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1952 Monte Carlo Sunbeams conundrum


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#1 D-Type

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 21:24

The recently announced Oxford Diecast model of Stirling Moss's 1952 Monte Carlo Rally Sunbeam has the fronts of the wings painted white, as illustrated on their website. This set me thinking and I went through various books and found pictures of the car without the white wings. I looked on the Internet and found pictures of the car with and without the white paint. How come? The only answer I can think of is that the photos without white paint are publicity photos taken before the rally. Does anyone know any more about this curiosity

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#2 RS2000

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 22:00

Paint (or "whitewash") was added to all cars that qualified for the final Mountain Circuit to aid the official timekeepers.
I'm sure there is an explanation of exactly how it helped but don't ask me to try and find it!

The rear wheel spats on the model car in the link would not have been on the real car.

This is a bizarre coincidence. A couple of minutes ago I answered the guy on a French forum (who is the expert on the Rallye des Alpes/Coupe des Alpes) who was asking for confirmation that the reg no on the 52 Alpine was LHP823, the same as on the 52 Monte.

Edited by RS2000, 05 April 2012 - 22:11.


#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 22:10

There's a series of photos on this page:

http://rallyemontecarlo1952.unblog.fr/

(scroll down a bit) which show the car with and without the white wings. The last one is captioned as being after the presentation, and there are no white wings. So, did they remove the white paint before the presentation, and if so, why?

#4 RS2000

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 22:23

I think the marking was to identify competing cars (on open roads then of course) for timing "on sight".
Presumably removed for prize giving to prevent publicity photos looking a bit strange.
(The Monte winning Gatsonides Zephyr that appears at shows today with the original registration and the white paint is a replica - the original car having been written off later on, presumably without the paint)

Edited by RS2000, 05 April 2012 - 22:26.


#5 Nick Wa

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 00:52

"whitewash" washes off just as easily as it is "painted" on.

#6 Sharman

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:51

"whitewash" washes off just as easily as it is "painted" on.


...and is also easy to obtain, thereby enabling signs of theft from the coal store to be concealed. Eric, remember Major Townsend losing a hut in 1956 :rotfl:

#7 AAGR

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:03

Just to confirm, the white paint on the front of the cars on the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally was only applied - by the organisers - to cars which competed in the final Mountain Circuit regularity test. It was a 'wash', easily removed after the event.

The reason was that the organisers mounted several secret time checks on this circuit (at which the cars did not stop - or sometimes even know they had been timed) - and the 'wash' was used to make the cars more visible as they approached, for the roads were not closed to the public.





#8 AAGR

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:03

Just to confirm, the white paint on the front of the cars on the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally was only applied - by the organisers - to cars which competed in the final Mountain Circuit regularity test. It was a 'wash', easily removed after the event.

The reason was that the organisers mounted several secret time checks on this circuit (at which the cars did not stop - or sometimes even know they had been timed) - and the 'wash' was used to make the cars more visible as they approached, for the roads were not closed to the public.





#9 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:16

...and is also easy to obtain, thereby enabling signs of theft from the coal store to be concealed. Eric, remember Major Townsend losing a hut in 1956 :rotfl:

Ah!.Those treasured military memories!. Would you believe that I once had my locker searched for a missing NAAFI Club snooker table?. The orderly sergeant of the day even peered into the draw!. The loss was an 'admin cock-up' of course but Queens Regs' was Queens Regs'.

#10 Mal9444

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:56

Paint (or "whitewash") was added to all cars that qualified for the final Mountain Circuit to aid the official timekeepers.
I'm sure there is an explanation of exactly how it helped but don't ask me to try and find it!

The rear wheel spats on the model car in the link would not have been on the real car.

This is a bizarre coincidence. A couple of minutes ago I answered the guy on a French forum (who is the expert on the Rallye des Alpes/Coupe des Alpes) who was asking for confirmation that the reg no on the 52 Alpine was LHP823, the same as on the 52 Monte.


The photos linked to a later post (#3) show the rear wheel spats in place, so the model would seem to be correct in that regard. It does seem odd, though, that Oxford have chosen to disfigure the model with the temporary white daubings used only for a small part of the rally - and to omit the Monte Carlo Rally competition plate. As a schoolboy I was a great admirer of the Sunbeam Talbot (a friend of my Dad had one) and thought it the sleekest car on the road. How bulky it looks by today's standard.

Edited by Mal9444, 06 April 2012 - 09:02.


#11 Sharman

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:42

The photos linked to a later post (#3) show the rear wheel spats in place, so the model would seem to be correct in that regard. It does seem odd, though, that Oxford have chosen to disfigure the model with the temporary white daubings used only for a small part of the rally - and to omit the Monte Carlo Rally competition plate. As a schoolboy I was a great admirer of the Sunbeam Talbot (a friend of my Dad had one) and thought it the sleekest car on the road. How bulky it looks by today's standard.


It was also very heavy to drive in its off the shelf form. Ponderous low geared steering, clumsy handling and even for those days lacking in performance etc. I imagine that the works cars were well modified and much stiffer with higher geared steering to enable them to do as well as they did.

#12 Mal9444

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 10:56

It was also very heavy to drive in its off the shelf form. Ponderous low geared steering, clumsy handling and even for those days lacking in performance etc. I imagine that the works cars were well modified and much stiffer with higher geared steering to enable them to do as well as they did.


Interesting. I have never driven one and had always assumed it was a sporty car. My Dad's friend evidently thought so too: he rolled it, wrote it off and replaced it with a Jowet Javelin.


#13 RCH

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:24

To the best of my knowledge this model has not yet been released if it has been we have not been sent our allocation but then that's nothing unusual! My usual wholesaler's website says awaiting stock. The picture would be just a mock up so I assume the rally plate will actually be in place on the model. I guess the white paint would be incorporated to make the model more interesting to a casual buyer. The spats are a bit odd and I suspect the car may have spent a fair amount of time with them in the boot, bit of a liability in snow I would think?

#14 Sharman

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 13:09

Interesting. I have never driven one and had always assumed it was a sporty car. My Dad's friend evidently thought so too: he rolled it, wrote it off and replaced it with a Jowet Javelin.

The car I drove belonged to the father of a friend, he was an eminent member of the medical profession and was not given to rolling his transport (although his son did pretty well in that line, making a terrible mess of an Alexander Standard 10, whilst I was occupying the passenger seat). He changed the Sunbeam for and XK150S. The first car in which I saw 130mph.

#15 D-Type

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 18:44

Many thanks for the explanation everyone. :up:

In fairness to Oxford, other photos on the 'net do show a rally plate.

A workmate of mine in the early 70's drove a Sunbeam Talbot which he had inherited from his father. He reckoned that it was faster than it looked and he delighted in embarassing the Mini and Escort brigade in traffic lights GP's. I forget the exact details after 40 years but I remember him telling me he had great difficulty getting correct tyres for it. The closest he could find were those intended for London Taxis (FX4?) which weren't exactly suited to 'boy racer' driving. Eventually he had special wide wheels made up so he could fit the same tyres as a Jaguar XJ6, these had to have offset rims to clear the inner wheel arches at the front. Evidently he was a serious boy racer.  ;)