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Addio Gilles.....


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#1 Henri Greuter

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 09:43

Reflecting on the Month of May, sometimes I wonder why I like that month so much racingwise.

To me Indy is great and fantastic.
But the early part of the month has less happy days for me, primarily due to sad days happening in other kinds of racing I like(d) and follow(ed)

Over in the other forum I saw people commemorate a 25th anniversary of a fatality.
I know how this feels, though I can't join them in their loss.
But what they felt recently, this day is the equal of that for me.
I don't feel weak because of it, I also read how people felt sad about things happening 51 years ago.

Thanks for the memories Gilles, you were one of a kind and I'm glad to know why because of personal experience and not reading and hearing stories alone.
Adieu et merci beaucoup.....

Edited by Henri Greuter, 08 May 2019 - 09:45.


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#2 JacnGille

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 12:22

His memory lives on in the hearts of many!



#3 E1pix

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 06:18

+12, or 27.

And Thanks.

#4 Berner

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 21:56

Growing up in Montreal, he was my sporting hero. Forget hockey players or musicians. It was, is and always will be Gilles.



#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 07:41

He certainly endeared himself absolutely to Mr Ferrari who likened his never-say-die commitment - and skill - to Nuvolari's.  Some of us became convinced his career would end in tears and that some of the almost universal press and fan-base adulation was perhaps over-the-top, set as it was in period against a background including so many rather colourless, more calculating (and dull) racing personalities, against whom Villeneuve simply stood out like a vividly shining light.

 

Some of the retired greats were never quite convinced admirers.  

 

The always uncompromising John Surtees once fixed me with his gimlet gaze and demanded "What d'you think of Villeneuve?".  With him one had to be crisp, and honest.  

 

"A very quick nut" was my considered answer. And John nodded and said "Yeah - I've always thought that too".  Gilles got further than, for example, Chris Bristow, but genuinely we feared for him...and we were not alone in doing so.

 

DCN



#6 PCC

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 12:54

Growing up in Montreal, he was my sporting hero. Forget hockey players or musicians. It was, is and always will be Gilles.

I was living in the Eastern Townships during his rise in FA, so I'm with you. A "very quick nut"? Maybe... but to those for whom a racing driver's calling is to inspire as well as merely succeed, he will always be special.



#7 D28

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 13:14

Always remembered fondly at home, 37 years later. These reminisces are from  Jamie Campbell, Sports Channel writer.

https://www.sportsne...les-villeneuve/

 

.



#8 Berner

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 16:40

We should plan a reunion in Berthierville in May 2022. We can all share photos, and I will bring champagne if someone will bring flowers. Or perhaps the Canadian GP folks will organize something at the track like they did in 2017 2016 with JV in his dad's car. As I sit in the handicapped seats at the hairpin, my photo from that lap is crisscrossed with steel cables! 

 

https://i.postimg.cc...Kz/P1010317.jpg

 

and JV in GV's car...

 

IMG-E0492.jpg


Edited by Berner, 10 May 2019 - 16:58.


#9 Berner

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 17:01

And this photo was taken in Milan before some special event during the 2013 Italian GP week. Is this Alboreto's car?

 

P1010317.jpg



#10 Henri Greuter

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 18:23

And this photo was taken in Milan before some special event during the 2013 Italian GP week. Is this Alboreto's car?

 

P1010317.jpg

 

Indeed an '85 car with Alboreto's number.

 

the '82 and '85 F1 Ferrari's are among my favorites for being such good lookers....



#11 Michael Ferner

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 18:30

The most defining memeory I still have of Gilles Villeneuve is a very short clip, almost accidentally recorded during pratice at Hockenheim in 1981 (it may have been free practice, even), where he zipped at full speed between two VERY slowly running cars on the way out of the Motodrome, accompanied by almost sarcastic words from the German commentator - there were literally only inches of space either side of the Ferrari, yet Villenueve did not blip the throttle. No doubt, there must've been some form of stupidity involved on the side of the tortoises, but still... what was the point of it all?!! Was he a supernaturally brave man, way beyond human "normality", or just plain crazy? My then 14-year-old self, already hardened by years of watching racing in a still very dangerous environment, calmly concluded that perhaps he was posessed of a sense of invulnerability, and that he probably wasn't going to live long enough to see retirement. And so it proved. Was I shocked? Most assuredly not, but I was still sad, very sad. In those days, all racing drivers were still heroes to me, and the sport couldn't afford to lose any.

That aside (sorry, chaps!), May 8 will always be a joyous day for me, because of what happened 74 years ago. No racing death will ever change that!

#12 PCC

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 19:19

That aside (sorry, chaps!), May 8 will always be a joyous day for me, because of what happened 74 years ago.

Why Michael, I'd never have guessed that you were seventy-four years old....  ;)



#13 Victor

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 20:07

All these years have passed, but the memory of his fantastic racing skills still brings me joy and the remembrance of his death still brings me sorrow. What an amazing driver!



#14 E1pix

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 20:36

We should plan a reunion in Berthierville in May 2022. We can all share photos, and I will bring champagne if someone will bring flowers.

We could potentially attend, want to do Newfoundland for late-May icebergs someday.

We'd be in a VW Westfalia, so would surely arrive with flowers in our hair.



#15 D28

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 23:46


We'd be in a VW Westfalia, so would surely arrive with flowers in our hair.
 

Find a vintage Opel Wagon, and you can commemorate christening Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the same trip.



#16 E1pix

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 06:01

There's no way they'll give me another lap with wet curbing. (LOL)

#17 BiggestBuddyLazierFan

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Posted 12 May 2019 - 10:23

Why Michael, I'd never have guessed that you were seventy-four years old....  ;)


I guess that he wanted to say that his wife was born on that day.


Well....

... I am romantic soul so it might not be correct assumption, but still...

#18 Alan Lewis

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 21:11

Today would have been Gilles Villeneuve's 70th birthday.

Whilst I understand those who never believed for a moment that he'd get this far, our little niche of human activity was a better place for having had him in it.

#19 FLB

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 00:50

Today would have been Gilles Villeneuve's 70th birthday.

Whilst I understand those who never believed for a moment that he'd get this far, our little niche of human activity was a better place for having had him in it.


I also think that today's F1 would not exactly please him and he wouldn't be afraid to say it…

Jacques is very much his father's son as far as his opinion of F1 politics is concerned.

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#20 E1pix

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 02:03

I also think that today's F1 would not exactly please him and he wouldn't be afraid to say it...

F1 sure wouldn't look so spec if he raced today.

Happy Birthday. So many races and years short of a proper one.

#21 john aston

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 07:50

I also think that today's F1 would not exactly please him and he wouldn't be afraid to say it…

Jacques is very much his father's son as far as his opinion of F1 politics is concerned.

I listened to a podcast (Beyond the Grid) with Jacques yesterday . It was revealing to learn that the popular image of Gilles , Joann and his lad at the races was not entirely accurate - JV saying the family had lots of issues and he hardly saw his father for the last two years of his life . It's not important in my estimation of GV the driver - wonderful to watch but I wasn't betting on him getting his pension - but I had always assumed his family life was straightforward. 

 

BTW, I have been listening to a lot of podcasts recently and I 'll do a separate post about them .



#22 Henri Greuter

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 11:11

Today we will have a short documentary on Dutch TV about F1 history at Zandvoort.

 

Last week, within the announcement of this program coming up, the announcer mentioned a few names of drivers who drove at Zandvoort in the past.

 

The first name mentioned was:   Gilles Villeneuve.

 

 

Don't ask me why: the only excuse I can think of is that the person who made up the autocue text remembered Zandvoort 1979....


Edited by Henri Greuter, 19 January 2020 - 11:12.


#23 10kDA

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 12:36

Nice article & great pics:

 

http://www.amsnow.co...lleneuve-spirit



#24 Pascal

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 14:05

The most enduring image I have of Gilles Villeneuve is strangely not one of his race driving.

 

Like many F1 drivers, he had established residence in Monaco. Many tales have been heard about how he would manage to drive from there to Maranello in record times in a Ferrari 308, but when in the Principality he was usually seen getting around in a red dune buggy which had a mean engine sound (I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it was a Porsche engine instead of the usual VW one).

 

One day, I saw him come down the narrow, twisty and downhill rue Louis Aureglia driving this thing like a total maniac. I guess only he could get away doing this without being stopped by the police. So while I cherish the memories of his F1 drives, the memory of him in shorts and t-shirt zipping by in that ridiculous vehicle is the one that sticks most in my mind.



#25 68targa

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 15:14

Arguably he might not have been the very best driver in the world but he had character in spades. Nothing grey about him. He was a true racer who seemed to just enjoy his day job to the utmost. This is what fans liked in him and why we are still talking about Gilles Villeneuve.   Zandvoort & Dijon 79 will always be remembered. 

 

Who remembers his silver airflow (I think it was) caravan ?

 

He definitely would not fit in with todays PR obsessed crowd telling him what to say.

 

First saw him at Silverstone 1977 in the McLaren

 

img947x.jpg

 

And one of my favourite photos of him in 78 - head down getting on with it.

 

img011xx.jpg



#26 Regazzoni

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 16:27

Multa.jpg

This is a road ticket Villeneuve took at Imola on the Thursday before the notorious race. 12k lire, not a lot, he paid on the spot. The car was a Ferrari belonging to his personal sponsor Antonio Giacobazzi, the wine maker. Villeneuve arrived from Monte Carlo in helicopter and borrowed the car by Giacobazzi to run some errands.

 

Legend tells of a municipal policeman, one Mantovani, who did not recognize him and when back to the office the colleagues asked him for explanation, he said: "I have never heard of this Villeneuve, however I advised him to go on track if he wanted to race. While he was paying, he apologized, said that speed was a drug for him and he would have followed my advice".

 

LOL

 

PS: this is the car he was driving, a Ferrari 400:

Ferrari-400.jpg


Edited by Regazzoni, 19 January 2020 - 16:34.


#27 Nemo1965

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 11:09

I was a great fan of Gilles when he was alive and genuinely sad when he perished at Zolder. But now I am myself middle-aged, having read a lot about the deadly side of motorsport, from Le Mans 1955 and Gilles Villeneuve racing and lifestyle during his life, I dare say he was perhaps too admired and mystified during his life. I can remember that every criticism towards him from other drivers - for example after Fuji 1977, after Dijon 1979, after Imola 1980, was ridiculed as 'old man's talk'. And back then I agreed with the ridicule...

 

One example that really unnerved me, was reading that Villeneuve once (or again) had a problem with his helicopter and he landed in the middle of a small village. When he came back from his hotel, his helicopter was surrounded by a busy market...

 

Very funny... until you realize Villeneuve had landed in a spot he did not know at all, could have crashed on the village (because he, again, had ignored warning lights in his helicopter) and have wiped out dozens of sleeping civilians. 



#28 FLB

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 16:24

  

 

Very funny... until you realize Villeneuve had landed in a spot he did not know at all, could have crashed on the village (because he, again, had ignored warning lights in his helicopter) and have wiped out dozens of sleeping civilians. 

 

You cannot come off reading The Lost Generations without being utterly p.o.'ed at the irresponsibility of one Norman Graham Hill…

 

The wife of one of my dad's business associates knew Joanne Villeneuve in Joliette before she married, when she was still a hairdresser. She's a saint. It's because of her influence on the family that Jacques is even remotely well-balanced. His helmet colours are based on a sweatshirt she wore when he was a child.



#29 E1pix

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 16:33

Lost at your Lost Generations reference, FLB.

Regarding Hill's plane crash?

#30 FLB

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 16:37

Lost at your Lost Generations reference, FLB.

Regarding Hill's plane crash?

Yes. And the lack of insurance, which in the end put his own family into a world of hurt.



#31 E1pix

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 16:39

Who remembers his silver airflow (I think it was) caravan?

I don't recall this but am curious if you mean Airstream?

Very popular trailers here, to this day.

#32 E1pix

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 16:40

Yes. And the lack of insurance, which in the end put his own family into a world of hurt.

Ahhh, Thanks Bud.

(and... Hello!)

#33 Tim Murray

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 16:49

His helmet colours are based on a sweatshirt she wore when he was a child.


306597fc37cf0a57241a98ac8ef999c4.jpg

#34 E1pix

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 16:54

Wow, been wondering about that forever.

These things get overlooked when there's no room for a bookshelf. ;-)

#35 Nemo1965

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 20:55

You cannot come off reading The Lost Generations without being utterly p.o.'ed at the irresponsibility of one Norman Graham Hill…

 

The wife of one of my dad's business associates knew Joanne Villeneuve in Joliette before she married, when she was still a hairdresser. She's a saint. It's because of her influence on the family that Jacques is even remotely well-balanced. His helmet colours are based on a sweatshirt she wore when he was a child.

 

Yeah, there are some similarities. I have a sore back at the moment so I can not look up the exact story, but I have a Heinz Pruller yearbook from around 1974, when two drivers flew along with Graham Hill back home and got absolutely terrified. They took off in bloody rain and all the time there were several warning-lights flashing on and off. When they carefully pointed Hill to the lights, he growled: 'Mind your own business,' or words to that effect.

 

Now flash forward to Jody Scheckter flying with Gilles Villeneuve. A red light started flashing. Jody said: 'Gilles, do you.. err..' Gilles shrugged his shoulders. 'Will be fine.' Later Scheckter looked up in the manual of the the helicopter what the light meant: 'Touch down immediately, overheating battery, possibility of explosion.' 


Edited by Nemo1965, 21 January 2020 - 07:21.


#36 E1pix

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 02:45

It all fits him. :-)

#37 404KF2

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 03:46

It was great watching him race snowmobiles in the early days (on TV).  Super entertaining guy.



#38 E1pix

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 04:56

I'll bet!

I just reviewed this page, and am thus annoyed by my constant self.

Blame my avatar, okay?

Mind-blowing in retrospect. During this video I was 13 and 300 miles south of Eagle River, watching cars, oblivious to sleds. Gilles partly cut his teeth in my area, a classmate tried to tell me about him, as seen here in Ontario.

Such a find. Check the sideburns!:
https://m.youtube.co...h?v=I4uaB-qtsWg

#39 E1pix

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 15:40

My thread annoyance at 11/10ths now -- if not 11.1 -- more teeth-cutting du Gilles:
https://m.youtube.co...h?v=wRKw0wD_TuM

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#40 68targa

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 15:56

I don't recall this but am curious if you mean Airstream?

Very popular trailers here, to this day.

I knew it was 'air 'something.  Yes Airstream,  Polished metal and all curves. I understood that GV used one at several of the circuits to stay in rather than go hotels etc.



#41 E1pix

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 16:05

Well I'll be. There's one here at our current campground.

Thanks!

#42 Henri Greuter

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 13:42

For the Dutch fans of Gilles, but perhaps others can find the link as well.

 

 

This morning  (March 26th) Ziggo Sports had an episode of "The Inside Line" which was a documentary about Gilles.

In case of repeats, worth a look.

 

I don't know if other channels or media outlets also run this show / series.


Edited by Henri Greuter, 26 March 2020 - 14:31.