Always looking for a cash incentive...

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Motor racing rewards have varied immensely over the century-plus since it all began. But don’t think that commercial pressures are necessarily very different today from what they were 100 years ago. From the earliest days the pioneering motor manufacturers involved in racing were well aware of the truth in the slogan ‘Win on Sunday, sell on Monday’.

In 1893 a well-to-do middle-class client could buy a Panhard-Phénix teuf-teuf with top-of-the-range Pavilion bodywork for 6000 Francs. After Emile Levassor had stayed awake for 48hr 48min to win the 1895 Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race – at an average speed of 15mph – his winning Panhard was sold for 30,000fr to a British syndicate of Harry J Lawson, Charles McRobie Turrell and H O Duncan, followed by 75,000fr for the first three cars home in the 1896 Paris-Marseilles-Paris. So great was the contemporary cachet of pioneer-race success that after Panhard had won the latter event a long-ordered Phénix was delivered to its new owner for the catalogue price of 12,000fr, he cashed it in that afternoon for 22,500 and it ended up with Alfred Harmsworth, proprietor of The Daily Mail, for 45,000. Who said there’s no such thing as an ‘instant classic’?

German historian Robert Dick has traced the pre-Great War era superbly well in his book Mercedes and Auto Racing in the Belle Epoque, 1895-1915. Where prize funds are concerned the first success of racing’s perhaps most elegant early star – French dandy Fernand Charron – provides telling perspective. He was fêted as Parisian society’s first gentleman to venture outdoors minus a top hat, but as a sportsman he won his first bicycle race aged 15, receiving a cash prize of 2 Francs 50 Centimes, plus a live chicken…

By 1903, when the great Fernand Gabriel won the first leg of the doomed Paris-Madrid race, he’d been asking for 20,000fr just to change teams pre-race, from Mors to Mercedes. When Ray Harroun won the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911, first prize included US$10,000. Top-level motor racing has always been highly commercial… as in some international players’ approach to Test cricket, it’s nothing new.

You may also like

Related products