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Is this really Balestrero?


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#1 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 20:41

When looking at some pictures from the Zoltan Glass collection on the internet, I found this one:

http://www.nationalm...=1991-5018/7105

It claims to be Renato Balestrero. I am not yet convinced.

It also claims to be the Libyan GP in 1935, which might be correct.

Yet....

Renato Balestrero was racing at that race, with number 34, but that car was an Alfa Monza. The car in the picture most definitely is not.

The car looks suspiciously like an Auto Union. They carried numbers 24 (Varzi) and 48 (Stuck) that day.

The man in the picture looks to be neither Varzi nor Stuck. I haven't found a picture of Balestrero, so I can't tell if he looks like this.

It could well be that the name was taken from nr. 34 on the list of competitors that day.

Varzi's car that race had won the Tunis Grand Prix a week before, wearing number 34, so quite possibly it is the car as it arrived in Lybia, before the starting numbers were changed.

However, the car as seen in Tunis (only one car present there) had an extra air inlet in front of the aero screen. No trace of that in this picture.

Leaves the questions of who is this man in an Auto Union and is the date correct.

 

Regards,

 

Henk Vasmel



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#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 21:37

 

However, the car as seen in Tunis (only one car present there) had an extra air inlet in front of the aero screen. No trace of that in this picture.

 

Are you sure, Henk? I'm looking at a photo of the start at Tunis, with Varzi in the foreground, and I can't make out any extra air inlet. (the photo is in Auto Union Grand Prix Wagen by Stefan Knittel).

 

Entering 'Renato Balestrero' into Google Images throws up a number of photos, including the one Henk posted. Assuming that some of them are correctly captioned as Balestrero, I'd say he's not the man in the Auto Union.



#3 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 22:00

No, I'm not sure. (Re the Tunis car) My source was Silver Arrows in Camera, where the extra air inlet is clearly visible, The car doesn't show a starting number though, so it could be from a different date. However there is a palm tree in the background, so North Africa is possible.



#4 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 22:24

I have now also found back my Knittel. It got lost behind some other books. You are right about the car at the start of the Tunis Grand Prix, and it really looks very much like the one in the mystery picture. They are both Type A's. The one in Silver Arrows in Camera is definitely a type B, so not the one used in either race. One little problem solved.

Chassis numbers I have are 76002 for Varzi and 76012 for Stuck (Source Kirchberg). So one A and one B is really possible. In that case the car in SAIC could have been 76012.

AU drivers in 1935 (in races) were Varzi, Stuck, Rosemeyer, Pietsch and Zu Leiningen. Maybe one of those? Zu Leiningen?



#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 22:56

Yes, it's Zu Leiningen. This is him at Avus in 1931:

 

Bundesarchiv_Bild_102-12096%2C_Berlin%2C


Edited by Vitesse2, 23 December 2013 - 22:56.


#6 Rob G

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:45

Judging by the haphazardly-painted race number, this has to be the car that Varzi raced at Tunis. This car wasn't raced at Tripoli, so my guess is that it was shipped to Europe immediately after the Tunis race for testing.

#7 taylov

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:31

Yes, looks like Zu Leiningen.

 

There's a 1934 photo on this thread http://forums.autosp...erman-gp-photo/

 

Tony



#8 Jean L

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 13:00

The wall of the pits on the Zoltan Glass photo say it is at Mellaha.



#9 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 12:14

It seems we have this one solved. There remains the question of the car used in Tunis, whether it was actually raced in Tripoli, since the Kirchberg book is a bit vague about the arrival of the two Tripoli cars in Africa. They were planned to arrive after the Tunis race only. In that case, the car in our picture would have been a spare car in Lybia, as we have concluded that the Tunis car actually was there.