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Lucy O'Reilly-Schell


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#1 raoul leDuke

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 16:32

I was doing a little research into Lucy O'Reilly-Schell and I could not come up with a date of birth. I also could not find dates for her husband Laury Schell. I know he died in 1939 but other than that I have drawn a blank.

Does anyone have any ideas?

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#2 raoul leDuke

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 14:49

I was just wondering whether if I bumped this back to the front page if anyone had any information about Lucy O'Reilly-Schell?

Any help would be most appreciated.

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 15:10

Laury Schell was born in 1894
Can't help with Lucy, but have you tried searching without the hiphen?

#4 Bloggsworth

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 15:22

Through the hedge sideways, dead neutral........................

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 17:28

A few snippets from French Sports Car Revolution, apparently sourced to her son Philippe ....

Lucy was the daughter of an Irish-American financier called Francis Patrick O'Reilly. Francis was born in Geneva in the 1860s, grew up in Dublin and emigrated to America, becoming a US citizen. In the 1880s he began to assemble a fortune which grew to include a substantial interest in the New York Subway, real estate and a show factory in Reading PA, all coupled with judicious investment on the stock market. Patrick never lost touch with his Irish roots though and when his first child was due, his wife returned to the family in Dublin where Lucy was born "a few years before the turn of the century."

There are some more fairly sketchy details of her early life and she apparently met Laury in Paris while on the Grand Tour shortly after the Great War, fell in love and soon married him. They settled in Brunoy on the outskirts of Paris, where Harry was born in 1921 and Philippe in 1926.

#6 LotusElise

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:17

I have never had any success in pinning down a date of birth for Lucy. She appears to have been rather coy about her age during her life.
Does anyone know what year she died in? I've never seen that anywhere either.

#7 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 20:44

I never knew Harry Schell had a brother who raced. Intriguing. So Philippe raced Formula 3 with Harry in the early 50's? Did he do any other racing? Is he still alive, and, if so, where does he live? (Somewhere in France?)

Vince H.

#8 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 21:20

Lucy O'Reilly Schell was born in 1899 in Dublin.

It does seem that Harry's father, Laury or Laurie Schell, may well have been born Selim Laurence SCHELL or SHELL as they both seemed to have been killed in a road accident in Monaco in October 1939. I've still to confirm this. The family lived in the Parisian suburb of Brunoy.

There seems precious little information on the Net about Lucy, especially as she was a multi-millionairess.

#9 raoul leDuke

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 01:29

Thanks Paul. What I have put together about Lucy O'Reilly-Schell is as follows:

Lucy O'Reilly-Schell was the only child of an American multi-millionaire of Irish origin. On a trip in Europe after the First World War she met Laury Schell, an American who had lived in France since his early youth. He was an ardent racing enthusiast and after they got married and settled down in France and their names soon became familiar competitors in various rallies.

Her first major outing was the Grand Prix de la Baule in 1927 in a Bugatti T37A, in which she came twelfth. She returned to La Baule the following year, again in the T37A, and was eighth this time. 1928 was probably her most successful year, with a sixth place in the GP de la Marne and a superb win in the Coupe de Bourgogne voiturette race, all in the Bugatti.

1929 brought Lucy back to La Baule where she competed in the 1500cc class, but she was out of luck this time and was not classified. She turned to rallying and drove to a Coupe des Dames and excellent overall finish in the Monte Carlo rally.

Throughout the Thirties, Lucy raced sportscars and rallied various vehicles. In 1934 she became involved with Delahaye. She approached Weiffenbach at the Paris Salon with a request to have a vehicle built that could be entered in rally events. A 6 cyl engine was thus put into the 12CV chassis producing suitable car.

Further developments led to the type 135 Sport (3.2 litre, 96 BHP), the 135 Coupe de Alpes (3.2 litre, 110 BHP) and the 135 Compétition (3.6 litre, 120 BHP). Then in 1936 Lucy inherited the multi-million pound estate when her father died. Lucy wanted a special racing variant to be built, the 135 Compétition Spéciale or 135 CS. Soon she had collected orders from wealthy friends for 12 cars and suddenly to Weiffenbach's surprise Delahaye found themselves into the French sports car series with a 2 car works team and 12 privateer cars, six of them owned by Lucy Schell. The works cars were withdrawn after the accident at the 1936 Marne GP that left Delahaye privateer "Michel Paris" paralysed, but the other privateers went on racing their cars quite successfully.

For 1937 Lucy Schell wanted to enter GP racing and asked Delahaye to build a car for the new 4.5 litre formula, with her paying all the costs. The decision was taken to first build a hybrid for both Grand Prix and Sports car racing, the type 145 for 1937.

That year an organisation called the Fonds de Course announced that it would give 1 million francs to the French car that could run 200km at a speed exceeding 146.5 km/h by the widest margin on the Montlhéry track before 1 September 1937. On August 7 Dreyfus drove a Delahaye and took the record. Lucy Schell ordered a white and red line to be painted in an angle over the body on all the cars to celebrate the event.

While work was progressing on the Delahaye type 155, a pure GP car, Lucy Schell's Ecurie Bleue team had to start the season with the type 145 and it was with this car that Dreyfus scored a famous victory in the Pau Grand Prix driving a Delahaye on the twisty street circuit he beat the Mercedes team fair and square. Poor Hühnlein then had the unpleasant task of having to explain to his superiors how the Germans had been beaten by a French driver with a Jewish name driving a semi-sportscar from a relatively unknown lorry factory. Dreyfus also won the Cork GP two weeks later.

A fight broke out over the "Fonds de Course" money. After winning both the Pau and Cork GPs with their old type 145, Delahaye was confident that they should get the money to develop their new Type 155 GP car. To their horror, the 600,000 francs went to the Talbot factory when Anthony Lago showed a couple of blueprints and a promise of a new car for the French GP. Lucy Schell threatened to boycott the French GP and, after a long fight with the ACF and a considerable amount of ill-feeling, she moved her team headquarters to Monaco and no Delahayes were present at Reims.

The Delahaye 155 was never fully developed and Ecurie Bleue bought two Maserati 8CTFs, chassis #3030 and #3031. In October 1939 her husband Laurie was killed in a road accident, Lucy was devastated but didn't give up and continued to run the team but she renamed it Ecurie Lucy O'Reilly Schell. Meanwhile war had been declared between France and Nazi Germany and fighting had already begun on the Polish Front. Lucy and Harry moved back to America to avoid the Nazi occupation.

Dreyfus was drafted into the French Army but was granted leave to compete in the 1940 Indy 500. Lucy shipped the two 8CTFs to America to race in the 'Indy 500' entered by Ecurie Lucy O'Reilly Schell.

The cars arrived a week before official qualifying, hardly ideal. Le Bègue and Dreyfus worked together to find the best race set-up. Their main aim was be one of the 33 qualifiers and with this in mind they were advised that an average speed of 118 mph should be fast enough to qualify. After their four officially timed laps, they had both provisionally qualified: Le Bègue in 31st at 118.981 mph and Dreyfus 33 and last at 118.831 mph. Unfortunately Drefus did not understand the bumping that goes on at Indy and was eliminated.

He was given permission to take out the 49 car of Le Bègue for a few laps to accustom himself to the right line through the turns and was soon lapping at 123 mph, fast enough to have qualified in the middle of the grid. Then a con-rod broke and put a leg out of bed. The block was holed in two places but with the help of a few mechanics, supplied by Augie Duesenberg, the drivers installed the engine from the 22 car and got Le Bègue ready for the start.

The two Frenchmen agreed to race for 250 miles each and thought 'to hell' with the petty rules of the Indy, after all, once they were racing the rules were the same worldwide: go as fast as you can, nurse the engine and overtake your opponents. Le Bègue started the race with Dreyfus nominated as reserve driver, taking over at half distance.

Le Bèque handed over to Dreyfus, as planned and was lying in tenth position when it started to rain. The Americans slowed down respecting the rule of no overtaking in the rain. Dreyfus, used to European rules, overtook one driver after another, wondering why it was so easy. He was black flagged, returning to the track after the rules were explained. When it stopped raining, Dreyfus put his foot down and once again found himself overtaking one car after another. He was black flagged again. This time he was asked why he had ignored the yellow traffic lights. Unfortunately he never saw them. He rejoined the race, but by now was eight laps down the winner Wilbur Shaw in the Maserati 8CTF 'Boyle Special'. After the race Lucy O'Reilly sold both cars to Lou Moore,

When Germany invaded Paris a fortnight later, Dreyfus decided to stay on and join the American Army. After the war he brought his family over and opened a famous restaurant in Manhattan, Le Chanticlair. As late as 1980 he appeared in a celebrities' race supporting the Long Beach GP and three years later published his autobiography, My two lives: Race Driver To Restaurateur. He died in 1993.

Her son Harry, who was born in 1921, became a well-known F1 driver and participated in 56 Grand Prix, debuting on May 21, 1950. He achieved 2 podiums, and scored a total of 32 championship points. Harry died in practice for the non-championship International Trophy event at Silverstone in 1960, when he crashed his Cooper at Abbey Curve

#10 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 06:32

Originally posted by raoul leDuke
Ecurie Bleue bought two Maserati 8CTFs, chassis #3030 and #3031


3030 was at the Monterey Historics this year, entered by Miles Collier and driven by Martin Walford. Lovely car...I saw Janos Wimpffen talking at length with somebody about it. Some photos on this webpage...car #49:

http://www.barchetta...y-01/index.html

Vince H.

#11 LotusElise

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 15:17

Originally posted by Paul Rochdale
It does seem that Harry's father, Laury or Laurie Schell, may well have been born Selim Laurence SCHELL or SHELL as they both seemed to have been killed in a road accident in Monaco in October 1939. I've still to confirm this. The family lived in the Parisian suburb of Brunoy.


Thanks for the date. Selim? Did he have North African origins?

#12 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 16:06

No idea. There is very little to be found about either of them on the Net. I discovered this connection by chance on the Shell Family History website. Selim Shell was killed in the same location in the same month and year, and also had a wife called Lucy. It seems a strong possibility. How many people have traffic accidents in Monaco?

#13 ReWind

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 18:07

Originally posted by Paul Rochdale
Selim Shell was killed in the same location in the same month and year, and also had a wife called Lucy. It seems a strong possibility. How many people have traffic accidents in Monaco?

Hmmm. From the Shell Family Genealogy Forum:

I am looking for documents regarding Selim Lawrence Shell who died in a car crash, born in Geneve USA married to Lucy (?) who died in Monaco.

That question doesn't say anything about date and location of the car crash, does it?
As far as I understand the one "who died in Monaco" was his widow.

What is your source that Laury's accident happened in Monaco? The "NY Times" article from 20 October 1939 that is mentioned among the sources to the Harry Schell entry on "Motorsport Memorial"? If so: Isn't there no more info about the poor victim?

BTW: According to my Rand McNally Road Atlas there is no town called Geneve in the USA. But there are many towns called Geneva, for instance in the state of New York (at the north end of Lake Seneca).

PS. Regarding Paul's final question: On 1 May 2005 Derek Cook sadly was one of them.

#14 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 19:11

I did say it was a 'strong possibility' and not a cast iron certainty. Irene Schnaer mentions in the Shell Family Geneology Forum of the accident in Monaco. This was an old post so I have emailed her to see if we can get further with this. Yes, I also searched for 'Geneve' in the US and was unable to find it. It's still worth pursuing and interests me, just as long as the wrong conclusions are not arrived at. It would be extremely useful to be able to read his obituary, although how I can gain access to US newspaper records, I don't know.

I'm still somewhat surprised that this popular and very rich couple who mixed in high society have so little written about them on the Net.

#15 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 19:52

I've registered with the New York Times Archive and have requested various articles of news I've located. So let's see what they turn up.

One headline - 20 October 1939, 'Selim Laurence Schell ran an auto-racing school in Paris, dies of injuries' Obituary p28, 99 words.

#16 raoul leDuke

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 07:27

I have a man in Geneva, Switzerland, looking into the possibility that Laury was born there. Given his strong European connections and the fact that Genève is the Swiss spelling of Geneva it is a possibility.

#17 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 17:56

Raoul

Today I've received an email from Jean-Paul Tissot, the archivist of Club Delahaye, whose good friend is researching Laury and Lucy O'Reilly Schell, and will ask him to contact me.

#18 erkelly2

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 08:33

Being a very curious person, and also being the lead researcher for U. S. subjects of Motorsport Memorial, I have gone almost as far as I can in research on Harry Schell and his family.

Harry's father was Selim Lawrence Schell, called Laury.

He was born in Geneva, Switzerland on 29 October 1895.

He died in Paris when involved in an auto accident on 18 October 1939. His wife was seriously injured in the accident, but it seems unlikely that she was killed in the accident since she was involved in an entry in the 1940 Indy 500.

Laury Schell was descended from a family traced back to Sonoma County, California. His grandfather owned substantial property in that county, and a small town, Schellville, California, was named in his honor. Often misspelled as Shellville, the town is very close to the Infineon Raceway, aka the Sears Point Raceway.

Harry Schell, their son, is well known and well documented in Motorsport Memorial.

Lucy O'Reilly Schell is the object of this note. I am still seeking information regarding her dates and places of birth and death.

She was active in obtaining permission from the French government to release Rene Le Begue and Rene Dreyfus from military service so that they could drive her car (cars?) in the 1940 Indy 500. Harry was also present in the effort as a 19-year-old. Since she was injured in the same accident that resulted in her husband's death in October 1939, it is obvious that the earlier information that she had been killed with her husband in his accident is greatly exaggerated.

Her father was Francis Patrick O'Reilly. He died on 21 May 1937. Lucy O'Reilly Schell is shown to be his only heir, and other sources state that she was an only child.

Logic suggests that she may have died in France - or if she died during WW-II she may have been living in Switzerland, or some other refuge from the war.

I found nothing in The New York Times or The Times of London that is not mentioned above.

I have not found anything about a brother of Harry. But there is a nagging notion that I have seen something on that subject.

Harry was part-owner of a bar in Paris. I assume that he had enough funds to indulge in racing, which may have come from an inheritance. When Harry died, as far as I know he was single. Did his brother, if any, inherit his estate?

So many questions, so few answers.

Rick Kelly
Motorsport Memorial
Oklahoma City
erkelly2@cox.net

#19 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:55

Harry and his brother Philippe Schell raced together in two blue and white Coopers in 1950.

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#20 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 15:25

Rick

Harry was buried in the family grave in the Cimetiere de Brunoy. Brunoy is a suburb of Paris. It seems very probable that his parents were also interred there. Therefore any engraving on the family grave would be very helpful. Are their any Parisians here?

#21 erkelly2

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 15:50

For those of you who are not familiar with Motorsport Memorial's latest chapter, see the "Lest We Forget" section.

Laury Schell's page can be found at
http://www.motorspor...WF&db2=ct&n=435.

It includes date and place of birth, date and place of death.

Lucy O'Reilly Schell's page is also here.

Have not started on Philippe's page. Hopefully he is alive and well.

Rick Kelly
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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

#22 KJJ

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 17:16

A new book Femmes pilotes de course auto. 1888-1970 by Jean-François Bouzanquet, promises fresh information on Lucy O'Reilly Schell including a photograph. Perhaps someone has seen a copy?

It might be useful if some of the information given in this thread were sourced. What is the source for Lucy being born in Dublin in 1899 for example and what do the New York Passenger lists actually say and the New York Times obituaries?

I see Vitesse quotes French Sports Car Revolution as saying that Lucy's father, one Francis Patrick O'Reilly, was born in Geneva, but so seemingly was Laurie Schell, is this a coincidence or a confusion? Who exactly was Francis Patrick O'Reilly - I haven't got the full access to ancestry.com but I did see a Francis O'Reilly from Reading Pa. entering America before and after the First World War on the Ellis Island Site - his age seemed to tie up with a Francis O'Reilly in the 1881 US census, who was at time a clerk in a shoe factory in Reading Pa. Vitesse mentions a show factory in Reading, perhaps this should be a shoe factory.

Who exactly was Lucy O'Reilly, the daughter of an American millionaire? It would be intersting to know for sure.

#23 KJJ

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 20:57

Originally posted by erkelly2

Lucy O'Reilly Schell is the object of this note. I am still seeking information regarding her dates and places of birth and death.

There's a new resource on ancestry.com giving details of US passport applications 1795-1925, this has details of an application by Lucy Schell in 1919, it gives her date of birth as October 26th 1896 in Paris, France. No doubt at all that it is the correct Lucy as it names Selim Lawrence Schell as spouse.

There's a record of Harry Schell arriving in the US 23rd May 1940 on the Conte di Savoia which sailed from Genoa, Italy 15th May 1940. Le Begue and Dreyfus were also on board, can't find Lucy as yet.

Anymore information to offer, anyone?

#24 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 21:56

Lucy wasn't on the Conte di Savoia. According to Dreyfus she didn't attend the race since she had business matters to attend to and had not yet fully recovered from her road accident.

You should be able to find Mme Le Begue and Luigi Chinetti though.

I wonder where the erroneous info that she was born in Dublin came from?

#25 Marc Ceulemans

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 21:49

Some infos from the French newspaper LE JOURNAL, date, 20 October.

The place of the accident was near the city of Sens.
The funeral of Laury Schell was celebrated at the Church of Brunoy that 20 October 1939.

So It is near sure that he was interred in the Cimetiere de Brunoy.

#26 Marc Ceulemans

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 21:56

And from Autocar (October, 27th)

Laury Schell, 45 years old and of American nationality...

The accident took place near Sens in the morning of Monday, October 16th*. He had not yet recovered fully from a very serious accident he had only a year or so back.
Madame Schell is in a hospital in Paris, recovering as well as can be expected.

* so Autocar gave an other date of the accident.

#27 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 23:54

The 16th seems a more likely date for the accident if the burial date is correct. Two days is a bit quick for a funeral.

#28 KJJ

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 00:19

A fair amount of information on Lucy O'Reilly in the passport resource at ancestry.com including photographs of Lucy and family. Her father Francis P O'Reilly was born 27th November 1848 in Reading, Pa. Interestingly he lived in France from July 1894 until November 1914 and then again from April 1916 - no mention of occupation but he seemingly made return trips to Reading most years - there is a reference to manufacturing. A 1915 passport application is more specific about Lucy's birthplace - Brunoy. Her mother Henrietta C O'Reilly was a Frenchwoman, born 25th May 1871 in Grenoble, an American citizen through marriage.

Selim Lawrence Schell and his brother applied for passports on the very same day as the O'Reilly mother and daughter in 1915, infact they follow each other in the records. Perhaps they had already met on a transatlantic voyage or were going to meet.

#29 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 01:51

As part of some research I've been doing on the 1940 Indy 500, I came across a reference to Lucy in the "Reading Eagle" newspaper (May 12th 1940). This led me to a much earlier article in the same paper (May 17th 1915), which recounts Lucy's first visit to Reading, when she accompanied her mother to meet up with her father, who had been "occupying a suite of rooms at the American House" for some months. Mme and Mlle O'Reilly had arrived at New York on the French Line's steamer Rochambeau on May 12th and it appears that Lucy's English may have been either fragmentary or non-existent, since her father had to interpret for her.

Lucy had - like many society ladies - become a nurse, working at the Chaptal military hospital in Paris before her trip to America. There's also some detail regarding Patrick O'Reilly's business interests: the company seems to be called O'Reilly & Blatt and operated the "Prizer-Painter Stove plant at Millmont" - this firm is still in business manufacturing BlueStar ranges:

http://www.bluestarcooking.com/

http://news.google.c...A...eilly&hl=en

Edited by Vitesse2, 25 December 2009 - 01:54.


#30 speedman13

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 09:05

As part of some research I've been doing on the 1940 Indy 500, I came across a reference to Lucy in the "Reading Eagle" newspaper (May 12th 1940). This led me to a much earlier article in the same paper (May 17th 1915), which recounts Lucy's first visit to Reading, when she accompanied her mother to meet up with her father, who had been "occupying a suite of rooms at the American House" for some months. Mme and Mlle O'Reilly had arrived at New York on the French Line's steamer Rochambeau on May 12th and it appears that Lucy's English may have been either fragmentary or non-existent, since her father had to interpret for her.

Lucy had - like many society ladies - become a nurse, working at the Chaptal military hospital in Paris before her trip to America. There's also some detail regarding Patrick O'Reilly's business interests: the company seems to be called O'Reilly & Blatt and operated the "Prizer-Painter Stove plant at Millmont" - this firm is still in business manufacturing BlueStar ranges:

http://www.bluestarcooking.com/

http://news.google.c...A...eilly&hl=en



The following is on the Schell grave.

Lucy O'Reilly Schell 1896-1952.
Harry Schell 1921-1960.
Philip Schell 1923-1991.

#31 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 11:27

The following is on the Schell grave.

Philip Schell 1923-1991.

Can you confirm it is definitely "Philip" rather than "Phillipe" on the grave? I've never seen him referred to by the English version of his name.

A Philip Schell was among more than 500 US and other citizens of American countries who arrived at New York from Lisbon on the Swedish liner Drottningholm on June 30th 1942 (Source - New York Times 30th June 1942 - if anyone has free access to the NYT or US shipping records, could they check this?)

#32 Jerry Entin

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 14:59

Posted Image
Lucy O'Reilly Schell in Action


photographer- unknown

#33 speedman13

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 16:49

Can you confirm it is definitely "Philip" rather than "Phillipe" on the grave? I've never seen him referred to by the English version of his name.

A Philip Schell was among more than 500 US and other citizens of American countries who arrived at New York from Lisbon on the Swedish liner Drottningholm on June 30th 1942 (Source - New York Times 30th June 1942 - if anyone has free access to the NYT or US shipping records, could they check this?)


Definately Philip

#34 philippe charuest

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 17:55

Definately Philip

wich is unusual cause in english they generally put two L " Phillip" in french its philippe who end with ppe but theres only one L too


#35 David McKinney

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 18:46

in english they generally put two L " Phillip"

Not so, Philippe
The surname is usually Phillips, but the forename Philip


#36 ndpndp

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 21:03

Posted Image
Lucy O'Reilly Schell in Action


No, it is not Lucy (or Laurie) Schell - It is Rob Walker at 1939 Le Mans


#37 Jerry Entin

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 23:34

How did I know I would be proved wrong. That is how it was marked under her name.

I will try and find a real picture of Lucy for the Forum members to enjoy.

#38 Vitesse2

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 23:31

Reviewing this thread after having failed to find any French press reports of the fatal accident to Laury on Gallica, it struck me that I'd never heard of a French city called Sens.

There's a good reason for that: there isn't one! The only place called Sens is the tiny commune of Sens-sur-Seille, in the Saône-et-Loire département, which according to Wikipedia boasted a total population of 331 in 2006. So it's definitely not a city and also 450km from Paris, where Laury died (according to the New York Times, anyway) It's also nowhere near Monaco, which was another place suggested (although as I pointed out in another thread, Lucy had relocated her team to Monaco after a disagreement with the ACF in 1938).

So: four-letter French towns or cities ending "ens"? Lens, 200km north of Paris, would seem to be the only candidate.

#39 GIGLEUX

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 00:14

Reviewing this thread after having failed to find any French press reports of the fatal accident to Laury on Gallica, it struck me that I'd never heard of a French city called Sens.

There's a good reason for that: there isn't one! The only place called Sens is the tiny commune of Sens-sur-Seille, in the Saône-et-Loire département, which according to Wikipedia boasted a total population of 331 in 2006. So it's definitely not a city and also 450km from Paris, where Laury died (according to the New York Times, anyway) It's also nowhere near Monaco, which was another place suggested (although as I pointed out in another thread, Lucy had relocated her team to Monaco after a disagreement with the ACF in 1938).

So: four-letter French towns or cities ending "ens"? Lens, 200km north of Paris, would seem to be the only candidate.


Oh Richard! Sens is a town, in the Yonne district, 120 km SE from Paris, and it has 30 000 inhabitants.


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#40 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 00:39

Oh Richard! Sens is a town, in the Yonne district, 120 km SE from Paris, and it has 30 000 inhabitants.

Zut alors! T'as raison!!

I blame Google Maps though. If you search for Sens, France all it gives you is Sens-sur-Seille!

Okay .... as you were!


#41 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:24

Originally posted by Jerry Entin
How did I know I would be proved wrong. That is how it was marked under her name.

I will try and find a real picture of Lucy for the Forum members to enjoy.


Well I enjoyed it (belatedly), Jerry...

It immediately brought to mind the story about the fuel tank full of contraband that went back to England.

#42 ZOOOM

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 02:05

I have always enjoyed the stories about Lucy O'Reilly Shell...
Oh... and by the way...
Rene Dreyfus ran a mean restaurant in Manhattan. I had the pleasure of eating there and spending hours looking at the pictures of the famous drivers and movers and shakers of the time.

ZOOOM

Edited by ZOOOM, 03 February 2010 - 02:09.


#43 B Squared

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 16:10

Oh... and by the way...
Rene Dreyfus ran a mean restaurant in Manhattan. I had the pleasure of eating there and spending hours looking at the pictures of the famous drivers and movers and shakers of the time.


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#44 Russ Snyder

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 21:22

As part of some research I've been doing on the 1940 Indy 500


Vitesse2 - My Father and Grandfather were in attendance for that race. My late Dad's memories were clear as a bell; 'it started drizzling around mile 350-375 and the yellow came out for the rest of the race. Shaw was far ahead of Rex Mays & co for the last 125 or so miles. Everyone around was wanting the drizzle to stop and race to re-start. A very disappointing ending compared to the 1937, 1938 & 1939 races. Shaw had a clear advantage the entire race with the best running and handling car. He was able to overtake in the corners."

did you find any oddities of that 1940 race?

It seems to be one of the Indy 500 races (along with rain shortened 1950) that has so little info available.



#45 Vitesse2

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 22:36

My interest was mainly in the Riganti, Dreyfus and Raph Maseratis, Russ. Obviously I've read both Shaw's and Dreyfus' accounts and I've been looking recently at the reaction of the US press to the arrival of - particularly - the French drivers. They often represented the two Frenchmen (who Lucy had somehow managed to get temporarily released from military duty) almost as having been plucked randomly from the ranks of the army, although most were willing to acknowledge the drivers' previous experience. There was much speculation about their chances, with leading American commentators like Eddie Rickenbacker forecasting that they might very well spring a surprise, but one newspaper which reported Rickenbacker's words (the St Petersburg Times) chose a rather unfortunate headline: “French “Blitzkrieg” May Occur in 500-Mile Race”. :eek:

#46 Russ Snyder

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 16:22

My interest was mainly in the Riganti, Dreyfus and Raph Maseratis, Russ. Obviously I've read both Shaw's and Dreyfus' accounts and I've been looking recently at the reaction of the US press to the arrival of - particularly - the French drivers. They often represented the two Frenchmen (who Lucy had somehow managed to get temporarily released from military duty) almost as having been plucked randomly from the ranks of the army, although most were willing to acknowledge the drivers' previous experience. There was much speculation about their chances, with leading American commentators like Eddie Rickenbacker forecasting that they might very well spring a surprise, but one newspaper which reported Rickenbacker's words (the St Petersburg Times) chose a rather unfortunate headline: “French “Blitzkrieg” May Occur in 500-Mile Race”. :eek:

Vitesse2 - a quick thanks to you and others with all the work you do on filling in cracks in the great sport. Rene LeBegue returned in 1941 with a Talbot that was ill handling on the speedway. memory tells me he only got to around 114-116mph and was to slow. Did you research his effort to get the Talbot to America and into the starting 33 that year?

Riganti's Maserati was NOT setup and modified like the Shaw Maserati for handling in the corners and vibrated badly. He spun out and finished last.

Headlines like that in 1940 were normal for the time in America (!?!), it does not excuse...much like when Harry Morgan of M*A*S*H fame hit his wife a few years back, the headline for the NY POST read: "Col Potter s*M*A*S*H*s wife in mouth"

I recently caught an episode of the "World at War" on the military channel and forgot that the Blitzkrieg was going on in France/Belgium/western front at the very running of the 1940 Indy 500! Excuse my fogged memory for forgetting that. wow, that is some headline indeed

again, thanks! threads like these make the internet enjoyable!

Edited by Russ Snyder, 11 March 2010 - 20:13.


#47 Renefievet

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 15:25

Sorry to interrupt this discussion on Lucy O'Reilly Schell, but I am interested in some aspects of the life of her son, Harry Schell.
Has any book been written about him ? I doubt it.
From what I have read, it seems that he joined the Finnish Air Force in 1940 during the Finnish-Russian war (December 1939 - March 1940). He was a tail gunner in a bomber.
Do you know more about this short period of his life ? He was only 18, and I suppose that it was in reaction to his father's death shortly before. But it is as pue hypothesis. I would be very interested to know more about this.
I also know that he enlisted in the US army during the war. But I do not know anything more about his military records.
Any information would be welcome.
Thank you in advance
René


#48 cabianca

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 17:41

Has anyone been able to connect the Schell motorsports family to Schellville California? There is a bit about the Schells from Schellville, but nothing seems to conncect to Selim Lawrence "Laury" Schell.

#49 erkelly2

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 01:02

I have done a lot of research on the Schells.

I am buried in research on an officially sanctioned road race held in July 1878, so I am babbling from my 79-year-old memory bank:

Although Laury was born is Switzerland, his parents and other Schell family members were from Sonoma County, California.

Schellville is named in honor of the "head" of the Schell family - he was a substantial owner of farmland in the area.

I assume that this is the $s source of the younger Schells living in Europe.

- - - -

Check Harry Schell's page in Motorsport Memorial. There is a photo there of Harry celebrating after an open-wheel race. The lady facing the camera may well be Lucy O. And to her right, in the light raincoat, may well be Harry's brother, Philip. (Note the similar hairlines)

- - - -

Many thanks to speedman13 for the gravestone information.

Is Laury also buried nearby? His final services were at the same place.

I noticed that there is a new bio on Harry Schell, in French. Hope it gets translated. I was following F-1 closely in the late '50s and early '60s. All my references went into the trash bin during a divorce in the mid '60s. I was the owner of a business open on weekends, so my involvement in SCCA ended in the mid-60s. When I retired eight years ago I got involved in Motorsport Memorial, and have been doing research ever since.

It seems that I am the only "powerdude" with MM who has actually raced, and held a pilots license. Much of my research covers air racing as well as American auto racing, plus some boat racing. Motorcycles are not my cup of tea, but others are doing wee with that part of MM.

Best party in my life was at the Bahamas Speed Weeks in December 1956.

I have been absent from this Forum for several years - for some reason, when Autosport took over I stopped receiving the Forum stuff, but another MM "powerdud" covered the articles, so I went on about my research via other sources.

Rick Kelly
Oklahoma City

#50 Repco22

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 05:56

Being a very curious person, and also being the lead researcher for U. S. subjects of Motorsport Memorial, I have gone almost as far as I can in research on Harry Schell and his family.

Harry was part-owner of a bar in Paris. I assume that he had enough funds to indulge in racing, which may have come from an inheritance. When Harry died, as far as I know he was single. Did his brother, if any, inherit his estate?

So many questions, so few answers.

Rick Kelly
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erkelly2@cox.net

I always believed that Harry was married- or perhaps had been. In 1957 there were pictures published of "Mme Schell", wife of Harry. But then, it was thought that Juan Manuel was married too.