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Then and Now...


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#51 PayasYouRace

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 14:23

I love this sort of thing. Keep em coming.

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#52 opplock

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 15:21

At the risk of boring you with these old Branger pix (of old bangers)

 

 

Boring us!!!!! No chance. This stuff is fascinating - keep them coming.



#53 Allan Lupton

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 15:28

My trip referred to above was in 1986 and I also went to Strasbourg and found the location (in Duttlenheim) of this well-known photo:
11479_gp_thumb.jpg?w=497&h=420
The roof has been put back together since then but the pub just out of sight to the left (visible in some versions of the 1922 photo) in still "Croix d'Or"

Edited by Allan Lupton, 27 April 2019 - 15:37.


#54 Doug Nye

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 16:22

Here's a relatively simple one - in terms of identifying the location - though the highly-esteemed GESV lets us down on a modern-day comparison...not offering suitable coverage so far as I can find...

 

This is from the 1902 Paris-Vienna race - a bicycle pilot leading what looks like a Mors (Baron de Caters? - Willy Vanderbilt?) through a time-neutralised sector at Salzburg, Austria, with the Hohensalzburg Fortress dominating the scene.

 

GPL-BRANGER-1902-PARIS-VIENNA-SALZBURG-C

 

Branger GP Library photo

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 27 April 2019 - 16:43.


#55 Doug Nye

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 16:33

My trip referred to above was in 1986 and I also went to Strasbourg and found the location (in Duttlenheim) of this well-known photo:
11479_gp_thumb.jpg?w=497&h=420
The roof has been put back together since then but the pub just out of sight to the left (visible in some versions of the 1922 photo) in still "Croix d'Or"

 

Screen-Shot-2019-04-27-at-17-31-37.png

 

I suspect the pub might have been rebranded more recently?  

 

I have fond memories of Geoff Goddard and I visiting this historic site back around 1979-80 - during an XJS drive back home from the Geneva Salon on which we visited Bugatti at Molsheim, the Strasbourg 1922 GP circuit and the Reims-Gueux circuit and still averaged around 60mph door-to-door, a truly wonderful day's serious motoring - most of the Continental leg at well into 3-figure speeds.  

 

(No wonder the enthusiastic motoring Brit abroad is often detested...ho hummm.     :smoking: )

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 27 April 2019 - 16:46.


#56 robert dick

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 08:21

Salzburg photo, 1902:

I think it's the Mors driven by Pierre de Caters.
The "riding mechanic" wearing the big hat looks like Henry Fournier
who started on No. 1 Mors but went out.
Exact time on the photo is 5:46 (in accordance with shadowing)
while de Caters' starting time quoted in L'Auto was 7:47 a.m. (time shift?).

From L'Auto, 30 June 1902:
lauto30jun02p03.jpg

For comparison:
De Caters at the start in Champigny
(Jules Beau photo, Bibliothèque Nationale/Paris)::
mors02c.jpg

Fournier before the race, during the pesage/weight control
(Jules Beau photo, Bibliothèque Nationale/Paris):
mors02a.jpg
 



#57 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 08:46

Thank you Robert - by enlarging the original image and playing around with tone and contrast the race number '3' becomes apparent on that Mors.  De Caters indeed.

 

DCN

 

GPL-BRANGER-CROP-1902-PARIS-VIENNA-SALZB


Edited by Doug Nye, 29 April 2019 - 08:48.


#58 Michael Ferner

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 09:11

Look at that crowd, at a quarter to six in the morning! You don't get that many to rise and watch the Chinese GP these days, do you?

As an aside, you guys have definitely too much time on your hands - thanks for a wonderfully entertaining thread :) :) :up: :up: :clap:

#59 2F-001

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 10:21

I, too, am much enjoying this thread.

 

I've tried something vaguely similar (though not looking so far back - and without the benefit of Google Street View) when trying to recreate some of the images of Spa, Reims, Rouen and The 'Ring in the Frostick/Klementaski circuit book. Obviously the contrast - or lack of - between "then and now" was altogether less startling than for those images shown here. 



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#60 ktrhe

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 10:40

37553223094_8963d0d181_c.jpg

Start/Finish line of the 1906  Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France. The Tunnel was the entrance to the garage and Grandstands, near the village of Montfort-le-Gesnois.

 

38558101831_16655be2e4_c.jpg

The local transit in Connerré about 4 km before the start / finish area of ​​the 1906 Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France.

From my Flickr Account


Edited by ktrhe, 29 April 2019 - 10:51.


#61 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 11:06

Ooh - that is a wonderful contribution, indeed...  I had no idea the tunnels might have survived.

 

Located here, presumably - see the triangulated guard-railing shown in the shadow thrown onto the pale surface within the cutting, below, on the south side of the local Parc des Sittelles.  Right?

 

For the really keen - or inquisitive - note the coordinates so handily displayed by Google Earth at the foot of their screen views...helping make this kind of historical footprint so easy to find - once some clues have been first identified. The location here is on the D323 road - 1.4kms south of Montfort-le-Genois, 3.1kms east of St Mars-la-Briere, and 1km west of La Belle Inutile. 

 

And Michael - you are correct, of course, but I maintain this is a a case of making far too much time on our hands - as distinct from finding it.

 

 

Screen-Shot-2019-04-29-at-12-15-51.png

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 29 April 2019 - 11:43.


#62 ktrhe

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 11:32

Yes Doug, this is the kilometer 0 of the 1906  Grand Prix and the tunnel entrance.



#63 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 11:45

Thanks again ktrhe.

 

Now that I look again another clue is in the name...

 

Screen-Shot-2019-04-29-at-12-57-54.png

 

Interesting that from the original appearance of those 1906 - or 1906-style - guardrails the road width has hardly changed...

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 29 April 2019 - 12:01.


#64 cpbell

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 13:09

On those stone setts back in 1912 the ess-bend it forms must have been quite a challenging prospect for the competitors attempting to negotiate it at best speed...

 

DCN

Would those cars have been understeer-prone, Doug?  I know that Pomeroy reckons that the early GP cars tended to do so as a consequence of low unsprung weight at the front and supple suspension.



#65 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 14:50

I have driven a GP Benz and several other high-powered early cars - including the Metallurgique-Maybach special - but never - sadly - on road surfaces  truly comparable to their period. Far forward engine mass and longish wheelbase certainly endow them with a reluctance readily to change direction, but I have no doubt that on relatively loose-surfaced roads the driver could break away rear tyre adhesion any time he wanted to overcome that inherent understeer. One can see this 'slalom-effect' cornering in much contemporary movie dating from 1902 forward...

 

On a stable surface such as the Anseremme stone setts, yes - I can imagine the bridge parapet walls flanking that ess-bend seeming almost magnetically attractive... 

 

The high-powered 4-cylinder Daimler Phoenix of 1900 was in contrast to most 1912 designs both very high-built and very short in wheelbase - and it proved itself a killer, with the combined weight of its far-forward engine and giant radiator contributing to the fatal accident which befell DMG works foreman and test driver Wilhelm Bauer during the La Turbie hill-climb in that year's Nice Speed Week. The prototype 1901 35hp 'Mercedes' built by Daimler to Cannes-based wide-boy/dealer/toff Emil Jellinek's order grew directly from that tragic event - successfully correcting the earlier car's evident shortcomings. In effect its configuration became the basis of most rival company's competition offerings thereafter.

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 29 April 2019 - 15:00.


#66 alansart

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 17:39

37553223094_8963d0d181_c.jpg

Start/Finish line of the 1906  Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France. The Tunnel was the entrance to the garage and Grandstands, near the village of Montfort-le-Gesnois.

 

38558101831_16655be2e4_c.jpg

The local transit in Connerré about 4 km before the start / finish area of ​​the 1906 Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France.

From my Flickr Account

ktrhe,

 

I hope you don't mind me doing this. There's a website called Ghosts of History which blends images from the past and present, mainly from WW2. I've done something similar with your Montfort-le-Gesnois photos.

I had to use my Flickr site for the https: upload. What do you think?

AR

40768199303_face211bf7_b.jpgMontfort by Alan Raine, on Flickr



#67 cpbell

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 18:49

I have driven a GP Benz and several other high-powered early cars - including the Metallurgique-Maybach special - but never - sadly - on road surfaces  truly comparable to their period....

Thanks Doug; it certainly seems from the period footage I've seen (including a nasty accident supposedly from Dieppe in either '07 or '08) that the cars of the period could switch from understeer to oversteer quite rapidly, though presumably oversteer could be more reliably induced via. braking or steering angle than acceleration?



#68 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 19:21

Anything to break adhesion could do the trick - it was then up to the driver's innate skill (or in my case lack of it) to decide the outcome...   :rolleyes:

 

Alansart - that tunnel treatment is rather intriguing, certainly thought-provoking...nicely done.  Interesting to see in this larger image that the criss-cross 'railing' was in fact timber - not the similar-style metal type now installed...

 

Here's the area to which the tunnels provided access - the 1906 Grand Prix paddock, behind and alongside the main grandstand:

 

GPL-BRANGER-2-PANORAMA-1906-GP-de-l-ACF.

 

​While before the grandstand appeared this rather magnificent Renard steam train which had been hired to bring the gentlemen of the press out to the start area from Le Mans itself...

 

GPL-BRANGER-RENARD-STEAM-TRAIN-FOR-PRESS

 

I wonder if it understeered?

 

(Branger GP Library Photos)

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 29 April 2019 - 21:31.


#69 Odseybod

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 09:35


While before the grandstand appeared this rather magnificent Renard steam train which had been hired to bring the gentlemen of the press out to the start area from Le Mans itself...

 

GPL-BRANGER-RENARD-STEAM-TRAIN-FOR-PRESS

 

I wonder if it understeered?

 

(Branger GP Library Photos)

 

DCN

 

 

Reverse parking might have been a challenge, too.



#70 Roger Clark

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 10:04

I am another who is loving these old photographs. Last night I dug out Volume 1 of Motor Films Quarterly which features some high quality film of the 1906 Grand Prix, including cars racing through Connerré.

The book Le Premier Grand Prix by Michel Bonté and Jean-Luc Ribémon has a photograph of the access tunnels under construction. It seems that the height of the wall above the tunnels was increased at some time.

#71 Geoff E

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 13:32

 

 

​While before the grandstand appeared this rather magnificent Renard steam train which had been hired to bring the gentlemen of the press out to the start area from Le Mans itself...

 

 

 

 

I don't think it's steam.  It appears to have a large radiator on the roof.



#72 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 14:47

I don't think it's steam.  It appears to have a large radiator on the roof.

There are quite a few pictures of these Renard road trains around - mostly old French postcards; I think this one could actually be diesel-powered.



#73 Odseybod

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 16:05

There are quite a few pictures of these Renard road trains around - mostly old French postcards; I think this one could actually be diesel-powered.

 

 

Probably quite a common idea. I remember at a UK steam fair some years ago seeing a ploughing engine with a socking great McLaren diesel on top of the boiler where the chuff-chuff part would normally have been (have a vague idea it was used as a gun tractor in WW1).



#74 robert dick

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 16:36

Another view of the tunnel (from La Vie au Grand Air, 1906):
tun06a.jpg

and
Georges Teste at the wheel of the Panhard
and Henri Rougier at the wheel of the steamroller;
no idea whether this steamer under- or oversteered:
tun06b.jpg
 



#75 Allan Lupton

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 17:00

Anent Renard and his road train it's a bit early for the diesel engine. I gather that Daimler built Road Trains under licence with a 16 litre (petrol) engine and I can't for the moment find anything about a steam version. The six-wheel units had the centre axle driven which gave predictable trouble on uneven going.



#76 BRG

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 17:58

If it was steam, the paraphenalia on the roof is perhaps a condenser?



#77 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 18:21

Anent Renard and his road train it's a bit early for the diesel engine. I gather that Daimler built Road Trains under licence with a 16 litre (petrol) engine and I can't for the moment find anything about a steam version. The six-wheel units had the centre axle driven which gave predictable trouble on uneven going.

There are several articles in the Commercial Motor archive about Renards. They were built by Surcouf and others. Motive power was generally just vaguely described as 'internal combustion', which it seems from other articles could include diesels, although they did apparently build some steam models to order, notably for Persia.

 

http://archive.comme...-the-paris-show

 

http://archive.comme...ling-road-train

 

http://archive.comme...ally-considered

 

http://archive.comme...petrol-electric



#78 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 20:49

A Daimler 'road train' made it to Australia just before WW1...

It had drive shafts to each 'carriage' and drive axles on each. I believe they told us that it did four gallons to the mile.

#79 Doug Nye

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 21:03

Certainly best exported then...

 

Here's another match for amusement...

 

1908 Grand Prix at Dieppe, Thery's Brasier leaving Londinieres...

 

GPL-BRANGER-1908-026-GP-de-l-ACF-THERY-B

 

GESV's modern image from that general area - note the surviving cemetery wall on the inside of the corner...which is far from being as picturesque now as it was 111 years ago.

 

Screen-Shot-2019-04-30-at-21-55-11.png

 

(Branger Photo from The GP Library)

 

DCN



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#80 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 21:13

A Daimler 'road train' made it to Australia just before WW1...

It had drive shafts to each 'carriage' and drive axles on each. I believe they told us that it did four gallons to the mile.

See the article 'Renard Renaissance':

 

http://archive.comme...ews-and-comment

 

Sir Rupert Clarke, who ordered it, appears to have been something of a big cheese at the time:

 

http://adb.anu.edu.a...ert-turner-5672

 

I also found a French reference to a Renard having been in the Geralka Museum - but they apparently sold it in 2010:

 

http://adf.farmonlin...le/1791571.aspx

 

Presumably Mr Fulwood still owns it?



#81 Roger Clark

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 07:44

It is, perhaps, worth mentioning that the driver in Doug’s last 1908 picture is the great Leon Théry, winner of the last two Gordon Bennett races, making comeback after several years’ away from racing. He led the French challenge to the Mercédès and Benz cars, displaying his famous consistency until the ninth of ten laps when he retired.

#82 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 08:26

I assume you're referring to his more complimentary and sympathique nickname, Roger. I see no endangered cattle ...



#83 Henri Greuter

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 09:22

Certainly best exported then...
 
Here's another match for amusement...
 
1908 Grand Prix at Dieppe, Thery's Brasier leaving Londinieres...
 
GESV's modern image from that general area - note the surviving cemetery wall on the inside of the corner...which is far from being as picturesque now as it was 111 years ago.
 
]
 
(Branger Photo from The GP Library)
 
DCN



Doug,


Abusing this post of you to let you know that this thread made me realize how much I enjoy the atmosphere etc. of those early ears of racing and should get into it more that I do.

Thanks.


Henri

#84 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 09:30

Glad to hear that Henri - it is a particularly compelling period, especially when viewed in the comfort of distant retrospect.  I study some of those figures in the crowds while I am retouching these images and can't help but wonder what became of them...how did they fare during the coming Great War? Would fate be kind to them and their people - or not...?

 

DCN



#85 robert dick

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 15:02

À propos Théry's retirement after the Bennett victories in 1904 and 1905:

Léon Théry as spectator during the 1906 Grand Prix at Le Mans (La Vie au Grand Air, 1906):
thery06.jpg

In January 1906, it was reported that Théry was about to found his Théry & Co., Ltd., located in London.
The company was to build Théry cars in Paris, with Léon Théry as production director and
Gustave Chedru, Henri Brasier's right-hand man, as technical director.
The project failed to materialise.
Théry continued to work as contremaître/foreman in the Brasier factory and occupied, with his wife, a modest flat in Ivry.
Chedru crossed the Atlantic and worked unofficially for the E. R. Thomas Co., Buffalo, New York, and designed the Thomas racers for the 1906 Vanderbilt race (driven by Caillois, Le Blon and Montague Roberts).
 



#86 ktrhe

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 15:59

ktrhe,

 

I hope you don't mind me doing this. There's a website called Ghosts of History which blends images from the past and present, mainly from WW2. I've done something similar with your Montfort-le-Gesnois photos.

I had to use my Flickr site for the https: upload. What do you think?

AR

40768199303_face211bf7_b.jpgMontfort by Alan Raine, on Flickr

:clap: Brilliant Idea :clap:



#87 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 22:16

Here's another - from the 1904 Circuit des Ardennes race, centred upon Bastogne - future scene of the desperate WW2 siege during the 1944 Battle of the Bulge. The railway station and its contemporary yard became the focal centre of race week - its weighbridge was used in scrutineering and the yard served in effect as the race paddock.

 

Here's what I have always rated as one of the most striking looking cars of the period - the Wolseley - driven by Cecil Bianchi.  Bastogne Station, then...

 

GPL-BRANGER-2-CECIL-BIANCHI-WOLSELEY-190

 

(Branger GP Library photo)

 

...and now...

 

Screenshot-2019-05-02-at-22-45-17.jpg

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 02 May 2019 - 22:18.


#88 elansprint72

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 22:29

Anything to break adhesion could do the trick - it was then up to the driver's innate skill (or in my case lack of it) to decide the outcome...   :rolleyes:

 

Alansart - that tunnel treatment is rather intriguing, certainly thought-provoking...nicely done.  Interesting to see in this larger image that the criss-cross 'railing' was in fact timber - not the similar-style metal type now installed...

 

Here's the area to which the tunnels provided access - the 1906 Grand Prix paddock, behind and alongside the main grandstand:

 

GPL-BRANGER-2-PANORAMA-1906-GP-de-l-ACF.

 

​While before the grandstand appeared this rather magnificent Renard steam train which had been hired to bring the gentlemen of the press out to the start area from Le Mans itself...

 

GPL-BRANGER-RENARD-STEAM-TRAIN-FOR-PRESS

 

I wonder if it understeered?

 

(Branger GP Library Photos)

 

DCN

I comment this idea to the organisers of LM Classic.



#89 Louism

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 06:41

I comment this idea to the organisers of LM Classic.

 

 

Good morning,

 

We are here talking about the 1906 Grand Prix de l'ACF organized by the Automobile Club de La Sarthe, then became ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest), the circuit was 103 km long on a triangle Le Mans/St Calais/La Ferté Bernard.

The Grand Prix d'Endurance, which started in 1923, is another story on a different, and famous, circuit...live wire of LM Classic today.

 

Thank you Doug and all contributors for this brilliant thread !

Louis Monnier


Edited by Louism, 03 May 2019 - 06:45.


#90 bradbury west

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 09:13

Doug, what a joyous thread. Many thanks for your generosity.
It is fascinating to see how young M Bianchi, if it is he at the wheel of the Wolseley, seems to be. A period hot-shoe, perhaps.
It is very interesting to see the secondary steel wire and plate spoking on the artillery wheels so clearly shown. Of course, we saw them on the glorious Pope Toledo car, which bore a larger replacement , in 1910 ish, engine apparently, at the recent Members' Meeting.
Marvellous stuff.
Roger Lund

#91 Tim Murray

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 10:05

It is fascinating to see how young M Bianchi, if it is he at the wheel of the Wolseley, seems to be. A period hot-shoe, perhaps.

Ensign14 told us here about an article on Cecil Bianchi by William Court which appeared in a September 1968 issue of Speedworld International magazine. At that time Bianchi was reported to be 82 years old and still living near Wolverhampton. Thus he must have been born in 1885 or 1886, so could have been no more than nineteen years old at the time of Doug’s photo.

ETA: According to this page Bianchi was born in London in 1886 and died in 1970. Thus he could have been no more than eighteen, maybe only seventeen, in the photo. I had no idea he was that young. :eek:

#92 Odseybod

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 10:21

A fascinating thread indeed and M. Branger's artistry continues to amaze. I second (or third) the vote of thanks to Doug for showing them to us.

 

Those Wolseleys certainly look the part (even without an illuminated radiator badge). I wonder if their low c of g made them noticeably faster around the twiddly bits, or if the low-grip tyres and road surfaces outweighed any such advantage? 



#93 Ray Bell

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 12:56

I looked at the Wolseley photo and wondered about the heights...

I think you'll find that, for the most part, the mechanical components are at the regular height for the day. But the chassis is higher, giving a different impression.

It is one wild looking car, definitely one that makes you look twice and one which has some notable apparent benefits in its design.

#94 robert dick

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 14:55

1904 Circuit des Ardennes photos from the Jules Beau collection, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris:

 

Wolseley, weight control:
bast01.jpg

Start in Bastogne:
bast02.jpg

Cecil Bianchi enjoying the pavé belge:
bast03.jpg

Phographer Jules Beau during the Riviera meeting, Nice, in the Spring of 1902:
jbeau02.jpg
 



#95 Odseybod

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 15:33

I looked at the Wolseley photo and wondered about the heights...

I think you'll find that, for the most part, the mechanical components are at the regular height for the day. But the chassis is higher, giving a different impression.

It is one wild looking car, definitely one that makes you look twice and one which has some notable apparent benefits in its design.

 

Good point about the height from the ground of the chassis side rails, Ray - most contemporaries seem to have them just above axle height (logical, really), whereas the Wolseley's seems much higher. Then again, the picture of Bianchi attacking the Belgian pave looks to me as though the ground clearance under the engine is less than normal for the time - but that might be the camera angle (or my imagination).



#96 BRG

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 15:48

ETA: According to this page Bianchi was born in London in 1886 and died in 1970. Thus he could have been no more than eighteen, maybe only seventeen, in the photo. I had no idea he was that young. :eek:

Back in 1904, so early in the history of the sport, there wouldn't have been a coterie of grizzled veteran racers to disapprove of a young sprig getting above himself! 



#97 Doug Nye

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 16:07

1904 Circuit des Ardennes photos from the Jules Beau collection, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris:...

 

...Photographer Jules Beau during the Riviera meeting, Nice, in the Spring of 1902:
jbeau02.jpg
 

 

Wonderful - as always.  Doesn't M. Beau look the part...was he reincarnated as DSJ?  

 

DCN



#98 Roger Clark

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 16:10

Didn’t those Wolseleys have horizontal engines? Montagu’s Gordon Bennett Races says that the car’s built for the 1904 GB race had a horizontal four-cylinder engines with a transverse crankshaft. They were designed by Herbert Austin so possibly had something in common with cars launched under his name 55 years later.

#99 Allan Lupton

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 16:54

Yes Wolseleys of the time, touring and racing, had horizontal engines. There is still a lot of daylight under the engines/gearboxes of those  racing Beetles which I assume has some connection with racing on whatever the highways people of the day provided. Nevertheless the horizontal engine gave the Beetles a very low centre of gravity which must have been an advantage cf the traditional upright-engined cars the others built.



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#100 Roger Clark

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 18:06

I’ve learnt a little more about those Wolseleys which may be of interest - or correction if necessary.

In 1904, Wolseley had two types of racing car, both with horizontal, but very different engines. The 72hp was a development of the previous years 50hp with the engine capacity increased by lengthening the stroke. The engine was what we nowadays call a flat four mounted transversely. The other cars were completely new and rated at 96hp. The engines were straight fours, mounted transversely and horizontally.

Cars of both types qualified for the Gordon Bennett, the 72hp driven by Sidney Girling and the 96hp by Charles Jarrott. In the race itself the Wolseleys started well running in third and fourth places but ran into mechanical trouble and finished well down.

There is a photograph of both cars and Edge’s Napier, the third car in the British team, in Rose’s Record of Motor Racing. Kent Karslake wrote:

The 72-h.p. still had a flat exposed radiator, but in the 96-h.p. this was covered by a sort of shield, somewhat resembling the toecap of a very pointed shoe, and this model was destined to become famous as the Wolseley "Beetle.".

The differences are obvious in the Rose photograph.

There is then a mystery because, according to Rose, Bianchi drove a 96hp car in the Circuit des Ardennes, yet the photographs posted by Doug Nye and Robert Dick look like 72hp cars. I don’t know whether Rose is wrong in this or the big car was modified.

According to Karslake, Bianchi had been Jarrott’s riding mechanic before taking the wheel himself. He must have been very young indeed, but I believe that riding mechanics often were. I’ll try to find my copy of Jarrott’s memoirs if nobody beats me to it.

Sources:
Gerald Rose - A Record of Motor Racing 1894-1908
Montagu - the Gordon Bennett Races
Robert Dick - Mercédès Auto Racing in the Grand Epoque
Kent Karslake (writing as Baladeur) article in Motor Sport February 1950.