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#1 Roger Clark

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Posted 12 August 2000 - 12:49

THe Grand Prix and voiturette Peugeots ofte years immediately preceeding 1914 have always been seen as landmarks in racing history, both for their racing successes and for their influence on car design. THey were a major step forward in engine performance, both in crankshaft speed and power per litre. THey established design trends which in some respects, have lasted until the present day.

THe design team responsible for them comprised the three drivers, Georges Boilllot, Jules goux and Paul Zuccarelli and the Swiss designer Ernest Henry. There has always been debate about the role of each member of the team, particularly Henry. Some authorites claim that he was the leader of the team, the originator of the new principppples embodded in the cars. Others say that he was merely a draughtsman, translating the ideas of the others onto paper.

all this was prompted by reading an article in the August 1974 issue of Motor Sport. THat article, by Bill Boddy, was in turn prompted by one by Griffith Borgeson in Automobile Quarterly of the previous year. Borgeson was commenting on a book (I hope you're following all this) which claimed that Henry was not the designer, not even the dtaughtsman, but that he had stolen the design for the Peugeot engine from Hispano-Suiza. In other words, that he was an industrial spy.

Griffith borgeson appears to have done considerable research into this, finding original documents and even interviewing survivors. Both he and boddy dismissed the idea of theft, and rated Henry the creative designer of the Peugeots. I have another article by Borgeson, in the short-lived magazine Historic RAcing, which is primarily about Ballot cars, but in which he goes to some lengths to defend Henry's reputation.

Karl Ludvigsen, in his recent "Classic Grand Prix Cars" suggests that Henry's role was to interpret the ideas of the others.

Does anybody have any information or views on the designer/draughtsman/spy debate? i would be particularly interested to hear from anybody with access to non-English language sources, as stories always have a habit of gaining credibility by repetition.



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#2 John Cross

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Posted 12 August 2000 - 15:12

Cyril Posthumus says:

"Chief draughtsman on the L76 project was a 26-year old Swiss named Ernest Henry, whose main function, it is believed, was to transpose the Charlatans' (Boillot, Goux & Zuccarelli) thoughts onto the drawing board. However, the 1912 Peugeot engine is often attributed to him, it being as difficult then to apportion credit fairly as it is on today's Formula 1 cars. Primary inspiration for the overall Peugeot design is thought to have come from Zuccarelli, a fine engineer/driver formerly with the Spanish Hispano-Suiza company, but whoever the design kingpin, the product became historic as the 'giant killer' which ended the 'age of the monsters' by the scientific approach."

So if anyone brought ideas from Hispano-Suiza, it was Zuccarelli.

Pomeroy says:

"They (Boillot, Goux & Zuccarelli) secured the services of a young Swiss engineer called Henry, who was charged with the task of interpreting their many ingenious ideas on paper and extending them into the realm of working practice..."

So it seems that Henry was more of a draughtsman - he certainly made mistakes. Cecil Clutton says:

"Like all Henry's products, the choke-tube of the carburettor was unnecessarily large in diameter, so that the engines give very little power below about 2,500 rpm."

As a result, the Peugeot had a very close ratio gearbox.

#3 Roger Clark

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Posted 12 August 2000 - 16:35

I believe the Pomeroy quote is from the Grand Prix CAr. I haven't checked but I believe he changed his opinion in the later "Evolution of the Racing Car"

#4 John Cross

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Posted 12 August 2000 - 17:05

Roger,

Yes you're right. I haven't got his 'evolution' (yet). The Posthumus quote is from 'Classic Racing Cars' and Clutton is from 'The Racing Car: Development and Design', out of interest.

#5 Felix Muelas

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Posted 12 August 2000 - 21:52

Roger,
I have been doing some basic research, as I think you mention on "non-english" sources. Whilst the general approach is that the basic "package" and choices contained no new elements, only the Zucarelli conection, via Hispano-Suiza, as pointed out by John, is clear.
I get the impression that Henry was neither a spy neither a "puppy" in the hands of the drivers. There is an excellent (and slightly iconoclastic, as expected) review of Henry's abilities in LJK Setright´s "The Grand Prix" (pages 42 to 49) that is worth reading, if only for the number of themes that are connected to this thread that you have started...
:-)
fm

#6 Roger Clark

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Posted 12 August 2000 - 22:23

Felix,

By chance i was reading that section of The Grand Prix this evening. I also read the same author's "The Designers", published 3 of 4 years later. In that he says that Henry worked at hispano-suiza as an assistant to Marc Birkigt, and with Zucarelli stole the designs for the 4-valve, twin cam head!

I was wrong about "Evolution of the Racing Car". In that, Pomeroy portrays Henry as draughsman, not designer.

So we seem to have Boddy and Borgeson for Henry as designer, Ludvigsen, Posthumus, Clutton and Pomeroy as draughtsman and Setright variously as designer and crook. Any more?

#7 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 14 August 2000 - 05:00

Roger,
To answer your original question, I searched my bookcase about this fascinating subject and this is what I found:

1948 U.K. SOURCE Kent Karslake in "The FRENCH GRAND PRIX" (publ. 1948) wrote that Georges Boillot, a brilliant driver and very competent designer, had 'discovered' a Swiss engineer, called Henry, to assist him in the design (of the car). He wrote, when Hispano-Suiza abandoned racing, they acquired the co-operation of the Spanish driver Paul 'Zucarelli', who was even more ingenious than Boillot on the mechanical side. This little group of men (only three! My comments in brackets) operated a factory where nothing but racing cars were produced. ...

1949 U.K. SOURCE: Laurence Pomeroy in "The Grand Prix Car" (publ. 1949) essentially wrote that Zuccarelli, an driver/engineer with Hispano-Suiza, joined Georges Boillot and Jules Goux, persuading Robert Peugeot to built a team of cars for 1912 to certain specifications. They hired the Swiss engineer 'Henri' to interpret the many ingenious ideas on paper. (I call that a team effort. The three drivers came up with the ideas and Ernest Henry carried out the design, calculations and made it all possible. An idea-less draftsman he could not have been. He was responsible for many more Peugeot designs after 1912.)

1960 U.K. SOURCE: W.F. Bradley in "Motor Racing Memories, 1903-1921" (A book I do not have. Any offers? :D

1965 U.K. SOURCE: Thomas Alastair Sutherland Ogilvie Mathieson in "Grand Prix Racing 1906-1914" basically wrote that driver/technicians Georges Boillot, supported by Jules Goux had recruited the Swiss engineer, Ernest Henry and the Spanish driver, Paul Zuccarelli, to assist in the construction of a team of cars for the (1912) Grand Prix. (Note: no mention made of Robert Peugeot, who paid all the bills!)

1966 U.K. SOURCE: Laurence Pomeroy in "The Evolution of the Grand Prix Car" (publ. 1966) basically wrote the same as in "The Grand Prix Car" with another idea added. He refers to a Swiss engineer called Henry. (Now properly spelled.)

1968 SWISS SOURCE: Erwin Tragatsch wrote in "Das grosse Sport- und Rennwagenbuch" (publ. 1968) that the Swiss designer Ernest Henry, with input from the Peugeot works drivers Georges Boillot and Paul Zuccarelli, designed not only a new chassis but also 4-cylinder engines with two overhead camshafts. Ernest Henry also created the 4.5-liter engine for the 1914 Grand Prix.

1972 ITALIAN SOURCE: Giovanni Lurani wrote in "History of the Racing Car: Man and Machine" (publ. 1972):
"The inspiration for this engine came from a trio of driver-technicians, Georges Boillot, Jules Goux and Paul Zuccarelli, who were joined in its execution by the Swiss designer Ernest Henry.
"The precise part played by each has never been clearly defined, but Henry generally appears to receive too much credit, while Robert Peugeot, who backed the trio’s proposals in the face of opposition from the executives of his company, generally receives none at all. ..."

1973 U.S.A. SOURCE: Griffith Borgeson in "The Charlatan Mystery" in Automobile Quarterly Vol. 11, No.3, gives an in depth study – which says it almost all – about this specific subject, debated in this thread, by the 'forever living' Griff, probably the best researcher ever. This story gives the best insight. (So, Henry was a draftsman, designer and engineer.)

1973 SWISS SOURCE: Adriano Cimarosti wrote in "Autorennsport", (publ. 1973 & 1979 extended edition) that the Swiss engineer Ernest Henry designed Peugeots (1912) with the most advanced designs ...

1973 U. K. SOURCE: LJK Setright wrote in "The Grand Prix" (Publ. 1973) that Peugeot’s leading drivers Boillot and Zuccarelli and the Peugeot management engaged Ernest Henry to design a new engine and car.

1982 U. K. SOURCE: William Boddy wrote in "The History of Motor Racing" (publ. 1977) "...Ernest Henry had brought about a revolution in racing-engine layout with his Peugeot Grand Prix cars."

1982 U.S.A. SOURCE: Griffith Borgeson in "A Study of Man's Pursuit of Power" in Automobile Quarterly Vol. 20, No.3: This 18-page article contains extracts from his book "The Classic Twin-Cam Engine". Here just one quote by Griff, "The mind of Ernest Henry was an essential part of this creative combination, and he possessed engineering knowledge which his comrades (Paul Zuccarelli, Jules Goux and Georges Boillot) lacked entirely."

1986 U.S.A. SOURCE: Griffith Borgeson in "The Signature of the Artist: Debugging the Desmodromic Dichotomy and other Historical Fantasies” in Automobile Quarterly Vol. 24, No.3, continues on the story of his 1982 article in A.Q. Vol.20, No.3, and includes one page in reference to some of Cresswell’s incorrect drawings in Pom’s "The Grand Prix Car".

1998 U.S.A. SOURCE: Griffith Borgeson, "The Golden Age of the American Racing Car" (publ. 1998) contains one very interesting extract about 'Les Charletans' from Bradley’s book (1960). Then Griff's own conclusion, "Three drivers and a draftsman wrought the great basic revolution in racing car design and, almost overnight, the whole racing world was copying their ideas. ..."


#8 Roger Clark

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Posted 14 August 2000 - 06:23

Thanks Hans, that's a very impressive list.

I've seen most of the UK sources ut few of the others. I think the solution has got tobe that they were a team, all of whom made their own contribution. i think we should dismiss the theft from hispano theory. Kent Karslake is the recognised authority on Hispano-Suiza and would surely have known about it if it occurred.

As you say, Griffith borgeson is probably the most pains taking researher into the early history of GRand Prix racing and I am inclined to give a lot of weight to his views. WF Bradley was there at the time, but Borgeson has been very critical about some of his views. The Borgeson magazine article I mentioned in my first ppost was primarily about Ballot cars but included a very robust defence of Henry. It appears that he lost all his money in a failed industrial vnture and died almost destitute in the early 50s.

It is worth mentioning that Henry continued to design successful racing engine until the next revolution by Fiat in the early 20s however, all his subsquent engines could be seen as developments of the Peugeot. They sufferred from the ame weakness of poor lubrication and a long stroke, limiting rotational speed.

your post is also the first time I hav seen TASO Mathieson's name in full!


#9 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 14 August 2000 - 06:37

I placed TASO's name in full because I am not sure it is correct and therefore hoped for response in case it is wrong.

His first names come out of "Das grosse Rennfahrerbuch" by Erwin Tragatsch, which carries its share of errors. But he covers soooooo much ground and its a great source of information if you are able to read German.[p][Edited by Hans Etzrodt on 08-14-2000]

#10 Felix Muelas

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Posted 15 August 2000 - 20:22

Now, this comes as a surprise to me, but I very much doubt that Mathieson's words as quoted above, at least in what refers to the nationality of Paul Zuccarelli (Spanish) might be correct. Not only the name looks distinctively Italian to me, but... (let's keep on investigating)

Secondly, I have been unable to confirm what Roger quoted as LKJ Setrigh's said on "The designers", mainly that Henry had been working under Birkigt at Hispano-Suiza at around the time when Zuccarelli was driving there.

I mean, the whole story seems a bit "overbuilt" if you want my opinion, but, curiosly enough, none of my (Spanish) sources on HS mentions it. That, to be honest, I find strange, if only because should an Italian and a Swiss had "conspired" to do what we are led to believe they did, we probably have heard of it. Does it makes sense?

But of course, if I had the answer...
:-)
fm


#11 Roger Clark

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Posted 15 August 2000 - 21:12

It might be worth quoting from the 1974 Motor sport article which started this.

THe original accusations of theft came from a book published in 1970 called "Automobile Designers and their Work" It contains a chapter on Marc Birkigt by Michael Sedgwick and Jose Manual rodriguez de la Vina. This claims that Birkigt, with the assistance of Zuccarelli and Henry, designed a twin-cam, dual ignition engine to replace the Alfonso Hispano-suiza. this car was completed in December 1911. The car was called the Espana, after it was demonstrated to the King of Spain.

According to Sedgwick and da la Vina, Henry and Zuccarelli took the design to France where it was sold to Peugeot. The Peugeot GP car was running in March 1912, which seems a very short time even if you have got all the drawings!

According to Boddy, this theory is supported by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu in his "European Lost Causes" and by the "Encyclopedia of Motor Sport". It should be noted that the Peugeot entry in the Encyclopedia was written by Michael Sedgwick, and that Sedgwick was, I believe, the curator of the Montagu Motor Museum.

Sedgwick and de la Vina say that there was a court case, which Birkigt won.

Borgeson says that the Espana H-S was not a twin-cam but a single ohc engine. It may have been the car known in Britain as the Barcelona. Boddy seems to have searched most of the English language books on Hispano and could find no reference to a twin camengine.

Borgeson also says that Henry arrived in Paris in 1909 and had noconnection with Birkigt,other than as a friend. boddy then speculates that Henry and Zuccarelli designed a twin-cam, 16 valve, dual ignition engine for Birkigt, which hispano rejected, and that the quoted law suit was from Henry to Hispano for non-payment of fees. This seems to me to be quite plausible.

In summary, it seems that tte case against Henry comes wholly from Sedgwick and de la Vina. I am inclined to discount Setright's opinion. Apart from the contradiction in his two books, I see him more as a technical analyst than an historian doing original research. It would be very interesting to know whether any of this is confirmed or denied from Spanish sources.



#12 Felix Muelas

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Posted 15 August 2000 - 22:09

Roger,

OK, we have a "serious" problem here, namely that THE authority on Hispano Suiza IS Jose Manuel Rodriguez-Viña, so if all this story originates with a report where he is consulted (and looks like it) I personally now have very few doubts.

Moreover, the statement by Borgeson that the HS engine was not a twin-cam but a single ohc means that he did not, at the time of writing that, had access to quite basic sources : a simple picture of the engine, or an optical inspection would have revealed exactly the opposite.

I still find shocking the statement that "Birkigt, with the assistance of Zuccarelli and Henry, designed a twin-cam, dual ignition engine to replace the Alfonso Hispano-Suiza"
That does not sound right.

The "Alfonso" was the "Alfonso XIII" (the name of the King of Spain at the time) and was effectively "launched" in October 1910. This car had its origin in the "15/14" (also nicknamed "Vuelta a Catalunya") a Voiturette from 1909 that, apart from winning with Zucarelli at the wheel the Coupe de Voiturettes de l´Auto in 1910 had already a twin-cam engine (I have a picture of the engine in front and hold few doubts about that).
I do not know about the previous model (a 1908 design called T 15/20) but what looks pretty clear to me is that the twin-cam design was not something from 1911, but at least from 1909.

This is confirmed by Rodriguez-Viña, so I do not really understand the quoted sentence, if you know what I mean.

Birkigt's career does not seem to be one that will need any further assistance like the suspected one from Zuccarelli and/or Henry.
Birkigt (born in Geneva 1878) is claimed to be an extraordinary engineer, originally coming from the watches industry (would you expect otherwise?)that was related from 1899 to the Spanish automotive industry, from La Cuadra cars. He was a founding member of Hispano-Suiza in 1904 when Damian Mateu agreed with him the start of the adventure -the nationalities of Mateu and Birkigt being the reason for the Hispano-Suiza name, of course- and stayed there for the years to come. At least until 1931, to my understanding.

Now, let's put another element into the equation, please. In the 1909 and 1910 editions of the Copa Catalunya -a Voiturette race organised in Spain and where all hopes had been placed on Hispano-Suizas to win it, Peugeot won both times, the Hispanos showing only discreet performances. Then, the "revenge" (as it is called on Spanish sources) was taken when Zucarelli won the Coupe de l´Auto in France later that year for Hispano-Suiza. It is after that when Birkigt convinces Mateu to establish a branch out of Spain, in France, at Levallois, where the Hispanos would be built.

Now, that might give some sense to your original question, as Peugeot, no doubt, would have found not a specially "easy to digest" pill in losing the Coupe de l´Auto to the Hispanos after consistently beating them on their home soil. Hiring Zuccarelli might have sounded like a brilliant idea, overall if Zuccarelli could have brought with him the car...

I know there is a wonderful book on Hispanos by Rodriguez-Viña, but copies are scarce and expensive...not exactly the combination that we might need here now...

fm



#13 Roger Clark

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Posted 15 August 2000 - 23:54

Felix,

first there can be no doubt about Marc Birkigt's status, both within Hispano-suiza and in the history of car design. He was one of the true greats, but that doesn't mean he didn't employ assistants. zuccarelli must have come into that category and Henry could have done. If henry went to Paris in 1909, he could have been employed in the French Hispano-Suiza factory.

An article in Motor sport of May 1950 states severaltimes that the Alfonso had a "T" head: overhead inlets and side exhausts. A number of photographs indicate that it wasn't of the Peugeot type. It also states that the Alfonso engine was derived from that used by Zuccarelli to win the 1910 Coupe de l'Auto.

The Peugeots first appeared in the 1912 Grand Prix and Coupe de l'Auto which were run simultaneously. It is worth remembering that Birkigt originally prepared cars for the Coupe which were at least as radical as the Peugeots and completely different from them. These Hispanos were to have supercharged engines, the first to appear in Europe by over ten years. Unfortunately, they developped a fault in testing and did not appear in public.

I find the Henry theft story more convincing if the earlier Hispanos were not twin cams. If Hispano had been racing cars of tat design for some years and had an example in production, then surely it would be well known that they were first. It didn't take Peugeot's rivals long to copy their 1912 cars. The idea that a Hispano design stolen by Henry was experimental, or a proposal rejected by Birkigt, seems more credible and would explain why the story is not better known.

As you say, we have to give a lot of weight to the opinion of the leading Spanish authority on Hispano-Suiza.


#14 Marcor

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Posted 16 August 2000 - 01:35

Hans,

You doesn’t mention any French source.
It could be interesting to read one but maybe it would be very partial (biased). The French motoring historians are very proud of the pre-first war Peugeot.


#15 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 16 August 2000 - 07:39

Marcor, sorry but I have no French sources. My French language skills are poor, maybe 100-200 words.

I have two books from Jean-Paul Delsaux (in French) and would like to purchase a third from him, 'Francorchamps 1922-1947'. I bought the second book in Paris in April and could not find the above title. As far as I know, it is now out of print. Do you know a store in Belgium where you could still find the book or how to contact Jean-Paul Delsaux and ask when he will reprint it?


#16 Marcor

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Posted 18 August 2000 - 02:21

Hans,

I’ve got 4 books from JP Delsaux : Francorchamps 1922-1947, Francorchamps 1948-1960, 100 ans de Sport Automobile Belge and 30 ans Zolder 1963-1993.

The address of JP Delsaux, as written in the books, are : Mr Jean-Paul Delsaux
rue de la Ramée, 3
B-5902 Jauchelette
Belgium.

The 2 Francorchamps books are bilingual French - English. Francorchamps. 1922 - 1947 has two distinctive parts. In fact the author explains his approach in the introduction.

« ...Forty years ago, a liberated Belgium was an active participant in the general effort to revive motorsports in Europe, organising the first post-war GP d’Europe on its renovated Francorchamps circuit.

The event was perceived as a popular festival at the time but it is wisely regarded today as one of the capital steps in the History of motorsports in that it allowed GP racers to recover their natural grounds : the true racing tracks.

Evoking this revival race at Francorchamps was the initial aim of this book, but then the idea occurred to brush over the beginnings of the Ardennes course and his rapid entry into the select circle of the most famous autodromes. I would delve into the spectacular changes that marked motorsports before the last Word War, in order to enlighten the reader more fully before tackling an analytical account of the main events to be held on our national circuit as of the revival of the 24-Hours of Spa in 1948, a story that will be the object of a future publication.

The first part of this book has thus been written subsequently, the first chapter being, in fact, an addition to the second.

The next pages are no attempt at a race-by-race account of a complete and detailed history of all competition events that have been held on the track since its founding in 1921, nor do they explain in detail how and why the course has evolved over the years. Their only ambition is to try and show what motorsports was like in Europe and particularly in Belgium at a time where our grand-parents, our parents or even ourselves as children or youths, went to watch a GP or Endurance Race at Francorchamps.

I hope you will find as much pleasure reading them as I had in discovering, article by article, picture by picture, the fascinating beauty of the Eau Rouge valley when it echoes the thundering noises of racing cars... »

And now my opinion...
Some figures : Part one consists of 48 pages and 51 pictures; Part two 44 pages including the official poster, the map, 41 pictures and drawings of cars and drivers.

The first part contains a 3 pages results but don’t wait to see a chassis number or DNF/ withdraw list. The second part (in fact just one race, the 1947 Belgian and European GP) is very detailed and more interesting.

If you want to see B & W pictures of Francorchamps, it’s OK.

I found this book recently, by chance, in a second-hand bookshop. I must admit I was a little bit disappointed. Not for the price but in relation to the second book Francorchamps 1948-1960, very excellent !

I’ve got TWO copies of Francorchamps 1948-1960, in good condition, and if anyone would swap it for another book, no problem...

100 ans de Sport Automobile Belge (the story of Belgian motorsport) is only written in French.

Jean-Paul Delsaux and Koen Wickmans wrote together 30 Ans Zolder (of 30 Jaar Zolder) in 1993. This is a cheap (200 FB, 5 Euro, 3 £) bilingual French - Dutch book, 144 pages, foreword by Sir Jack Brabham. This is not the ultimate story of the circuit nor a race-by-race report. It’s rather a picture’s book. It doesn’t include morbid pictures of Gille Villeneuve’s fatal crash.

Jean-Paul Delsaux wrote an other book about the Belgian GP. I haven’t a copy but I already took a look at that once.

#17 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 18 August 2000 - 06:26

Marcor, I am definetely interested in your book Francorchamps 1948-1960. What are you looking for to do a swap?

I am also interested in the first book, Francorchamps 1922-1947, if you can find one. If you want to sell, send me an e-mail please.


#18 Barry Lake

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Posted 18 August 2000 - 15:43

Marco
I have both of Delsaux's "Francorchamps" books, also "50 Grands Prix de Belgique 1925-1992", and another one "The Year 1950 The Races" - Jean-Paul Delsaux, 1993, Automobilia Italy, which is an excellent coverage of the 1950 motor racing year. I think he intended to do more like it but this one didn't seem to sell well despite its high quality, so I think there will not be any more.

I do NOT have:
"100 ans de Sport Automobile Belge"
nor
"30 ans Zolder 1963-1993"

If you have any idea where I might be able to buy these, I would be pleased to know.

#19 karlcars

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Posted 21 August 2000 - 19:49

This thread deals with one of the most compelling controversies that motor sports history has to offer. Griff Borgeson's work in this field is of vital importance of course -- though Griff left some frustrating gaps in the technical side of the story, which is just as well as it gives the rest of us something to do!

What's extremely significant is that the Peugeot race-car-building effort as described was a renegade operation, not at all carried out by the company's established designers. That's how they came to be describes as 'Les Charlatans' -- the cheeky unqualified cowboys who went to an aero-engine workship organised by Robert Peugeot to build these cars on their own. This resulted in their effort being bad-mouthed by the establishment and Henry being described as a no-talent draftsman.

I hope that in 'Classic Grand Prix Cars' I give Henry more credit than that, because he deserves it. I told the story in the following way:

'When word leaked out in 1911 that Peugeot was building a new racing car for the senior category “the project was the laughing stock of the city,” recalled journalist W. F. Bradley. Peugeot build a racing car? They did well enough in Voiturettes but at the Grand Prix level they had been eclipsed for a decade. But the new project had strong support in racing drivers Jules Goux (Robert Peugeot’s chauffeur), Georges Boillot and Paolo Zuccarelli, who had just come over from the successful Hispano-Suiza team. “They all were bored with driving little cars,” said Bradley, “and wanted to be in racing in the highest level.”

'They had radical ideas for the design of such a car and the backing of Roland Peugeot, who had been won over by a sober presentation by the serious Goux. Roland agreed to foot the bill for the building of a team of racing cars at an estimated cost of £4,000 each and allocated space to the trio in the Rossel-Peugeot facility. There the cars would be assembled from parts made by skilled subcontractors throughout the Paris periphery.

'Now the drivers needed an able engineer to interpret their ideas because the factory’s own engineering staff wanted nothing to do with this notion of returning to racing. They found their man in a 26-year-old Swiss engineer, Ernest Henry. Although new to the car field, Geneva-born Henry had contributed to the advanced Swiss Picker engines that powered racing hydroplanes at Monte Carlo. Henry had come to Paris to represent Picker’s engineering interests there.

'The efforts of the men the Peugeot works engineers ridiculed as Les Charlatans wrought a radical revolution in racing-car design. Although essentially experimental cars, their first designs were stunningly successful. The 7.6-litre Peugeot L76 of 1912 and its Voiturette sister of the same year, the 3-litre L3, were the first cars of any kind to combine a vee-inclined-valve cylinder head with four valves per cylinder and twin overhead camshafts – the hallmarks of most later high-performance engines.'

It was quite a breakthrough!


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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 August 2000 - 07:40

Could the earlier HS pictures depict twin cam engines with pushrod actuation of the valves, as in the Riley?

#21 Roger Clark

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Posted 27 August 2000 - 15:57

As I understand the Hispano-Suiza engines, they had overhead inlet, and side exhaust valves, which means they had 2 camshafts, but not in he "Peugeot" configuration.

#22 Felix Muelas

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Posted 27 August 2000 - 21:20

Roger,

Your understanding is perfectly accurate.
:-)
fm



#23 Don Capps

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Posted 30 August 2000 - 15:18

In the future, I think I will take a look into this area and see what I can stir up. After reading all these fabulous posts, probably not much but this has always been an era that I have loved. I haven't dropped in before due to being out of the loop, but last night I started looking at some of my sources -- just a 'quick' look -- and spent almost three hours reading and checking info before I realized it!

Thanks for bring this topic up, Roger!

#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 August 2000 - 20:02

Dunno, Don, I can't ever bring myself to thank anyone who wastes three hours of my time.... but what a way to waste it!

#25 fixedhead

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:00

Came across this thread while searching for Peugeot pictures. I have Bradleys book, in it he seems to do Henry down, they certainly
knew each other perhaps they had a falling out. The twin OHC configuration is of course the ultimate layout for efficiency with the four stroke engine
in 1912 the chief benefit would I think be more compact combustion chambers allowing higher compression ratios, I think Henry's were wedge shaped not hemi,
later the lower reciprocating weights would help with increasing the revs. I guess we will never know now whether it was the idea of one individual or a cumulative
effort. Inclined valves had been around for a while, Pipe, as had overhead camshafts, Isota in 1905, I guess it was an idea whose time was due. Borgeson points out that
the Picker inclined valve gear in the Labour T head engines if inverted would do the job, Henry had considerable experience with these engines and was
in Paris, perhaps the best man to draw up the new layout if it wasn't his idea in the first place. He was certainly more than a draughtsman doing more
design work for Peugeot then Ballot and finally Sunbeam by which time his designs were eclipsed by the new breed of higher revving engines. One anomaly I noticed
is that the 1912 cars had a different crankcase with a plain bearing shaft, whereas all his subsequent designs have a barrel crankcase with ball race mains
and his unique big end design. Also shaft and bevel camshaft drive, whereas he always used gear trains on his later engines with the exception of the 2LS
Ballot when he went back to shaft and bevels, this was to be a series production job though he retained his barrel crankcase and ball bearings.
Could it be that an existing Peugeot crankcase was adapted on the 1912 car either because of time constriants or to save cost till the principle was proved?
Then Henry was given a free hand.
I was at Ted Wolleys place one day and his sidevalve Peugeot touring car had its engine part dissmantled, looking at it I was struck by the similarity of it
with shafts and bevells to the auxilliarys to the drawings I've seen of the L76, in Poms volume 1 there is a photo of the L76 crankcase near the back.
Any present day Peugeot owners recognise it?

#26 Richard Bendell

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:01

Came across this thread while searching for Peugeot pictures. I have Bradleys book, in it he seems to do Henry down, they certainly
knew each other perhaps they had a falling out. The twin OHC configuration is of course the ultimate layout for efficiency with the four stroke engine
in 1912 the chief benefit would I think be more compact combustion chambers allowing higher compression ratios, I think Henry's were wedge shaped not hemi,
later the lower reciprocating weights would help with increasing the revs. I guess we will never know now whether it was the idea of one individual or a cumulative
effort. Inclined valves had been around for a while, Pipe, as had overhead camshafts, Isota in 1905, I guess it was an idea whose time was due. Borgeson points out that
the Picker inclined valve gear in the Labour T head engines if inverted would do the job, Henry had considerable experience with these engines and was
in Paris, perhaps the best man to draw up the new layout if it wasn't his idea in the first place. He was certainly more than a draughtsman doing more
design work for Peugeot then Ballot and finally Sunbeam by which time his designs were eclipsed by the new breed of higher revving engines. One anomaly I noticed
is that the 1912 cars had a different crankcase with a plain bearing shaft, whereas all his subsequent designs have a barrel crankcase with ball race mains
and his unique big end design. Also shaft and bevel camshaft drive, whereas he always used gear trains on his later engines with the exception of the 2LS
Ballot when he went back to shaft and bevels, this was to be a series production job though he retained his barrel crankcase and ball bearings.
Could it be that an existing Peugeot crankcase was adapted on the 1912 car either because of time constriants or to save cost till the principle was proved?
Then Henry was given a free hand.
I was at Ted Wolleys place one day and his sidevalve Peugeot touring car had its engine part dissmantled, looking at it I was struck by the similarity of it
with shafts and bevells to the auxilliarys to the drawings I've seen of the L76, in Poms volume 1 there is a photo of the L76 crankcase near the back.
Any present day Peugeot owners recognise it?



#27 Richard Bendell

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:05

Does anyone know where there are photos oF the Peugeot L76 engines and/or engine components, or any books with detail information

#28 Tim Murray

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:44

Not quite what you're looking for, I know, but there's a cutaway drawing of the 1912 3-litre Peugeot in the Cutaways thread:

http://forums.autosp...w...t&p=4734981

#29 Roger Clark

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 23:50

Pomeroy's The Grand Prix Car, from which the cutaway referred to above is taken, has a detailed description of the L76

At a more reasonable price, Karl Ludvigsen's Classic Racing Engines has a chapter on the L3 engine.

#30 Richard Bendell

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:42

Seem to be a lot of information about the L76 offsping but very little I can find regarding the parent, which is surprising as to me it was the first quantam leap in race engine design which led us into this century and ultimately todays current designs.
I have found photographs of the 1912 French G.P. cars and the 1913 Indianopolis car but none showing encines or component details.
Still looking

#31 fixedhead

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:17

I've never seen a picture of the L76 with the bonnet open, they must have kept it firmly shut. How do you add pictures on this board? Have to have a look in the help section!

#32 Tim Murray

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:27

How do you add pictures on this board? Have to have a look in the help section!

You need to upload the photos to a website, either your own (if you have one) or one of the image-hosting sites such as Imageshack. Check out the 'How to post images' sticky thread towards the top of the threads list.


#33 fixedhead

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:48

You need to upload the photos to a website, either your own (if you have one) or one of the image-hosting sites such as Imageshack. Check out the 'How to post images' sticky thread towards the top of the threads list.

Thanks will have a look. Scanned what I have, drawings of the L76 and a photo of the L3 engine from Pom's volume one. Looking at them now the L76 crankcase could not have been a side valve there's nowhere to put the camshaft. Also the blocks markedly desaxe. Pom states that there are no drawings surviving but lots of pictures in the Peugeot archive, so perhaps there's an engine picture there

#34 robert dick

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:43

1912 7,6-litre block, camshaft housing, crankshaft and crankcase, published in November 1912;
and
1913 3-litre engine, published in October 1913:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


#35 fixedhead

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:01

Never seen any mention of these engine photos before, wonderfull stuff seems all the past historians have overlooked these. This shows clearly that the whole engine was a completely new design. One can only speculate why a plain bearing crank was used in this engine.
Here's the sketches from Poms volume 1 hope the link works-

Posted Image

Edited by fixedhead, 25 May 2011 - 10:31.


#36 fixedhead

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:08

Gearbox and lower half of crankcase


Posted Image

Edited by fixedhead, 25 May 2011 - 10:32.


#37 fixedhead

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:11

1913 L3 induction side, this engine had ball race mains and gear train camshaft drive-

Posted Image

Edited by fixedhead, 25 May 2011 - 10:33.


#38 fixedhead

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 11:32

1914 L45 this is the car that won at Indianapolis minus the two spare wheels mounted in the tail that made it a bit of a handfull at Lyon-

http://www.conceptca...t-L45.aspx.aspx

Edited by fixedhead, 13 May 2011 - 11:33.


#39 404KF2

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 06:55

Very nice photos!

Is it true that only two of these cars survive to this day? An L3 bis was in Road and Track's Salon a few decades ago, a car that was found a long time ago in a scrapyard in the US and saved.

That Peugeot's museum does not have one of these two (?) cars is mindblowing to me.

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#40 fixedhead

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 10:12

Remember reading some years ago, think it was in Motor Sport that the last time an L76 was seen was in the early 1920's in the hands of Malcom Campbel, public road hill climb if my memory is correct

#41 404KF2

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 04:04

It's a shame, it would be nice to see Peugeot build an L76 replica. With all the money they're making these days in China, maybe they should.

#42 eldougo

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 05:58

Love the kill switch on the steering ....A fancy brass bell type :up:

Posted Image

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#43 paulhooft

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:09

I was at the Peugeot museum in Sochaux, Alsace France about 10 years ago and was very amazed
to see that there was absolutly nothing there that was related to the marques famous racing history.. :down:
no cars, no books or leaflets.. :(
Not even a postcard!
Paul Hooft
Netherlands

It's a shame, it would be nice to see Peugeot build an L76 replica. With all the money they're making these days in China, maybe they should.



#44 fixedhead

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:53

I was at the Peugeot museum in Sochaux, Alsace France about 10 years ago and was very amazed
to see that there was absolutly nothing there that was related to the marques famous racing history.. :down:
no cars, no books or leaflets.. :(
Not even a postcard!
Paul Hooft
Netherlands

They don't seem to have any interest in their GP history. You would think they would have used it in their advertising. Would there be any objection to me posting copy of the relevant passages from Bradley and Borgeson? Its not my copyright but these books are not generally available now and in the interests of the record and present day would be historians....

Edited by fixedhead, 16 May 2011 - 09:56.


#45 Allan Lupton

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 13:54

Love the kill switch on the steering ....A fancy brass bell type :up:

A nitpicker he say: Not a period item (except in the designer' house perhaps) and in period they would have used shorter bolts to attach it to the steering column.


#46 fixedhead

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:52

Borgeson states in 1981 that two Peugeot's survive, the ex Resta L45 in California and the ex Duray L3 bis then in the Cunningham collection.

Here's the L3 bis-

Posted Image

Posted Image

Edited by fixedhead, 25 May 2011 - 10:35.


#47 fnqvmuch

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 16:50

Borgeson states in 1981 that two Peugeot's survive, the ex Resta L45 in California and the ex Duray L3 bis then in the Cunningham collection.

Here's the L3 bis-...

seen also in (LoC/Jim Toensing's) section ...
Posted Image
... as opposed to this contemporary - yet incorrect - drawing:
Posted Image

- or is this would-be historian confusing two different motors?


#48 oliver heal

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 18:12

seen also in (LoC/Jim Toensing's) section ...
Posted Image
... as opposed to this contemporary - yet incorrect - drawing:
Posted Image

- or is this would-be historian confusing two different motors?


Second drawing is not Peugeot. See Automobile 1/4erly vol 20, no. 3, pg 303. Griff Borgeson wrote "Incorrectly identified as the 1913 3-liter Peugeot, it has polluted automotive literature ever since".

#49 venator

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 18:38

There are too many similarities in the details for the second drawing not to be a Peugeot, or at least something heavily inspired by it!

#50 fnqvmuch

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 01:58

Second drawing is not Peugeot. See Automobile 1/4erly vol 20, no. 3, pg 303. Griff Borgeson wrote "Incorrectly identified as the 1913 3-liter Peugeot, it has polluted automotive literature ever since".


and also in the Offenhauser book caption;

"… imagined … spurious version … not corrected for half a century … as contemporary journalists supposed it to be built … Toensing persuaded Cunningham to open up the car and make an accurate drawing of the valve arrangement which had been a mystery for so many years."

as shown though - even externally - aren't they going to be obviously different?