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Who is Max de Terra?


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#1 Mischa Bijenhof

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Posted 19 December 2002 - 22:51

On one of my many tours around Forix I noticed the name of Max de Terra. This Swiss driver started in two of his home Grands Prix, notably in 1952 and 1953. He was born at 6 october 1918 and died at 29 december 1982, but that's were the info stops. GrandPrix.com hasn't got him filed. As he appears in the 'were are they now' listings, I suppose some of you might have more info on him. Just for the fact that he passed away twenty years ago come next week, give the man a posthumus tread!

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#2 fines

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Posted 20 December 2002 - 00:24

Just a quick look through my database shows him 3rd at the 1949 Preis der Ostschweiz (1100cc class), 10th at the Prix de Berne in 1950 (both in a Cisitalia D46) and retired in a Veritas Meteor at the 1951 Eifelrennen. Just one race per year, neat! But I'm sure he raced sports cars more regularly...

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 20 December 2002 - 06:02

His first appearace in my records is in the 1948 Preis vom Bremgarten in which he drove a BMW but was not placed. Otherwise I can add only hillclimb results:
In 1952 he won his class at Alistätten-Stoss in June, and was third fastest overall, and was also second in class in the international Maloja event. Both those results were achieved in a Simca-Gordini, but after that he seems to have reverted to a Cisitalia 1100, for fourth in class at Vue des Alpes 16/7/53, third in class at Ollon-Villars 16/8/53, and finally fourth in class at Rheineck-Walzenhausen 11/7/54

#4 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 09:21

Max de Terra :
Born 6/10 1918 in Zurich
Died 5/1 1983 in Zollikon after a long sickness.
1946 started racing with a Simca 1100cc touring.,for 2 years under "Arret" psudo! One of the best Swiss touring /sportscar drivers ,also did many Hillclimbs and some Formula races. A real gentleman driver.
1947/48 BMW 315/1 Sport
1949/50 Cisitalia D46-Fiat 1100
1951 Veritas Meteor F2
1952 Simca-Gordini CHGP
1953 Ferrari 166 Espadon CHGP
1954 Cisitalia D46
Not too much is known on de Terra , and his successes was at home.

#5 Allen Brown

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 09:33

Originally posted by Mischa Bijenhof
... he appears in the 'where are they now' listings ...

Which warrants a link IMHO: Max de Terra

Allen

#6 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 09:38

Wasn't he involved with Rudi Fischer and Peter Hirt as part of the Ecurie Espadon cooperative - off the top of my head (no time/inclination to check) I thought there was another Swiss driver involved with them who lost his life contemporaneously perhaps in a testing or road traffic accident???

DCN

#7 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 10:13

In 1951 RF and Peter Staechlin forms the Ecurie Espadon in 1951
Rudolf Fischers Ecurie Espadon had 2 cars , the second rented to Peter Hirt and Rudolf Scholler as well as de Terra like in the CH GP 1953.The team ends with Fischer retirement inafter 1952!

And his name was Max de Terra , not De Terra ! :wave:

#8 Allen Brown

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 10:21

As we've caught you in the appropriate mood, which of these is right?

Terra, Max de
De Terra, Max

Allen

#9 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 10:35

Meaning what ?

#10 Allen Brown

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 10:40

Meaning, do you file Max de Terra under 'D' or 'T'.

#11 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 10:54

Oh ,I meant my "appropriate mood" ?

I have allways filed under the last "name" meaning Terra here ! Think of "von" too, would be crazy with all those "von"s ,I think. Anyway If you need it I can supply infos on many more swiss drivers !

#12 David McKinney

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 11:19

Allen
I think we've discussed all this non-English surname business before
I would always say
de Terra, Max
and file him under the 'T's
along with von Trips, Wolfgang

And I'm sorry if your computer program won't do that for you :lol:

#13 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 11:25

How about Alex Von Der Becke, David?

#14 David McKinney

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 11:31

Same as Bill Von Der Becke, who was English :lol:
But to be consistent, I'd stick him under the 'B's
I should have mentioned that, in an index context, I make clear under 'de', 'le/la', 'van/von' etc that the geezers can be found under the other part of their surname
Of course, the Americans tend to muddy the waters by referring to DePaolo etc, which I suppose would have to be a 'D'. I haven't had to cross that bridge yet :

#15 Allen Brown

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 11:32

David, you and I have long agreed on that. At the risk of boring everyone else to tears, I store the name as three elements, first name, last name, and that tricky bit in the middle. I can then sort by last name.

At least one of ORC's most valued contributors takes a different view, mainly because he argues (persuasively) that if someone is looking for von Trips, they are more likely to look under V than T. And it also means that an American DeMarco will be listed right next to an Italian De Marco, which does seem sensible.

In this case, I suspect that the right answer isn't the best answer.

Allen

#16 David McKinney

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 11:33

Originally posted by Allen Brown
if someone is looking for von Trips, they are more likely to look under V than T

Possibly (but not definitely) true of people in English-speaking countries, but what about the rest of the world?

#17 macoran

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 11:42

Taking a page from a Dutch phone directory

Jan van Dam is entered as....................Dam, J.van
Dirk de Jong is entered as.....................Jong, D.de

other instances consider the "de" and the "van" as part of the surname, and one will find entries as

van Dam, J.
de Jong, D.

both are considered correct, and filing is done under the main name, without consideration for the
"de" or the "van".

So van Dam is filed under D and de Jong is filed under J whichever of the above methods is chosen.

#18 Allen Brown

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 11:46

Now you've made me go and look up where OldRacingCars.com visitors come from:

United States 24%
United Kingdom 20%
France 8%
Australia 6%
Germany 5%
Czech Republic 4%
Italy 4%
Canada 3%
Netherlands 3%
New Zealand 2%
Other English speaking countries 3%
Everywhere else 18%

That of course counts you as UK David.

OK, fair point. I have 42% non-English-as-a-first-language visitors. Maybe I should rethink. Maybe I should fix it so von Trips appears under V and under T. I wonder what I then do with Van der Vyver? Have him under V twice?!?

Allen

#19 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 12:25

As far as I'm concerned, it comes down to the complier's preference.

It's easier for me to have De, de, da, DePaolo, Del etc. under D.

So where they are now, is where I am leaving them, as whatever I do, it will never been agreed that it is correct by everyone, and secondly, as far as I know, it is neither morally or fundamentally wrong to put them there... thirdly I am lazy. :lol:

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#20 Allen Brown

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 12:37

Originally posted by Richie Jenkins
... thirdly I am lazy. :lol:

I told you he he argues persuasively.

#21 ensign14

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 13:17

Fingers crossed then that Jan Vennegoor Of Hesselink never takes up racing.

How about pseudonyms? Arguably something like "Leon Duray" is a unitary whole that should not be split...along the lines of someone like "Pal Joe" or "Wal Ever" other etceterini drivers with colourful names...

#22 Michael Müller

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 19:36

Originally posted by Bjørn Kjer
In 1951 RF and Peter Staechlin forms the Ecurie Espadon in 1951
Rudolf Fischers Ecurie Espadon had 2 cars , the second rented to Peter Hirt and Rudolf Scholler as well as de Terra like in the CH GP 1953.The team ends with Fischer retirement inafter 1952!

It was not that simple. "Ecurie Espadon" was basically Rudi Fischer's private "one man show", a lable which he used already since 1948. Obviously some kind of advertising for his wellknown restaurant "L' Espadon". Fischer's restaurant attracted much of Zürich's (and the region) upper class, and it is likely that some of his guests had been infected by the racing virus too. One of them was Peter Staechelin, who bought his Ferrari (#0104) at the same time as Fischer his #0110. Before that Staechelin owned the 166MM #0008 which he used in national sports car events.

Both cars had been renumbered and rebodied 1949 models, but the original serials are unknown. Both had been supplied with 2 interchangeable engine options for F1 and F2. #0104 most probably had the 125 s/c engine #12C (ex SF) and the 166 F2 engine #1F (probably ex Sterzi's crashed 1949 tipo 166 F2 #001F). Fischer was more careful, and rejected a supercharged engine. In 1950 he tried to buy the 2 Mercedes W165 which had been confiscated by the Swiss government as so-called "Nazi property", and which had been put on auction. He finally withdraw after Neubauer not only refused technical assistance from Mercedes, but also frightened him with some estimates for manpower and money needed running and maintaining supercharged engines. So besides a 166 engine for F2 he opted for a tuned tipo 212 sports car engine, which was surplus at Maranello after some early test for the future 2.5 litre formula. Possibly Fischer expected the new formula already for 1952 and thought he made a good deal (despite the 212 with 2540 cc was not fully legal for the new formula). But we all know that Enzo was a good salesman, especially for items which he didn't needed anymore...

Staechelin used Fischer's infrastructure i.e. the Ecurie Espadon, for which most probably he had to pay. He used #0104 only 3 months (March to May 1951), then he lost interest. It seems that the car was mothballed at the Espadon premises, because as far I know it was part of the package deal when the Schlumpf brothers in the 60's bought the Espadon remains for their Mulhouse museum.

For 1952 Fischer bought a new tipo 500 from Ferrari, #0184. The old car #0110 he kept also and rented it to his friend Peter Hirt, a wealthy businessman from Küssnacht, near Zürich, who had a successful precision tool manufacturing business. For the 1952 Eifelrennen #0110 was rented to the German driver Fritz Riess, and for the German GP the same year to Rudolf Schoeller. For the rest of the season the car was used by Hans Stuck. All of course with the full service of the Ecurie Espadon.

At the end of the 1952 season Rudi Fischer decided to quit racing. The reasons are unknown, he was the most successful privateer in the Driver's WC. May be he ran out of money. The cars and the team he sold to Rudolf Schoeller, a German with residence in Switzerland, who after his rather amateurish ride at the Nürburgring decided that his real strength is not driving but managing. There are rumours that Fischer reserved #0110 for himself for some local Swiss hill climbs, but up to now I could not find any confirmation.

I have found nothing at all about Schoeller, but it is likely that he belonged to the Schoeller family who owned textile industries in Germany and Switzerland. This would explain not only his German nationality, but also the source of his finance.

For the 3 1953 German races #0184 was rented to Kurt Adolff, a German who had already some success with a Veritas. Adolff himself claims that he stopped racing due to lack of time because he was heavily involved in his business, which was - you may expect it - a textile factory.

For the 1953 Swiss GP Schoeller rented the cars to the locals Peter Hirt (#0184) and Max de Terra (#0110). At Monza they had been in the entry list, but never appeared. Also Schoeller obviously lost interest and mothballed the cars. As far I know they never had been offered for sale, so it don't seems that money was a reason.

#23 Allen Brown

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 19:42

Very interesting Michael. So which Ferraris did the Schlumpf Bros get as part of their deal?

#24 h4887

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 19:46

Now I've got that Jan and Dean song going through my head, 'he's de Terra of the Colorado Boulevard'... :lol:

I'll get me coat

#25 Michael Müller

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 19:48

For sure #0110 and #0184 and engine #12C. Possibly also #0104 with engine #1F, but I could not find my notes.

The interesting thing is that the Schlumpfs basically had been hunting Bugattis. But as we all know they also had been in the textile industry, so there may have been business relations between them and Schoeller Textil in Switzerland. And during a visit to Zürich somebody said to old Fritz "Would you like to have a look on that old red scrap down in that shed you can spot here out of the window?" :lol:

#26 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 19:55

Wonderful background detail Michael.

DCN

#27 RAP

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 07:27

THank you Michael. This is the sort of posting that makes TNF great.

#28 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 07:43

Very interesting story , very good to the other infos on the TNF on Espadon. Sorry for misspelling Staechelins name.

I might add that my source has the 212 Ferrari engine at 2563 not 2540cc , further that Staechelin smashed his Ferrari to pieces on his first practice with it , and that Fischer had connections to a swiss manager working in Torino , having heavy private debths and Fischers Ferrari was seizured ,but in a night action he picked the car from the garage in Torino and took it through France back to Switzerland. His lawyer was able to sort it to his advantage , but the Italian press made an uproar wich was not very nice for Fischer. As he had been 4 in the WC he had some hope of a works contract , but not getting it and the trouble in Torino might have had some influence on his stopping (?). At least he stunned the racing world!

#29 Michael Müller

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 08:28

Originally posted by Bjørn Kjer
I might add that my source has the 212 Ferrari engine at 2563 not 2540cc

Your're right, the 2540 came out of my memory only.

Posted Image


Originally posted by Bjørn Kjer
...further that Staechelin smashed his Ferrari to pieces on his first practice with it

When, where, any details?
I have the first outing on 11 March 1951 at the Syracuse GP, where Staechelin finished in 7th position.
Syracuse afaik was the first race of the (European) season.


Originally posted by Bjørn Kjer
...and that Fischer had connections to a swiss manager working in Torino , having heavy private debths and Fischers Ferrari was seizured ,but in a night action he picked the car from the garage in Torino and took it through France back to Switzerland. His lawyer was able to sort it to his advantage , but the Italian press made an uproar wich was not very nice for Fischer.

Sorry, but very confusing. Details and source please.


Originally posted by Bjørn Kjer
As he had been 4 in the WC he had some hope of a works contract , but not getting it and the trouble in Torino might have had some influence on his stopping (?).

Fischer was on the list of Enzo, and on 6 April 1952 at the Turin GP at Valentino Park he drove the works 500 #002. However, afaik he preferred to stay privateer because he was considering racing as hobby only and not as profession, which was his restaurant. Would like to hear details about his intention of getting a works contract.

#30 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 09:00

:wave: Hello Michael , as this is the Max de terra thread I will mail you!

#31 GIGLEUX

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 11:38

Originally posted by Michael Müller
Fischer was on the list of Enzo, and on 6 April 1952 at the Turin GP at Valentino Park he drove the works 500 #002. However, afaik he preferred to stay privateer because he was considering racing as hobby only and not as profession, which was his restaurant. Would like to hear details about his intention of getting a works contract.


Please Michael think to updates your datas.

Some two years ago, in another forum, I pointed you that at Turin 1952, Fischer was driving the 212/110 and Peter Hirt the 500/0184. This from text and pictures evidences and at that time you agreed I was right!

#32 GIGLEUX

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 11:42

Originally posted by Michael Müller
For sure #0110 and #0184 and engine #12C. Possibly also #0104 with engine #1F, but I could not find my notes.

The interesting thing is that the Schlumpfs basically had been hunting Bugattis. But as we all know they also had been in the textile industry, so there may have been business relations between them and Schoeller Textil in Switzerland. And during a visit to Zürich somebody said to old Fritz "Would you like to have a look on that old red scrap down in that shed you can spot here out of the window?" :lol:


On show at the Schlumpf museum:
-212/110 ex Fischer/Hirt 2562cc
-166/01F ex Staechlin
-500/625 0512MI ex Fischer
-500/0184 ex Fischer.

That's what the museum archives indicate.

#33 uechtel

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 15:18

Staechelin or Stachelin? I have found both in the sources.

Originally posted by Michael Müller

It was not that simple. "Ecurie Espadon" was basically Rudi Fischer's private "one man show", a lable which he used already since 1948. Obviously some kind of advertising for his wellknown restaurant "L' Espadon". Fischer's restaurant attracted much of Zürich's (and the region) upper class, and it is likely that some of his guests had been infected by the racing virus too. One of them was Peter Staechelin, who bought his Ferrari (#0104) at the same time as Fischer his #0110. Before that Staechelin owned the 166MM #0008 which he used in national sports car events.



Hm, Michael, didn´t we discuss this before, but I don´t find it any more. I looked up, during 1948 Fischer enterd under his own name only at Erlen, no mention of Espadon. Do you have any document about "Ecurie Espadon" before 1951?

The reason is I found this article in "Sport Illustrierte" early in 1951:

New Swiss racing stable
"Swiss racing driver Rudolf Fischer informed us, that he has founded the racing team ["Renngemeinschaft" in German] "Ecurie Espadon" together with Peter Staechlin. Race director of the team will be Italo-Swiss Enrico Fritz at Torino. The new "Ecurie Espadon" has bought two new 2 Litre-Ferraris from the factory, that feature various novelties, for example the gearbox is directly connected to the differential.

The Ferrari has again an independend rear swing axle. With the gearbox mounted further backward and the low height of the chassis this delivers the same results as the de Dion axle. "Besides that the new layout is more comfortable", Fischer continues, who is known in Germany because of his successes on Simca-Gordini, HWM and OSCA.

As known Staechlin dit start at the international sports car race during the German GP on the 2 litre Ferrari. The new "Ecurie Espadon" - which is Schwertfisch in German - intends to start at the Berlin GP in April [the race was postponed to July later]"

And this is confirmed by "Motorsport & Motorradwelt:"

Translation:
"...the new Swiss Scuderia Espadon (in German "Stachelfisch", as this word is composed by the first syllables of the names of Staechlin and Fischer names"

So again no mention of Fischer´s restaurant!



Originally posted by Bjørn Kjer
[B]
Anyway If you need it I can supply infos on many more swiss drivers !

As you seem quite familiar about the pseudos I have some further resolved and unresolved examples:

"Postmann" = ?
"Surpunt" = Dr. Fritz Püntner
"Wari" = ?
"Gaston" = ?
"Kobold" = ?
"Trello" = ?
"J.M. Marcy" = Marcel Massara

A further question, what is known about Rovelli´s entry for Maloja hillclimb, 06. July 1947?

And finally I have two different versions aubout the Ecurie Suisse team at the German GP 1950:
Was it #16 Peter Hirt, #18 Paul Glauser, #22 "J.M. Marcy" and #20 Kaspar Aebli (as in the entry list) or
was #20 in fact driven by Hermann Trümpy?

#34 GIGLEUX

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 15:32

Markus, we discussed this in the now defunct McR in a thread opened by Michael under the title "Scuderia Espadon". At the time we proved him that the Ecurie (and not Scuderia) Espadon was created in 1951.
Michael: one more time, please update your notes...

#35 David McKinney

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 15:49

Originally posted by uechtel
what is known about Rovelli´s entry for Maloja hillclimb, 06. July 1947?

Presumably the Mille Miglia BMW 328 he was using in Italian events that year

My German dictionary doesn't have a Stachelfisch
It does have Stachelflosser, some sort of spiny-finned fish, and Stachelrochen, stingray
A swordfish is a Schwertfisch - or Espadon in French
Is Stachelfisch a Swiss-German word for swordfish?

#36 uechtel

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 20:10

@Jean-Maurice, yes, I remembered during writing that post but forgot to change the first sentence...

@David, it should have been that car, but I am interested in the circumstances that made him placing an entry in that one event in Switzerland (to which he did not appear). The question why I am asking is of course that so far I had assumed his and Waeffler´s car to be different ones. But suspiciously Rovelli appears with his car just at the moment when Waeffler disappears and then vice versa again. And then I discovered this direct connection of Roavelli to Switzerland. But the thing is, the car(s) look slightly different.

#37 uechtel

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 20:15

Originally posted by David McKinney

My German dictionary doesn't have a Stachelfisch
It does have Stachelflosser, some sort of spiny-finned fish, and Stachelrochen, stingray
A swordfish is a Schwertfisch - or Espadon in French
Is Stachelfisch a Swiss-German word for swordfish?


"Stachelfisch" is a quite poor translation and I never heard this word in German either. Babelfish translates "Espadon" with "Schwertfisch", which is of course "Swordfish" in English.

Also we know a "Stichling" in German, which is a very small fish and would correspond better with Satechlin´s name, but I have not found a translation for that in English or French.

Anyway, who matters about such details ;)

#38 uechtel

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 20:16

Found it: "Stichling" = "Stickleback"!

#39 alessandro silva

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 14:23

Originally posted by uechtel
A further question, what is known about Rovelli´s entry for Maloja hillclimb, 06. July 1947


Auto Italiana # 13, 1947, lists all the Italian drivers (and cars) STARTING at the Maloja hillclimb on July 6th. Rovelli is not among them.

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#40 Michael Müller

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 15:02

Huuh - I'm really getting old...! Hopefully it is not Alzheimer or something like that... :|
I had a complete blackout about this discussion, which is even more stupid because I opened it. Just had a look at it (no, it is not defunct.. ;)).
In my inner mind I still had the Gordini with a swordfish on it, but in fact it looks more like a trout.

However, there are still some points which puzzle me. The partnership with Staechelin only lasted 3 months, from April to June 1951, but the name "Espadon" was kept until 1953. And the translation indeed is not correct. Also the information that Fischer was a restaurant owner appeared in various sources, although I was not able to trace the origin of it. At McR Sandro wrote that he was even the owner of several restaurants.

#41 uechtel

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 23:02

Maybe he even named the restaurant after the team - who knows... :cat:

@Alessandro: Yes, Rovelli did not start, but the preview in Automobil Revue lists him as entry. As far as I know the closest he came to a start abroad. I know this is only a thin trace, but it is something leading to Switzerland and only very short after Rovelli appeared with another car and Waeffler re-entered the scene.