Ecurie Franco-Americaine". Harry Schell is entered by "Ecurie Lucy O'Reilly Schell" and "Raph" by "Ecurie Naphtra Course".

The Grand Prix was dominated in the early stages by the two Alfa 158s but both dropped out with clutch problems leaving Sommer to win from a hard charging Chiron (Lago-Talbot) followed by the Maseratis of Mazaud, Ruggeri and TASO Mathieson in front of Chaboud's Delahaye.

In all the large crowd saw 4 races in one day including 2 motorcycle events of 12 and 15 laps, a 20 lap race for " les petites cylindrees" plus the 30 lap Grand Prix.

Tony

Edited by taylov, 30 November 2011 - 19:59.


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#2 uechtel

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 14:18

Amazing to see the cars of Martin, Renault and Waeffler in the voiturette race entered as BMWs where the legend tells they had to be "disguised" as Frazer Nashes, as reportedly there should have been a ban on German cars! Did this ban only refer to German entrants and/or drivers or did it come into place later?

#3 john medley

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 19:42

The winning 4CL lives these days in northern Victoria, Australia

#4 GIGLEUX

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 20:56

The car of Nuvolari had the typical triangular rear view mirrors of the 1946 Scuderia Milan cars and on the scuttle for bage of this team.

#5 David McKinney

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 21:37

I suspect the only way you're going to discover who the entrants were, Tony, is to get the entry-forms from the organising club which is, as the say, a big ask

In any case it's not impossible that the entry-forms required only the drivers' names

#6 David McKinney

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 21:42

The winning 4CL lives these days in northern Victoria, Australia

If you mean the ex-Vennermark/Glass etc car, John, I don't think that raced until 1946

#7 GIGLEUX

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 22:01

The winning 4CL lives these days in northern Victoria, Australia


No, in 1946 Sommer used a 6CM chassis with a 4CL engine, a car he bought from Sc Milan. At the end of 1946 he bought, still to Sc Milan a real 4CL he used in 1947 and at the beginning of 1948 and his 6CM/4CL went in England for Connell and Evans. The real 4CL was also loaned in England after the 1948 ACF GP to Ansell. After the death of Sommer, in 1950 , the car was sold by his widow to Australia.
In 1946, after the Nice GP, Louveau also used a 6CM/4CL, identical to the one of Sommer but I think he had it on loan.
The Scuderia Milan had enough 4CLs to provide one to Nuvolari!

The 4CL Sommer bought was 1579 but was stamped 1555 (the 4CM ex Hug) for custom reasons (less duties on a 1938 car than on a 1946 one! On the Sommer's car in Australia you have the 1555 plate and 1579 on a chassis member!


#8 CiroMenotti

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 22:07

The winning 4CL lives these days in northern Victoria, Australia

The winning car, that of Sommer, was actually a 6CM re-engined with a 4C 16 valve engine, as fitted to the 4CLs.
AFAIK it does not now exist anywhere.

The car which is in Australia is a pure 4CL, which was driven at St. Cloud, I believe, by Ruggeri.
This car was not fitted with the triangular mirrors to which Jean-Maurice refers above.

#9 GIGLEUX

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 22:11

Amazing to see the cars of Martin, Renault and Waeffler in the voiturette race entered as BMWs where the legend tells they had to be "disguised" as Frazer Nashes, as reportedly there should have been a ban on German cars! Did this ban only refer to German entrants and/or drivers or did it come into place later?

Markus, we had the opportunity to discuss this some time ago. The ban was on German drivers and of course on German drivers with german cars! In France French drivers racing german cars: no ban officially but in 1946 it was sometimes considered as being not very correct, that's why you found some Frazer-Nashes with left hand drive!

#10 GIGLEUX

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 22:35

The winning car, that of Sommer, was actually a 6CM re-engined with a 4C 16 valve engine, as fitted to the 4CLs.
AFAIK it does not now exist anywhere.

The car which is in Australia is a pure 4CL, which was driven at St. Cloud, I believe, by Ruggeri.
This car was not fitted with the triangular mirrors to which Jean-Maurice refers above.

Exact, 1579 was driven at Saint-Cloud by Ruggeri.

The other Maseratis were: Sommer 6CM/4CL #1561, Nuvolari 4CL Milan #? Trintignant/Lanza Ecurie Tricolore 4CL #1564, Mazaud Ecurie Franco-Americaine 4CL #1566 (ex Rocco), Schell Ecurie Franco-Americaine 6CM/4CM #1531, Louveau 6CM/4CL# 1563 or 1565, Raph Ecurie Naphtra Course 6CM, , Plate/Basadonna Ecurie Autosport 4CL #1571, TASO Mathieson 8C-3000 #3002, Achard Ecurie Atalante 4CM, Deho 6CM DNA.

#11 john medley

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 23:32

Wonderful stuff, gentlemen

Like other Australians who accepted what they were told (eg that the David Chambers/ Tom Sulman Maserati was a 4C when it was a 4CM, and that this 4CL was " the car in which Sommer beat the Alfettas at St Cloud"), I happily stand corrected. I am not alone in believing that Peter Dale told the truth when selling the 4CL and other cars to Australians. I am pleased to see the corrections above -- and the mistaken and misrepresented beliefs eliminated

Thanks!

#12 sramoa

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 06:44

Here is the full result for the voiturette class in this event:

http://www.formula2.net/V46_4.htm

Interesting for me some unknown drivers about any info:

André Guillaumet-possible same person who raced in late 40s years in Paris 12hrs with Peugeot?(G.Guillaumet)
de Marchi
Paul Thiel and his Sema car
Foupomeau(?) and Layac
Phillipe Mas

#13 uechtel

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:12

Markus, we had the opportunity to discuss this some time ago. The ban was on German drivers and of course on German drivers with german cars! In France French drivers racing german cars: no ban officially but in 1946 it was sometimes considered as being not very correct, that's why you found some Frazer-Nashes with left hand drive!


Jean-Maurice, perhaps my head is simply overloaded, but I can not remember our discussion any more. But if the case was like this then why was Chaboud not allowed to race at Starsbourg in 1947?

Here is the full result for the voiturette class in this event:

http://www.formula2.net/V46_4.htm

Interesting for me some unknown drivers about any info:

André Guillaumet-possible same person who raced in late 40s years in Paris 12hrs with Peugeot?(G.Guillaumet)
de Marchi
Paul Thiel and his Sema car
Foupomeau(?) and Layac
Phillipe Mas


I have looked through a lot of post-war issues of Swiss magazine "Automobile Revue" which usually has a very detailed coverage and never found mention of a Swiss driver of the name Paul Thiel. This name is of course familiar to me for the East German driver Paul Thiel, but who was driver for the EMW factory team in the early fifties. Before that he had been a motorcacle racer. But I can not imagine that this guy had even tried to enter for this event.

Anyway it is the question how all these names come onto Stefan´s list, maybe from Sheldon? Also, in my opinion a "dna" is defined as a driver who has entered but did not show up on the racetrack for the whole weekend. But you would have to find him in the entry list. So I would regard the status of these drivers as something different, maybe "entry refused" or "entry intention without commitment"?

Edited by uechtel, 01 December 2011 - 09:14.


#14 GIGLEUX

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:27

Jean-Maurice, perhaps my head is simply overloaded, but I can not remember our discussion any more. But if the case was like this then why was Chaboud not allowed to race at Starsbourg in 1947?


Maybe your head is overloaded! :lol: In fact we did, it was someting like six years ago. About Chaboud's car at Strasbourg in 1947 it is different.This car was the first Veritas and it was not presented as such. A post war German car, not presented as such and which arrived in a french army lorry! shocking for quite a lot of Alsatians.


#15 taylov

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 11:29

I suspect the only way you're going to discover who the entrants were, Tony, is to get the entry-forms from the organising club which is, as the say, a big ask
In any case it's not impossible that the entry-forms required only the drivers' names


As ever, the combined might of TNFers has taken us a long way towards the answer about Nuvolari's drive -

a) The description of the Nuvolari Maserati confirms that it was a Scuderia Milano car. The same features can be seen in the more common photos of Sommer's winning 4CL. However that by itself does not mean it was entered by the Scuderia. It might have been lent to TN for him to enter as a privateer.

b) However, the Scuderia had already entered three Maserati 4CL cars for the earlier races in 1946. Nuvolari had been unable to race one at the Nice GP in April due to the death of his son on 17 April 1946, but thereafter the Scuderia Milano driver line-up was stabilised at Marseilles Grand Prix (12 May) and the Paris Cup held in the Bois de Boulogne on 30 May with Sommer, Nuvolari and Ruggieri as the regular drivers. This seems to have been the case at St Cloud, too.

c) A significant clue may be found in the numbering of the cars in the St Cloud programme. The works or team entries occupy the "front end" of the entry with numbers 1 to 12 and the "private entries" from 14 onwards -

1/2 The works Alfa 158s

3/4/5 The Scuderia Milano 4CLs

6 The single works entered Lago-Talbot

7/8/9/10 The Ecurie France Delahaye 135s

11/12 The Ecurie Franco-Americaine Maserati entries.


I leave you with a couple more pages of interest from the St. Cloud programme.

Tony

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Edited by taylov, 02 December 2011 - 10:39.