Past winners flocked Monaco historic GP

No fewer than six Monaco Grand Prix-wining cars head a glittering entry for the second Grand Prix Historique, with Sir Stirling Moss reunited with Maserati 250F ‘2522’ in which he triumphed in 1956, for an event which is guaranteed to bring the hallowed streets of Monte Carlo alive on May 27-28. Many other machines which shaped the history of the principality’s famous race are coming from around the world, the AC de Monaco having done well to whittle down huge numbers of applications (in Formula Junior’s case around 100 entries) to form six representative grids.

Three-time Monaco winner Moss (he also won in ’60 and ’61 with Rob Walker-entered Lotus 18s) is part the line-up for the Pre-’61 front-engined Grand Prix retro. Fangio’s ’57 GP-winning 250F ‘2528’ is also out with Nigel Corner driving, while Willie Green drives Friedhelm Loh’s Mercedes W196, sister car to Fangio’s pole machine in ’55. Given the Silver Arrow’s presence, it’s a pity that Robin Lodge’s Lancia D50 (recreated by Jim Stokes Workshops, using an original V8 engine and running gear) was rejected by the organisers. Nevertheless, the field features seven more 250Fs, Nick Harley’s Ferrari Super Squalo, Corrado Cupellini’s Dino and Barrie Williams in a Connaught A4. Ian Nuthall’s Alta and the Cooper-Bristols of Gregor Fisken and Spencer Flack top the F2s.

The first Monaco GP, won by French-based Briton William Grover ‘Williams’, was staged in 1929, and while Jean-Louis Duret’s Bugatti wears its green colours, the T35C in which Baron Philippe de Rothschild finished fourth is back with Bart Rosman. Also on the grid should be Louis Chiron’s 1931-winning T51 (Dean Butler) and Tazio Nuvolari’s ’32-winning Alfa Romeo Monza (Terry Cohn). Julian Majzub’s T35B and the Alfa 8Cs of Christian Glasel and Klaus Werner are always going to be threats in pre-’34 two-seater GP events.

Martin Stretton in Michael Steele’s ERA R4D starts favourite for the pre-52 GP race, but the ex-Furmanik Maserati 4CM (in which Stretton won in 1997) is flying in Barrie Baxter’s hands, and the ERAs of ‘Whizzo’ Williams and John Ure are in with a strong shout. In a rare departure from his beloved Bentleys, Stanley Mann races Michael Rudnig’s F2 Veritas Meteor. A wonderful ensemble of Pre-’66 GP cars stars Bruce McCaw’s BRIM P261, in which Graham Hill won the ’65 race and came third in ’66. The 261s of Thomas Bscher and Paul Alexander both boast good results at Monaco, but American Duncan Dayton could get among them in his Brabham-Climax BT11. Geoff Farmer’s Lotus 25, sixth in the ’63 GP with Trevor Taylor, and Robs Lamplough’s later 33 are likely challengers too. The ’52 GP was run for sportscars, so the winning Ferrari 225S — to be driven by Moss — will be the focus of the event for Pre-’59 drum-braked twoseaters. Frank Sytrier pilots a 250TR from the same Bamford stable, Willie Green will drive Sytner’s Frazer-Nash and contemporary racer Claudia Hurtgen is in Klaus Wemer’s Maserati 300S. The talented Flavien Marcais (Jaguar C-type), Julian Bronson (HWM-Jaguar) and Friedrich Kozka (Porsche 550A) are dark horses.

Two cars which won the Monaco Formula Junior GP have pride of place in the 1100cc pack. Peter Arundell’s ’62 Lotus 22 has Martin Walford aboard, and Richard Attwood’s ’63 Lola Mk5A is now with Robin Longdon. Major opposition comes from the Lotus 27s of triple Lurani Trophy champion Tony Thompson and Joaquin Folch, while earlier cars span Bandini, Osca, Foglietti, Stanguellini, and Volpini, plus British Gemini and Alexis models. MP.