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Fangio's favourites


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#1 VAR1016

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 21:35

I have no information about how the Old Man perceived the cars that he drove.

Sir Stirling is happy to tell us how delightful the 250F was to drift, how tough the Vanwall was etc., but what did Juan Manuel feel about the cars he drove?

Apparently he described the V-16 B.R.M. as "The most fabulous car I ever drove" but I suspect that he was being diplomatic - a natural skill of his I suspect.

I am particularly interested to know how he (and his contemporaries) felt about the Alfa-Romeo 158 (and 159). what were they like to drive?

And what was the Old Man's favourite? Does anyone know?

Thanks in advance.

PdeRL

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#2 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 22:41

I think that Fangio's favourite was the Mercedes W196, followed very close by the Alfa Romeo 159 and the Maserati 250F, but I can be wrong of course.

Arturo

#3 Wolf

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 22:47

VAR1016- either Moss was caught drunk or was using 'fabulous' in sense 'something out of the fable'...;) I think P15 expirience was the key that Moss never liked B.R.M., and was oft quite critical of them. The quote I remember was about P15 being frightfull car to drive, whose centrifugal compressor made it unsuited for drifting, plus he held grudge with team for failing to remove even small problems (like flutteing of wheels at high speed ;)). I think he even wrote them 'open letter' of a sort...

#4 VAR1016

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 23:14

Originally posted by Wolf
VAR1016- either Moss was caught drunk or was using 'fabulous' in sense 'something out of the fable'...;) I think P15 expirience was the key that Moss never liked B.R.M., and was oft quite critical of them. The quote I remember was about P15 being frightfull car to drive, whose centrifugal compressor made it unsuited for drifting, plus he held grudge with team for failing to remove even small problems (like flutteing of wheels at high speed ;)). I think he even wrote them 'open letter' of a sort...


No, Wolf, I was quoting Fangio, not Moss.

Moss said: "It [the V-16 B.R.M.] was without doubt, the worst racing-car that I have ever driven."

PdeRL

#5 VAR1016

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 23:16

Originally posted by Arturo Pereira
I think that Fangio's favourite was the Mercedes W196, followed very close by the Alfa Romeo 159 and the Maserati 250F, but I can be wrong of course.

Arturo


Thanks Arturo; I am a little surprised - I think that he was very loyal to Maserati - but then of course, after racing, Mercedes-Benz was very loyal to him!

I would love to know what he said about the wonderful Alfas.

PderL

#6 Roger Clark

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 00:53

In his book "Fangio", Denis Jenkinson wrote "Of all the cars that Fangio raced in his career the beautiful little Tipo 158/159 Alfa Romeo was probably his favourite". In Fangio's autobiography, a picture caption (also written by Jenkinson) says "He enjoyed his time with the Milanese team more than any other."

#7 Gary Davies

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 01:11

Originally posted by Roger Clark
In his book "Fangio", Denis Jenkinson wrote "Of all the cars that Fangio raced in his career the beautiful little Tipo 158/159 Alfa Romeo was probably his favourite". In Fangio's autobiography, a picture caption (also written by Jenkinson) says "He enjoyed his time with the Milanese team more than any other."


:eek: Wot! He didn't enjoy his year with Enzo Anselmo?

#8 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 02:07

Originally posted by VAR1016


Thanks Arturo; I am a little surprised - I think that he was very loyal to Maserati - but then of course, after racing, Mercedes-Benz was very loyal to him!

I would love to know what he said about the wonderful Alfas.

PderL


Hi :)

Fangio was designed as Mercedes Benz dealer in Argentina before he even signed for Mercedes Team. It was supposed to be part of the seduction effort Mercedes did to hire Juan Manuel.

He loved the Alfetta because that was the 1st F1 team he drove for, and both Alfettas (158 &159) were fantastic cars. The Maserati was special for him because of the wonderful relationship Fangio had with Maserati owners, and the car was also rock solid. BUt fwik the best F1 car he drove, in his own words, was the Mercedes W196. Not the most spectacular car to watch, but it was very well designed and it showed very unfrequent problems.

Arturo

#9 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 02:17

Originally posted by Vanwall


:eek: Wot! He didn't enjoy his year with Enzo Anselmo?


Certainly not :smoking:

#10 VAR1016

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 19:12

Originally posted by Arturo Pereira


Certainly not :smoking:


Quite so: a tragedy that Gianni was no longer running those cars!

PdeRL

#11 scags

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 00:37

It must have been a tough choice- an Alfa that won every race,(more or less), or a Mercedes that won each race.

#12 marat

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 07:42

If Fangio and Moss have so different appreciations on the W196 MB, does someone here know
what Taruffi said about the car. As a rather independant and experienced driver and engineer, his opinion should be intersting.

#13 RSNS

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 01:59

Hi all.

As far as I remember, Fangio liked the BRM because it was such a difficult car to drive and he liked the challenge. He was fast in it, but everybody else admitted that no one else would make it go. At any case, even Fangio on occasion felt difficulties with the car.

Moss didn't like it because it was so difficult. The car had very little power at lower revs (because of the turbo charger) but when it came into action, the power rise was exponential. It was, therefore, almost impossible to control the throttle. Tony Brooks further said that it was impossible to powerslide the car.

About the Maserati 250F I know Fangio said it suited his driving style - an oversteering, nimble and agile car.

The Mercedes was, according to Fangio, very difficult to drive at high speed corners in its earlier stages (the car's) because it could completely loose front end grip. That is why Fangio insisted in out board brakes: to make the car more precise at the front.

Fangio praised Mercedes for the effort they made improving the car and he said it was a rather easy car to drive, because the driver was seated with open legs, so that he could keep his balance. And, of course, he praised the reliability and speed of the car. I cannot but feel it was not the kind of car he liked to drive. That would have been the Maserati.

Moss, on the other hand, said the Mercedes was heavy and hard to drive, although very fast and reliable. I think he preferred oversteering cars, too (he liked the Maserati 250F and always tried to get his Vanwall into an oversteering attitude - there are photos of that in Taruffi's book.

About the Alfetta, I don't recall he said anything except that it was a marvelous car to drive but too thirsty.

I didn't check, but I'm almost sure of what I have said - well, at least I'm certain I read it.

Hope that helps.

RSNS


#14 David McKinney

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 09:59

I think you're getting two vastly different BRM models mixed up there, RS
And neither of them was turbocharged :lol:

#15 VAR1016

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 11:26

Originally posted by RSNS
Hi all.

As far as I remember, Fangio liked the BRM because it was such a difficult car to drive and he liked the challenge. He was fast in it, but everybody else admitted that no one else would make it go. At any case, even Fangio on occasion felt difficulties with the car.

Moss didn't like it because it was so difficult. The car had very little power at lower revs (because of the turbo charger) but when it came into action, the power rise was exponential. It was, therefore, almost impossible to control the throttle. Tony Brooks further said that it was impossible to powerslide the car.

About the Maserati 250F I know Fangio said it suited his driving style - an oversteering, nimble and agile car.

The Mercedes was, according to Fangio, very difficult to drive at high speed corners in its earlier stages (the car's) because it could completely loose front end grip. That is why Fangio insisted in out board brakes: to make the car more precise at the front.

Fangio praised Mercedes for the effort they made improving the car and he said it was a rather easy car to drive, because the driver was seated with open legs, so that he could keep his balance. And, of course, he praised the reliability and speed of the car. I cannot but feel it was not the kind of car he liked to drive. That would have been the Maserati.

Moss, on the other hand, said the Mercedes was heavy and hard to drive, although very fast and reliable. I think he preferred oversteering cars, too (he liked the Maserati 250F and always tried to get his Vanwall into an oversteering attitude - there are photos of that in Taruffi's book.

About the Alfetta, I don't recall he said anything except that it was a marvelous car to drive but too thirsty.

I didn't check, but I'm almost sure of what I have said - well, at least I'm certain I read it.

Hope that helps.

RSNS


Thanks very much for that - of course I echo David's comments about the BRM's supercharging!

PdeRL

#16 RSNS

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 13:23

PdRL:

You are very welcome, for what it is worth.

Originally posted by David McKinney
I think you're getting two vastly different BRM models mixed up there, RS
And neither of them was turbocharged :lol:


It is possible; now that you mention it I think Brooks was talking about another car. But please correct me and tell me which is which. I really can't look into the matter right now.

RSNS

P.S.: Yes, I meant supercharged.

#17 Wolf

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 13:58

I thought it was about P15, since all RSNS wrote implied that (unless David refers to different Mk. of P15).

RSNS- I believe You used term 'turbocherging' where You should have used 'supercharging'. P15 had mechanicaly driven centrifugal supercharger/compressor, whereas turbochargers use gas turbine (driven by exhaust gases) for driving the compressor.

About P15 being unsuited for drifting, Moss said that torque curve of the engine was very steep (I don't have my 'Design & Behaviour...' at hand, but I *think* that with drop of 2,000 rpm engine lost something like 80% of power), so that when slight wheelspin, neccessary for drift, occured, wheels would start spinning even more (causing uncontrolable loss of traction), whereas with normal engines, that wheelspin had tendency to die-off, and could 'easily' be maintained/controled with careful throttle application.

#18 RSNS

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 14:10

Wolf:

Thank you for the correction and the interesting details. So I wasn't that far off (I did know the difference between turbocharging and supercharging, but it is the kind of error that creeps in at 4 a.m. after a very hard day :yawn: ).

RSNS

#19 David McKinney

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 15:36

Brooks never raced the V16, and I'm pretty sure he never drove one
He would have been talking about the later 2.5-litre four, which treated him so baldy in 1956

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#20 Doug Nye

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 17:00

Originally posted by David McKinney
Brooks...would have been talking about the later 2.5-litre four, which treated him so baldy in 1956


Perhaps so, but he's still got more hair (on top of his head) than me... :confused:

#21 David McKinney

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 19:19

Or me
Perhaps "treated him badly"?

#22 oldtimer

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 20:17

Originally posted by RSNS
Hi all.

As far as I remember, Fangio liked the BRM because it was such a difficult car to drive and he liked the challenge. He was fast in it, but everybody else admitted that no one else would make it go. RSNS


Let's not forget Froilan Gonzales was also quite happy to take a big stick to the P15. Didn't he give an eye-popping demonstration to the BRM team of how awful the front end was at Goodwood?

And, of course, Ken Wharton and Ron Flockhart learnt to control the beast.

#23 VAR1016

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Posted 11 February 2004 - 21:51

Originally posted by oldtimer


Let's not forget Froilan Gonzales was also quite happy to take a big stick to the P15. Didn't he give an eye-popping demonstration to the BRM team of how awful the front end was at Goodwood?

And, of course, Ken Wharton and Ron Flockhart learnt to control the beast.


Reg Parnell was a brave exponent with the V-16 - obviously an animal in its early days.

Later, Peter Collins drove the Mk II very well.

I would like to know more of drivers' impressions of the Alfetta though!

PdeRL