Pierre Bardinon RIP
Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:56
Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:38
I have just read of the passing of French Ferrari collector ,Pierre Bardinon , I am sure Graham Gauld will post some memories of the man , few have a 1/1 scale toy cabinet and a Scalextric set to go with it .
Very sad news though not unexpected as he had suffered ill-health in recent years. I was first in touch with him way back in the 1960s as Jim Clark suggested I got in touch with him about Jim's visit to Pierre's collection and his circuit. Pierre told me that Jim took out the Bardinon Ferrari P3 - or was it P4 - with a girl friend and promptly broke the lap record of the circuit. I also had a photo of Jim driving Bardinon's Type 35 Bugatti on the circuit.
The Bardinon's were in the leather trade and they produced flying jackets. They established themselves in New York and the Bardinon's supplied most of the US Air Force flying jackets during the war. Even today the company still has a range of jackets and soft leather helmets. Stylish, charmingly quiet spoken, Pierre Bardinon was an enthusiast who built his own racing circuit on his estate, Mas du Clos, near Aubusson in France. Sadly the circuit may have to close, if it has not already done so, due to new laws in France which seek to outlaw private racing circuits. DUring the 1970s I was involved with Formula 2 racing and Pierre's son Patrick Bardinon did quite a bit of racing in the European F2 Championship. Pierre Bardinon was a visionary as far as collecting was concerned and his collection at its peak was one of the finest.
Posted 23 August 2012 - 15:17
It was a magical event - based at the Hotel de France (before its makeover which robbed it of a little bit of charm) in Aubusson which also provided the kitchen brigade for the 100+ seat restaurant that overlooked Mas du Clos circuit. There was a grand meal and informal concours on a Saturday evening at the circuit after a hillclimb on local roads nearby. After the superb meal, we would find Pierre Bardinon in the circuit bar with a coterie of friends with whom he had grown up, drinking Ricard and playing skat or something similar. Pierre Bardinon was a gracious and hospitable gentleman who, however wealthy he was, never forgot the local people he had known since childhood.
The Collection of Ferrari racers (including two GTOs in 1989) was a wonder to behold. His engineer showed us around and, it being one of those periodic price madness eras, we enquired as to what the collection was worth. The engineer said, "Well, can't say, but M'sieur Bardinon's collection of wine is insured for more than his collection of Ferraris".
The circuit was a joy to drive and I am saddened both by news of his passing, and of the non-availability of the circuit. The Brit Alfa enthusiasts will remember him and the track fondly.
Posted 23 August 2012 - 17:46
Posted 28 August 2012 - 10:58
Introduced to him by Jean Bernardet around 1970, I later helped him acquire a Le Mans-winning Ferrari from the USA. I recall also being at the circuit for a meeting in the early 1980s that featured Phil Hill and Johnny von Neumann among others.
Yes, his involvement with F2 included a pair of rare Cosworth-powered F2 McLarens. They were his cars of choice for a fun blast around his circuit.
I used the example of Bardinon and his track in my introduction to Jesse Alexander's 'At Speed' to express the purity of challenging man and car against a circuit.
Posted 28 August 2012 - 19:03
Did Pierre Bardinon race?
RacingSportsCars.com has a nameless Bardinon who took part in the 1962 Coupe de Paris at Montlhéry in a Jaguar E-type. Was that Pierre?
Bardinon had a semi lightweight but it was of course later than 1962, his E type was a steel fixed head coupé with lightweight alloy engine (built in 1964, châssis #S890193)
Bardinon would have enter this car at Mont Dore hill climb once ? No piece of evidence...
Any recent information or picture about that car ?
Edited by Louism, 28 August 2012 - 19:05.