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FIA touring rules 1952


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#1 antonvrs

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 21:51

We are restoring a '52 Fiat 1100 E Zagato coupe which was raced by Elio Zagato and others in Italy in period. I've been unable to find much information about the rules regarding Touring and Grand Touring cars at that time. I've also been unable to find any photos of the rear of the bodywork of the '51 '52 '53 1100 Zagato cars. I believe that 5 or 6 of these were built. The chassis number of this car is 365918.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Anton

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#2 JB Miltonian

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 04:44

I remember going to look at this car in Seattle something like 35+ years ago. How time does fly.

#3 uechtel

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 09:09

The Siwss 'Automobil Revue' did a quite good coverage of the FIA category system. From memory this was completely re-worked around 1954/55. After that there were 'Touring Cars', 'Sports Cars' and 'Racing Cars', with the 'Grand Tourisme' category intorduced a year or so later. But I can not remember a category like 'Grand Touring'.

Also from memory I think the categories were defined basically by production numbers, but also some special characteristics (a touring car must have four seats, at least in the basic configuration, but special bodies were allowed). At least in Switzerland there were further subdivisions into 'modified' and 'un-modified' for the touring and sports car categories, which makes things very complicated, and I am not sure whether this was a general rule or only a Swiss speciality. Also the Automobil Revue printed a list of 'boundary cases' that was issued by the FIA (for example placing the Porsche 'Super' into a higher category than the 'ordinary' 356 model).

Have to look up for the details.

Edited by uechtel, 07 December 2011 - 09:11.


#4 Red Socks

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 14:51

Whilst the FIA may have had some qualifications-though the concept of homologation came some time later-most events whilst on the Intermnational calaendar had their own class structure and qualification-as does Le Mans to this day.
In the 1952 MM there were 16 classes; Military Vehicles, National Touring cars in four classes up to 750cc, 1100 cc, 1500 cc and over 1500 cc, Gran Turismo/International GT in four classes up to 750cc, up to 1500cc up to 2000 cc and over 2000cc, Series sports car in three classes up to 750cc, 1100 cc and 1500 cc and finaly Sport in four classes with the same cc breaks as Gran Turismo.
The entries from the day do not help much in deciding which qualified where-there are Lancia Aurelias running both as up to 2000cc Gran Turismo and Sport, Dyna Panhard the same albeit in the up to 750cc classes

#5 uechtel

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 17:44

Found the report about the new regulations for 1954 (printed in Automobil Revue 54/1953, 23. Dec. 1953)

Here my translation effort (excerpts)

'A number of cars classified - the expected, but hopefully not final result of the new international reglement'

"As reported in our last number the International Sporting Commission during its september meeting has checked the homologation documents, which were received from Germany, England, France, Italy and Sweden, as well as the cars produced in these countries and has done an inaugural division. Thanks to the generosity of the Swiss delegation it is possible for us, to demonstrate our readers what effect the new reglement may have, based on the informations of its members. As the list we are publishing here is based on personal notes it must be taken with all caution; this is also because as the list will be revised in the next meeting on 17th Feb. 1954.

The new reglement has been confronted with criticism right from the beginning. Therefore it is pleasing to see that this criticism had some eeffect and that as a consequence the CSI has made some modifications to it. But alas the CSI did still avoid discussion about the fundamental problems. [...] Therefore the spectators at an international hillclimb event may have their eyes popped out, as it is almost not understandable what kind of cars are packed together in the categories.

It must be the basic rule of each classification to have cars of similar performance grouped together.

But for example what difference does a cabriolet body make in comparison to a sedan? If only then in 99 of 100 cases the cabriolet will be heavier. Therefore a cabriolet should placed perhaps lower in the categories, but by no means it should compete against Gran-Tourisme-cars, while the responding sedan is classified as production touring car. And even this is inconsequent, as the cabriolet versions of the Volkswagen, the Sunbeam, the Hillman etc. for some intransparent reason are allowed to run in the production touring car class, while most of the other cabriolets have to run against much faster models.

The same injustice is done to the special bodies, which are - simply because they are 'special' and usually more heavy - have to run in a 'faster' category. Or what have the plug-windows of the Dyna Junior Roadster to do with the performance of the car? Because if the same car has crank handle windows it is regarded as Grand Tourismo, if it has plug-windows then it has to compete agains the production sports cars.

Regarding the resulting list it must be concluded, that the required yearly production numbers must not necessarily be reached at the moment of the classification, but that it is instead sufficient, if such a number is planned. Otherwise the Kleinschnittger, the Talbot Baby, the Alvis, the new AC SPort (which is only available as a prototype at the moment) would not have been prmeaturely named as production models.

Als it causes massive doubts that bthe reglement is totally focused on the production numbers. It seems that the yearly production was main reason for the division into the categories, while the other definitions written in the reglement play only a secondary role. But it is always necesseary to use also a sound common sense. Thus, a Daimler Conquest or the intended new Farina bodied Rover Cabriolet, ahich has been exhibited at the London Salon, are by no means sports cars, even if their production numbers would indicate this. Both cars are special touring cars [= 'modified'] or in the extreme perhaps Gran Tourismo cars. But one can not conclude simply by the fact that only 25 of them are planned per year, that these are production sports cars. And if the production numbers will later be increased, then exactly the same, unmodified model will suddenly turn into a production touring car. One could understand a conversion from a special toouring car into a production touring car, but a production sports car can never turn into a touring car even if a 100,000 will be produced per year. And on the other hand a Kieft or a Cooper will be always a competition sports car, even if more than 25 of them will be produced. But these are cars which are only intended to be used in competition. We in Switzerland have in our own regulations have the passage, that a model, which would fall for example into the production category because of its production numbers or its appearance, but which has such an exceptional performance like the 4.5 l Ferrari Coupe (which under FIA rules is naively accepted as a production sports car) can be regrouped into the next higher category, which in this case are the competition sports cars."

The list (Italian models only):
Production Touring Cars:
Fiat 500, 1100, Nuova 1100, 1400 and 1900
Alfa Romeo 1900 1 and 2 carbs, 1900 C 4 four seats (special body)
Moretti 750
Lancia Ardes, Appia, Aurelia B21 and B22

Gran Turismo
Fiat 1100 TV
Alfa Romeo 1900 C, 2 seater
Lancia 2l 20 Aurelia, 2000 and 2500 cc

Special Touring Cars
all cars of the production category modified according to the regulations

Production Sports Cars
Ferrari all models which are not listed under the competition sports cars

Edited by uechtel, 07 December 2011 - 17:44.


#6 uechtel

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 22:07

And also the mentioned article from the previous issue (53/1953 from 16. Dec. 1953)

'Changes in the FIA regulations'

"The Sporting Committee of the FIA, which has met in Paris last week, has decided some minor changes to the international categories system. While until now there had been the possibility, that a car of over 1.0 l capacity with only two seats could be classified as 'Production Touring Car' if the chassis was unmodified compared to the four seat model, this has now been changed. A two seat coupe on a production-like Fiat 1100 chassis can therefore not start as a production touring car (article 6).
It is still allowed for production touring cars to fitz them with oir alnd water thermomteres, rev-counter and fuel gauge; but these have no longer to be in the catalogue of the respective model as offical accessories (article 9)
The wheels have to be of same type, weight and dimensions as listed in the catalogue, but it is no longer mandatory, that all tyres have to be of the same dimensions (article 10)
Of course it can not be ruled, that all productions touring cars have to have bumpers. Cars which ccording to their catalogue do not have bumpers are therefore excepted from this rule (article 11)"

#7 uechtel

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 22:49

And I found also the report of the FIA Paris meeting from october (AR 45/1953, 21. Oct. 1953)

'What do the international touring car regulations tell?'

"In its last plenum the FIA accepted the international regulations for touring cars and production sports cars, which had been suggested by the CSI and which is terminated for four years. With this a period of uncertainment about regulations has now been ended. Until now each organisator of an event -depending on which country - did have more or less freedom to decided which cars he would accept. From now on the new classification system, consisting of the division into the categories 'Production Touring Cars', 'Special Touring Cars', 'Gran-Turismo Cars', 'Production Sports Cars' and 'Competition Sports Cars' as well as the new class division into 350 cc, 500 cc, 750 cc, 1000 cc, 1300 cc, 1600 cc, 2000 cc, 2600 cc, 3500 cc and above will be mandatory for all international events. The classes will be also valid for Competition Süports Cars if they take part in rallyes and long distance tours.

In detail the new regulations contain the following rules for the specific categories:

Production Touring Cars
These are cars for personal transport with closed bodywork which is built by the manufacturer of the chassis. But open bodies and bodywork made by different coachwork builders can be admitted if they are enlisted in the official catalogue of the manufacturer of the chassis and if the weight of the car will be at least the same as of the closed standard model.

Cars up to 1000 cc engine capacity have to be at least two seated and at least 1000 must be produced in a period of 12 months, while cars over 1000 cc capacity have to be four seated and 600 have to be build in the same time period. Also two seated models, which are enlisted in the catalogue, may be admitted by the CSI if chassis and overall weigt are corresponding to the four seated model. [...]

Any modification which might improve the performance of such a car, in particular superchargers, is forbidden. Tyre and wheel dimensions must correspond to the production models. Modifications to the bodywork are not allowed, which includes also the bumpers. Wheel caps may be removed.

Special Touring Cars
have to be in accordance to a model from a manufacturer´s catalogue. No external modifications to the bodywork allowed. All other regulations as well as production numbers are the same as for the Production Touring Cars category. But either the manufacturer or the competitor himself are allowed to make further modifications to engine and chassis. If these modifications are not made by the factory and therefore not included in the homologation sheet the competitor has to inform the organizator about them when placing the entry. Also allowed is the increase of engine bore (maximum 1 mm as long as by this the car does not reach the next capacity division and no special pistons are used).

Gran Turismo Cars
The same regulations as for Production Touring Cars, but not depending on engine capacity minimum production is fixed to 100 cars during 12 months and cars need to have only two seats

Production Sports Cars
Required production numbers for all capacity classes is 25 during 12 months. Only two seats are required. Bodywork may be built by special coachwork manufacturers, but have to correspond to the catalogue of the manufacturer of the chassis. Open and closed versions of the same model may have different weights. The increase of bore is allowed under the same rules as for Special Touring Cars, but information has to be given to the race organisator. For the rest all regulations are the same as for Production Touring Cars.

Competition Sports Cars
Valid is still appendix C of the international Sporting Regulations.

General regulations:
Touring cars and Production Sports Cars must use commercial fuel of 90 octane or less. For each model the national automobile club of the manufacturer´s country must give thze FIA a homologation sheet containing the important technical data. On this sheet the CSI will note the classification which will be obligatory for all events.

From the text of the regulations it si the consequence, that for four seated cars the standard model will be put into the Production Touring Car category and the 'factory-tuned' model into the Special Touring Car Category. But it is not clear what will happen to 'factory-tuned' models of two seated models, the standard models of which belong to the Gran Tourismo category."

#8 David McKinney

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:17

Great work, uechtel :up:

The interesting point (to me) is the suggestion that up to the end of 1953 there were no overriding FIA definitions, but that each country made its own rules

#9 uechtel

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:59

Yes, but as I understand this is only in regard of the three categories themselves (means touring cars, sports cars, race cars), which had been of course a much easier system. I rember before the new FIA rules the Swiss did not make any difference for the sports car category with cars with or without superchargers, while in Germany only unsupercharged cars were allowed. Also the Swiss insisted on commercial fuel while in Germany special mixture were allowed. But of course Germany wasn´t FIA member then, so how had this been in other countries?

But anyway, we have not answered the initial question yet. If the Zagato Coupe is a special (but lightweight) body on a standard chassis according to the definition I would see it in the Production Sports Car Category.

#10 Red Socks

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 10:02

Great work, uechtel :up:

The interesting point (to me) is the suggestion that up to the end of 1953 there were no overriding FIA definitions, but that each country made its own rules

I have in front of me the 1935 AIACR ( FIA forebear) Appendices to the International sporting code and these provide for ,in appendix C, Racing Cars and Sports Car, nothing else.
The arrival of Appendix J in 1954 -in reality later- is basically as outlined above, but your point is correct David that previous to that there were no Internationally agreed standards for cars whose basic purpose was other than motor sport, and as I pointed out above the rules of appendix J have never been universally used for International sport. Many International events over the last just 65 years have run their own technical regulations and definitions some of which have been submitted to,and over seen by, the FIA but very many have not, contrary to what FIA and in particular the FIA Historic Motor Sport Commision would have you beleive

#11 Red Socks

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 18:21

Going on from my post #4 the 1951 Mille Miglia classes were different from those of 1952.
For 1951 the three basic classes were:-
Sports Category

Group A -Fast closed or convertible cars
Group B -Utility cars of series manufacture.
Sports and Group A were broken into four by capacity, 750, 1100, 2000 and over 2000
Group B had three classes by capacity 750, 1100 and 1100 to 1500.

Zagato Fiats ran in Group B

#12 antonvrs

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 20:11

Thanks to everyone who replied to this question. I guess the bottom line is that things were still a little bit in the "run what you brung" stage until '53 or '54
Many thanks,
Anton

#13 D-Type

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 17:15

Anton,
Not so much a case of "Run what you brung" as individual race organisers writing their own rules. In Italy organisers would follow the Mille Miglia and the Targa Florio precedents. Elsewhere they might copy the Spa 24 hours or the Carrera Panamericana, which in turn followed the US categories.
If someone tried something too extreme (eg triple Webers on a Fiat) then the scrutineers would reject it.

#14 uechtel

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:22

It depends also a little bit on the national 'culture'. In Siwtzerland they seem to have followed at least their own national rules very strictly, while in Germany or Austria the race organizers initially had to be quite thankful for any entrant that would somehow fit into the categories. Only later, when entry lists were gradually becoming larger they could afford to 'enforce' international regulations more literally.

#15 D-Type

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 22:24

In the January Motor Sport, Doug Nye tells us that for the 1949 Monte Carlo Rally:

Eligible cars had to be 'of standard manufacture' of which no fewer than 30 had been produced by November 1, 1947 [should this be 1948?]. The rule-makers left compression ratio, camshaft design, valve size, gear ratios, and number of carburettors unrestricted.

Although slightly earlier than the date you are investigating, this shows how relaxed the rules were at that time.

#16 uechtel

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 16:35

Yes, but this habit was gradually changed into the early fifties, finally leading to categories being divided into "standard" and "modified". In the 1954 event reports "Automobil Revue" is full of protests, disqualifications and discussions about the confomity of certain cars.



#17 RS2000

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 17:09

In the January Motor Sport, Doug Nye tells us that for the 1949 Monte Carlo Rally: Although slightly earlier than the date you are investigating, this shows how relaxed the rules were at that time.


From that list of mods, not so different from what Gp2 had become, before it was cut back in 1976.