I'm trying to find information about the racing driver "Edmond" who participated in Grands Prix for Darracq and Renault around 1902-1906. The reason is that I research the first air races, and like several other early car racers he started flying around 1909-1910. It appears that it's just as difficult to find information about him as a pilot as a driver.
According to some Wikipedia articles his first name was Jacques. This conflicts with some aviation books that say his first name was Maurice.
It appears confirmed that the pilot and the driver were the same persons. This is for example stated in "Flight" and in the French newspaper "Le Littoral". The strange thing is that "Edmond" competed in a couple of aviation meetings in 1910, for example the one in Cannes in March-April. In order to be allowed to compete in French meetings pilots were required to have a valid pilot's licence. Still there is no pilot's licence issued to anyone with the family name Edmond. On the other hand, a licence was issued to one Edmond Morelle, on the right kind of airplane (Farman) and at the right time. This is a summary:
- Auto race driver "Edmond" participated in several high-profile races in 1902-1906, driving first Darracqs and then Renaults.
- His initial "J" or first name "Jacques", which appear in some recent sources, appears to be questionable and it's uncertain if they appear in contemporary sources.
- He apparently disappeared from the auto racing scene in 1907.
- In the 29 January 1910 issue of "Flight" it was reported that ex-Renault race driver "M. Edmond" (presumably "M." for "Monsieur", not the initial) had learned to fly a Henry Farman.
- On 8 March 1910 Edmond Morelle (born 1880-07-03) was granted "brevet" No. 35, having qualified on a Henry Farman.
- Edmond Morelle then vanished completely from record. He isn't mentioned even a single time in l'Aérophile or Flight, except in listings of licensed pilots.
- At the end of March 1910 "Edmond" competed on a Henry Farman at the Cannes aviayion meeting, which he shouldn't have been able to do without a license.
- During 1910 "Edmond" flew quite a lot, in France, apparently in Russia, and as a Bristol company pilot in Britain. I have still not found his first name in any contemporary sources. Some later books give it as "Maurice", but I don't know when that name first appeared.
- After the end of 1910 he disappeared without a trace again.
My theory is that this Edmond Morelle raced cars and flew planes under the pseudonym "Edmond", but of course had to have his real name on the pilot's license.
I wonder if any of you car racing enthusiasts know anything more. "Edmond" has been discussed on this forum before, see this thread! You can find some more information also in this thread on theaerodrome.com
I would particularly like to know it the name "Jacques" can be confirmed. I have my doubts about "Maurice", since it could have been manufactured from the "M." for "Monsieur". Is the name Edmond Morelle familiar to car racing historians?