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Bernard Collomb fire 1965 - any evidence?


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#1 Michael Oliver

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 10:32

Here's a mystery for you all to get your teeth into: apparently, Bernard Collomb's Lotus 24 was involved in a fire in 1965, which may or may not have resulted in its demise.

 

I have seen a variety of different versions of events, ranging from a transporter crash on the way home from Syracuse, to it being "burned" c 1965 (Theme Lotus), "destroyed by fire on the way back to France from the 1965 Syracuse GP" (Grand Prix Who's Who), while someone else whose info I trust also said that it was written off in 1965.

 

But I've not managed to come across a single reliable contemporary source for this so far...can anyone point me to one?



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#2 ensign14

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 11:00

Hm.  Perhaps we need to get Lieutenant Collombo onto it.



#3 Allen Brown

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 11:01

All I can do is wish you the best of luck.  You are aware presumably of the history of a '949' starting with Cedric Selzer c1983.  And of Theme Lotus mentioning Adrian Andrew and Jo Schlesser.

 

David McKinney had a note of the alleged transporter fire in 1965, but also a story about 949 being "supposedly crashed by Collomb in 1966, rebuilt by factory with replacement 949 frame and sold to a new owner that November".  If that's true, Clive Chapman may have records of the rebuild.

 

But as for contemporary sources, I have nothing.



#4 john winfield

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 12:04

Michael, if what Gérard Gamand hints at is true, in his reply to you on Autodiva, (insurance, balancing the end of season budget etc.) I'd be amazed if there's much documentary evidence! Unless we can track down the insurance company concerned......

 

Are you wondering whether there may have been an insurance scam involved, but without any serious damage to the Lotus, which subsequently reappeared in a beard and dark glasses the following season?


Edited by john winfield, 10 July 2018 - 12:05.


#5 Michael Oliver

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 21:09

All I can do is wish you the best of luck.  You are aware presumably of the history of a '949' starting with Cedric Selzer c1983.  And of Theme Lotus mentioning Adrian Andrew and Jo Schlesser.

 

David McKinney had a note of the alleged transporter fire in 1965, but also a story about 949 being "supposedly crashed by Collomb in 1966, rebuilt by factory with replacement 949 frame and sold to a new owner that November".  If that's true, Clive Chapman may have records of the rebuild.

 

But as for contemporary sources, I have nothing.

 

Thanks Allen. Yes, I am pretty confident I can trace the ownership history of the remains bought by Selzer back to new now but it doesn't lead back to Collomb. The Theme Lotus history for the Collomb car with Adrian Andrew and Jo Schlesser is interesting. Given the story about the fire and the fact that a whole car seems to have survived (or been rebuilt!) after the fire, I don't know what it would be that Andrew bought...I am guessing that he is no longer with us to ask and we know what happened to Schlesser.

 

I don't think the story about 949 being crashed by Collomb in 1966 can be correct. Syracuse is the last appearance I have for him with the 24. Collomb bought a Lotus 35 F2 car (35-F-14) in June 1965, crashed it in 1966 at a F2 race in Barcelona and, by all accounts, gave up single seater racing at this point. Perhaps the 35 went back to the factory to be rebuilt and this is where they confusion arises. It certainty survived, as I have details of later owners. Maybe even this was what Andrew/Schlesser bought?

 

Thanks for looking anyway!



#6 Michael Oliver

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 21:16

Michael, if what Gérard Gamand hints at is true, in his reply to you on Autodiva, (insurance, balancing the end of season budget etc.) I'd be amazed if there's much documentary evidence! Unless we can track down the insurance company concerned......

 

Are you wondering whether there may have been an insurance scam involved, but without any serious damage to the Lotus, which subsequently reappeared in a beard and dark glasses the following season?

 

I agree to a certain extent John but the fact that both Doug and Steve Small mention it suggests that it must have been reported somewhere in publications accessible to UK writers/researchers. I have checked Autosport's Pit & Paddock and Motor Racing's Pit Patter around the time of the Syracuse race (and for quite a while after that) without any success.

 

The 'beard and dark glasses' car seems to have reappeared only a matter of weeks (end of May) after the alleged fire, in the hands of a Swiss owner, who ran it on the hills in 1965. The story is complicated by the fact that Collomb is reported (in Autosport Jan 10th 1964) to have sold his car to Andre Wicky, even though he carried on racing the car and entering it under his own name.



#7 Michael Oliver

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 21:19

I went back to basics and looked the report of the Syracuse Grand Prix in the F1 Register Black Book and lo and behold at the end of the report it says "On the way home from the race Collomb's very original Lotus 24 was destroyed by fire. At the time there was(sic) some questions asked as to whether the fire was accidental. If it was not then it was regrettable for, if the car had survived into the eighties, it would have fetched a large sum of money."

 

I will therefore approach the F1R and see if they can help me with a source for this story, as it certainly seems to have been reported somewhere in order for them to pick up on it and not just report it but mention the speculation that the fire was not accidental.



#8 Allen Brown

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 10:24

The provenance of the fire story is interesting in itself.  To my knowledge, it first appears in John Thompson's book "The Formula One Record Book", published with Duncan Rabagliati and Paul Sheldon in 1974.  Doug Nye's "Theme Lotus" in 1978 credited Rabagliati as the source for much of the chassis register.  The 1974 text in the Syracusa GP report was "it was destroyed in a fire after the race en route back to France".

 

The Black Book would have come much later.  Steve Small's book later still. I suspect both were drawing on the 1974 story, directly or indirectly.  



#9 Pete Stowe

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 11:54

An earlier reference appeared in one of Duncan Rabagliati’s “Histories & Mysteries” articles in Motoring News, 1st January 1970:

 

“949 was sold during the winter to Bernard Collomb and in French blue it became a regular Grand Prix competitor until it befell the fate of Collomb’s previous car (Cooper-Climax T.53 F1/9/61) which had been reduced to cinders at Bruxelles. The Lotus’ fate was not so heroic; it was consumed, transporter and all, on the way back from the 1965 Syracuse Grand Prix ….. it is reported that the insurance company paid out in full.”

 

Maybe Duncan’s original source was Motoring News, I think he had a complete run.



#10 Michael Ferner

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:22

A quick (electronic) search through the relevant German language magazines (AR, ASM and Powerslide) does not provide any clues. I think that something like a transporter/racing car fire would most likely have been mentioned, but I can't find no evidence. On the other hand, an OCR search is in no way 100 % reliable, and looking for a mention "by eye" would take many, many hours, which are just not available to this researcher atm. :(

#11 john winfield

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 13:09

This obituary mentions him being Nice based, with a garage in Boulevard de la Madeleine. I wonder if the Nice or Alpes-Maritimes press made any comment at the time?

 

http://www.autonewsi...lomb-23898.html


Edited by john winfield, 11 July 2018 - 13:09.


#12 Allen Brown

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 14:41

Duncan was just a nipper in 1970, so I doubt he had access to a lot of European magazines.  I'd suggest Autosport, Motor Sport, Motoring News, the BRSCC's Motor Racing, Autocar and Motor.

 

Or, of course, somebody could ask Duncan :)



#13 JacnGille

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 16:09

Hm.  Perhaps we need to get Lieutenant Collombo onto it.

Or  Monk.   :cool:



#14 Michael Oliver

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:06

An earlier reference appeared in one of Duncan Rabagliati’s “Histories & Mysteries” articles in Motoring News, 1st January 1970:

 

“949 was sold during the winter to Bernard Collomb and in French blue it became a regular Grand Prix competitor until it befell the fate of Collomb’s previous car (Cooper-Climax T.53 F1/9/61) which had been reduced to cinders at Bruxelles. The Lotus’ fate was not so heroic; it was consumed, transporter and all, on the way back from the 1965 Syracuse Grand Prix ….. it is reported that the insurance company paid out in full.”

 

Maybe Duncan’s original source was Motoring News, I think he had a complete run.

 

Thanks for this Pete, that's great as it takes the trail back a bit further. Unfortunately, Motoring News is the only UK publication I don't have copies of for that period - maybe someone on TNF has access and could look? The 1965 Syracuse Grand Prix took place on Sunday 4th April 1965, so any report of a fire is likely to be in the issues published on 8th April, 15th April, 22nd April or 29th April at a push, I suppose...



#15 Michael Oliver

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:09

A quick (electronic) search through the relevant German language magazines (AR, ASM and Powerslide) does not provide any clues. I think that something like a transporter/racing car fire would most likely have been mentioned, but I can't find no evidence. On the other hand, an OCR search is in no way 100 % reliable, and looking for a mention "by eye" would take many, many hours, which are just not available to this researcher atm. :(

 

Thanks for doing this, much appreciated. I didn't know one could do an electronic search of these mags! I have a subscription to them (through Zwischengas) and I have done a 'looking for mention by eye of all the relevant issues of AR and Powerslide. You are right, it has taken many, many hours! I haven't done this is AMS though but it sounds as if it would be unlikely to be reported there if it wasn't in either of the other two.



#16 Michael Oliver

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:10

This obituary mentions him being Nice based, with a garage in Boulevard de la Madeleine. I wonder if the Nice or Alpes-Maritimes press made any comment at the time?

 

http://www.autonewsi...lomb-23898.html

 

That's a good shout John, definitely worth trying to follow up with something like Nice-Matin, I will do that.



#17 Michael Oliver

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:13

Duncan was just a nipper in 1970, so I doubt he had access to a lot of European magazines.  I'd suggest Autosport, Motor Sport, Motoring News, the BRSCC's Motor Racing, Autocar and Motor.

 

Or, of course, somebody could ask Duncan :)

 

Thanks for this Allen, all good points, as well as your post above too. I have gone through Autosport, Motor Sport, Motor Racing but I don't have access to Motoring News, Autocar or Motor for those periods. Ironically, we used to get MN every week in our house but it was thrown out after having been read. If only I knew then how handy it would become!



#18 Michael Ferner

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:15

Zwischengas has a search function, which I used. As said, it's not terribly reliable if you are looking for one particular word. I only looked for "Collomb", don't suspect "transporter" or "fire" would make life easier! :well:

#19 john winfield

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 07:24

Michael, I presume Bernard Collomb himself will have known exactly what happened. Perhaps in later years he let slip details to friends or customers, but maybe you have already tried this route, or considered it impractical to track down everyone who knew him! 

 

For information, I see that Collomb prepared the engine for an early incarnation of Jan de Rooy's rallycross DAF (Motor Sport, Nov 1972, pp42-43). Perhaps Jan knows something. Collomb is still referred to as being based in Nice.



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#20 Roger Clark

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 14:11

Thanks for this Pete, that's great as it takes the trail back a bit further. Unfortunately, Motoring News is the only UK publication I don't have copies of for that period - maybe someone on TNF has access and could look? The 1965 Syracuse Grand Prix took place on Sunday 4th April 1965, so any report of a fire is likely to be in the issues published on 8th April, 15th April, 22nd April or 29th April at a push, I suppose...

I looked in those MNs but found nothing. I also thought there might be something in a report or preview of a later race but again nothing.

#21 Michael Oliver

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 11:30

Zwischengas has a search function, which I used. As said, it's not terribly reliable if you are looking for one particular word. I only looked for "Collomb", don't suspect "transporter" or "fire" would make life easier! :well:

 

Thanks for this, yes, I have tried it now and it's not too bad actually, came up with six mentions for 1965, of which four were actually about the man himself...



#22 Michael Oliver

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 11:32

Michael, I presume Bernard Collomb himself will have known exactly what happened. Perhaps in later years he let slip details to friends or customers, but maybe you have already tried this route, or considered it impractical to track down everyone who knew him! 

 

For information, I see that Collomb prepared the engine for an early incarnation of Jan de Rooy's rallycross DAF (Motor Sport, Nov 1972, pp42-43). Perhaps Jan knows something. Collomb is still referred to as being based in Nice.

 

John, I have tried to contact Jan de Rooy, so far with no reply. I have found a mechanic who worked for Collomb on his Lotus 35 F2 car in 1965 and he has given me a few pointers, which I'm going to summarise in another post I'm just about to write. No success in tracking down relatives of Collomb as yet, although I have a few leads. I'm hoping there's a pack of papers somewhere with an invoice from Lotus Components tucked inside it. Hey, a man can dream, can't he?!



#23 Michael Oliver

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 11:33

I looked in those MNs but found nothing. I also thought there might be something in a report or preview of a later race but again nothing.

 

Roger, many thanks for taking the time to look through the MNs, I know how laborious it is to do that.



#24 Michael Oliver

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 11:45

I just wanted to provide an update on this query to all that have very kindly contributed. Apologies for the complete radio silence for the past month, I had a cycle race to train for (and win!) which was occupying my mind and spare time...

 

I managed to speak to Phil Henny, who was Collomb's mechanic on his Lotus 35 Formula 2 car in 1965. Collomb took delivery of the car on 1st June 1965 and went to three meetings with the car before he fell ill and was unable to continue. Interestingly, he did also work for Andre Wicky from late May until he started with Collomb. Wicky is reported as having bought the Collomb Lotus 24 in January 1964 to form a loose team with his own BRM-engined 24, the Climax-engined car of Collomb, plus a GTO Ferrari and Cooper F3 car, along with a third driver, Edgar Berney. Collomb continued to enter and race the car in his name until his last race on 4th April 1965 at Syracuse.

 

Henny did not know anything about a transporter fire but did recall that there had been a fire involving the Collomb family business, which was located in Switzerland. The business was destroyed and an insurance payout was reportedly made. This may be the reason why we can find no record of a transporter fire which led to an insurance payout, as it may not have happened in the first place...



#25 bradbury west

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 11:56

OT, congratulations on the Gold, Michael.., not just a cycle race perhaps...
Roger Lund

#26 rudi

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 16:28

From his school, James saw the remains of the burned Collomb Lotus 24 being destroyed. (from Autodiva today)

Bonjour,
Je viens de voir les messages sur le forum avec un peu de ******....je suis niçois et j'étais un grand fan de jim clark , mon idole ,et de lotus.je peux vous donner quelques précisions concernant la Lotus 24 de Bernard Collomb.En 1966 j'étais au lycée technique des eucalyptus qui surplombait la villa de Bernard Collomb et tous les jours je montais avec mon solex ! dans la rue derriére l'avenue ste marguerite où se trouvait son garage et dans un coin du jardin gisait l'épave de la 24 qui avait brûlée sur la remorque au retour de Syracuse ,un article était d'ailleurs paru sur nice matin .je ne pouvais m'empécher de regarder avec tristesse ce V8 climax et ses deux échappements rouillés derrière cet amas de tubes . .Un jour où j'avais cours d'atelier depuis la fenétre du lycée j'ai vu un ferrailleur casser le châssis à grand coups de masse et embarquer le tout avec le moteur .je peux affirmer qu'il n'existe plus rien de cette voiture ...à part sans doute la plaque de châssis !!!



#27 john winfield

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 17:36

Thanks Rudi.

 

Here's a rough translation of James's post:

 

"Rather late in the day, I’ve just seen the posts in this (Autodiva) forum thread.

 

I’m from Nice and was a big fan of my idol Jim Clark, and of Lotus, and I can provide a few details regarding Bernard Collomb’s Lotus 24.  In 1966 I was at The Eucalyptus Technical School which looked over Bernard Collomb’s villa, and every day I’d ride my Solex moped up to the road behind l’Avenue Ste. Marguerite where Collomb’s garage was, and in a corner of the garden lay the wreck of the 24 which had burnt out on the trailer on the way back from Syracuse. There was an article about it in Nice Matin. I couldn’t help but look sadly at the V8 Climax, and its two rusty exhausts, at the back of this heap of tubing.

 

One day, when I had a lesson in the workshop, through the school window I saw a scrap metal dealer smashing up the chassis with a sledgehammer,  and loading up and taking away everything, including the engine. I can confirm that there’s nothing left of this car….except, doubtless, the chassis plate!!!"


Edited by john winfield, 30 May 2020 - 17:43.


#28 Michael Oliver

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 22:31

Thanks Rudi.

 

Here's a rough translation of James's post:

 

"Rather late in the day, I’ve just seen the posts in this (Autodiva) forum thread.

 

I’m from Nice and was a big fan of my idol Jim Clark, and of Lotus, and I can provide a few details regarding Bernard Collomb’s Lotus 24.  In 1966 I was at The Eucalyptus Technical School which looked over Bernard Collomb’s villa, and every day I’d ride my Solex moped up to the road behind l’Avenue Ste. Marguerite where Collomb’s garage was, and in a corner of the garden lay the wreck of the 24 which had burnt out on the trailer on the way back from Syracuse. There was an article about it in Nice Matin. I couldn’t help but look sadly at the V8 Climax, and its two rusty exhausts, at the back of this heap of tubing.

 

One day, when I had a lesson in the workshop, through the school window I saw a scrap metal dealer smashing up the chassis with a sledgehammer,  and loading up and taking away everything, including the engine. I can confirm that there’s nothing left of this car….except, doubtless, the chassis plate!!!"

Rudi and John. Holy cow! Everything comes to he who waits...

 

What strong first-hand testimony as to the fate of the car.. At first glance it certainly appears genuine. Thanks for the translation, John.



#29 john winfield

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 09:47

Michael, I was about to post that, over on Autodiva, 'Mustang' (and perhaps others?) seemed doubtful as to whether James's account is genuine, but now I see that James has posted again, and you too of course. Please tell us how you get on with the research!

 

I was having a look at Nice's geography yesterday. James refers to Collomb's garage being in Ave. Ste. Marguerite, whereas the obituary mentions Bvd. de la Madeleine. They're quite different, almost parallel roads, a mile or two apart in roughly the same area of Nice, and I assume it's perfectly possible that BC moved premises, perhaps when the Alpine work took off?  Either way, the Lycée Les Eucalyptus (assuming it hasn't moved) is down towards the sea, sitting between the two roads, nearer Ste. Marguerite.


Edited by john winfield, 01 June 2020 - 09:48.


#30 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 11:09

The address 19, Avenue Ste. Marguerite appears in several advertisements for his company, so correct. The school is indeed overlooking the garden of this villa, so very possible to have seen activities there. Yet I thought the year was 1965, April to correct when it had returned from Siracusa?  



#31 Peter Morley

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 11:29

The address 19, Avenue Ste. Marguerite appears in several advertisements for his company, so correct. The school is indeed overlooking the garden of this villa, so very possible to have seen activities there. Yet I thought the year was 1965, April to correct when it had returned from Siracusa?  

 

Given that he mentions the rusted exhaust pipes I think he is saying that the remains were left outside after the fire, which fits with it having caught fire in April 1965 and being scrapped later on.



#32 Michael Oliver

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 17:04

John, as Arjan points out, Collomb was trading earlier from his villa at Avenue Ste. Marguerite - I have an ad from Sport Auto in 1965 giving this address. As Arjan also points out, his villa was potentially overlooked at that time, because it is on the first hairpin if you were coming from the end nearest the sea. I don't know when the current building was constructed but if an older building was a similar height there would certainly have been enough elevation to be able to see into the garden of the villa.

 

As Peter points out, the reference to rusty exhausts fits with it having sat outside for a while, so 1966 would seem credible as the date given by the poster on Autodiva.

 

I have to admit it certainly sounds convincing. What would really do it for me would be to find the Nice Matin report of the fire... If anyone has any good contacts at the paper, please let me know as they don't seem to respond to emails...

 

And yes, I will let you know how I get on!



#33 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 18:41

The school was constructed new in 1964 and is till today pretty much unchanged.



#34 guiporsche

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 20:34

What would really do it for me would be to find the Nice Matin report of the fire... If anyone has any good contacts at the paper, please let me know as they don't seem to respond to emails...

 

 

My advice is to contact the Archives départementales des Alpes-Maritimes. They surely have a full collection of Nice-Matin (although, looking at their search engine, not digitised) as well as of other regional newspapers.

See https://www.departem...isees-2895.html

 

As usual with with other Archives départementales, they are willing to do digitalisations for very affordable prices although of course it helps to know exactly (as in having a date or a set of dates) what are you looking for.

See here on how to get in touch with them and for all the formularies to ask for reproductions:

 

https://www.departem...980.html#c12713

https://www.departem...ves_formulairerecherche.pdf

 

PS In the unlikely case that the above option(s) do not work, I'll be more than happy to look for the newspaper at the French National Library (BNF), which also has a full collection of Nice-Matin. However due to COVID it might be months before I'm able to do it because as of now we stil don't know when exactly and in which conditions will the library re-open.


Edited by guiporsche, 03 June 2020 - 07:57.


#35 Michael Oliver

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 19:06

The school was constructed new in 1964 and is till today pretty much unchanged.

 

Thanks Arjan, that's good to know and saves me some research!



#36 Michael Oliver

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Posted 07 June 2020 - 19:11

My advice is to contact the Archives départementales des Alpes-Maritimes. They surely have a full collection of Nice-Matin (although, looking at their search engine, not digitised) as well as of other regional newspapers.

See https://www.departem...isees-2895.html

 

As usual with with other Archives départementales, they are willing to do digitalisations for very affordable prices although of course it helps to know exactly (as in having a date or a set of dates) what are you looking for.

See here on how to get in touch with them and for all the formularies to ask for reproductions:

 

https://www.departem...980.html#c12713

https://www.departem...ves_formulairerecherche.pdf

 

PS In the unlikely case that the above option(s) do not work, I'll be more than happy to look for the newspaper at the French National Library (BNF), which also has a full collection of Nice-Matin. However due to COVID it might be months before I'm able to do it because as of now we stil don't know when exactly and in which conditions will the library re-open.

 

Encouraged by your recommendation, I have sent off a 'Demande de travaux' form to the Archives départementales des Alpes-Maritimes, with my request for a scan of the Nice-Matin story. I don't even know if they are open/operating at the moment but I will keep my fingers crossed that something comes of it. If not, your offer to go and look at the collection in the BNF is greatly appreciated, so I might take you up on that, thanks.



#37 guiporsche

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 10:08

The Archives des Alpes have opened their reading room again so I suppose they will fulfill your request.

One last small piece of info which might or not apply to your case as I am not sure how they process payments. Last time I asked for a digitalisation from an Archives départementales (Puy-de-Dôme, so they might have different procedures) they first sent me a 'devis' (sales quote) via post and asked for a cheque-only payment, after whose receipt they sent me the documents in a DVD. Very old-school. So in case they don't accept online payments or respond only via post it might take a while for you to get your documents.

If anyways the Archives départementales option does not work I'll be more than happy to look in the BNF, it'll be a welcome respite from work. 



#38 Michael Oliver

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 17:03

The Archives des Alpes have opened their reading room again so I suppose they will fulfill your request.

One last small piece of info which might or not apply to your case as I am not sure how they process payments. Last time I asked for a digitalisation from an Archives départementales (Puy-de-Dôme, so they might have different procedures) they first sent me a 'devis' (sales quote) via post and asked for a cheque-only payment, after whose receipt they sent me the documents in a DVD. Very old-school. So in case they don't accept online payments or respond only via post it might take a while for you to get your documents.

If anyways the Archives départementales option does not work I'll be more than happy to look in the BNF, it'll be a welcome respite from work. 

 

Apologies for the tardiness of my response. I received a reply from the archives at Alpes-Maritimes and it seems that, despite appearing to offer such a service, they are unable to fulfil my request...

 

"J’ai le regret de vous informer que la charge de travail de mon service ne permet pas de mener de recherche pour votre compte. Je vous invite à solliciter un tiers qui aura, en amont, l’autorisation de reproduire du Journal Nice-Matin : secretariat-general@nicematin.fr."

 

So, if your offer still stands, it would be great if you were able to look in the BNF for the Nice-Matin report, thank you. Collomb's final race, the Syracuse Grand Prix in Sicily, was on Sunday 4th April. So my guess would be that, if the fire took place during the journey home from that event, it would have happened on one of the days of the week beginning Monday 5th April, unless he took a bit of holiday after the race, in which case I suppose it could be any time in the two or three weeks following the event! Thanks, once again!


Edited by Michael Oliver, 15 June 2020 - 17:05.


#39 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 04:11

While knowing nothing about this car it depends on the severity of the fire. And is the car a monocoque or space frame. A spaceframe will survive a fire far better though the heat annealing will never have the car the same. 

So maybe the car survived, sort of. 

If  a monocoque this is far less likely. 

Over the decades I have seen a few cars burnt. Road and race cars. Many have survived, and run again after a lot of work. Others are just a pile of scrap and maybe the engine will survive. Depends on the ferocity of the fire. 

And transporter? Open Trailer or pantech truck. A truck that catches fire will heat damage what is in it.

Conversley if the fire starts in the pantech either it burns to the ground or the lack of air effectivly singing everything. Most things are heat and flame damaged but not the alloy burning type heat



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#40 guiporsche

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 08:53

Apologies for the tardiness of my response. I received a reply from the archives at Alpes-Maritimes and it seems that, despite appearing to offer such a service, they are unable to fulfil my request...

 

"J’ai le regret de vous informer que la charge de travail de mon service ne permet pas de mener de recherche pour votre compte. Je vous invite à solliciter un tiers qui aura, en amont, l’autorisation de reproduire du Journal Nice-Matin : secretariat-general@nicematin.fr."

 

So, if your offer still stands, it would be great if you were able to look in the BNF for the Nice-Matin report, thank you. Collomb's final race, the Syracuse Grand Prix in Sicily, was on Sunday 4th April. So my guess would be that, if the fire took place during the journey home from that event, it would have happened on one of the days of the week beginning Monday 5th April, unless he took a bit of holiday after the race, in which case I suppose it could be any time in the two or three weeks following the event! Thanks, once again!

 

Absolutely! Just keep in mind that it will be weeks/months before I'll be able to do it. The BNF's plan is to open sometime during Summer, but no clear timeline has been given as of now. While life is pretty much resuming to normal, libraries and archives are mostly remaining closed or working with limited personnel, which probably explains the response you got from the Archives départementales.



#41 Michael Oliver

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 17:34

While knowing nothing about this car it depends on the severity of the fire. And is the car a monocoque or space frame. A spaceframe will survive a fire far better though the heat annealing will never have the car the same. 

So maybe the car survived, sort of. 

If  a monocoque this is far less likely. 

Over the decades I have seen a few cars burnt. Road and race cars. Many have survived, and run again after a lot of work. Others are just a pile of scrap and maybe the engine will survive. Depends on the ferocity of the fire. 

And transporter? Open Trailer or pantech truck. A truck that catches fire will heat damage what is in it.

Conversley if the fire starts in the pantech either it burns to the ground or the lack of air effectivly singing everything. Most things are heat and flame damaged but not the alloy burning type heat

 

Thanks for this Lee. Earlier in the thread, we have a witness who claims to have seen a scrap merchant break the remains of the car (a tube-frame chassis) up with a sledgehammer, so the the extent of the fire damage is, to a certain extent (unless the scrap dealer pieced it all back together again like Humpty Dumpty and sold it on!) not so relevant. I'm trying to back up the story of the fire by finding a report which I understood appeared in the local daily newspaper in Nice, where Collomb was based. Hopefully, if i can find this, it will be proof that the car was badly damaged enough to be left in a corner of Collomb's garden and then to be seen by our witness from the window of his college, which overlooks the garden and who then saw the car being broken up and taken away!



#42 Michael Oliver

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 17:40

Absolutely! Just keep in mind that it will be weeks/months before I'll be able to do it. The BNF's plan is to open sometime during Summer, but no clear timeline has been given as of now. While life is pretty much resuming to normal, libraries and archives are mostly remaining closed or working with limited personnel, which probably explains the response you got from the Archives départementales.

 

That's no problem. I started this research in 2018, so it is a project that has dragged for a while now! I completely understand about the BNF and the doubt about when it will reopen and I am sure you're right about the Archives départementales. I'll leave this with you and look out for future posts on this thread! Thanks again.