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#1 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 18:07

Just to mark the goings-on of 100 years ago today and tomorrow - here is the front cover of the relevant issue of 'La France Automobile' - followed by their lap timing chart of the great race outside Le Mans... I hope these copy files are not too huge to download conveniently; sorry if they are.

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The final lines - virtually imposible to scan or photo-copy due to the tight binding of the volume containing them - read as follows:

Hotchkiss - Shepeard (sic) 1 2 12 . 56 33. 1 1 2. 56 31. 1 20 25. 1 14.2 [] (Day 2) 1 41 37.

Bayard-Clement - de la Touloubre 1 22 49. 1 52 36.

DCN

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#2 RTH

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 20:14

Amazing how good the picture quality was for 100 years ago , even after being printed in book form and 100 years of ageing process.

It must have been a fantastically well organised event and cost someone a great deal of money.

Unimaginable the sort of effect it must have made in that part of rural France. Why I wonder was that area chosen when motor racing in France prior to this all seemed centred on Paris ?

#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 20:31

Originally posted by RTH
Amazing how good the picture quality was for 100 years ago , even after being printed in book form and 100 years of ageing process.

Acid-free paper, probably good-quality rag and maybe even glossy. I don't know about 'La France Automobile' but both 'The Autocar' and 'The Motor' used to produce two editions each week: the penny edition for general sale and (I think probably for subscribers only) a threepenny edition, printed in colour on better paper with better photo reproduction. And if you ever have the opportunity to read the original "Brooklands Gazette", you'll find that the paper is still bright and stiff, even after 80 years!

Originally posted by RTH
It must have been a fantastically well organised event and cost someone a great deal of money.

The ACF, mainly. But it was a showcase for French motor manufacturers and they didn't stint on their costs either.

Originally posted by RTH
Unimaginable the sort of effect it must have made in that part of rural France. Why I wonder was that area chosen when motor racing in France prior to this all seemed centred on Paris ?

According to Mathieson, the locals weren't keen and there were several acts of sabotage!

#4 Roger Clark

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 21:13

Pomeroy reckoned that, in terms of the currency of the mid-60s, the ACF spent £90,000 on preparation of the course. They received £30,000 in entry fees, a grant from the Le Mans Town Council of £18,000 and another from the local hotel-keepers of £4,500. They received £7,500 from the sales of seats in the grandstand, which cost about £11,000 to put up, and finished the event about £15,000 out of pocket.

However, if you add up all those figures, they seem to me to amount to a loss of rather more than £15,000!

#5 Racing Lines

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 21:17

You’re right : french motor industry (one of the strongests in those days) was centred around Paris, especially in the western suburbs of Paris. But you have to remember that Le Mans landed one of the first motor car factories : Amédée Bollée father and son.
In 1906, no less than 21 000 cars were in use in France (20 % in the parisian area) and La Sarthe (Le Mans department) had 266 cars in use, more than the national average (246).

No less than 17 cities tried to land the first Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France. Funny detail : one of them was « Le Nivernais », the region of Nevers Magny-Cours ! It was a very tough fight. All the newspapers (not only L’Auto) were very interested in that competition in January 1906, even if there was the election of the new parliament and the new « président de la Republique ».

« Le Circuit de la Sarthe » (103 km) was the more convenient to ACF. One of its strenth was that its high speed profile. L’Automobile Club de France wanted to make of this Grand Prix a famous event compared to the Gordon Bennett and they wanted a track as fast as possible in order to break records. Le Mans had another advantage : it was not far from Paris.

L’Automobile Club de la Sarthe, now well-known as l’Automobile Club de l’Ouest, was established especially to organise this « Circuit de la Sarthe » thanks to an idea of Georges Durand. Just a detail : ACS had to pay to ACF no less than 100 000 francs ! So, George Durand started a fund and made a tour in every town of the department to convince people to give money.
After the Grand Prix, the balance sheet was not so good for the ACS. That’s why the 1907 Grand Prix was organised on the « Circuit de la Seine Inférieure », in Normandy.

I wrote many more details in the book I published on this subject in cooperation with the ACF. Sorry, but this book is in french !!!

#6 Hieronymus

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 06:38

There is a wonderful exibition at the moment in the museum at the Le Mans circuit with material on this race. Anyone in the area must surely check it out.

Considering that the 26/27 June 1906 was a stinking hot day in Le Mans, it still amazes me to see how "overdressed" the people were in those days.

#7 RTH

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 07:50

Originally posted by Hieronymus


Considering that the 26/27 June 1906 was a stinking hot day in Le Mans, it still amazes me to see how "overdressed" the people were in those days.


...........As Basil Fawlty would say "It's called style "

........1906 a blue Renault takes the flag followed home by a red Fiat............fast forward 100 years to Canada late June 2006 and a blue Renault takes the win followed home by a red Fiat !

#8 Racing Lines

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 08:03

The Renault AK was not blue but red. In order to underline the fact that the Grand Prix was no more the Gordon Bennett race, ACF decided not to force competitors to use the national colors.

Most of the french cars were blue but not the Renault. It's unclear to know why (the Renaults racing in the dramatic 1903 Paris Madrid were red too). if someone know why, i'm interested.

Italian national race color was black at that time. But italians were fed up with this unlucky color. So they choose the red (which was, in those days, the American racing national color).

#9 robert dick

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 09:20

Precisions concerning the cars (built according to the 1000-kg formula) :

All of them were powered by four-cylinders (composed of cast iron pairs with integral heads, except Panhard and Bayard which had steel singles).

Renault (165 x 150 mm), Brasier (165 x 150 mm) and Gobron-Brillié (double-piston 140 x 220 mm) had L-heads.
Lorraine-Dietrich (185 x 160 mm), Panhard (185 x 170 mm) and Clément-Bayard (160 x 160 mm) had T-heads.
Itala (180 x 145 mm), Hotchkiss (180 x 160 mm) and Vulpès (180 x 150 mm) had F-heads using one low mounted camshaft (the Vulpès to be driven by Barriaux did not start).
Mercedes (185 x 150 mm) had an F-head using two low mounted camshafts.
Fiat (180 x 160 mm) had an OHV-head with the intake and exhaust inclined at 30 degrees from the cylinder axis.
Darracq (180 x 150 mm) and Grégoire (140 x 130 mm) had OHV-heads with vertical valves.

The crankshafts ran in three white metal bearings, except Panhard (five plain bearings) and Hotchkiss (five ball bearings).
The pistons were made of cast iron, compression between 4.5 and 5/1.
Specific output was around 8 hp per liter. Useful power was delivered between 300 and 1400 rpm. Fuel consumption between 25 and 30 liters per 100 km.
The ACF's Commission Sportive tested the engines of the Lorraine (130 hp at 1100 rpm), Fiat (135 at 1300), Darracq (125 at 1200), Itala (110 at 1250) and Vulpès (120 at 1200).
The Bayard engine weighed 380 kg, the Mercedes 440, the Lorraine 480 kg.

The Mercedes had a scroll clutch, the others leather cones or multi-plate clutches. The gearboxes were mounted separately, contained three or four speeds. Brasier, Lorraine, Fiat, Mercedes, Gobron and Vulpès had chain drive. Renault and Darracq cancelled the differential.

The wood wheels (Darracq and Hotchkiss had non-detachable wire wheels) were an integral part of the car and sealed. Renault used detachable rims on the rear wheels, Fiat on all four wheels. The new rims weighed 8 kg. Tires were 870 x 90 or 875 x 105 front, and 880 x 120 rear.

The internal expanding brake drums on the rear wheels were controlled via hand lever, the external contracting band brake on the gearbox shaft via foot pedal.

Frontal area was 1.5 m2, top speed around 160 km/h.

#10 humphries

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 13:27

The Grand Prix of 1906 is probably the most significant event in the history of motor-racing. It would be nice if everything but everything was known about this race. Thankfully the contemporary press did the event proud and equally thankfully there are TNFers who are very knowledgeable about The Grand Prix.

As I am not one of those TNFers can somebody fill a few gaps?

Szisz, the winner, had a J.Edmond as a team-mate. Edmond had driven for Renault Freres in previous years and it is likely that he was an employee of the factory. Does anybody know his first name? Also A.Villemain drove a Clement-Bayard and I still only have his initial. Two drivers appear in the Black Book with just surnames, Mariaux (Mercedes) and Barriaux (Vulpes). Does anybody have additional information.

In the second Grand Prix, 1907, there are more mysteries. The Motobloc drivers, en bloc (sorry!), are all single names, messieurs Pierron, Page and Courtade and likewise Dutemple (Panhard), Perpere (Germain) and Alezy (Clement-Bayard) have no first name or initial. For Degrais (Germain) I have pencilled in Claude but I am not totally sure.

In the third Grand Prix, 1908, Pierron and Courtade appear again for Motobloc as do Degrais and Perpere for Germain. Other single name drivers are Landon and Robin (Mors), Michel (Opel) and Shannon (Weigel). Gaubert (Porthos) has a J.

Enlightenment would be much appreciated.


John

#11 Hieronymus

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 13:45

John

I saw a book at Le Mans that was published on this race (in French). Was tempted to buy it, but my French is useless and I did not buy it eventually. It looked pretty good though, nice photos and text.

#12 Rob G

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 16:50

Originally posted by humphries
The Grand Prix of 1906 is probably the most significant event in the history of motor-racing. It would be nice if everything but everything was known about this race. Thankfully the contemporary press did the event proud and equally thankfully there are TNFers who are very knowledgeable about The Grand Prix.

As I am not one of those TNFers can somebody fill a few gaps?

Szisz, the winner, had a J.Edmond as a team-mate. Edmond had driven for Renault Freres in previous years and it is likely that he was an employee of the factory. Does anybody know his first name? Also A.Villemain drove a Clement-Bayard and I still only have his initial. Two drivers appear in the Black Book with just surnames, Mariaux (Mercedes) and Barriaux (Vulpes). Does anybody have additional information.

In the second Grand Prix, 1907, there are more mysteries. The Motobloc drivers, en bloc (sorry!), are all single names, messieurs Pierron, Page and Courtade and likewise Dutemple (Panhard), Perpere (Germain) and Alezy (Clement-Bayard) have no first name or initial. For Degrais (Germain) I have pencilled in Claude but I am not totally sure.

In the third Grand Prix, 1908, Pierron and Courtade appear again for Motobloc as do Degrais and Perpere for Germain. Other single name drivers are Landon and Robin (Mors), Michel (Opel) and Shannon (Weigel). Gaubert (Porthos) has a J.

Enlightenment would be much appreciated.


John

I think I've got at least a couple of these names written down, but I'm at work and they'd be at home. I'm posting this as a reminder to myself to go look when I get home.

#13 robert dick

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 18:39

Roch-Brault and Degrais had the Germain agency in Paris :
Roch-Brault, Degrais et Cie.
30, place Saint-Ferdinand

No first names mentioned

= = =

Marieaux or Mariaux?
In the Mercedes commission books it is spelled Marieaux (with "e"). No first name mentioned.

#14 Boniver

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 19:36

1897 Paris-Dieppe - Roche-Brault - Franco Belge
1898 Paris-Amsterdam - Roche-Brault - France Belge
He was Belg - and constructeur of Franco Belge
Was it the same who drive in 1907 and 1908 ?
Is first name was François

1898 Paris-Bordeaux - Degrais - De Dion
1898 Paris-Amsterdam - Degrais - Marot
1901 Nice - Degrais - Rochet Schneider
1901 Paris-Berlin - Degrais - Mercedes
1902 two race in Italie - Degras - Mercedes
1903 Paris-Madrid - Degras - Mercedes
He was France

#15 Boniver

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 20:07

Landon = Landone (works driver Mors) - France
in 1907 in Moscow-St Petersburg
in 1908 in Coppa Florio

Alezy J. - Italie

Perpere - Belg

#16 Doug Nye

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 20:41

Just to put some flesh and blood, and iron and steel and aluminium, brass and copper and timber into this thread... Much I feel to note and remark upon in these shots...from glass plate negs enjoying their 100th birthday...

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5

...ice cream and jelly for all! :stoned:

Photos: Maurice-Louis Branger/The GP Library

DCN

#17 Vitesse2

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 21:01

Great pics again, Doug.

First three are the Renault team: in order, Szisz, Edmond and Richez. Then Clément's Bayard-Clément cornering at Connerré. Finally, one of the FIATs at the same bend: Vincenzo Lancia on board?

#18 Vitesse2

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 21:19

Interesting that Clément and his mechanician are both wearing hard helmets in an era when more normal headgear was a flat cap. Riding hats perhaps?

#19 Racing Lines

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 22:33

Great pictures

I’m happy to see the Albert Clement picture (picture #4). I was looking for it some months ago and was unable to find it.

To me, this picture is interesting for different reasons.

First
the funny detail of the paper-fish in the top of the image is quite astonishing.

Second
we can see that Albert Clément and his mechanic wear what looks like crash-helmets instead of caps. There the only drivers to do so (not only during this race : looking at the ACF pictures archives, the first picture I found of a driver wearing crash-helmet in the GP de l’ACF is in the late 20’s).

Third
Albert Clément was one of the heros of that first Grand Prix. He was the youngster : he was only 22 year old and finished 3rd.
But the result of the race could have been completly different if he hadn’t made a wrong choice before the race.

As many others did, the Clément-Bayard team (owned by his father) wondered before the race if the detachable rims was the best choice. His team-mate, « De La Touloubre » (in fact Captain Gentil), choose the Michelin detachable rims. Albert Clément and his other team mate, Villemain, did not and choose Dunlop tyres.
The race was over.

The poor Clément had about 14 punctures (not absolutely sure of that figure, I have to check) during the race ! Don’t forget : according the rule, only the driver and his mechanic were allowed to work on the car. That’s why the Michelin detachable rims were a miracle. You needed only a maximum of four minutes to change a tyre with this system instead of about ten minutes with a classical rim. What a difference !

Not choosing this system was a waste of time… and energy. The temperature was very-very hot and fighting for cutting the punctured tyre, removing it out of the wheel and adjust the new tyre was exhausting.

Not sure that, with detachable rims, Albert Clément would have won the race but for sure he could have resisted to the terrific comeback of Felice Nazzaro for the second place.

But he didn’t took the right decision and that’s part of the race.

In the same way, Renault’s decision to use detachable rims on the rear wheels was part of the race, too. This choice was not a natural one. Detachable rims meant « artillerie » wooden wheels, about 8 kg heavier. Not so easy to decide when the rule is 1000 kg maximum ! Considering that poor number of corners, Renault factory decided to remove the differential in order save weight. It was audacious and clever. The car looked conservative (compared to the one competing the Gordon Bennett éliminatoires in 1905) but the strategy was perfect : Szisz didn’t wait for punctures. He changed tyres every two laps as a precaution.

Startegy was already part of the race... like in 2006 !

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#20 Roger Clark

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 22:39

It's also interesting that the Renault in the second picture has wire wheels, unlike the other two. There is a picture in Pomeroy's "Evolution of the Racing Car", said to be of Szisz in the winning car, also with wire wheels. However, the driver doesn't look like Szisz to me. It could be Edmond if that is Edmond in Doug's second picture.

Pictures 2 and 3 show the removable rims on the rear wheels, mentioned in an earlier post by robert dick. I don't know why Renault used removable rims only on the rear wheels. Some entrants did not use detachable rims because they were heavier than fixed rims and the cars were already close to the maximum weight, but the Renaults had at least 10 kilos to spare.

#21 Vitesse2

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 22:59

Originally posted by Roger Clark
It's also interesting that the Renault in the second picture has wire wheels, unlike the other two. There is a picture in Pomeroy's "Evolution of the Racing Car", said to be of Szisz in the winning car, also with wire wheels. However, the driver doesn't look like Szisz to me. It could be Edmond if that is Edmond in Doug's second picture.


I don't have the Pomeroy book, Roger, but Doug's third picture is in Mathieson, captioned as Richez. As the car in the first picture clearly bears Szisz's number and the driver looks to be the man himself, the second must be Edmond: QED. Mathieson also has a picture of Edmond's car being pushed to the start, quite clearly wearing artillery wheels. He also states that only Hanriot's Darracq and Shepard's Hotchkiss used wire wheels in the race, so perhaps the Edmond picture is a studio shot and/or from another event?

#22 kevthedrummer

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 23:11

Originally posted by Racing Lines


First
the funny detail of the paper-fish in the top of the image is quite astonishing.

[/B]


Thank goodness someone else mentioned it. I've just finished work and am currently enjoying a cold beer. After much staring at the can and then staring at the picture I was convinced I could see a fish. Glad to know I've not completely lost my mind.

Top pictures Doug :up:

#23 Rob G

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 23:26

Originally posted by humphries
The Grand Prix of 1906 is probably the most significant event in the history of motor-racing. It would be nice if everything but everything was known about this race. Thankfully the contemporary press did the event proud and equally thankfully there are TNFers who are very knowledgeable about The Grand Prix.

As I am not one of those TNFers can somebody fill a few gaps?

Szisz, the winner, had a J.Edmond as a team-mate. Edmond had driven for Renault Freres in previous years and it is likely that he was an employee of the factory. Does anybody know his first name? Also A.Villemain drove a Clement-Bayard and I still only have his initial. Two drivers appear in the Black Book with just surnames, Mariaux (Mercedes) and Barriaux (Vulpes). Does anybody have additional information.

In the second Grand Prix, 1907, there are more mysteries. The Motobloc drivers, en bloc (sorry!), are all single names, messieurs Pierron, Page and Courtade and likewise Dutemple (Panhard), Perpere (Germain) and Alezy (Clement-Bayard) have no first name or initial. For Degrais (Germain) I have pencilled in Claude but I am not totally sure.

In the third Grand Prix, 1908, Pierron and Courtade appear again for Motobloc as do Degrais and Perpere for Germain. Other single name drivers are Landon and Robin (Mors), Michel (Opel) and Shannon (Weigel). Gaubert (Porthos) has a J.

Enlightenment would be much appreciated.


John

According to the Black Book Addendum, we have Marius Barriaux and Henri Landon. I have Pierre penciled in as M. Michel's first name.

According to William Court, the third Mors was entered for Charles Jarrott, but "sadly a works driver crashed Jarrott's car before the race and he therefore did not start." This was presumably Robin.

#24 Racing Lines

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 23:56

can somebody fill a few gaps?



I was lucky enough to have access to the ACF archives. I was very hopefull to fill the gaps I had in my database (in fact the same gaps as yours) but unfortunately I couldn’t.

In fact, ACF files don’t mention the first name of the drivers. Neither in the official program neither in the official classification or entry list.

The newspapers using those documents, no first names were published in the french press (L’auto, Le Figaro, Le Matin, etc). L’Auto gave a lot of technical details about the cars, the complete time-sheet but not the complete identity of the drivers ! It sounds incredible but that’s the way it is.

In his classic « Grand Prix Racing 1906-1914 » (one of the most amazing racing book I ever seen), TASO Mathieson made a good job to fill the gaps but some remain.

Be aware that « De La Touloubre » (Clément-Bayard driver) was in fact Capitaine Gentil and « Pierry, le chauffeur masqué » (« Pierry, the masked motorist » : that’s the way he was introduced in the officiel program !) was in fact Huguet, a famous sportsman well-known under the name of Gaby ! He was a Brasier driver in that event.

fast forward 100 years to Canada late June 2006 and a blue Renault takes the win followed home by a red Fiat !



Interesting point. Many cars manufacturers disappeared during the last century and, to my view, it’s not by accident that the first four manufacturers to have won the Grand Prix de l’ACF (Renault, Fiat, Mercedes and Peugeot) are still alive and kicking.

In those days, racing was part of manufacturer’s technical development and racing was clearly an asset for those companies. Maybe, to some degree, it’s still the same today even if we don’t realize it.

#25 Racing Lines

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 01:26

About the pictures posted by Doug

Picture #1
OK for Szisz and his mechanic Marteau (Marteau means « hammer » in french : perfect name for a mechanic, isn’t it ?).

Picture #2
It's exactly the same as the one published in the official program of the event. So this picture (with wire wheels) has been taken at least some weeks before the event, surely in the factory.

The driver is clearly Richez and not Edmond as previously mentioned . Here is a scan of the program as an evidence. It's the first time I post a picture and unfortunatlely the size is not big enough. Left is Edmond (#3B), center is Richez (#3C) and right is Szisz (#3A)

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Picture #3 : one more time, it looks like Richez is at the wheel because Edmond had a moustache (like most of the drivers in that race) and no beard. Plus : the racing number looks like 3 C more than 3 B (Edmond’s number).


Picture #5 : not sure but I would agree the Fiat/Vincenzo Lancia option. The best way to check would be having a look to the Mathieson book but I lent it to a friend of mine.

#26 Roger Clark

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 04:34

Originally posted by Vitesse2


I don't have the Pomeroy book, Roger, but Doug's third picture is in Mathieson, captioned as Richez. As the car in the first picture clearly bears Szisz's number and the driver looks to be the man himself, the second must be Edmond: QED.

Or not, as racing lines has pointed out.

All of the pictures of Lancia in Mathieson show him wearing a dark jacket, although it is possible that he changed on the second day. I agree that it is a FIAT.

#27 Racing Lines

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 06:56

All of the pictures of Lancia in Mathieson show him wearing a dark jacket, although it is possible that he changed on the second day. I agree that it is a FIAT.



Excellent observation which reminds me an interesting detail !!!

The rules allowed to change drivers at the end of the first day. This first stint was very exhausting for the drivers. The fact that they started at six o’clock in the morning (every 90 seconds) means that they could race the first few laps in a cool temperature. But quickly, it became a scorching heat and a hell for the drivers (especially for those who didn’t use detachable rims).

It was a long day because the rule said that each driver had to cover six laps. It took « only » 5 h 45 to Szisz but the it took 8 h 15 for Rougier (De Dietrich), the last survivors of the day who had to change 14 tyres during the day (he finished 17th).

With that heat, tar melted and cars were throwing up melted (and roasting) tar to the eyes of the other drivers. It was very painfull (especially for Renault driver Edmond, but it’s another story).

So, at the end of the first day, two drivers decided to give up the wheel and to be replaced by the reserve driver. It was the case for Mercedes driver Camille Jenatzy (who can not be suspected to be a « petite nature », sorry I don’t know the english word). His eyes were burnt and he asked to be replaced by Burton.

Vincenzo Lancia did the same but his replacement forgot to wake up (Lancia’s car had to start at 7 h 12, a confortable timetable compared to Szisz who had to start at 5 h 45 !) but Lancia was awake and he had to jump in the car at a moment’s notice without his racing suits !

Probably, this picture was taken at the begining of the second day when he was not wearing his usual dark jacket…

#28 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 08:20

Fiat driver - surprised that nobody has yet considered Nazzaro?

Flapping fish - young Clement is passing a fishing rod projecting from a roadside building, with the 'fish' dangling from its line - presumably a fish (or fishing) shop?

The wire-wheeled Renault is indeed shown in its original configuration - as opposed to its racing set-up - and was photographed apparently at the factory, with the customary 'studio sheet' as background. Often these sheets would be shaken during the camera exposure in order to blur their image and so permit the true subject of the photograph to appear even more clearly defined. This shot is particularly crisp and sharp and its detail will enlarge to wall size!

Poor Edmond really suffered during the race with flying stones cutting his forehead, sunburn and then allergic or acid reaction to the flying oil compound used to bind the road surfaces - or perhaps thrown out by his engine? According to some reports vaseline was first applied to his burning skin, but a mix of oil, vaseline and sweat then got into his eyes. The same reports suggest he was given cocaine to ease his pain, but eventually he could go on no longer... Times were different then, indeed.

'Racing Lines' - wonderful detail in your posts, how can we obtain copies of your book?

DCN

#29 ensign14

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 08:42

Originally posted by Racing Lines
« Pierry, le chauffeur masqué » (« Pierry, the masked motorist » : that’s the way he was introduced in the officiel program !) was in fact Huguet, a famous sportsman well-known under the name of Gaby ! He was a Brasier driver in that event.

A masked racing driver? Hm. Around 30 years earlier there had been the first known masked wrestler, in Paris. Was this not so much a wish for anonymity but a gimmick to stimulate interest? "Who is that masked man"? (Did he wear a mask for the race?)

#30 robert dick

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 09:50

Behind the scenes - from the contemporary magazine "L'Illustration" :

Photo 1 = the ACF's high priests - René de Knyff, Fernand Charron, Comte de Récopé, Albert de Dion, Étienne de Zuylen, Alberto Santos-Dumont, "Cléopolde".

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#31 Mallory Dan

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 11:30

Originally posted by ensign14

A masked racing driver? Hm. Around 30 years earlier there had been the first known masked wrestler, in Paris. Was this not so much a wish for anonymity but a gimmick to stimulate interest? "Who is that masked man"? (Did he wear a mask for the race?)


Was the "Masked Poet" involved too....

#32 Racing Lines

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 12:18

quote:
Originally posted by Racing Lines
« Pierry, le chauffeur masqué » (« Pierry, the masked motorist » : that’s the way he was introduced in the officiel program !) was in fact Huguet, a famous sportsman well-known under the name of Gaby ! He was a Brasier driver in that event.

A masked racing driver? Hm. Around 30 years earlier there had been the first known masked wrestler, in Paris. Was this not so much a wish for anonymity but a gimmick to stimulate interest? "Who is that masked man"? (Did he wear a mask for the race?)



Here is Pierry "le chauffeur masqué / the Masked Motorist" !!!!

(Of course, he's the guy below. left is Baras, right is Bariller and above M. Brasier).


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I haven't seen a picture of him racing with such a mask but such stuff were quite usual for the motorists in those days (but maybe not in white !).

I think you're right saying that this mask was to stimulate interest ! Nevertheless, his real name was not written in L'Auto before the race. In the "L'Auto" preview of the race (26/06/06 edition), Charles Faroux (an authority) wrote something like : "we always welcome the newcomers with a bit of scepticism. Pierry, for exemple, had never driven over 120 km/h at the wheel of his Paris-Madrid type Panhard and I fear that he jumps from a 1903 model to a 1906 model. Now, I made my opinion. This guy is good, very good indeed. He's at the wheel like at home : his moves are supple, easy. His car is passing according to an ideal line but I think his temerity is limitless"

I'll try to know more about his involvement in other sports (cycling, I suppose) but I have no time for that just now.

Thank you very much, Doug, for your kind comments. I have to ask to my publisher if it's possible to order copies from abroad. I'm sure it will.

My book is "Grand Prix de France, un siècle en histoires" by Alain Pernot published by E.T.A.I. in partnership with the Automobile Club de France. Forewords : Alain Prost and backwords : Philippe de Flers (ACF President).

It's not a compilation of race reviews but more a selection of more than 30 stories linked (directly or not) to the French Grand Prix (I mean Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France 1906-1967 + Grand Prix de France 1968-2005). But of course, in appendix, there is a complete sheet of results (with racing number and -as often as possible- first names, non starters, withdrawals, etc...)

It' not the only french book linked to the ACF Grand Prix centenary.

L'Automobile Club de l'Ouest (which was established in order to organise the GP) published in february a two volumes book about its own centenary (so it's mainly about the Le Mans 24 h).

L'Equipe has published a book, too : "Cent de Grands Prix automobile en France" for a very very wide audience.

Les éditions Cenomanes (from Le Mans) published a book about the 1906 Grand Prix. It's written by two serious guys (Michel Bonté and Jean-Luc Ribemont) with a lot of pictures (mainly postcards) but I haven't seen it yet. It's probably that book Hieronimus talked about previously.

#33 RTH

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 15:16

Fantastic pictures, makes you wish you could have walked around and experienced it first hand .

What nobody has asked, are any of the cars in that 1906 race still in existance, where are they , are they on public view and has anyone got any recent colour photographs ? Or did they all get melted down to make instruments of war ?

#34 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 17:27

Wel legend has it that Szisz's winning car was smashed beyond repair in an accident after sale to a British private owner at the end of that year...another of the legends I have never really got around to investigating in depth. An engine which has been in the London Science Museum since 1932, labelled as a 'Renault airship engine' is the subject of intense investigation in recent months, because it appears to have many characteristics of the '06 Type AK Grand Prix power unit.

DCN

#35 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 17:33

Many years ago I wrote (for 8W contest) the following about the

1906 French Grand Prix:
François Szisz with his driving mechanic Marteau won the First Grand Prix in 1906. Without question, Michelin had made the victory possible with the introduction of their new detachable wheel rims. But at the same time, the 33-year-old Szisz, at the top of his driving career, drove magnificently, took no chances and had developed a restrained driving style. His victory was not a coincidence! François Szisz with the unspeakable name, also called Ferenc in his native Hungary was born 1873. He came from Vienna to France in 1900 to work for the young successful car factory, founded two years earlier by the Renault brothers Louis, Marcel and Fernand in Billancourt. Louis and Marcel had started racing in 1899 with their tiny shaft-driven voiturettes, were victorious in many races, and had a thriving car production alongside. In 1901, their racing cars had 1-liter 8 hp engines and received their distinctive coal-shovel front. François Szisz was seen for the first time as riding mechanic with Louis Renault in the 1902 Paris–Vienna race with the Renault in the light-car class, equipped with a 3,758 cc 4-cylinder engine. After mixing with the leaders in the early part of the race, they lost several hours in Austria due to accident repairs and ended up in place 28. Marcel Renault, however, ran trouble free, was fastest of the light cars, won the whole race and triumphed over all the heavy cars in the process, a triumph of unprecedented magnitude. At that time, Szisz was chief of the test department at Billancourt.

At the 1903 Paris–Madrid race the Renault voiturettes advanced to 6.3-liter 30 hp engines. It could not be determined if Szisz was again riding mechanic with Louis or perhaps this time with Marcel or if he had missed that race entirely. Regardless, Louis Renault who had started in third position, brought his car home in second place overall. Only after taking the flag at the finish, did he learn about his brother Marcel’s death in a fatal accident and Louis withdrew all of his cars. This tragedy caused the stop of work-supported racing and Louis had decided that he would not himself race again. Renault’s only racing activity during 1904 was to built their first big racing car, a Renault 60 to the 1,000 kg formula for American W. Gould Brokaw. He entered it in the first Vanderbilt Cup race with Frenchman Maurice Bernin as driver but the car retired with propeller shaft problems. In 1905, Renault could no longer afford to stay out of major racing and built a new 12,970 cc 90 hp car. For the first time he had assigned Szisz, the Franco-Hungarian with the unspeakable name, to drive one of the three Renaults at the French eliminating trials for the 1905 Gordon–Bennett Race. Although Szisz was the fastest of the three Renault drivers, he could only hold fourth place after one lap and fell back to eleventh by half time. Despite overheating problems of the pump cooling system and tire troubles, Szisz nursed the Renault home into fifth place, displaying great driving skill, calm character and mechanical sensitivity. It was regrettable that he missed a place in the three car French team for the Gordon–Bennett Race proper. Later that year, the Franco-Hungarian appeared with their new 90 hp car at the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup race at Long Island. On the second lap, he had worked himself into second place. A leaking radiator, ignition and tire trouble eventually put him one lap down. At the end of the race after the fourth car had passed the finish, the disorderly crowd poured on the course with the battle still in progress and the race had to be called. Szisz in fifth position with the others behind him had to stop in the middle of the course and did not take the flag.

Then came the Grand Prix in 1906, the first recognized grand prix race. But preceding it, the annual Gordon Bennett Cup had taken place for six years. This truly international event had been the pinnacle in racing but the rules limited each country to be represented by only three cars. France alone had seven manufacturers of whom any could have been a winner and wanted a race where each factory could be represented by three cars. Because the French auto industry became frustrated with these car-restricting Gordon Bennett Cup regulations, they voiced their concern during the 1904 Salon, the Paris Motor Show. They asked the Automobile Club de France if they could organize a race of their own, called the Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France, unless the rules were changed. This event should be run simultaneously with the 1905 Gordon Bennett Cup where all competing firms would then have an equal chance. The ACF made a counter proposal, which triggered outrage, criticism and protests from all the competing Nations. Nothing else happened and the French postponed the Grand Prix until 1906. The French, British and Italian clubs did not challenge for the 1906 Gordon Bennett Cup race and this opened the way for the Grand Prix de l’Automobile Club de France. To ensure that the Grand Prix would be the most important event in Europe, the ACF decided on a much longer race than the Gordon Bennett cup, the Circuit des Ardennes, the Vanderbuilt Cup race or the Brescia race. The Grand Prix went anti-clockwise over 12 laps of the fast 103.18 km triangular Sarthe circuit outside Le Mans, run over two days a total of 1,238.16 km. Life was so easy going in 1906 that the organizers, L’Automobile-Club de l’Ouest, could choose Tuesday, 26 and Wednesday, 27 June for their great event. New wooden roads bypassed the little towns of Saint Calais and Vibraye so that the cars could be driven at full speed. After the race, it was found that these sections were dangerous because of the accidents that had taken place. Almost the entire circuit was tarred to keep the dust down. The ACF spent some £14,000 for circuit improvements but only £2,300 on the road surface, which had already deteriorated badly by 26 June because of the uncommonly high amount of traffic just before the race. The regulations were very much the same as in the previous years and the maximum weight limit of 1000 kg was retained plus 7 kg allowance for any car fitted with magneto ignition or engine-driven dynamo. While the Gordon Bennett regulations had not restricted the number of mechanics working on the cars during the race, the Grand Prix rules required for the first time that the driver and riding mechanic do all work alone including the time consuming tire changes. This was a pitiless rule since tire failures were occurring often and with conventional wheels, a tire change took up to 15 minutes of exhausting labor. Long before the event, the experts had agreed that the Grand Prix would be a tire race and that the winner would come from such car and driver, who would spend the least time with fitting new tires. The battle would be between Michelin, Dunlop, and Continental.

For the 1906 Grand Prix, François Szisz and his mechanic Marteau had one of the three 90 hp Renaults. These 1906 cars were not build on advances of their 1905 car but reverted back to old proven designs. The cars received a high-built conventional chassis, a new radiator and the troublesome water pump cooling system from the previous year was reverted to the conventional thermo-syphon system. The front was shaped back to a normal Renault type ‘coal-scuttle.’ All changes were made to improve the reliability of the cars. While the Renaults where still practicing with the unproven new all-metal wire spoke wheels, they reverted to wooden artillery wheels for the race, a safety precaution, since it was not expected that the new wire wheels were to stand up to fast cornering. Then very shortly before the race Renault changed the highly stressed rear wheels with detachable wheel rims developed by Michelin who had made them available just before the race. The detachable wheel rim was to be the decisive factor in the outcome of the race and was therefore the most significant change on the car. To change an entire wheel was not allowed under Grand Prix regulations. Because of the new wheels greater weight, adding an estimated 9kg for each wheel, only three manufacturers were able to use them. Fiat installed the new type on all four wheels, Renault and Clément-Bayard only on the rear wheels. Most cars had been completed for the race and were already close to the maximum allowable weight limit of 1007 kg. Therefore, it was impossible for them to remove weight and make use of the new rims. The tire situation until 1906 had been such that when a car came into the pits for a tire change, it was jacked up front and rear, a horde of mechanics equipped with knives would pounce over the worn tires to pull them down, tear away melted rubber from the rims, lever on new tires and tubes, pump them up and restart by hand cranking. With the new rules for 1906, the driver and riding mechanic were the only ones allowed to do all repairs and carry out the burdensome tire changes, which would take the better part of 15 minutes per wheel. In comparison, the new Michelin spare rims came already fitted with fully inflated tires and were simply placed on the wheels. After putting the car on jacks, the driver and mechanic had to remove only the 8 retaining nuts holding wedges, loosening the separate rim and pull the tire off the wooden-spoked artillery wheel. A new rim with inflated tire already attached was then slid onto the wheel and the eight wheel nuts tightened. It took about four minutes with only the mechanic and driver working to change two rear wheels. The use of the detachable wheel rims not only saved great amounts of time but also eased the amount of strenuous work for the crews. This was an enormous advantage during the tropical heat, which was to plague the first Grand Prix.

The entries comprised ten teams with 23 cars from France, two teams with six starters from Italy and one team with three cars from Germany. Napier, Wolseley and Locomobile did not enter, an open sign of hostility towards the French event by the British and the Americans. Two machines did not clear the scales since the teams were unable to bring these cars down to the 1007 kg maximum weight limit. The new regulations did not require that cars were painted in their national colors and while the Renaults came painted in flame-red, the Lorraine-Dietrichs were blue for France. The ACF had also cooked up a new numbering system for the cars to sever another link with the Gordon Bennett Cup races. Instead of the conventional consecutive numbering, each participating team received a number for all of their cars by drawing lots and a letter identified the individual cars of each team. The retired driver, Chevalier René de Knyff now with the ACF, started the Grand Prix at 6:00 a.m. when he sent away number 1A, Gabriel on Lorraine-Dietrich, followed at 90 second intervals next by number 2A, Lancia on Fiat, then 3A, Szisz on Renault and at 6:49:30 a.m. the last of the 32 cars, number 13C. The speeds were awesome and Vincenzo Lancia on Fiat was the first back at the finish closely followed by Paul Baras on Brasier who established what was to prove the fastest lap of the race at 118.092 km/h on his first circuit and was actually leading the race. Already on lap one Hanriot’s Darracq broke all its valves and De Bosch on Grégoire had to retire as well. Fernand Gabriel was forced to retire his Lorraine-Dietrich when he broke a radius rod and ran over it but was able to keep the swerving car on the road. Fabry took a corner too fast at Vibrae and his wheels collapsed causing him to topple over. He was buried under his Itala until the spectators had put the car right side up again. Baras with his foot flat on the accelerator had worked himself into the lead on the second lap, followed by “Pierry” on Brasier, Weillschott on Fiat and Szisz on Renault. Baron de Caters went out after an accident in his Itala. The Motor reported that after using up all his spare tires he tried to reach the pits on the rim with the result that he had damaged the wheel rim to such an extent that replacement tires could not be fitted and it was not allowed to change the whole wheel. A number of drivers were supposedly forced to retire because they had been racing on after tire failures, which could happen at high-speed tire blowouts. When Alessandro Cagno stopped with a stone-damaged radiator, all Italas were out after two laps racing. Wagner on Darracq also had given up since his engine had broken valves. The significance of the new detachable wheels became apparent when the Renault of Szisz took the lead after lap three. The two fast Brassiers of Barillier and Baras followed him, while Weillschott, Lancia and “Pierry” had fallen already back with tire trouble, doing time-consuming, conventional tire changes. After three laps, the hot sun was beating down from a cloudless sky and the thin asphalt layer had now softened and started to fall apart. The temperature eventually had climbed to 50 degrees Celsius in the sun. Whole sections were ripped off the road on acceleration and braking. With the continuous decay of the roads, flying sharp stones and lumps of asphalt, goggles were smashed and tires now needed non-stop changes. The drivers had a hard time keeping the cars on the pebble-strewn road and passing maneuvers were a tough act. The stop at the depot was not only to change tires but also to replace tar crusted goggles of mechanics and drivers and to have their bloodshot eyes treated. After three laps Salleron retired his Hotchkiss, which went over sideways in a corner, when a wire wheel collapsed. Touloubre went out with broken gearbox on his Clément-Bayard. Edmond in the second Renault could hardly see after flying stones had smashed his goggles and a glass splinter entered his eye. At the end of three laps, he pulled into the pits with unbearable eye pain from flying tar and received medical treatment at the first aid post. Since a relief driver was not allowed to take over until the second day, the half blind man went on but Vaseline put on his face, then melted in the heat and ran down in his almost blinded eye. As Edmond was unable to see the road and when he could no longer bear the pain in his eyes, he withdrew a few miles short of the finish on lap five. After four laps Le Blon on the other Hotchkiss went off the wooden course at St. Calais and seriously bent a rear wheel, which he could rebuild again in over three hours, using spokes borrowed from his teammate Salleron who had crashed nearby. Tart had to give up also after four laps with a broken frame on his Panhard. The next to disappear was Villemain on Clément-Bayard. Vincenzo Florio, founder of the Targa Florio that same year, had to retire his semi-official Mercedes after five laps. While driving at high speed a tire burst and came off the rim. By the time the car had been brought to a standstill, the rim was damaged to such an extent that a replacement tire could not be fitted. Because neither detachable wheel rims were used nor was it allowed to change the whole wheel, the Mercedes had to be retired. Weillschott lost his third place on lap five when his Fiat spun and rolled on a wooden board section around Vibraye and he had to retire. From the 32 cars at the start, only 17 finished the race in scorching summer heat on the first day. At the end of lap six, just before noon, Szisz in first place acknowledged the yellow flag after 5h45m30.4s. He was over 26 minutes ahead of Albert Clément in 6h11m40.6s with Nazzaro on the Fiat another 15 minutes behind. Immediately after passing the finish, the cars were pushed in a parc fermé, an area fenced and locked to prevent any unauthorized work or sabotage. At night three members of the ACF sporting commission stood watch with the help of a turning searchlight.

On the morning of the second day, a well-trained carthorse dragged the racing cars from the parc fermé to the starting line. The grandstand had visibly emptied and a great part of the spectators had left for good the evening before because the outcome of the race seemed to be predictable. Most of the personnel of the already retired cars also stayed away. The cars were started in their finishing order of the previous day and at the time intervals, they had finished. The count had started at midnight, so as Szisz had taken 5h45m30.4s on the first day, he was to start at that precise time in the morning. He was followed by Clément, who had taken 6h11m40.6s the previous day and started at that exact time 6:11:40.6 a.m. Therefore, the exact total running time of any competitor could be told by looking at the watches. Two additional mechanics had permission to restart the engine of each car and Szisz headed straight to his pits where he spent the next 12 minutes to fit new tires and top up the essential fluids. It was clear that Szisz, who had run like clockwork the first day, had to finish first unless something unforeseen would happen to him. The battle for second place lay between Clément, Nazzaro and Shepard. The Brasier team had still all three cars in the race but they were too far behind to have a chance for the first places. When Szisz completed his first lap, eleven cars were still waiting at the start to be sent off. The advantage of Szisz was so great that he could take the race easy and remain in the lead for the rest of the race. When Jenatzy’s Mercedes started the race at 8:07 a.m. and Rougiers’s Lorraine-Dietrich at 8:15 a.m., the leaders Szisz and Clémant had already each completed two laps. The rules allowed changing drivers on the second day. So, Jenatzy who had bravely finished the first day with inflamed eyes injured by tar and dust was replaced by Burton. The 25-year-old Vincenco Lancia, favorite before the race, who had fallen back the first day with repeated repairs to his Fiat’s cooling system, wanted to change with his reserve driver and when he arrived at the pits the reserve could not be found. Lancia was not prepared for that and now had to drive the race in his ordinary suit, as he had no time to change. Szisz, suffering badly from tar-spangled dust, received medical treatment and was determined to stay ahead on the second day. The road surface had become appalling, full of loose stones, rubble and potholes, torn up by the cars on the first day. The corners had changed to groves of loose pebbles through which the cars had to snake their way. This was made worse by some drivers’ cornering technique, for with only the rear-wheel brakes they skidded the backs of these heavy cars through the corners. The intense heat and sharp stones played havoc with the rubber tires. The retirements began when Teste on Panhard crashed spectacularly caused by a broken suspension mount. After hitting a bump, he lost his steering, hit a tree and broke his leg. From all the accidents, this was the only one with some serious consequences. Hémery broke a valve on the last Darracq, the same fate experienced by the other two cars of the team. Rigolly had to give up when the radiator of his Gobron-Brillié started to leak, punctured by flying stones. American Elliot Shepard crashed the last Hotchkiss when one of its wire wheels collapsed. Richez crashed on the ninth lap. The luckless Rougier on the De Dietrich, who had changed with his mechanic 14 tires the first day, retired on the last lap of the second day. The reason given differed. Some said he was totally worn down after unending tire changes, was too exhausted to drive any longer and just gave up. Others report he stopped with a damaged engine. Another source stated that he retired because of problems with the wheel rims. Burton who had taken over Jenatzy’s car lost more time by non-stop tire changes and wanted to give up because a stone had seriously injured his eye but he could be convinced to finish the race. Szisz also had to change 19 tires but with the detachable rims, this had been no problem for him. The time gaps between the drivers on the second day were too big and the only interesting part was the battle between Clément and Nazzaro for second place. On the next to the last lap Szisz broke a rear spring on his Renault but kept going at slightly reduced pace to complete the 1238.16 km in 12h14m07s at an average speed of 101.196 km/h. There was very little applause because the grandstand had been very much deserted by the tired spectators in the tropical heat. Nazzaro, 32m19.4s behind, came second with his Fiat and Albert Clément on Clément-Bayard followed only 3m20.4s behind him, despite his exhausting work of changing his tires the traditional way. Gerald Rose wrote, “Clément must have driven magnificently to have come so close to the leaders, as he lost about ten minutes by every tire change.” Barillier on Brasier and Lancia on the second Fiat were fourth and fifth respectively. American George Heath on Panhard was sixth after 14h47m45.0s. The Mercedes drivers Burton in tenth and Mariaux in eleventh place straggled in four hours after Szisz had finished his race and many spectators had already gone home by that time. The first two cars were equipped with detachable rims and 21-year-old Albert Clément, after an impressive drive, would have been the obvious winner, had he listened to his father’s advise to mount the new Michelin rims as were fitted to the other Clément-Bayards. Only 11 cars out of the 32 finished the grueling long race but Renault was delighted with their success in the Grand Prix because commercial competition was becoming strong. The factory decided to manufacture smaller versions of their victorious car and by doing so, was able to reap a good profit. The arrival of the detachable wheel rim also influenced all designers and forced each of them to carry out a weight reduction of about 50 kg on their 1,000 kg cars. This alone enabled them to install the heavier detachable rims on all four wheels and install a strong carrier to hold two complete rear spare wheels.

After their Grand Prix success, Renault did not enter in other events that year and for 1907, they raced only in the Grand Prix where they appeared with three replicas of previous year’s models which had been sold. The cars were capable of doing 160 km/h but Szisz restrained himself because of the fuel consumption rules in place that year. By doing so, he finished second, only seven minutes behind Nazzaro’s Fiat. After the race the cars were checked and while Szisz had 30¼ liters fuel left in his Renault, Nazzaro was down to 11¼ liters. There was of course speculation to the effect that Szisz might have won had he not worried so much about his fuel. At the 1908 Grand Prix, Szisz was still the Renault strong man but the cars did not figure among the leaders and he was forced out on lap two with a damaged rim after lying in third place. Later the same year at the American Grand Prize at Savannah, two Renaults were entered for François Szisz and American Lewis Strang. Szisz worked himself up to second place by lap three but retired on lap six with broken wheel bearings while in sixth position. The Grand Prize had marked his last drive for Renault, who withdrew from racing with the other manufacturers at the end of 1908. Renault was not to race again on GP level until over sixty years later. Szisz had disappeared until the 1914 Grand Prix where he drove an Alda but never got better than driving in midfield, when he had to change a rear tire of his Alda by the roadside. Breckheimer on his Opel arrived at full speed, invisible through the dust cloud, and accidentally struck the unfortunate Szisz who was laboring with his back turned against the oncoming car. The Alda from Szisz, afterwards driven by his lightly injured mechanic, rolled into the pits on lap 11 with the slightly injured Szisz who also had broken his arm. Despite his condition, 18 days later, Szisz won at a minor 357.3 km French road race near Rochefort on the Anjou circuit. He drove a 12-liter Lorraine-Dietrich and came first after 3h31m06s averaging 104.6 km/h. He said that the course was just as difficult as that used for the Grand Prix. Szisz vanished from sight until he made a grand appearance on his ninety-fifth birthday. His controversial statements at that time puzzled motor journalists. Only later did they find out that it was not Ferenc Szisz but his younger brother who had fooled them and just wanted to share part of Ferenc’s glory. There are statements to the effect that the little stocky Szisz, at age 97, had died June 1970 in Tiszaszentimre, Hungary or could it just as well have been his brother? And what was the fate of the winning 1906 Renault grand prix car? In the early Twenties, the car was supposedly seen again and somebody established its later course. But in 1924, when Szisz intended to purchase the car, which had brought him so much luck, no trail was to be found. The car had been formerly sold for a lot, immediately after the race, to an Englishman after it had been overhauled thoroughly because it did not just win the race but had also served the whole Renault team as a training car. Well, the Englishman drove one year later against a tree and broke his neck. The state attorney confiscated the car and nothing more was heard from it. Then came World War II and all cars were requisitioned. Out of a garage, somewhere, the Renault was pulled out and it now had to do war duty. It came to a fighter Squadron, where it served for express-vacation-trips from the front to Paris. The war over, the worthy Renault was auctioned where it went for 5,500 franc and received a four-seat body. One could see it a few times at Paris surroundings and then it disappeared unobtrusively.

Sources/References:
Beaulieu, Lord Montagu of, THE GORDON BENNETT RACES, London, 1963
Bellu, Serge, BLUE BLOOD, London 1979
Bently, John, Le Mans (in Automobile Quarterly, Vol.2, No.1), Kutztown 1963
Boddy, William, The History of Motor Racing, New York 1977, pg 60
Bradley, W.F., TARGA FLORIO, London 1955, pg 24
Cimarosti, Adriano, Autorennsport, Bern 1979
Considine, Tim, American GRAND PRIX Racing, Osceola,1997
Court, William, Power and Glory, London 1966
Flower, Raymond, MOTOR SPORTS, New York 1975, pg 57 (Szisz)
Georgano, G.N., The Complete Encyclpopedia of MOTORCARS 1895 to the Present, London 1970
Georgano, G.N., The Encyclopaedia of MOTOR SPORT, London, 1971, pg. 305 or 306
Hays, Rex, Vanishing Litres, London 1957
Helck, Peter, The Checkered Flag, New York 1961, pg.66, 119, 120
Helck, Peter, Automobile Quarterly, Vol.21, No.1 “French Grand Prix 1906-1925,” Kutztown, 1983
Higham, Peter, The Guinness guide to International MOTOR RACING, Osceola, WIS, 1995, pg.535
Hodges, David, The French Grand Prix, London 1967
Karslake, Kent, The FRENCH GRAND PRIX 1906-1914, Abingdon 1948
Karslake, Kent, Racing Voiturettes, Abingdon-on-Thames 1950
Kirchberg, Dr. Peter, Automobilrennen und Wettbewerbe in aller Welt, Teil I, Moers 1985, pg. 153-159
Lurani, Giovanni, HISTORY OF THE RACING CAR: Man and Machine, New York 1972, pg. 29-30
Mathieson, T.A.S.O., GRAND PRIX RACING 1906-1914, Stockholm 1965
MOTOR UND SPORT 1926, No. 10, pg. 10 “Berűhmte Rennwagen und ihre Schicksale.”
Pomeroy, Laurence, The Grand Prix Car Volume I, London 1959
Posthumus, Cyril, The 1906-1908 Grand Prix Renaults, Profile Publications, London 1967
Rendall, Ivan, The Checkered Flag, London 1993 pg. 46, 267
Rose, Gerald, A Record of MOTOR RACING, Abington 1949
Setright, LJK, The Grand Prix 1906-1972, London 1973, pg. 25-
Tragatsch, Erwin, Das grosse Rennfahrerbuch Bern, 1970, pg. 307
Villard, Henry Serrano, The Great Road Races 1894-1914, London 1972, pg.84, 140, 142, 147, 156, 176, 183, 221.
Walkerley, Rodney, Famous Motor races, London 1963
Wieselmann, H.U., -als gäbe es keinen morgen, Stuttgart 1969.


#36 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 18:59

For a sense of scale, this is quite interesting...(supposing I get it right).

http://www.vsrnonlin...MC_V2N1_p24.jpg

DCN

#37 Boniver

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 19:41

Every driver of the GP ACF 1906 had start in one of more imported races between 1900 and 1905.

Only Elliot Shepard (It/VS) makes his debut in a Hotchkiss.
He was family of William Vanderbilt

#38 ReWind

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 20:18

Originally posted by Racing Lines
« Pierry, le chauffeur masqué » (« Pierry, the masked motorist » : that’s the way he was introduced in the officiel program !) was in fact Huguet, a famous sportsman well-known under the name of Gaby ! He was a Brasier driver in that event.

There was a driver called Huguet who competed in at least three early town-to-town races:
Paris – Bordeaux 1899 on a Panhard (12th place),
Paris - Saint Malo 1899 on a Peugeot (8th place),
Paris - Toulouse - Paris 1900 on a Peugeot (# 74, retired).
The same man?

#39 kevthedrummer

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 23:46

http://video.google....715491171123312

:up:

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#40 dretceterini

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 03:13

WOW!! :clap:

#41 RTH

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 06:42

Originally posted by kevthedrummer
http://video.google....715491171123312

:up:


That is a great 10 1/2 minute film of the race .........imagine the driver having to change 19 wheels during the race ! It was all about looking after your tyres and having detachable wheels (and not having Hotchkiss wire wheels ! ) 800 mile race in tropical heat and a cloud of dust.

#42 rbm

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 07:35

http://images.trupri...87;232869nu0mrj copyright nwt ltd.

"Szisz at 90mph" is it says on the back

#43 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 08:36

FASCINATING! Our 'Motorfilms Quarterly' copyright edit of the 1906 Grand Prix footage - complete with the copyright commentary which Simon Taylor laid down for us - now offered by some agency unknown on Google... :confused: Sorry chaps, but this is not going to be there very long.

DCN

#44 RTH

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 12:07

I thought I'd seen it before !!!

#45 RTH

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 12:13

If none of the 1906 GP cars still exist, I wonder what the oldest surviving GP car ( or Pre-GP for that matter ) is, where it is can it be seen publically ? By this I mean genuine original cars , not recreations , something unmolested in the form it raced in with history

#46 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 12:20

Originally posted by rbm
http://images.truprint.co.uk/347479%3B%3C4%7Ffp33%3A%3Enu%3D3248%3E499%3E%3A53%3EWSNRCG%3D323387%3B232869nu0mrj copyright nwt ltd.

"Szisz at 90mph" is it says on the back

Ah, this is the picture we discussed on the VSCC Forum (before they chucked out non-members like me :mad: ) There's a picture in Mathieson taken from further back in the crowd and on that you can actually pick out what appears to be the photographer who took this one!

#47 RTH

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 12:37

Would that special effect have been done by superimposing a second distorted image on top of a background shot with no car in the picture ?

#48 Darren Galpin

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 12:55

I would have thought a period camera would have been enough due to the way the shutter moves from top to bottom - a lot of early images seem to have the car leaning forward due to this.

#49 Hieronymus

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 13:31

Posted Image

Darracq from the 1906 race at present on display at the ACO museum in at the Le Mans circuit.

#50 rbm

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 15:47

Aye 'tiz the photo that I put on the vscc a few years back, and it is original and not a fake, just who ever took the picture was looking for a picture showing the speed and risk or hadn't got a clue :)