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1936 GP de France

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#1 Egon Thurner

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Posted 21 April 2001 - 13:01

Date ? (most probably early September 1936)
(note: not the GP de l'ACF !!)

1. 'Raph' Talbot T150C 4.0 litre
dq 'Helde' (Louis-Dreyfus)

:( That's all I found ...

Who can help me ?


#2 Marcor

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Posted 21 April 2001 - 14:37

The best French drivers had taken themselves off to Monthléry for the series of minor race meetings run by the French Motor Cycle Club sponsored by the newspaper "L'Auto". The Club held a late August meeting for their 2-wheeled members and had also invited 4-wheelers to make up the numbers and widen the spectator appeal. Since it was virtually "free formula" and provided a rare outing for both outclassed cars and drivers, this meeting had come to be regarded as a sort of sprint edition of the Bol d'Or, growing in popularity to such an extent that it had spead over 2 consecutive weekends, while the 3 distinct car races enbodied in the programme had assumed the grandiose title of "Les Grands Prix de France" and thus frequently been confused abroad with the altogether more genuinely grandisose "Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France".

The first race was held on Sunday 30 August and won by Louis Villeneuve (Bugatti 51). It was a race for cars of up to 1.500 cm³. Amédée Gordini won the "Coupe d'Argent" in the 1.100 cm³ class.

The 2nd and 3rd races were held the followig weekeend on 6 September. Desperate to have something to show Paris and the Parisians after a disappointing season, Mr Lago had entered number 2 works Talbot, loaned for a day to "Raph" in recognition of his sterling effort with Cadot's car at Comminges. "Heldé" entered his Talbot in support and since Louis Villeneuve's Delahaye and the 2.5-litre amilcars of Contet and Madame Roux were the only other cars with anything approaching Talbot performance, there ought to have been a Talbot walk-over in a race only 87 km (54 miles) long. One again things didn't work out entirely as expected. Just before the start, "Heldé" self-starter refused to turn the engine and when the flag fell his car was left stranded on the line to be push-started by its pits crew after everyone else had left. He tore off in a vain attempt to catch "Raph" who was well in the lead, and made the fastest lap before finishing 2nd, only to be informed that he had been disqualified.

"Raph"'s victory however was the first ever won by a Talbot T150C, a victory in a minor race against negligible opposition, but a good omen for 1937 all the same and a welcome tonic for the Talbot team.

Louis Villeneuve finished second ahead of the two Amilcars which were just as pleased with a 3-litre class win.

#3 Egon Thurner

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Posted 21 April 2001 - 15:36

Marc, thanks for that story, good stuff; quite better than naked result-listings.

#4 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 06:48

Do you know if the car races on 30 August and on 6 September 1936 were for sports cars or open wheel racing cars? I read that France had changed their racing formula for 1936 and allowed only sports cars without supercharger. In accordance with this 1936 sports car formula there were three races held.
1. GP of France
2. Marne GP
3. Comminges GP
Do you know if this tiny event at Montlhéry had been part of those sports car races or was it a true gap filler as you have pointed out already?

To my knowledge, only one French race in 1936 saw racing cars and this was the La Turbie mountain climb on 9 April, won by Hans Stuck (Auto Union). The Mont Ventoux race on 20 September was won by Robert Carrière on a Delahaye sports car.

On 27 September there was the Lapize Mountain Race at Montlhéry over 800 meter distance. Hans Rüesch won in an Alfa Romeo, taking 30 seconds flat. Do you know if this was in fact another race restricted to sports cars? I know that Hans Rüesch had a 3.9-liter Alfa Romeo 8C-35 grand prix car at that time, but don’t know what Alfa he raced at this Lapize/Montlhéry event. You expert knowledge, especially about the French events, is needed.

#5 Egon Thurner

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 08:22

Hans, the race was 'free', no formula - and no, it did not count to the races in your list. (In the meanwhile I have found some more info about the race, but almost identical with that from Marcor). But there is one more race to add to your list:

1936-05-24 Marseille (3 hours)

1937 there had been a french drivers championship. No one else than 'Lionheart' Raymond Sommer became Champion, and for sure the Tourist Trophy (!) counted for the french drivers championship !!

I have no info about a similar drivers championship in 1936, but I am intrigued, if somebody now present some more details about it.

#6 alessandro silva

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 08:36

List of French Champions (also for Fines)
No mention of French Championship before 1937
1937 Sommer
39/46 Sommer
47 Chaboud
48 Giraud-Cabantous
49/50/51/52 Rosier (50F2 Manzon)
53/54 Trintignant
55 not awarded
56/57 Behra
58/59?/60 Trintignant
61 Guichet ?
64 Jo Schlesser
68/69 Beltoise
70 Pescarolo
71 Cevert
72 Beltoise
73 Cevert
74/75/76 Depailler
77 Depailler & Laffite
78 Depailler
79/80/81 Laffite
82 Pironi
83...91 Prost
93 Prost

#7 karlcars

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 12:50

I would have thought that Rene Dreyfus would have figured in there somewhere, for example in 1938, when he famously beat the Mercedes at Pau in his Delahaye. However...

When I was working with GM Styling, Bill Mitchell had a lovely portrait made of Rene, which later hung in his New York restaurant. We had captioned it something like 'Champion of France' but he taped that over -- whether out of modesty or in the interest of accuracy I never did ascertain. A wonderful man and obviously no slouch as a driver.

#8 David McKinney

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 14:10

In response to Hans's comments
"Open" Grands Prix were held at Pau and Deauville in 1936, plus the hillclimbs at La Turbie (as mentioned), Chateau Thierry, Eymoutiers, Lapize and possibly elsewhere as well

#9 Marcor

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 15:02

I've edited my previous reply (adding some stuff and correcting typing errors) and I add now a few more about the GP de France du MCF.

Amédée Gordini finished sixth with another class win for the modified Simca Fiat Ballila (6629-RJ) #12, fitted with an ultra lightweight body. As a result of those victories, Gordini was drawn closer to Simca who lost no opportunity to boast of his successes in the 1936 GP d'Alger (Targa Bouzarea), Coupe de Provence, GP de l'ACF, Bol d'Or (overall win), 24 Hours of Spa, GP de Lorraine, Coupe d'Argent and GP de France du MCF.

#10 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 16:50

Originally posted by David McKinney
.....the hillclimbs at La Turbie (as mentioned), Chateau Thierry, Eymoutiers.....

David would you please give me some more information about the 1936 Chateau Thierry and Eymoutiers? I am looking for
1. date
2. event's name
3. circuit and distance
4. winner's name in the racing cars class
5. car (and type if available)
6. time
7. category of winner (touring, sports or racing)
8. source/reference of information

#11 David McKinney

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 18:58

Sorry, Hans, I going to have to disappoint you, as I know very little about either event. My information is that Benoist won the Chateau Thierry event in a 4.9-litre Bugatti, perhaps the T50-engined T59 the factory was running at about that time. I have a feeling however that the reference might not have been 1936, but rather 1935.

All I know about the 1936 Eymoutiers event is that it took place in July and that Sommer won in his P3 Alfa.

Distances of the courses unknown to me: however, both venues were used for several years, so not should be impossible to find.

I can’t even help much with my sources for this information. At the time I made the notes I was gathering information purely for my own enjoyment, so didn’t feel any need to note sources. My researches over the years have included Autocar, which is a possibility for either of both of these events. The fact that I know about only one car in each event however suggests that more likely sources would be marque histories - perhaps Tragatsch for Chateau Thierry? Hull & Slater for Eymoutiers?

#12 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 23 April 2001 - 06:26

Thank you very much. Hull's book contains very little about mountain climbs and Tragatsch does not mention these events in his books.

#13 Marcor

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Posted 25 July 2001 - 17:49

Maybe out of topic but here's the results of the 1948 French Championship:
1- Giraud-Cabantous, 24 points
2- Wimille, 22 points
3- Rosier, 19.5 points
4- Chiron, 10 points.

La Coupe du Salon was the last race for the 1948 Championship. The winner was Rosier and Giraud-Cabantous, finishing third, won the championship. I don't know which other races counted for the chammpionship...

#14 Marcor

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Posted 01 October 2001 - 17:05

I've just reread this thread, especially the last post (from myself). The 4th position of Louis Chiron in the 1948 French championship seems to contradict the fact that Chiron was not considered as French for the French Federation but had a Monegasque Licence. (Maybe in 1948 Chiron had French licence, I don't know)

In 1947, when Chiron won the Comminges GP, he became leader of the French championship. Not for a long time as suddenly it was realized that he had no French licence so he couldn't score points for the National championship. Eugène Chaboud thus won the 1947 championship...