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Drivers with 'rare' surnames


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#1 ensign14

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 14:11

The Saracco Ferrari thread made me think a moment.

Ferrari is not a rare name (at least in variant form), being Italian for "Smith", although not as proportionately common. It is also one of those quirks that there has never been a Smith qualify for the Indy 500 despite being the commonest name in the Anglophonic world.

I was just wondering which names are very, very rare in the real world but were known in motor racing? Immediately OTTOMH I have never come across anyone called Bueb other than Ivor, nor a Surtees other than Il Grande John.

But I have also never come across any Fangios other than Juan Manuel, and I've watched a lot of football...his grandparents IIRC were Italian, but is that a rare surname of itself?

Ditto with names like Behra, Dolhem and Xhenceval. Are they rare amongst French speakers?

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#2 wolf sun

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 14:33

Well, I´ve pointed this out in the " daft names" thread before, but former East German rally driver Frank Ficker´s name is extremely rare over here, for obvious reasons...;)

On a more serious note, Klaus Niedzwiedz springs to mind. Off the top of my head I´d guess his name to be of Polish origin, but I´m not sure. Anyone?

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 15:15

Originally posted by ensign14
I have never come across anyone called Bueb other than Ivor, nor a Surtees other than Il Grande John

I'm with you on Bueb, but have come across a handful of unrelated Surteeses
(This doesn't help, does it?)

#4 fines

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 15:28

Originally posted by wolf sun
Well, I´ve pointed this out in the " daft names" thread before, but former East German rally driver Frank Ficker´s name is extremely rare over here, for obvious reasons...;)

On a more serious note, Klaus Niedzwiedz springs to mind. Off the top of my head I´d guess his name to be of Polish origin, but I´m not sure. Anyone?

Niedzwiedz is Polish, meaning "little bear" iirc, but Ficker isn't that unusual: there was also an Erich Ficker, I believe, in motorcycle racing, and a Bert Ficken in US Sprint Car racing.;)

As for unusual names in a motor sport connection, I am pretty sure that the ratio of racing people with the name Unser to non-racing peple with that name is significantly higher than for any other name...

#5 Gary C

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 15:31

hmmmmm, rare surnames for race drivers. 'Critcher' springs to mind........................

#6 Ian Stewart

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 15:36

Powys-Lybbe? Or is that quite common?

:)

#7 fines

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 15:43

Brabham? Piquet? Häkkinen?

#8 GeoffE

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 16:11

Gracie BUEB (1920) and her brother Ivor (1923) were the first instances of the name in the Eng/Wales BMD indexes. Their mother's maiden name was VAGNOLINI.

#9 LotusElise

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 16:47

Wasn't there a dreary Romantic poet called Surtees? Or was he a character in a dreary Romantic poem?

There haven't been many Smiths, but there have been a fair few Joneses in the motorsport world over the years. A few unconnected Hills, too. On the non-Anglo-Saxon side, the names Martini and Schlesser are fairly common worldwide, as well.

#10 D-Type

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 16:47

Originally posted by Gary C
hmmmmm, rare surnames for race drivers. 'Critcher' springs to mind........................

I think the term "known in motor racing" should be interpreted to mean "known outside TNF" :lol:

Originally posted by GeoffE
Gracie BUEB (1920) and her brother Ivor (1923) were the first instances of the name in the Eng/Wales BMD indexes. Their mother's maiden name was VAGNOLINI

The inference is that father was either an immigrant, or changed his name, again possibly to simplify a "complicated foreign" name.

Perhaps the Sicilian or Italian newspaper that referred to "The Russian driver, Igor Bulb" wasn't that far wide of the mark after all.

#11 ensign14

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 16:53

Originally posted by LotusElise
Wasn't there a dreary Romantic poet called Surtees? Or was he a character in a dreary Romantic poem?

Comic novelist, just come to mind. Literally "sur-Tees", from Durham.

Not sure how many Weigels there are in Britain. Is it a common name on the continent?

#12 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 16:56

Cordts
Burany
Dochnal
Adamowicz
Abecassis
Agg
Angelvy
Arkus-Duntov
Barbazza
McWithey
Kapustinski
Melaun
Tramison
Livingood
Blokdyk
Caliva
Cleberg
de Changy
Kozarowitsky

I'm bored now, but I don't know of anyone else by the above names apart from the racers.

#13 Vitesse2

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 16:57

Originally posted by ensign14
nor a Surtees other than Il Grande John.

Good Lord! Have you never come across "Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities" or "Mr Facey Romford's Hounds"? RS Surtees' books - of which those are but two - are considered classics of hunting literature.

edit: Ah you remembered him!

#14 GeoffE

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 17:12

Originally posted by GeoffE
Gracie BUEB (1920) and her brother Ivor (1923) were the first instances of the name in the Eng/Wales BMD indexes. Their mother's maiden name was VAGNOLINI.


I have now found their parents' marriage (1919) in the West Ham district (where the births were also registered).

They appear in the index as Leon G BUEL to Grace M A VAGNOLINE.

Grace was born in Lambeth, as were her father and grandmother. Her paternal grandfather was born in Italy.

#15 Sharman

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 18:54

My favourite quote from Surtees. When asked what the cellar was like the reply came "Hellish dark and smells of cheese"

#16 LotusElise

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 22:15

de Cadenet is quite an unusual name. As are Trana and Waldegard (sp).

I definitely remember Surtees from college English classes. Was he anything like PG Wodehouse? Our teacher was obsessed with Wodehouse and Romatic poets.

#17 Manfred Cubenoggin

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 22:40

Seen this name crop up at the cinema any number of times.

http://en.wikipedia....i/Bruce_Surtees

#18 motoholic

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 04:24

Mike Beuttler is the only Beuttler I have ever come across.

In fact i just did a search on the White Pages online and there is no person listed with this surname in the whole of Australia. There are a few if you spell it with only one 't'.

Perhaps it is more common in the UK?

#19 Terry Walker

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 04:45

Beuttler is a germanic surname. Swiss? German? Austrian?

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#20 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 05:16

Any one come across Leversedge?

#21 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 05:27

Few Smiths in US sprint car racing eg Danny Smith, Steve Smith, Steve Smith jnr. Mitch Smith. Strange that no Smith has made the Indy 500 line up
One of New Zealands most successful drivers of the '30s '40s and early '50s was George Smith

#22 Quklis

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 06:47

Originally posted by fines
Häkkinen?

According to the Finnish name service, there's 10644 Häkkinen's around here, so not so rare.

#23 Allan Lupton

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:35

Originally posted by Richie Jenkins
Cordts
Burany
Dochnal
Adamowicz
Abecassis
Agg
Angelvy
Arkus-Duntov
Barbazza
McWithey
Kapustinski
Melaun
Tramison
Livingood
Blokdyk
Caliva
Cleberg
de Changy
Kozarowitsky

I'm bored now, but I don't know of anyone else by the above names apart from the racers.


I suspect some of those are based on an anglophone immigration clerk's interpretation of what he thought he heard in response to his asking their names.

Abecassis may be unusual but if you Google it (-George) you get 271,000 hits.

#24 fines

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 14:28

Originally posted by Quklis

According to the Finnish name service, there's 10644 Häkkinen's around here, so not so rare.

Thanks for that. I was just trying to focus a bit more on famous names, as I can see no point in determining the rareness of names like Shambaugh, McDonogh or Lecklider (to name but a few), when most TNFers will probably not have known the drivers anyway...

#25 drivers71

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 14:50

Names that are unique in my personal experience (although maybe not for others), but relatively well-known:

Amon
Mandelli
Morbidelli
Ickx (outside of his family, of course)
Regazzoni
Plankenhorn
Wunderink


Earlier mention of Mike Beuttler reminded me of a question I always meant to ask on here, and although it is way OT, I'll ask it anyway:
Who were messrs Ralph Clarke, David Mordaunt, Alistair Guthrie and Jack Durlacher? Apart from backing Mike's racing for a time, why/how were they involved?

#26 David McKinney

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 15:19

I've come across unrelated Amons

#27 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 15:39

Cinematographers Robert (father) and Bruce (son) Surtees.

#28 fines

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 15:51

Originally posted by David McKinney
I've come across unrelated Amons

The (catholic) priest in the village where I grew up must've been one, he signed off each and every prayer with his name...

#29 MCS

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 16:15

Originally posted by drivers71
Earlier mention of Mike Beuttler reminded me of a question I always meant to ask on here, and although it is way OT, I'll ask it anyway:
Who were messrs Ralph Clarke, David Mordaunt, Alistair Guthrie and Jack Durlacher? Apart from backing Mike's racing for a time, why/how were they involved?


Have a look at: http://forums.autosp...hlight=Beuttler

#30 Nick Planas

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 19:21

Peter: Any one come across Leversedge?

Yes. The Leversedge family name is from the north of England, but a branch of their family moved to Frome in Somerset and were Lords of the Manor of Frome Vallis - I know because I seem to be descended from them (from a long long time back). This is all detailed in "The Book of Frome" (published sometime in the 1980's)

I will take my genealogy anorak off now and put my motorsport one back on...

Hmmm, are there any famous racing drivers from Frome? :)

#31 Pils1989

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 19:54

What about Jenatzy?
I quickly googled the name and I only find a tire brand, Jenatzy, and a mechanic school in France, Lycee Camille Jenatzy.

#32 lil'chris

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 22:43

Originally posted by drivers71
Names that are unique in my personal experience (although maybe not for others), but relatively well-known:

Amon
Mandelli
Morbidelli
Ickx (outside of his family, of course)
Regazzoni
Plankenhorn
Wunderink


Earlier mention of Mike Beuttler reminded me of a question I always meant to ask on here, and although it is way OT, I'll ask it anyway:
Who were messrs Ralph Clarke, David Mordaunt, Alistair Guthrie and Jack Durlacher? Apart from backing Mike's racing for a time, why/how were they involved?


Weren't they a bunch of London stockbrokers who wanted to sponsor a racing car ?

I think Durlacher subsequently had an involvement with Rob Walker when Rob ran Graham Hill in the Brabham in 1971

#33 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 23:38

Originally posted by Nick Planas

Hmmm, are there any famous racing drivers from Frome? :)

Yes. Distantly related to one of my customers of the same name.

#34 subh

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 00:15

Originally posted by drivers71
Names that are unique in my personal experience (although maybe not for others), but relatively well-known:

Morbidelli


Morbidelli is a name known outside auto racing, as Gianni’s father was the founder of the motorcycle concern of the same name, which had some racing success. That doesn’t necessarily make it any less uncommon a name.

#35 Terry Walker

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 03:47

von Trips would be rare . . .

#36 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 05:54

Nick I am from the Frome Leversedge line

#37 ian senior

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 09:28

I 've never come across a Dal Bo outside Pygmee circles. I once got an almighty telling-off from my French teacher for giving a character in one of my essays the surname Dal Bo - I was told it is not a typical French name.

#38 MCS

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 16:05

Originally posted by lil'chris
Weren't they a bunch of London stockbrokers who wanted to sponsor a racing car ?

I think Durlacher subsequently had an involvement with Rob Walker when Rob ran Graham Hill in the Brabham in 1971


His involvement with Rob Walker was when Jo Siffert raced Rob's cars.

I wasn't aware of his involvement with Hill's Brabham. In any case, Chris, that was a factory car.

Is Durlacher still alive?

I can remember his company's fortunes took a significant nose-dive following the post dot.com boom - although I also seem to recall he'd sold off his main company to Barclays (which became Barclays der Zoete Wedd) by then...

Credit Suisse First Boston subsequently bought BZW - wonder if Jack had a sell-on clause, so popular in football these days?!!

#39 lil'chris

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 20:23

Oops !!! I got it all wrong there didn't I !!

I must've been thinking of Graham driving the private Lotus for Rob the previous year.

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#40 MCS

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 20:33

Chris, no problem - just come along to the next TNF Biggleswade meet and tell us about Rouen!!!