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Practice letters


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#1 klemcoll

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 18:53

At the Belgian GP in 1956 (and perhaps in other years), the various drivers were assigned letters, instead of using their race numbers, for use during practice. Does anyone have a listing of which drivers/cars carried which letters in practice for that race?

Search did not come up with anything on this subject, although I am sure the information exists.

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#2 paulhooft

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 19:05

Simply:I never, ever heard about this...
Tell me more... :rotfl: [



quote name='klemcoll' date='Oct 7 2012, 20:53' post='5962250']
At the Belgian GP in 1956 (and perhaps in other years), the various drivers were assigned letters, instead of using their race numbers, for use during practice. Does anyone have a listing of which drivers/cars carried which letters in practice for that race?

Search did not come up with anything on this subject, although I am sure the information exists.
[/quote]


#3 klemcoll

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 19:15

We have photos from this race. In practice the cars only show letters in stead of numbers, In the race they have their assigned numbers. Although one can more or less identify the various cars by small differences, the drivers did swap around a bit as usual during practice. It would be nice to have a list if someone has created on of the practice letters and which cars they were in the race. Of course, in practice in some cases, they may in fact have been cars used only for practice, just to make it harder!

#4 my_own_shadow

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 19:38

It was a usual practice for Belgian GP organizers to use special numbers or letters in practice sessions at that time. The main reason was not to allow 'third' parties to print the fake race programs. Thus the actual race numbers were kept secret until the last moment.

But even if we make a list of these special numbers, this won't be much a help in identifying the pictures. In those days it was common practice that all drivers, including reserve drivers and even technical staff of a team, tried each of their teams' cars. So it's better just to show the pictures and we will then identify them.

#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 19:55

What he said. The RACB later applied different practice numbers to the cars, instead of the earlier letters, changing them to the race numbers only on race day. Suspicious lot, those Belgians - although they were not alone in doing this.

DCN

#6 klemcoll

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 21:32

So far, from our photos, here is what we can see. All comments/additions gratefully accepted.

A Pilette, Collins; Ferrari-Lancia
B Pilette; Ferrari-Lancia
C Castellotti; Ferrari-Lancia
D Frere; Ferrari-Lancia
E Fangio; Ferrari-Lancia
F Moss; 250F
G Behra; 250F
H unknkown; 250F
I unknown; 250F
K Moss; 250F
L Godia?; 250F
O Schell; Vanwall
P Trintignant; Vanwall
S Scotti; Connaught

#7 wenoopy

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 03:24

What he said. The RACB later applied different practice numbers to the cars, instead of the earlier letters, changing them to the race numbers only on race day. Suspicious lot, those Belgians - although they were not alone in doing this.

DCN


A list of the drivers' practice numbers must have been readily available for timekeepers and for the other teams. What numbers if any were listed in the Official programme? In any case, cockpits were larger and drivers more visible in those days.

In this period it was not unknown for less vigilant organisers to be unaware that drivers might have been trying each others' cars in practice, for example Godia's 11th fastest time at the 1958 French GP recorded when Fangio tried Godia's Maserati.

Stu

#8 E1pix

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:24

What a cool topic, Guys.

As a former sign painter, all I can think about is how/where/when the letters were taken off and re-lettered (sorry, numbered).

#9 eldougo

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:29

We have photos from this race...


Great topic re the Letters not Numbers is there any chance we can see some of the photos it would be great.

Thanks ElDougo

#10 David McKinney

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:12

I've got several, but they're all LAT copyright, so can't be posted ;)

klemcoll may have some he can show

#11 wenoopy

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:38

As a former sign painter, all I can think about is how/where/when the letters were taken off and re-lettered (sorry, numbered).


Slightly off-topic, but I'll ask anyway : when were adhesive numbers first used. A study of the photos in "The Last Road Race" (an unremarkable book about the 1957 Pescara GP) suggests that Vanwall may have used them, Coopers certainly didn't (you can see a previous painted-over number on Brabham's car), Halford's 250F looks like the prices on a fruit-shop window, and Scarlatti's works 250F numbers are painted over a somewhat undulating tail section.

Stu

#12 E1pix

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 17:48

Slightly off-topic, but I'll ask anyway : when were adhesive numbers first used. A study of the photos in "The Last Road Race" (an unremarkable book about the 1957 Pescara GP) suggests that Vanwall may have used them, Coopers certainly didn't (you can see a previous painted-over number on Brabham's car), Halford's 250F looks like the prices on a fruit-shop window, and Scarlatti's works 250F numbers are painted over a somewhat undulating tail section.

Stu

To my slim knowledge then (was born in '60), some half-baked attempts were made much earlier as you said.

In real sign business terms, I first started competing against such vinyl "art" in 1982. I spoke with the Manager from Toleman at Long Beach in 1983 about doing their team work in '84 (sickens me to this day whose car I'd have been lettering...) but was 22 and too young to see the big picture [ :cry: ]. Said manager and I discussed the end being near for painted work, the JPS and most cars still were painted but the changeover had begun...

#13 Barrie Hobkirk

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 15:48

Hello,
I can add the following from my Maserati 250F photograph collection.

The letters;
F chassis 2522 - practiced by both Moss & Perdisa
G chassis 2521 - practiced by Behra only
H chassis 2507/23 - practiced by both Moss & Perdisa
I chassis 2524 - practiced by Godia only
J - I have no photo of it used on a 250F
K chassis 2501 - practiced by Moss only
It would appear that only the Factory cars and the heavily supported private car of Godia used the letters, for Villoresi practiced Piotti's 2519 with #22, Rosier his own car (2506) with #24 and Gould his own car (2514) with #26.
I also have a note that Mike Hawthorn tried the Factory car 2507/23 with #38 but I have no photo to support this as yet.
Godia lost the engine in 2524 during practice so was given the spare 2507/23 for the race with #36.
Villoresi raced 2519 #22
Rosier raced 2506 with #24
Gould raced 2514 with #26
Moss started in 2501 with #30 but lost a wheel. He took over Perdisa's 2522 #34 to finish 3rd with fastest lap.
Behra raced 2521 with #32
Perdisa started in 2522 with #34but gave it to Moss as noted above.

Cheers,
Barrie