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Ralph or Raph


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#1 Bengt

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 13:07

This is my first thread on TNF and I looking for information about a driver from the late 1920's and early 1930's whose surname is Ralph. I think he's of French nationality since I have him listed as participating in some French races. His name is often mixed with the pseudonym "Raph" aka Raphael Bethenod las Casas (or something like that). Can anyone confirm that they are two different persons? Does anyone have any birthdate etc and competition results for this guy Ralph?

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#2 Felix Muelas

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 13:48

As far as "Raph" (Raphael Bethenod de las Casas) is concerned, Alessandro Silva wrote an extremelly interesting introductory note to him that you can find here

Obviously you' ll end up loving the whole article ;)

This is how he looked around 1946 Posted Image

As for another guy "Ralph" -- that doesn' t ring a bell -- I will have to take a look...

Un abrazo and welcome to the Forum

Felix

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 14:13

There was a Frenchman called Ralph, IIRC. Not as well-known as Raph.
I'll check my records later

#4 David McKinney

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Posted 22 January 2003 - 20:06

I have several results for a driver called Ralph in southern French events with Bugattis 1931-33, and nothing for Raph until the last year.
There was also a Ralph racing an Amilcar back in 1923

#5 Marcor

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 00:01

In 1923 a certain Léon Ralph took part in the Allauch hillclimb event, near Marseille, January 28. He finished 3rd in the 1100 cc Touring car class, driving a Amilcar, as David said. One problem resolved, it's clearly not the well-known "Raph".

I've also some records of Ralph circa 1930-31.
1930
Course de côte du Camps: May 18, Bugatti 1500 cc racing car, AC de Marseille
Course de côte des Alpilles: May 25, Bugatti 1500 cc racing car, AC St-Rémois, near Avignon

1931
Course de côte du Mont Ventoux, August, 30, Bugatti 2 L racing car class
Circuit du Dauphiné, August, 8, Bugatti 37A (from Sheldon, volume 2).

I've some articles about the life and the career of "Raph", the one was published in Auto Passion, the second in Automobilia was written by his son and was in 2 parts. Ihad to check when he was starting his career.

#6 robert dick

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 09:21

Some comments on Raph :
Raphaël Béthenod, Baron de las Casas and Comte de Montbressieu :
born on 8 February 1910 in Buenos Aires
1924 – spectator GP de l’ACF, Lyon.
1932 – drove an Amilcar (C6 Chassis + CGS engine) for Clément-Auguste Martin (= since 1922 Amilcar agent in La Garenne) – 5th/race car class Bol d’Or; 5th/1100 cc class GP de Picardie; DNF 24 h Spa.
1933 – bought a Rally (1100 cc Scap engine) – 2nd/1100 cc class GP de Troyes.
1935 – bought the ex-Chambost Salmson GSS (part-exchange for his Talbot DHC) – 2nd/1100 cc racing class Chanteloup.
Sold the Salmson, bought Alfa P 3 no. 5006 – 2nd Orléans, 2nd Lorraine, 2nd Comminges, 5th GP de la Marne, DNF Nice, 1st Nantes.
6 + 12 h records in Montlhéry on Chinetti’s Alfa Monza (with Chinetti and Pesato).
1936 – bought Maserati V8RI no. 4504 – DNF in Barcelona and Genova; disqualified Vanderbilt Cup – sold the car in the US.
Drove Talbot T 150 C no 82931.
1937 – drove Delahaye 135 Spéciale – 5th Pau; 3rd Montlhéry.
1938 – bought Maserati 6 CM no. 1556 – 1st Pau; 5th/1500 cc Tripolis; 2nd Targa Florio/Palermo.
1938/39 – drove Delahaye 145 for Écurie Bleue/Schell – 1939 5th German GP.
1946 – backed by Madame Depois, Raph founded the écurie Naphtra Course, anagram of “Raph en course”. Cars = Maserati 6 CM, 4 CL and Alfa 308.
1946 – on Maserati 4 CL finished 3rd Roussillon; 3rd Albi, 1st Nantes, 2nd GP du Salon.
1947 – Maserati 4 CL – 3rd La Gavea, 6th Mar del Plata; lap record ACF Lyon.
1948 – Alfa 308 – 2nd Interlagos; 2nd Sao Paulo.
1948 – with additional backing the écurie Naphtra Course became the écurie Mundia Course.
Talbot Lago T 26 C no. 110002 – 5th ACF; 2nd Comminges.
29 August 1948 – serious accident in Albi – skull fracture/amnesia.
1949 and 1950 – some races on Delahaye 135, Gordini and Talbot mono-décalée. Stopped racing.

#7 paulhooft

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 11:21

In This new book Jean Pierre Wimile A bientot la revanche,.
The book is in both English and french.
There is a two page story on Raph on page 179 e.v.
Paul Hooft

#8 Jimmy Piget

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 06:00

I too confirm there were two different drivers : "Raph" (Béthenod) who raced in the '1930s & '1940s (and died 16 June 1994 in Neuilly-sur-Marne, near Paris)
and a Mr Ralph in the '1920s in southern France.
About the latter, I had found somewhere the first name "Gilbert", but I cannot remember which source.
Marcor, do you think I must modify my data and write "Léon" instead ?

#9 Marcor

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 11:36

I only have seen the first name Léon once and it was my only data of the 1923 Amilcar's driver. I must check the source.

My thought is that there were 2 Ralph: the one of the Amilcar (23) and the other of the Bugattis (early 30's). Maybe the Bugatti man was Gilbert Ralph !

I have an other question about "Raph" about his two appearances at Spa in 1932 and 1933. The Automobilia article said that "Raph" started his racing career in 1932 driving the C-A Martin Amilcar and that he drove a Rally in 1933. My problem: I don't find the name "Raph" in the entry list of the Belgian races. The Automobilia article (yes always the same) includes a picture of the Amilcar C6 #80 (immatriculated 7080RD2) with "Raph" back to the car between two mechanics. #80 in the Spa entry list was this car but the nominated drivers were Robail and Guibert (or Gilbert, sorry I don't post from home). In 1933 the same 2 drivers drove a Rally, the car "Raph" is presumed to have raced. So was Robail or Guibert (Gilbert) "Raph" ? Did "Raph" use an other pseudo ?

#10 robert dick

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 12:59

In the Automobilia article there is no mention of a second pseudonym.
In the contemporary press the name “Raph” appears in 1935 when Béthenot started at the wheel of the Alfa P 3.

Additional question : How did he finance the P 3, when a few weeks earlier he had to give his Talbot in part-exchange to pay the old Salmson?

#11 Marcor

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 14:15

originally posted by Robert Dick

1933 – bought a Rally (1100 cc Scap engine) – 2nd/1100 cc class GP de Troyes.
1935 – bought the ex-Chambost Salmson GSS (part-exchange for his Talbot DHC) – 2nd/1100 cc racing class Chanteloup.
Sold the Salmson, bought Alfa P 3 no. 5006 – 2nd Orléans, 2nd Lorraine, 2nd Comminges, 5th GP de la Marne, DNF Nice, 1st Nantes.
6 + 12 h records in Montlhéry on Chinetti’s Alfa Monza (with Chinetti and Pesato).


I'm nearly sure he bought the Salmson in 1934 as he was second in the 1100 cc racing class at the Chanteloup-Les Vignes hillclimb in 1934. In 1935 he was also 2nd in the GP de France du MCF at Monthléry (not the GP de l'Automobile Club de France). He didn't win at Nantes in 1935, only 11 years later, in 1946.

How did he find the money to acquire the Tipo B ?
The Automobilia said it was in "circonstances rocambolesques" (in French in the original text) and after a partnership with Sommer which failed...