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John Snow - Oz - Alfa Romeo 8C-35 just pre-war...


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#1 Doug Nye

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 22:03

Something has just come to revisit which is irritating the wotsit out of me... Some years ago I believe I found an astonishing photograph which indicated to me that the Hans Ruesch Alfa Romeo 8C-35 had actually been shipped out to Australia at one point, for John Snow. If this was the case, and I haven't been imagining it all along, the car remained unraced there - and was shipped back to the northern hemisphere. Does anyone have any recollection of seeing such firm evidence that the big Alfa - which ended up with Dennis Poore in the UK postwar - ever really made that Australian trip?

Needless to confess - I have never again found that print amongst the stacks of tantalising old motor racing umbala that jam-packs home sweet home.

DCN

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#2 john medley

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 23:47

.... but not as much as the reported photograph intrigued me, because at that time I was writing and researching the John Snow book.

Doug, I recall that on TNF you said that you (or you and DSJ) had viewed "Jock" Finlayson's albums, including the photograph to which you referred, which purportedly showed the 8C-35 in an Australian setting. I checked this as far as I could, but found no other mention of the 8C-35 in Australia. I certainly found nor heard again of any such photograph. Some of this puzzle is summarised in "John Snow Classic Motor Racer" Pp 95--97.

Perhaps Simon Moore knows more?

At least you might know where to start seeking-- in the albums of JD Finlayson. Do you still have these?

Another enigma: a recently-sighted photo of this same car driving through the Brooklands paddock, the puzzle here being the identity of the driver -- Snow, Featherstonhaugh, Ruesch...? Help needed ( I ,like Doug ,couldnt find the pic when I needed it)!

#3 johnny yuma

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 01:51

John in the 1938 Wangaratta Centenary Grand Prix topic regarding the race that never happened,one post has a newspaper snippet from the local rag at Wang
listing "interested" drivers,and referring to ...an Alfa-Romeo capable of 130mph. A lead ?

#4 Tim Murray

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 05:05

Doug, I recall that on TNF you said that you (or you and DSJ) had viewed "Jock" Finlayson's albums, including the photograph to which you referred ...

Here's the relevant thread, but as usual all the photos have turned into red crosses:

Alfa Romeo at Crystal Palace and Donington 1938

#5 David McKinney

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 05:48

Johnny Y:

The Alfa referred to would surely have been the P3 imported by Snow and raced by Jack Saywell

#6 johnny yuma

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 06:01

As only 6 of the model in question were made,I'd say you're right.An Alfa site says because the 8 was never going to beat the Germans several quickly were sent to South America,and the 12 cylinder arrived..which still couldn't beat the Germans.
Would the red Alfa seen at Phillip Island in recent years with 31 on the grille and a yellow prancing horse on the bonnet be a P3 ?

#7 johnny yuma

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 06:35

Answering my own question it was Peter Giddings P3 at Phillip Island 2008. He has also owned TWO 8C-35s-blimey,and a lot more besides.

#8 Wirra

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 07:07

Posted Image

AUSTRALIAN RACING DRIVER ABROAD.
Mr. John F. Snow returned to Sydney by the Monterey yesterday after having had much experience of car racing abroad. He brought home with him three racing cars an Alfa Romeo, a Bugatti and a Delahaye.

Mr Snow is a well-known member of the Royal Automobile Club of Australia in England he raced In Lagonda, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, and Delahaye cars. The fastest of these was a 3.9 litre Alfa Romeo which belonged to the crack Swiss driver, Hans Reusch, and which was hired by Mr Snow in partnership with the well-known English driver Featherstonehaugh. The partners had entered the car for the British Empire Trophy Race (al Donington Park), but in practice Featherstonehaugh crashed at 100 miles an hour. He escaped uninjured but the car was smashed. Previously Mr Snow had done 165 m p h on the straight at Donington. The car weighed only about 16cwt but it developed 300 h p

In company with Lord Waleran (who competed in the Adelaide Centenery race last year, Mr Snow took part in the famous Monte Carlo Rally. They used a Lancia and won one of the major prizes

Mr Snow's best achievement abroad was when he came fourth in the Antwerp Grand Prix (400 miles) He drove a 3-litre un- supercharged Delahaye which runs on 'straight" petrol and which has a top speed of 125 miles an hour. Averaging 78 miles an hour, Mr Snow was only three minutes behind the winner.

SMH - 6th September 1938

Posted Image
Posted Image

MOTORING WORLD
64 ENTRIES FOR LOBETHAL ROAD RACES
Superior Quality Of Cars PRACTICE DAYS ANNOUNCED
By Differential
The Sporting Car Club announced yesterday that 64 entries had been received for the Australian Grand Prix meeting at Lobethal on January 2. As some or the cars have entered for more than one event the entries exceed the number of cars. Nevertheless, it is certain that at least 59 cars will be engaged during the meeting. The entry exceeds by far the numbers received previously either in this or any other State. For the State Centenary Grand Prix a total of 44 entries was received, and for the S.A. Grand Prix last January 35 were received. On that occasion four were refused.

The type of entry is also far superior to any received for any previous road race. An indication of how much this is true is the fact that Colin Dunne, who achieved the fastest lap last January, will receive at least 12 minutes start on the scratch car in this season's event.

A late entry has been received from Mr. John P. Crouch, who will drive a 2.3 litre Alpha Romeo, which was brought back from England recently by Mr. J. F. Snow. This car will not be as fast as Mr. Alf. Barrett's 2.3 Alfa Romeo, but should be almost on a par with Snow's Delahaye, Jack Saywell's 25 Alfa Romeo will, of course, be the scratch car.

The entry is:— Australian Grand Prix.—L. J. Saywell, Alfa Romeo (2.9), N.S.W.; A. Barrett, Alfa Romeo (2.3), Vic.; J. F. Crouch, Alfa Romeo (2.3), N.S.W.; J. F. Snow, Delahaye (3.5), N.S.W.; H. Mclntyre (Frank Kleinig), special (4.5), N.S.W.; Jack Day (R. Nutt), special (3.7), Vic.; C. A. Duune, K3 Magnette, Vic.; L. J. Jackson, K3 Magnette, Vic.; C. M. Joshua (Col. Anderson), Frazer Nash, Vic.; G. Bonser, Hudson special, N.S.W.; L. Burrows, Hudson special, N.S.W.; R. A. Lea Wright, Terraplane special, Vic.; H. J. Berth, Terraplane special, N.S.W.; J. O. Sherwood, Magnette (Ulster), N.S.W.; R. F. Curlewis, M.G. special, N.S.W.; J. H. Summers, M.G. special, Vic.; A. G. Tomlinson, M.G. special, W.A.; J. K. Phillips, Ford V8 special, Vic.; J. Gullan, Ballot 8, Vic.; C. R. E. Downing, Riley special, S.A.; J. S. Boughton, Morgan special, Vic.; A. R. Lehman, Alfa Romeo, S.A.

The Advertiser (Adelaide) - 25th Oct 1938.

Edited by Wirra, 28 June 2013 - 09:47.


#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 13:56

Somewhere we have a picture of the lesser Alfa at Lobethal...

I think it might be in the AGP book. That car is a touring car.

Edited by Ray Bell, 28 June 2013 - 15:23.


#10 David McKinney

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 15:12

My reading of John Medley's book is that, while it suggests Snow bought the car, there is no evidence it ever went to Australia. Same story with an 8CM Maserati and I think some lesser cars as well

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 15:22

Given that Snow was essentially using his trip to gather cars for other Australians, is it possible he put deposits on some cars then found that the potential buyers were backing out of their deals?

This would not be hard to understand given the gathering war clouds in Europe...

#12 David McKinney

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 16:26

I suspect it was something like that

#13 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 17:11

I absolutely accept all that, and the probability that the car never left the UK at all, despite the 'Speed' magazine report. However, since that report mentions the Donington incident, and cites the repair as having been completed in Milan, the possibility that Snow's alleged purchase foundered due to the Donington damage becomes unlikely. And I am haunted by the memory of that darned photo...real, misinterpreted, or imagined though it might have been.

DCN

#14 monoposto

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 17:55

I absolutely accept all that, and the probability that the car never left the UK at all, despite the 'Speed' magazine report. However, since that report mentions the Donington incident, and cites the repair as having been completed in Milan, the possibility that Snow's alleged purchase foundered due to the Donington damage becomes unlikely. And I am haunted by the memory of that darned photo...real, misinterpreted, or imagined though it might have been.

DCN



Are you thinking of image #7 here

( though not a 8C-35 )

#15 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 18:59

Are you thinking of image #7 here

( though not a 8C-35 )


Thanks but no - that's the Tipo B Monoposto, what's bugging me is a shot of the 8C-35. I know where to find this Tipo B shot.

DCN