Continental Notes and News, February 1935



Continental Notes and News



The Passing of a Famous Designer.

IN the death of Arnold Zoller, at Darmstadt last month, the motoring world has lost a pioneer. A Swiss by birth, he was with the Fiat concern for several years • from 1906 onwards, and designed some of the early racing engines. Even in those days Zoller was an ardent upholder of mechanical developments which are still considered modern practice to-day, such as the use of twin overhead camshafts.

Later he left the Fiat Company and set up a business in collaboration with the famous Italian driver Felice Nazzaro, marketing the Nazzaro car. Towards the end of the war, in 1917 to be exact, the concern was amalgamated with another, and Dr. Zoller then confined himself to developing the supercharger and his favourite ” child,” the supercharged twocycle engine. As a consultant on these subjects, he soon built up an extensive practice in Germany, many manufacturers taking advantage of his recognised authority. The culmination of these efforts was the Zoller supercharger, invented in 1927, and which has been used successfully on many racing cars and motor-cycles.

For the last few years Obering Zoller had concentrated his energies on the twostroke engine, and the D.K.W. and B.M.W. motor-cycles, and latterly the 6-cylinder 1k-litre Zoller racing car, from which the colossal power output of 200 h.p. has been obtained. In this country. of course, Zoller superchargers have been handled by M. A. McEvoy and Laurence Pomeroy, Jun.

A Mereedes-Benz Bereavement.

Few people in England have probably even heard of Dr. Hans Nibel, who died so tragically at Stuttgart last month. And yet this remarkable genius was responsible for the majority of designs emanating from the Mercedes-Benz factories. His untimely death from an attack of apoplexy at the early age of 54 is deeply regretted.

Nibel joined the Benz Company at Mannheim in 1904, and his association with the factory has never been severed. Among his most notable achievements were the Mercedes-Benz racing car, the rear-engined commercial vehicle, the unique gearbox which has distinguished several Mercedes-Benz models, and last, but by no means least, the new heavy-oil engines for the trans-Atlantic Zeppelin now in course of construction. A remarkable feature of .the latter is that they are free from the dangers of fire-outbreak.

All the world of motor sport will join in condoling with the Mercedes-Benz concern on their lOSS.

The French G.P. Muddle.

The motoring circles of Paris (and that means practically everyone!) have been seething with discussion about the announcement that the Grand Prix de l’A.C.F. may be substituted by a Grand Prix de Paris. No one seems to know

quite how the rumour got about, but it is certainly founded on fact. It all started because the Committee of Fetes thought it would be a good idea to have a motor race in the heart of Paris. The circuit suggested was only 3 kilometres in length, embracing the Champs Elysees, the place de la Concorde, the pont de la Concorde, the quai d’Orsay, the esplanade des Invalides, the pont Alexandre III., and so back to the Grand Palais.

The great argument agairfst the scheme is “why use an absolutely flat, short circuit in Paris, when there is a perfectly good autodrome just outside the city ? “

That seems like common-sense to me.

That Acceleration Record.

Hans Ruesch has always had a particular liking for the world’s standing start kilometre record. He held it for some time after a tussle with the Napier Railton. Then the E.R.A., and subsequently the Auto Union, deprived him of his coveted prize.

He now plans to go over to Gijon in the near future with one of the new 4.4-litre Maseratis. This is the new independently sprung car, two of which are nearing completion. Nuvolari has the promise of one, and presumably Ruesch is to have the other. There is a chance that he may race under the colours of the Seuderia Subalpina.

It will be most interesting to see bow the new Maserati shapes. In engine size it will be a match for the Auto Union, and with independent springing should get off the mark like the proverbial stag. Ruesch thinks so, anyway.

Hans has a Narrow Shave.

It is amazing how some people “get away with it.” Take Hans Stuck, for example. While motoring from Berlin to Budapest for his forthcoming record attempt with the new streamlined Auto Union, he left the road and plunged down a ravine, the car turning over and over. Neither Stuck nor his wife was more than slightly hurt.

Le Mans Entries.

Le Mans is probably the most firmly established of all races on the calendar. Here we are, six months before the event, and 41 entries have been received already ! Here is the full list : Prince Nicolas of Roumania (unspecified), Collier-Willmott (Frazer Nash), J. C. Noel (Aston-Martin), A. R. Marsh (Singer Nine), J. Carr (Austin), Riley Company (four 1,500 c.c. Rileys), Miss D. C. M. Champney (Riley 1,500 c.c.), Automobiles Derby (Derb)’), R. Labric (Bugatti), Palponi (Singer), T. E. Rose Richards (unspecified), M. F. L. Falkner (Aston-Martin), G. E. T. Eyston (three M.G. Midgets and one Magnette), J. Gasta.nd (Alfa-Romeo), L. Villeneauve (unspecified), G. Bourrin (unspecified), G. Lapchin (Singer), A.

Ashton Rigby (unspecified), P. Duval (B.N.C.), Singer Company (two Singers), F. S. Barnes (Singer), Lord Howe (unspecified), A. W. Fox (unspecified), AstonMartin, Ltd. (Aston-Martin), Q. F. Connell (unspecified), M. Baumer (unspecified), R. Gaillard (unspecified), Mme. Itier (unspecified), Bodoiguet (Talbot), P. Maillard Brune (M.G.). Unspecified (Bugatti), B. Chande (unspecified).

The entry list is limited to 60 cars.

A 1,500 c.c. Race at Dieppe ! his usual wishes

Accompanying his usual good wishes for the New Year, Monsieur Bruyere, Secretaire-Generale of the Comae du Circuit de Dieppe, has sent me the interesting news that a race for cars of from 1,000 c.c. to 1,500 c.c. will be held next July. The exact date has not yet been decided, but it will be on the 20th or 21st of July. This is indeed good news. Sonic time ago I was asked by several of our leading “

1500″ drivers to suggest such a race to the Dieppe authorities, guaranteeing them at least six British entries. At that time, however, they could not see their way to acting upon my suggestion, being of the opinion that the French public are not interested in smaller car racing.

The race will be open to cars of from 1,000 c.c. to 1,500 c.c., which will be a disappointment to several owners of ” Q ” Midgets, but on the other hand you cannot please everybody. As it is, M.G. Magnettes, Riley Nines, and E.R.A.’s will all stand a good chance, while owners of ” Leafs,” Frazer-Nashes, and 1k-litre Bugattis will no doubt flock to Dieppe. On form, of course, the race should be a good thing for a 1,500 c.c. E.R.A. Its chief competitor would probably be Pierre Veyron’s 8-cyl. Bugatti.

Monsieur Bruyere informs me that really handsome prize money will be donated, so that intending competitors need have no concern on the financial side of entering the race. Finally, he wishes me to assure all who contemplate taking their cars to Dieppe that they will receive a warm welcome from the organisers. From my personal experience as a plain pressman I can thoroughly endorse this assurance. Dieppois hospitality is positively overwhelming.

If anyone wants to enter (and remember that this is your opportunity to run in a genuine Continental race) I will put them in touch with M. Bruyere direct.

Engine Sizes.

The International Class ” C ” record for 5 kilometres, established by Rudolf Caracciola, at a speed of 193.86 m.p.h., has now received official confirmation. The car used was not the one which made the kilometre and mile records at Gijon, but an apparently normal Grand Prix car. It is interesting to note that the former had dimensions of 82 x 94.5 min., and a total capacity of 3,992 c.c. The car used at Aires, however, measured 81.77 x 94, or 3,946 c.c.

Talking. on engine capacities reminds me that no one outside the works is really certain about the size of the Auto Union. Dr. Porsche himself is like an oyster when questioned about it. Hans Stuck doesn’t know ! I imagine it is about 4,500 c.c., although I have heard rumours of 5-litres.

I had hopes of clearing up the mystery once and for all when the Auto Union attacked records, for the confirmationsheets give the engine size. But Dr. Porsche was up to that trick, and only claimed World’s records. You don’t have to strip your engine in that case.

Foreign Drivers Can Enter.

If you keep a fixture list of forthcoming races, you may like to know that two additions to the International Calendar have been sanctioned. They are the Grand Prix of Brazil, which is scheduled to take place on June 2nd, and the ” Landerfarht,” which will be organised by the O.N.S. from April 18th to May 9th.

A Wedding. That French Pierre

That charming French driver, Pierre Veyron, was married last month to Mlle. d’Ax. The ceremony took place in l’eglise de la Madeleine, Paris. Here’s congratulations to both

A Short Life.

The trouble about the Mille Miglia and the Coppa d’Oro del Littorio has now been finally cleared up by the cancellation of the latter event, which has therefore been held but once. I am glad the Mille Miglia will still be with us. It is a grand race, unlike any other, with a flavour of the old town-to-town races about it.

Official Correction.

There has been a slight alteration in the official figures for the records established by Maillard-Brune and Druck. Their M.G. Midget averaged 76.18 m.p.h. for 2,000 kilometres and 76.30 m.p.h. for 24 hours. This is the second 24-hour stretch the car has covered in competition, for Maillard-Brune won the Bol d’Or, tieing with Chevrollier. On top of that he also won the 12-hour eliminating event. At other times he uses the Midget as a normal touring car That’s what 1 call stamina.

The Season Opens at Pau.

On February 25th, the roar of a massed start will be held once more in Europe, when the Grand Prix de Pau opens the motor-racing season. This race was last held in 1933, when it snowed heavily. The course will be altered quite a bit for this year. The cars will now pass behind the .Casino, regaining the Avenue Polymirau in front of the Marechal Foch statue. The revised lap measures 2 km.769, and will be covered 80 times, giving a total distance of 221 km. 520. The new tribunes will be erected in the Avenue du Bois-Louis, and the pits will be placed alongside the Stadium. The Grand Prix of Pau has received sanction from the A.C. de France as an international event, and foreign drivers are therefore eligible to compete. As a matter of fact the Pau race is one of the few in which an independent stands a real chance

of winning. Unfortunately, few people have their cars ready so early, otherwise it would definitely be worth while making the trip. The 2-litre E.R.A. for example, would stand an excellent chance.

Provisional entries so far consist of I3eniot Falchetto (unspecified), Jean Delorme, on an ex-works 2.3-litre Bugatti Marcel Lehonx on a Sefac, and Robert Brunet on a 3-litre Maserati, which he has just purchased from the Bolognese factory. The latter car, by the way, is to be fitted with a new form of suspension, the details of which are as yet a secret. As for Lehoux, he has decided to throw in his lot with Emile Petit, the designer of the Lefac, which will at last see the light of day as a complete racing car. Keeping abreast of the times, Petit has scrapped the existing designs for the suspension, and has replaced them with a system of independent springing under Dubonnet licence. Falchetto’s car will probably be a 3-litre Maserati, fitted with a .six-speed gear-box.

As the list of entries is limited to fourteen, intending competitors should lose no time in making the necessary arrangements.

The Nacional Pescara.

Although it was announced that the Nacional Pescara would be seen in action last season, a snag was apparently encountered somewhere, and no more of the car was heard. Juan Zanelli has just renewed his contract with the firm, however, and says he will handle a 3,200-litre car at the beginning of the season. Meanwhile the long-awaited 16-cylinder car is reported to be actually undergoing its trials, and will probably make its debut some time in May.

It is not generally known, I believe, that the Nacional Pescara is made at the Voisin factory.

Tripoli Modifications.

The already tremendously fast course at Tripoli has been still further improved for the 9th Tripoli Grand Prix, which will take place on May 12th. To begin with the straight past the stands has been widened. Then, the corners at Suck el Giuma and the Oasis have been remodelled, both remaining banked and extremely fast.

Instead of being by invitation only, the race will be open to all comers—with the proviso of a minimum lap-speed. The usual sweepstake will be held, and immense prize-money will no doubt attract the finest possible entry.

Paris G.P. Echo.

Undeterred by the opposition encountered by the scheme to run a road race in the heart of Paris, the originators have tried hard to find support for another proposal, to wit, a sports car race at 4 o’clock in the morning, using headlamps. And now this, too, has been abandoned.

A Road for Records.

On another page of this issue of MOTOR SPORT appears a description of the vast road-construction schemes now being undertaken in Germany. As part of this

scheme, it is intended to construct a special straight road, on which record attempts may be made. In the MercedesBenz and the Auto Union the Germans obviously possess the cars to collect all the records within their scope. A road in their own country will obviously be a great advantage. I hope they will allow foreign drivers to use it. We have less than • little hope of such a road being constructed by the Government in this country !

The F.N.C.A.F. Prize.

Every year the Federation Nationale des Clubs Automobiles de France award a prize to the organisers of a French roadrace. At a meeting of the Federation last month it was decided to give the prize, which amounts to 10,000 francs, to the organisers of the Picardie Grand Prix.

. . . and the Fund.

. . .

The national fund for the assistance of French racing car manufacturers is slowly mounting up. The Propaganda Committee is hard at work devising ways and means of raising money, and a radiator badge has been approved and will shortly be on sale at garages and filling stations. A button-hole badge will also soon be on sale.

Meanwhile 6, second committee is busy examining the various claims of manufacturers for support in their racing programmes.

The Young Idea.

A club, rather on the lines of the J.R.D.C., has just been formed in Paris bearing the title ” Georges Boillot “—in memory of the famous French driver. Members will pay a subscription, in return for which a racing car will be at their disposal at Montlhery. It is not intended to race this club-car, which will serve merely as a training machine.

A number of well-known personalities are interested in the scheme, among them being M. de la Villeleon, vice-president of the A.C.I.F., M. Schek, secretairegeneral of the Dunlop Company in Paris, M. Letorey, Clerk of the Course at Montlhory, M. Michel, directeur-general of the A.C.I.F., and M. M. Annet-Badel, Lejeune, and Lemoine.

The headquarters of the Club are at present situated at 26, rue de In Pepiniere.

French Independents Club. ” “

In these days of 180 m.p.h., ” works ” teams, the lot of the independent, or individual entrant, is by no means a happy one. Enough teams are generally available for the organisers to dispense with giving starting-money to independents, who stand little chance of partaking in the prize money. The keen driver, therefore, is forced to bear the burden of expense on his own shoulders.

That is the prospect which faces the numerous French independents, and under the leadership of Jean Delorme they recently met for a discussion of the question at the Royal-Parry Cafe, in l’avenue Paul-Doumer. The result is the formation of the Association Generale Automobile des Coureurs Independants. The aims of the are to

promote friendly relations with the various organising clubs, and to persuade them to promote, whenever possible, special ” curtain-raiser ” races for independents only, before the big Grand Prix races take place ; to arrange for special hotel rates for parties of independents visiting a distant town for a race ; to represent members legally in the event of untoward accidents ; and to provide special medical facilities for any member so unfortunate as to sustain injury.

After a generally satisfactory discussion, a committee was formed with the following officers : Jean Delorme, president ; Jahan, vice-president, Robert Jacob, secretairegeneral ; A. Henon, honorary treasurer ; Mestivier and Vernet, Mme. Itier, Mlle. Helle-Nice, Henri Laby and M. Remond, were made members of honour.

That the scheme has a great attraction among the numerous lessser-known French drivers, can be judged by the fact that the following turned up in full force : Lagroliere, Res, Druck, Roumani, Boursin, Debille, Viale, Gueret, Lescot, Leoz, Vaguiez, Delaplace, Mougin, Rene Jacob, Marret, Chambost and Delmothe latter now fully recovered from his accident at Nice.

The Swiss Fixture List.

In addition to the Grand Prix of Montreux, on June 2nd, the A.C. de Suisse are considering reviving the Zugerberg hill climb, near Zurich. The idea of running a Grand Prix race at Geneva has been definitely abandoned.

Record Attempt Postponed.

For some three months past, Sommer, Chinetti and Pesato have been busily preparing a 2.3-litre Alfa-Romeo for an attack on the World’s 48-hours Record. The present figure of 109 m.p.h. was established by the remarkable Delahaye, last year, driven by Perrot, Dhome and Girod.

Chinetti and Pesato have already been holders of the record, and actually held it this time last year. Their car was a 1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo, and the third driver was Zehender. The speed was 95 m.p.h., and was successively beaten by Hotchkiss, Renault and Delahaye.

Just when the car was ready for the attempt, Chinetti had to leave Paris for the Monte Carlo Rally. On his return the official attempt will take place as soon as weather conditions are favourable.

Busy Montlhery.

Official figures have been published in the French Press giving the total distance covered by cars on the Linas-Montlhery Autodrome. 901,572 kilometres have been run on the piste de viterre, and 516,018 kilometres on the road circuit, giving a total distance of 1,417,590 kilometres, or 885,993 miles

The French manufacturers make full use of the Autodrome for testing purposes, and on every week-day cars may be seen being put through their paces as to speed, acceleration, braking and fuel consumption.

It would be interesting to see similar figures for Brooklands.

The Final Teams !

It seems now fairly .certain that the official teams of the great makes will be as follows :—Auto Union : Hans Stuck, Prince von Leiningen, and Achille Varzi. Pietsch and Rosemayer will be reserve drivers, while Momberger and Sebastian will act as testers. Mercedes-Benz: Rudolf Caracciola, Luigi Fagioli and Manfred von Brauchitsch, Geier and Gartner will be reserves, but Henne has been left out of the team altogether. Bugatti : Robert Benoist, Jean P. Wimille, and Pietro Taruffi. Ferrari : Alfa-Romeos will be driven by Louis Chiron, Rene Dreyfus, Felice Trossi, Antonio Brivio, and Gianfranco Comotti. Sub-A lpina : Maserati will be driven by Philippe Etancelin, Zehender, Ghersi and Farina. There has been quite a storm in Italy over Varzi’s contract with Auto Union. The trouble is that the Scuderia Ferrari, almost a national organisation, has a French driver as its ” No. I.” The only other Italian driver of class besides Varzi is Fagioli, who is with Mercedes-Benz. And so there we have it, the Italian national team led by a Frenchman. I would like to hear the opinions of 11 Duce on the matter I

Scuderia, Ecuries, Syndicates . . .

Then there are the usual ecuries, composed of the joint efforts of several independent drivers. In France a new one has been formed by Armand Girod, in conjunction with Cazaux and Leger. The Braillard team will probably be disbanded, in which case Benoit Falchetto will resume his independent status.


The most dangerous of the independents is Tazio Nuvolari—unless he joins up with Ferrari at the last moment. The others are the French amateurs mentioned in a previous paragraph of these notes. Marcel Lehoux will, of course, run the Lefac, and Hans Ruesch a new Maserati.

A Surprise in Store.

I am looking forward immensely to the first appearance of some E.R.A.’s in Continental races where a 1,500 class is held. I am quite certain that French and Italian sporting circles are not aware of the terrific performance possessed by this magnificent British racing car, and I hope to see its ddbut crowned with success.

Road-racing Saloons !

I am told on good authority that the Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union racing cars for the coming Grand Prix season will all be fitted with enclosed cockpits, similar to that used by Caracciola recently .for breaking records. This somewhat staggering report, after my information about the 1,500 c.c. race at Dieppe, undoubtedly forms the most important news item of the month.

The streamlining effect of a ” salOon ” is undisputed, but the possibility of the driver emerging, more or less; unscathed from an accident is not exactly improved by its use. On the score of visibility, the Mercedes-Benz at Gyon was extremely satisfactory, a semi-circular slit extending right round the limits of the driver’s vision, and giving an uninterrupted view of the road.

The ” Melts ” and Auto Unions are going to be difficult to beat !

The Italian Reply.

The Italian colours will be defended by the Scuderia Ferrari team of Alfa Romeos. The new cars will not be ready until June, so far as can be ascertained at present, so that the earlier races should be easy for the Germans. In June, however, the 1935 cars will take the field, consisting of a common chassis-type and alternative engines. One is a 4f-litre, 12-cylinder job, and the other is a 4-litre 16-cylinder unit, developing 300 h.p. At .Tripoli, Chiron will probably drive a special car, only suited to this ultra-fast circuit, with two 3-litre engines—as used last season—placed at each end of the chassis, with the unfortunate driver in the middle.

Maserati is well advanced with his new rear-engined independently sprung car, and he, too, is reported to be building a special car for Tripoli. Nuvolari will handle it, and if it is anything like the 16-cylinder Maserati he will have his hands full. The engine from that monster, placed in an independently sprung modern chassis, would form a pretty motor car.

The Preliminary Bol d’Or.

An eliminating race will again be held this year for the Bol d’Or, on the circuitroutier of Montlhery. Entries close on February 14th, and the race takes place on March 3rd. There will be classes for 750. c.c. and 1,100 c.c. cars.

Entry forms can be obtained from M. Mauve, 87, Boulevard de Reims, Paris (17c).

French G.P. Regulations.

The regulations of the Grand Prix de

to be run at Linas-Montlhery on June 23rd, are now available. The race will be run in accordance with the official formula for International Grand Prix, 1934, 1935, 1936. In length, the race will be 500 kilometres, or 40 laps of the circuit-routier. Entries will only be acceptable from manufacturers or their representatives, and the list will open on February 1st, closing finally on March 15th.

The prize money is generous, being 100,000 frs., 50,000 frs., 20,000 frs. and 10,000 frs., respectively for the first four finishers. In addition, prizes will be given to all runners at 10, 20 and 30 laps, varying from 1,000 to 3,000 frs., from 2,000 to 4,000 frs., from 3,000 to 5,000 frs., respectively, according to the average speed.