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'Toulo' RIP


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#1 Doug Nye

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 11:48

Just received via the BRDC:

it is with regret that I have to inform you and the BRDC that our
Honorary President and BRDC Honorary Member Baron Toulo de
Graffenried went away this morning in Lonay - Lausanne at the age of 92 years.
He was a very special man, cofounder in 1962 of the
Club International des Anciens Pilotes de Grand Prix F1,
President from 1980 through 2002 and Honoray President from 2002.
In 1949 he scored victory in the British Grand Prix with a Maserati.
We all will miss him very much.

He really could be a singularly engaging character and was very kind and generous to me over the years. All his many friends around the world will miss him - another one gone...

DCN

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#2 Gary C

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 11:51

oh dear. I remember him in the Fangio video from about 1992, he seemed a really nice guy. RIP.

#3 kevthedrummer

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 11:58

Sad news. I never met the man but saw several interviews and he always came across as a warm and genuine human being. At least he had a good innings. 92 is a ripe old age by any standards. RIP.

#4 dmj

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:03

RIP. One of last remaining links with a glorious era of motor racing is now gone.

#5 AAA-Eagle

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:05

RIP, Emmanuel

:cry:

#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:15

RIP

The ever-shrinking band of pre-War GP drivers loses another member. :(

Godspeed Emmanuel.

#7 Gary Davies

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:34

What a long and fulfilling life! An inspiration. RIP.

#8 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:41

Very sad ,very often in the motorsport pages in his long life. I never found a site about him, wouldnt it be right to let this one be it , after a while ?

#9 Vitesse2

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:51

The future Honorary President's first encounter with the BRDC in 1937 was something of a baptism by fire for both sides:

"Into the office ... there burst a young Swiss in a state of considerable excitement. He, it appeared, had arrived at Dover bound for the RAC's race in the Isle of Man. But he had entirely forgotten to bring any Customs papers with him. So the Customs would not release the car. Somehow £1000 duty had to be deposited and the chance of a racing driver having that amount was nil.

[BRDC Secretary Desmond] Scannell had the afternoon of a lifetime wheedling guarantees from disbelieving Banks but did get one after another counter-indemnities covered by insurance. So the car was able to start. That driver was de Graffenried learning the hard way in his first foreign race."

From what I know of de Graffenried's exploits alongside his pal John du Puy that was entirely typical of their devil-may-care approach to racing. They don't make 'em like that any more!

Source: BRDC Silver Jubilee Book, p7

#10 FerrariV12

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 13:52

RIP :(

Does this mean that none of the drivers from the first WC race at Silverstone in 1950 are still alive now? Or have I missed anyone?

#11 D-Type

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 13:58

RIP
A gentleman for whom everybody had a good word.
One of the last links with a bygone era.

#12 AAA-Eagle

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 14:55

Originally posted by FerrariV12
RIP :(

Does this mean that none of the drivers from the first WC race at Silverstone in 1950 are still alive now? Or have I missed anyone?

Nobody is alive out of the drivers who were in the cars at the starting grid of the 1950 British GP. :(

But fortunately Tony Rolt (who took an ERA of Peter Walker after 2 laps of the race and completed three more laps until gearbox problems stopped him) is still alive...

#13 Frank Verplanken

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 15:41

Sad news indeed :( :cry:...
I have on a video tape the TSR (swiss TV) airing of the 1979 British GP co-commented by Toulo... A rather historic and emotional document given the circumstances : Rega's win 30 years after Toulo's and 10 after Seppi's... I cherish this even more now that all three are now gone. Sad days for the racing community, particularly the Swiss one...
And what a classy driver and gentleman he seemed to be. Style and our sport lost a great ambassador today...

#14 irvine99

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 16:50

RIP.

irvine99

#15 oldtimer

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 16:54

RIP.

By reputation, clearly a gentleman of great style.

As to driving style, all arms and elbows in his 4CLT as I saw him at Goodwood. Mind you, having Bira as a yardstick may have made those elbows stick out a bit more.

#16 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 17:36

A real last link to the Golden Age gone. I think only Hans Ruesch survives as a pre-WC GP winner now (or have I got that wrong?)

Delightful man, and don't forget, at he age of 84, in 1998, he even drove a lap in a GP car at Silverstone - top stuff!

His enthuiasm for the sport was shown by an amost life-long devotion to it - I well remember Toulo as a sponsor/PR/speaker/nice man around the paddocks long after he had stopped racing.

But what a wonderful & long life he had. 92 is not at all bad & one cannot not feel too sad as a result.
But he still will be missed.

RIP :cry:

#17 Doug Nye

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 17:52

In his cellar den at his home in Lausanne one day, 'Toulo' was regaling Geoff and I with reminiscences of past derring do. In the mid-1930s he first entered the Mille Miglia in an Alfa 1750 shared with his school chum from Le Rozet in Gstaad, John du Puy, and he recalled how "We spent three weeks doing the reconnaissance, driving the Alfa around Italy and staying in good places every night. This was a wunnerful thing for two schoolboys who liked the thrill of going motor racing and ....you know... girls!". :up:

DCN

#18 David Force

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 19:04

Sad to see another one pass.

A few years back we organised a demonstration of past great Grand Prix cars at the British Grand Prix. Toulo was invited to drive his Maserati and on the day point blank refused to go out unless he was alone on track. After much pleading and threatening from all sorts of folk in high places this old warrior of course got his way !

They don't make them like that anymore...

#19 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 20:45

http://www.findagrav...r&GRid=17633478

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#20 Scuderia SSS

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 21:17

Originally posted by FerrariV12
RIP :(

Does this mean that none of the drivers from the first WC race at Silverstone in 1950 are still alive now? Or have I missed anyone?


Was is not 1949?
And after the sad passing of Geoff Crossley, Toulo was the only remaining participant left.
Either way, very sad news. He was a lovely guy. Always reminded me of my Grandad. Will be sadly missed by many, including myself.

RIP. :cry:

#21 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 21:27

Originally posted by Scuderia SSS


Was is not 1949?
And after the sad passing of Geoff Crossley, Toulo was the only remaining participant left.


Toulo was the last survivor of the 1950 Swiss GP, but that is the only WC race that following his death, no longer has any survivors.

#22 Rob G

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 01:22

Very sad news. He had the good fortune to live to a ripe old age.

#23 wolf sun

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 02:31

RIP Toulo...

...and don´t forget to say hi to Seppi and Regga when you meet them on the grid...

#24 Breadmaster

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 22:13

RIP Toulo

#25 Alan Cox

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 22:48

Posted Image

#26 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 00:08

Please don't think this is tactless of me, but should anyone hear of Toulo's funeral details, would they kindly either pass them on to me or post them here. Thank you - and thanks Alan for the use of your photo.
Paul

#27 Bruno

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 07:55

Reposez en paix Monsieur De Graffenried.
il avait remporter le GP d'Angleterre à Silverstone, une année trop tôt. . .
Siffert, Regazzoni, De Graffenried

#28 Alan Cox

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 13:30

Silverstone 1998

Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image
With Tony Rolt and Roy Salvadori - Great memories

#29 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 21:42

Great photos Alan :up:

I especially like the one of Toulo & Tony, an excellent one of both of them.

But I suppose there's mixed feelings too about it (even more so when Major Rolt passes away), considering these two men were to end up being the last two survivors of the first ever World Championship GP.

#30 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 07:43

:wave: Great pics from me too! Never having made much out of personal pics in my earlier "racinG" life , I now find it very nice to put faces on the people I have heard or read so much about! Thanks!

#31 Alan Cox

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 08:07

Thank you, Bjorn and Richie. Glad you enjoyed the photos. I. too, particularly like the one of Toulo and Tony Rolt - I don't know what Tony had said to him to produce that expression.

#32 Vitesse2

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 09:17

Originally posted by Alan Cox
Thank you, Bjorn and Richie. Glad you enjoyed the photos. I. too, particularly like the one of Toulo and Tony Rolt - I don't know what Tony had said to him to produce that expression.

Memories of the Cork Light Car Race in 1938? That was the first time they raced each other ;)

#33 Squire Straker

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 21:21

Afraid not Vitesse 2. They were both entered but Toulo certainly did not start in the race, in fact I cannot find a record of him in practice. Great pictures though. I seem to recall that he drove Maserati 4cl in a parade before the 1969 British GP. I write this looking at the signed photo of him at Dundrod in 1951, he also raced there in 1953.

#34 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 09:08

A book with biography is reffered to under A place to say something about books , post 1612

#35 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 10:38

I have not been able to discover details of his funeral; can anyone help? Presumably it took place in Lonay-Lausanne in Switzerland at the end of January?

Can sombody pleased confirm the spelling of his surname, as I've seen it spelled both Graffenreid and Graffenried? Thank you.

#36 Adam F

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 10:53

His name was definitely de Graffenried.

#37 David McKinney

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 11:04

Originally posted by Adam F
His name was definitely de Graffenried.

...though he wasn't born de Graffenried ;)

#38 Hieronymus

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 12:39

Originally posted by David McKinney

...though he wasn't born de Graffenried ;)


Please tell us more, David.

Perhaps the answer is somewhere on TNF, but I do not have the time to do a search.

Am I correct to say that Toulo's mother tongue was French or was he a fully tri-lingual Swiss!!

#39 David McKinney

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 12:48

The last bit I don't know
But he was born in Paris, as far as I can recall, and his name was von Graffenried

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#40 Vitesse2

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 13:05

De Graffenried's father was Swiss, his mother American. As David says, Toulo was born in Paris in 1914 - the family moved to Fribourg in 1920 so that the young Emmanuel could be educated in Switzerland. He attended Le Rosey school at Rolle near Mourges.

The Barony of the de Graffenried family was granted by the Austro-Hungarian government to Toulo's grandfather, who was (somewhat improbably, I'd have thought!) the Swiss military attaché in Vienna.

I believe they changed the "von" to "de" during the Great War. (House of Windsor anyone?)

Oh, and the nickname Toulo was conferred by his nanny ....

#41 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 08:59

Born in Paris , he didnt like school much , some of his "mates" were Churchills son , Prince Baudouin of Belgium and the Shah of Persia. He started in an Alfa 6C 1,5 and teamed up with John de Puy. From 46 he went with Plate and could have been "Worldchampion" in 49 with his good results. Had a couple of works Alfa rides in 50 too. When his good friend Plate and a mechanic was killed in front of him in 53 his passion started to fade rapidly. Last race in 56 Monza for Centro Sud.

#42 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 11:38

I would just like to point that changing name from "von" (german) to "de" (french/swiss) sounds logic .with the WWII years.

Also if his name was Graffenreid it would be pronounced as see it ("ei" in German is "i" in UK) but his name was Graffen ried wich then would be like "reed" (meaning "ie" in German is like "e" in UK),
Wich is a common misundrstanding by journalists in racing , both the UK and Danmark !

#43 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 15:53

Originally posted by Bjørn Kjer
I would just like to point that changing name from "von" (german) to "de" (french/swiss) sounds logic .with the WWII years.

No, Bjorn, it was during (or immediately after) WW1. All sorts of people were keen to distance themselves from all things German and Austrian and many names were changed. That was the reason for my "House of Windsor" comment: our Royal family were called Saxe-Coburg-Gotha until 1917. Not an ideal name when Gotha bombers were appearing over London ....

#44 MichaelM

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 18:02

Motorbooks UK shows a new book coming out on Toulo called
Toulo de Graffenried: Lord of Formula One by Pierre Fouquet-Hatevilain for 32.50 pounds.
240 pages with 300+ pictures.

Michael

#45 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 20:06

In english ?

#46 MichaelM

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 22:39

Bjorn;

I'm not sure but it appears that it might be in both French and English.

Michael

#47 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 16:04

:wave: Just got a mail from Motor Books , the new book is in English and French.