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Pre-War Silver Arrows - comments and questions


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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 21:21

Having recently sold, on Ebay, a 1936 Auto Union slot-racing model, painted up as Rosemeyer, it awakened my interest in that wonderful era of racing. I decided to re-read 'Racing the Silver Arrows' yet again. Only this time I paid more attention and as a result, several points inserted their way into my mind and left me needing answers and comments from those who know far more about those times than do I.

For instance in the 1937 Coppa Acerbo at Pescara, 6th place was taken by one V. Belmondo. Would this be any relation to the actor and his racing son?

Also, on the subject of little-known (well, to me anyway) names, may I throw in a few and request any career info on them; Armand Hug; Rene le Begue; Giosue Calamai; Ulrich Maag?

The French Grand Prix was at Reims in 1938 and 1939. The 1938 race was 13 laps or 100 kms longer than '39. Did the regs change that year?

Ulli Bigalke appears in an Auto Union at the Eifel G.P. of 1939 but seems not to have driven any other races. Did he survive the war and race after it?

And finally, how on earth did Nuvolari see where he was going?

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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 21:56

There's a thread about Bigalke, Barry:

http://www.atlasf1.c...&threadid=44636

Armand Hug was Swiss, one of the leading Voiturette drivers of the late thirties. In the 1939 Albi GP he crashed his Maserati, hitting a telegraph pole and suffering a fractured skull. He survived, but as a semi-invalid, and died in the late sixties.

LeBegue was one of the phalanx of French drivers who campaigned mainly in sports car races on the thirties. He survived the war, but died in a freak domestic accident when he was asphyxiated by a faulty gas boiler. The trophy for the St Cloud race in 1946 which saw the return of the Alfettas was named in his honour.

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 22:26

Maag was killed in a road accident on his way to the 1934 Coppa Acerbo
Vittorio Belmondo was Italian, the other lot French, so a close connection is unlikely

#4 oldtimer

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 23:11

Originally posted by Barry Boor
And finally, how on earth did Nuvolari see where he was going?


I just love those pics of the little man peeking around the side of the scuttle. :)

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 23:32

Calamai is a bit of a mystery man, it appears. Apart from his outing in the 1936 Coppa Acerbo, all I can find on him is a second place in a sports car race, the Circuito dell'Impero at Lido di Roma on June 11th 1939.

#6 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 06 December 2002 - 23:32

Giosuè Calamai was a relatively unknown Italian sports car driver (Alfa Romeo) between 1935 and 1939, winning the 1935 Coppa della Consuma (Florence) and in 1939 the 15.500 km Argegno-Lanzo d'Intelvi climb.

#7 David McKinney

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Posted 07 December 2002 - 09:36

René Lebègue was one of a whole bunch of French drivers who came to prominence racing Delahaye and Talbot sportscars in the mid/late 1930s. Starting with a Delahaye 135 in 1936, he finished second in the Spa 24hr race (with Mongin) and set fastest lap in the TT at Ards before retiring. He also contested that year’s Donington Grand Prix, as well as all the major French events, without much success.
Joining Talbot to race their 150C models in 1937, he retired in the Mille Miglia, when in a top-six position, but went on to place second in the TT at Donington. Minot placings in home events were topped by victory in the Coupe d’Automne at Montlhéry at the end of the year.
After fifth place in the 1938 Mille Miglia in a Delahaye 135, with Carrière, Lebègue returned to Talbot and at Montlhéry won the Coupe de Paris (in May) and the Paris 12hrs (with Morel in September), but retired in the Le Mans 24hrs. He retired at the Sarthe again in 1939, but won the Comminges sportscar GP.
That year he also raced Talbot’s offset single-seater GP cars, his most important placing being third in the French GP. He was also third in the less important Coupe de Paris.
He then joined Ecurie Lucy O'Reilly Schell for the 1940 and 1941 Indianapolis 500 races, finishing tenth in a Maserati 8CTF the first year (with Dreyfus) but failing to qualify his 4.5-litre Talbot a year later.
While Lebègue was forging a career in sportscar racing, Armand Hug was building a repuation in 1500cc voiturettes. He had started out as a teenager with a Bugatti, winning the 2-litre sportscar class of the 1934 Kesselberg hillclimb, but his name does not appear in the reports again until 1937, when he raced, without success, at Chimay. Later that year he switched from Bugatti to Maserati and was fourth in the Avusrennen voiturette race.
In 1938 Hug was one of the most successful voiturette drivers, winning the prestigious Prix de Berne and also one of the Albi races as well as the La Baule event. These successes were backed by a second place (at Modena), a third (Milan), two fifths and a sixth. He was also second overall in the Maloja hillclimb, beaten only by Stuck’s Auto Union.
The following season began with fifth places in the South African and Tripoli Grands Prix and, after retiring at Péronne, he won the big Rheims race. His career, one of the most promising of that time, ended one week later with his accident in practice for the Albi race.
Like Hug, Ulrich Maag also started his career with a Bugatti, in this case the ex-Stuber 35C, with which he won his class in the big Freiburg and Stelvio hillclimbs in 1933, and was second at Gaisberg. The following season began with victory in the Eibsee race at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
He then drove an Alfa Romeo in the Mille Miglia, with Rüesch, but crashed, going on to place sixth in the important Eifelrennen race. He repeated that placing in the German GP, but was disqualified at the post-race weigh-in. Maag had also driven a 1.5 BMW in the Kesselberg hillclimb, and his last event before his fatal accident was the Klausen event, where he drove his Bugatti but was not placed.
Giosuè Calamai concentrated on Italian hillclimbs, winning the minor Coppa del Consuma event in 1935 and following that with fastest times in the 1939 Parma-Berceto and Argegno-Lanzo d'Intelvi events, and third at Stelvio, all three events being restricted to sportscars. His few circuit events included the 1937 Coppa Ascoli, in which he was third, and the 1939 Circuito dell'Impero, second, both being sportscar events. He never raced anything but Alfa Romeos

#8 David McKinney

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Posted 07 December 2002 - 09:37

René Lebègue was one of a whole bunch of French drivers who came to prominence racing Delahaye and Talbot sportscars in the mid/late 1930s. Starting with a Delahaye 135 in 1936, he finished second in the Spa 24hr race (with Mongin) and set fastest lap in the TT at Ards before retiring. He also contested that year’s Donington Grand Prix, as well as all the major French events, without much success.
Joining Talbot to race their 150C models in 1937, he retired in the Mille Miglia, when in a top-six position, but went on to place second in the TT at Donington. Minot placings in home events were topped by victory in the Coupe d’Automne at Montlhéry at the end of the year.
After fifth place in the 1938 Mille Miglia in a Delahaye 135, with Carrière, Lebègue returned to Talbot and at Montlhéry won the Coupe de Paris (in May) and the Paris 12hrs (with Morel in September), but retired in the Le Mans 24hrs. He retired at the Sarthe again in 1939, but won the Comminges sportscar GP.
That year he also raced Talbot’s offset single-seater GP cars, his most important placing being third in the French GP. He was also third in the less important Coupe de Paris.
He then joined Ecurie Lucy O'Reilly Schell for the 1940 and 1941 Indianapolis 500 races, finishing tenth in a Maserati 8CTF the first year (with Dreyfus) but failing to qualify his 4.5-litre Talbot a year later.
While Lebègue was forging a career in sportscar racing, Armand Hug was building a repuation in 1500cc voiturettes. He had started out as a teenager with a Bugatti, winning the 2-litre sportscar class of the 1934 Kesselberg hillclimb, but his name does not appear in the reports again until 1937, when he raced, without success, at Chimay. Later that year he switched from Bugatti to Maserati and was fourth in the Avusrennen voiturette race.
In 1938 Hug was one of the most successful voiturette drivers, winning the prestigious Prix de Berne and also one of the Albi races as well as the La Baule event. These successes were backed by a second place (at Modena), a third (Milan), two fifths and a sixth. He was also second overall in the Maloja hillclimb, beaten only by Stuck’s Auto Union.
The following season began with fifth places in the South African and Tripoli Grands Prix and, after retiring at Péronne, he won the big Rheims race. His career, one of the most promising of that time, ended one week later with his accident in practice for the Albi race.
Like Hug, Ulrich Maag also started his career with a Bugatti, in this case the ex-Stuber 35C, with which he won his class in the big Freiburg and Stelvio hillclimbs in 1933, and was second at Gaisberg. The following season began with victory in the Eibsee race at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
He then drove an Alfa Romeo in the Mille Miglia, with Rüesch, but crashed, going on to place sixth in the important Eifelrennen race. He repeated that placing in the German GP, but was disqualified at the post-race weigh-in. Maag had also driven a 1.5 BMW in the Kesselberg hillclimb, and his last event before his fatal accident was the Klausen event, where he drove his Bugatti but was not placed.
Giosuè Calamai concentrated on Italian hillclimbs, winning the minor Coppa del Consuma event in 1935 and following that with fastest times in the 1939 Parma-Berceto and Argegno-Lanzo d'Intelvi events, and third at Stelvio, all three events being restricted to sportscars. His few circuit events included th

#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 07 December 2002 - 09:48

I would add that Rene le Begue was rated very much as being a truly talented driver - looking to have very great potential indeed... His trip to Indy with Dreyfus in 1940 looks rather bizarre considering its wartime context - with France fighting (incompetently but with typical bravery) for its survival - but he went well even in such unfamiliar surroundings. His accidental death (reputedly in his bath, apparently from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty domestic water geyser) was a tremendous loss to the perceived future of French motor sport.

DCN

#10 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 December 2002 - 21:11

Don't forget that René Lebègue also won the 1937 Monte Carlo Rally in a Delahaye.

#11 jarama

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Posted 08 December 2002 - 22:12

BTW,

correct spell is René Le Bègue or René Lebègue? :confused:

Carles.