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Bertram 'Bunny' Marshall


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#1 Michael Oliver

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Posted 18 January 2004 - 22:05

Can anyone tell me some basic details about this driver? Was he English or American, or what?

Any snippets appreciated. About all I know is that he drove an Aston Martin in the early 20s, and then a Bugatti in the mid-20s!

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#2 Geoff E

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Posted 18 January 2004 - 23:19

He was allegedly driving a Bugatti as early as 1922

http://www.bugatti.c...st/archive.html

#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 January 2004 - 23:46

Sheldon has the following entries for him:

29 Aug 1920: Coupe des Voiturettes (Le Mans); Mathis; retired
18 Sep 1921: Coupe des Voiturettes (Le Mans); Aston Martin; 6th
22 Oct 1921: JCC 200 (Brooklands); Aston Martin; 9th
22 Jun 1922: Int. 1500 Trophy (Isle of Man); Bugatti 22; 6th
19 Aug 1922: JCC 200 (Brooklands); Bugatti 22; 6th
18 Sep 1922: Coupe des Voiturettes (Le Mans); Crouch; 4th
30 Aug 1924: Grand Prix de Boulogne; Bugatti 22; 1st
29 Aug 1925: Grand Prix de Boulogne; Bugatti 22; 1st
29 Sep 1925: JCC 200 (Brooklands); Bugatti 22; ret

WB's Brooklands history also has him racing a Hampton, winning the '75 Long' handicap at the 1922 August meeting. He apparently always wore black overalls, and the Brescia was quite often painted black and gold.

#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 00:37

From Richard Hough's "Tourist Trophy", about the 1500 Trophy, 1922:

The Bugattis were chiefly notable for their complete lack of preparation. Frederich[sic] and Maury were shown the course by BS Marshall, the only British driver in the team; but the next day the crossroads and turnings were too much for them and two bewildered foreigners drove about the island for hours before they arrived back in Douglas, weary and discouraged.

:)

Marshall's team mates were Pierre de Vizcaya and the aforementioned Mones Maury, who finished fourth and third respectively in the very wet race, won by Algernon Lee Guinness, who covered the six laps in just under four and a quarter hours. Marshall was sixth and last, almost an hour behind the winner, which would seem to indicate he'd been lapped: the TT cars did eight laps and the big class winner, Jean Chassagne, was only twelve minutes 50 seconds behind Marshall, having completed two laps more than him!

#5 David McKinney

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 06:06

Can anyone confirm that he really was known as Bunny?
Every contemporary report I've seen calls him B S Marshall, except one reference to "Bunny" Marshall by Boddy in his Brooklands book. Remember that in those days a lot of Brooklands cars had nicknames, and Marshall's Aston Martin was known as "Bunny". My presumption was that Boddy had called him "Bunny" Marshall in much the way he might have referred to "Kim" Frazer Nash, "Chitty" Zborowski or, a little later, "Babs" Thomas.
Decades later other people called him Bunny Marshall, and everyone's copied that since
Can anyone point to a 1920s reference to his nickname other than the one I've mentioned?

#6 Michael Oliver

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 09:29

Originally posted by Geoff E
He was allegedly driving a Bugatti as early as 1922

http://www.bugatti.c...st/archive.html


Geoff: yes, that was the photo that set me off calling him Bunny, so my description of him driving a Bugatti in the mid-20s was a bit 'loose' to say the least...!

Tim: thanks for those results - he seemed to race for five years and then disappear, do you know what happened to him? Did he come to a sticky end or just retire and live happily ever after!

Vitesse: on that particular occasion, it seems that he didn't excel himself then?! Although in fairness perhaps there was a good reason for his performance that we don't know about.

David: as I've mentioned above, I took the 'Bunny' name from the Bugatti Owners Club archive photo caption - I'd only previously seen reference to B.S. Marshall, so you may well be correct!

#7 Doug Nye

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 09:57

I'm pretty sure Dave is correct - 'Bunny' Marshall was so-called in the sense that it identified him more precisely compared to other Marshalls in contemporary motor sport - e.g. 'Ferrari' Schumacher versus 'Williams' Schumacher.

The December 1924 issue of 'The Brooklands Gazette' contained a feature on B.S. Marshall - explaining that he was introduced to motoring when he joined the Argyll company in Scotland in 1912 as a 'helper'. He became a specialist in tuning their sleeve-valve engines and setting-up their Perrot-type diagonal brakes.

He founded his own motor trading business after World War 1, concentrating upon small cars "both as a medium for sport and for trade". He was convinced that sporting success could maximise public demand and increase sales. Sound familiar? He was against racing cars tailor-made for competition and maintained that racing properly prepared road-going cars was the right way to proceed - his Bugattis used in trials were driven to and from every event on the public road. His events were listed at that time as having included the GP des Voiturettes 1920-1921-1922-1923-1924 - the 1921-22-23 JCC '200's, and the 1922 TT on the Isle of Man. "Stress of business" compelled him "to scratch from" the 1924 JCC '200' which in any case Marshall regarded as being no longer feasible for the kind of tuned road-going cars he preferred to campaign. He was of course also a very familiar figure competing in hill-climbs and sprints around the UK and on the Continent (it says). He had successfully campaigned Mathis, Aston Martin, Hampton and Crouch cars in addition to the Bugattis in which he principally traded.

Predictably the ad pages contain an advertisement from 'B.S.Marshall Limited of 17a, Hanover Square, London W1 - "The Bugatti Specialists" - and also agents for Alvis, Bentley, Crossley, D.R.P., Lea-Francis, Mathis...and Standard.

Marshall's ad slogan in that issue was "Festina Lente - Boulogne Grand Prix - First B.S. Marshall Bugatti".

Ad copy was of course marvellously of the period - reading "This race took place on Saturday, August 30th, in most appalling weather conditions, so bad that the official starting time was postponed and the race shortened by two laps. From a field of 12 starters, the Bugatti won with a lead of 12 minutes from the next arrival - at an average speed of 54.05 m.p.h. for the course of 232 miles. No mechanical trouble whatever - one stop only for petrol, gaining the Coupe de Regularite - Perrot Front Wheel Brakes were fitted for this event - on the same car that has been used for competition during the present season. YOU CAN BUY ONE LIKE IT - Tel: Mayfair 5906/7'".

So don't delay...

DCN

#8 VAR1016

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 11:16

Originally posted by Doug Nye

YOU CAN BUY ONE LIKE IT - Tel: Mayfair 5906/7'".

So don't delay...

DCN


:rotfl:

Very good Doug.

PdeRL

#9 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 13:01

Google has thrown up an interesting (if irrelevant) snippet on this site:

http://www.theautomo...02/02_07_05.pdf

(from their obituary of Rob Walker)

His [Rob Walker's] fascination with motor racing began in 1924, when he was taken as a boy aged seven to the Boulogne Speed Week. There he was befriended by the wife of B S Marshall, the winner of the Grand Prix with a Brescia Bugatti.



#10 humphries

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 19:30

David, Michael, Doug et al

David may well have come up with something by asking if it was Bill Boddy who attributed the nickname of "Bunny" to Bertram Stanley Marshall. In Marshall's obituary in The Motor ( 3 Feb 1929 ) it states that his friends called him "Bertie". No mention of "Bunny" in The Autocar either.

Marshall was 41 when he died on 29th January, 1929 in St.John and St. Elizabeth Hospital, Grove End Road, London NW8. He had been ill for years, and was unfit for active service in WW1. He had a job of monitoring the steady output of munitions.

In 1921 he contracted pneumonia and never fully recovered. Despite this he raced with considerable success although his performances varied depending on the state of his health.

His funeral took place at Hendon Park Cemetery.

However the nickname "Bunny" was not uncommon. A "Bunny" Dyer was the general secretary of the famous Junior Car Club. I think the nickname depended one one's looks. Come to think of it there was a boy at my school back in the Fifties who was called "Bunny".

Marshall was by all accounts a cheerful chap at heart but understandably his moods varied. In some photographs he looks dreadfully haggard. Cannot think why he should have been nicknamed "Bunny".

John

#11 Michael Oliver

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 22:50

Doug, Tim and John

Thanks for all the information on B.S. Marshall...sounds like a thoroughly decent chap! But what a reminder of the shorter life expectancy of those days. It won't be long before I've been on this planet 41 years and I've no intention of stopping yet - too many circuits to visit, cars to see and people to meet/interview!!!

Michael

#12 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 23:20

Originally posted by Michael Oliver
Doug, Tim and John

To be bracketed by Mr Oliver with Messrs Nye and Humphries is much, much more than I deserve. But thank you Michael, it's given me a nice warm glow inside. :blush:

#13 VAR1016

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 23:50

Originally posted by humphries

However the nickname "Bunny" was not uncommon. A "Bunny" Dyer was the general secretary of the famous Junior Car Club. I think the nickname depended one one's looks. Come to think of it there was a boy at my school back in the Fifties who was called "Bunny".


Wasn't D.B. Tubbs known as "Bunny"?

He was quoted by Cecil Clutton as describing the Lancia Lambda as "The greatest of honorary sports cars"

This, I regret to say concludes my knowledge of Mr Tubbs. I can only marvel at the erudition demonstrated in these pages.

PdeRL

#14 Michael Oliver

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 13:23

Originally posted by Tim Murray

To be bracketed by Mr Oliver with Messrs Nye and Humphries is much, much more than I deserve. But thank you Michael, it's given me a nice warm glow inside. :blush:


My pleasure ;) A warm glow inside comes in handy at this time of year...

When it comes down to it, we are all 'just' TNF members of equal rank, so age, experience, knowledge etc, while helpful, has little bearing on our ability to post if we have access to the information someone is looking for...