Tag Archives: Benoist

GP Winning Record Breaker – Delage 15 S8

In 1925 the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR), an international association of motor clubs founded in 1904, organised the first World Manufacturers’ Championship with four qualifying events, the Indianapolis 500, Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, French Grand Prix at Montlhéry and Italian Grand Prix run at Monza.

For the 1925 season Delage were running 2LCV V12 2 litre / 122 cui powered cars designed by Charles Planchon who after the cars initial failure in 1923 was replaced by Albert Lory who added twin superchargers and developed sufficiently for Robert Benoist and Louis Wagner to finish first and second in the 1925 French Grand Prix.

Delage 15 S8, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The inaugural World Manufacturers’ Championship was claimed by Alfa Romeo with wins for Antonio Ascari and Gastone Brilli-Peri in Belgium and Italy respectively, both driving Alfa Romeo P2’s.

For 1926 the rules for the second World Manufacturers’ Championship mandated a down size to 1500 cc / 91.5 cui engine’s for which Albert Lory designed the 170hp twin supercharged 15 S8 with a straight 8 engine and five speed gearbox.

Delage 15 S8, Brooklands Double Twelve

Bugatti won the 1926 championship, Jules Goux winning the French Grand Prix and Spanish Grand Prix with Louis Charavel also driving a Type 39A to victory in Italy.

A Delage 15 S8 driven by Robert Sénéchal shared with Louis Chiron won the first Royal Automobile Club Grand Prix run at Brooklands in 1926.

Delage 15 S8, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

For 1927 Delage entered their 15 S8 models modified to run with a single super charger in all four European rounds of the World Manufacturers’ Championship.

Delage won all four races to secure what turned out to be the last World Manufacturers’ Championship to be awarded by the AIACR.

Delage 15 S8, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Remarkably Robert Benoist was at the wheel of the winning car in France, Spain, Italy and finally at Brooklands, where he drove today’s featured chassis No.2 to victory lane.

By the end of 1927 Delage was virtually bankrupt and the company had to re focus it’s attention on building road cars and abandon racing in a works capacity.

Delage 15 S8, Brooklands Double Twelve

In 1936 a young Richard Seaman made a name for himslef driving a carefully rebuilt 10 year old 15 D8 to numerous victories over new models from ERA and Maserati.

Chassis No.2 seen here was bought by Malcolm Campbell in 1929 who sold it on to W B ‘Bummer’ Scott who set Class F 24 Hour World Record and 200 Mile World Records respectively at Montlhéry in 1931 and Brooklands in 1933.

Delage 15 S8, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Prince Chula of Siam, cousin and entrant of “B Bira” was the next owner of the car from 1936 to 1939, hoping to emulate the fortunes of Richard Seaman the White Mouse Racing attempted an ultimately unsuccessful modernisation.

Alan V Burnard acquired No.2 in 1964 and was responsible for restoring it to it’s current condition having temporarily fitted an ERA engine and ENV pre selector gearbox.

After sourcing and rebuilding a correct type 15 S8 the ERA engine was replaced but the ENV gearbox remained, Alan Burnard generously bequeathed No.2 to the Brooklands Museum, where the car is seen in the 2nd and 5th photographs, upon his death in 2012.

Thanks for joining me on this “GP Winning Record Breaking” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


High Front Wheel Vents – Bugatti Type 57G #57335

Two years after disassociating himself from remarks made in the the French Press in which Ettore Bugatti is alleged to have described the dominant Bentleys of the day as the “fastest lorries in the world” Bugatti made his first official attempt at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1931.

The three supercharged 5 litre / 302 cui straight eight powered Type 50S models however proved unreliable and up until 1936 when today’s featured Type 57G was built the marques best result on the worlds fastest roundabout was a sixth place recorded by the privateers Jean Sébilleau and Georges Delaroche aboard there 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui Type 40 in 1932.

Bugatti Type 57G, The Quail

For 1936 Bugatti are believed to have taken four low slung Type 57S chassis fitted with Type 59 (Grand Prix car) wheels and brakes, unsupercharged 3.3 litre 24 valve straight eight motors and built aerodynamic bodies for them that did away with the prevalent cycle wings / fenders giving the whole body a unitary look more familiar to a Land Speed Record vehicle.

During testing at Montlhéry in prior to Le Mans the prototype car is believed to have been damaged. The Le Mans 24 Hours was cancelled because of a General Strike in 1936.

Bugatti Type 57G, The Quail

In preparation for their delayed attempt at the Le Mans 24 hours the three remaining cars were all entered into the GP de l’A.C.F run at Circuit Routier de Linas-Montlhéry and then again the Marne Grand Prix run at Reims in June and July 1936.

The owner of today’s featured car neurosurgeon Fred Simeone believes his chassis #57335 won both of them, with Jean-Pierre Wimille and Raymond Sommer sharing the honours driving the #84 at Montlhéry and Jean-Pierre driving the #12 solo at Reims.

Bugatti Type 57G, The Quail

This proved a powerful portent of things to come, over the winter of 1936 and 1937 chassis #57355 in particular appear to have gone on a diet.

Only two Type 57Gs were entered into the 24 Hours of Le Mans both entered by Roger Labric a driver and journalist, the #1 for Roger and Pierre Veyron while the lighter #2 chassis #57355 was driven by Jean Pierre and Robert Benoist.

Bugatti Type 57G, The Quail

The #1 entry retired just after half distance while Jean Pierre and Robert went on to win by 7 laps from the 2nd place Delhaye driven by Joseph Paul and Marcel Mongin to score the first of Bugatti’s two overall Le Mans victories.

#57355 is easily distinguished from it’s siblings by the high front wheel vents, unique to the #84, which can easily be seen in this linked black white photo of the three undamaged cars taken at Montlhéry in 1936 and confirms that #57355 won each of the three races into which it was entered.

Today #57355 is the only 57G survivor, though there is at least one copy that was finished earlier this year that appeared at Goodwood. #57355 is normally to be found at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, Pa. but is seen in these photographs by Geoffrey Horton at The Quail last year.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs. I’d also like to thank The Nostalgia Forum contributors Roger Clark for debunking the “Fastest Lorry Myth” and MT Anorak for his insights into the story of the Bugatti Type 57G cars.

Thanks for joining me on this “High Front Wheel Vent” edition of “Gettin’ A Li’l Psycho On Tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


A Motorsports Gathering – The Quail

On Friday I had a look at some of the Great Ferrari’s at The Quail Concours d’Elegance, some of the other vehicles present are featured today.

Wales, La Bestioni Beast, The Quail

Towards the end of last year I looked at one of a matching pair of matching Rolls Royce Boattail Speedsters by Gary L Wales, Gary is seen above right standing next to one of his latest Retro Design creations La Bestioni Beast a 1919 LaFrance Speedster.

Bugatti Type 57G, The Quail

Going straight to the top 3 museums to visit in the USA is the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia who own this Bugatti T57G the car driven by Jean-Pierre Wimille and Robert Benoist to victory by 7 laps at Le Mans in 1937.

Lincoln Continental Cabriolet, The Quail

The 1948 Lincoln Continental like the Cabriolet above was the last US production model ever built with a V12 motor.

Jaguar XK 120, The Quail

On the May 30th 1949 the bubble top on this prototype Jaguar XK 120 was bolted over the head of Norman Dewis who proceeded to record a two way timed average run of 132.6 mph on an empty stretch of motorway twixt Ostend and Jabbeke in Belgium.

Aston Martin DB2 Coupe, The Quail

The Aston Martin DB2 Coupé above was originally sold as a right hand drive vehicle to a Swedish customer Sölve Relve in 1951, it has also belonged to Swedish racing driver Sture Nottorp. In 1960 Yngve Eriksson bought the car and had the body work face lifted with a larger grill, fared headlights larger rear window and had the steering moved from the right to the left.

Bosley GT, The Quail

Of all the cars featured today the story of the 1953 Bosley GT is perhaps the most remarkable of all, aged just 21 Robert Bosley a horticultural farmer from Mentor Ohio, was dissatisfied with his XK 120 and Oldsmobile Rocket 88 and so he set out to build a dream machine in 1952. Robert had no design experience and taught himself self how to build the car including the fibre glass body as he went along using auto parts that dated back to the 1930’s. The motor he chose was a six carb Chrysler Hemi which gave the striking unique car a claimed top speed of 160 mph !

Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Ghia, The Quail

So far as I have been able to discern the Alfa Romeo above is ‘the’ unique 1953 1900C SS Coupé with coachwork by GHIA, if you know different please do not hesitate to chime in below or on the GALPOT FB page.

Jaguar XK 140, The Quail

GALPOT contributor Geoffrey Horton’s immaculate 1955 Jaguar XK 140 FHC SE/MC is seen above keeping some exotic company.

Chevron B16, The Quail

The Chevron B16 above appears to have been built in 1970, no other information is available on the car which appears to have been withdrawn from the Bonham’s Auction, if you know why please do not hesitate to chime in below.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for taking and sharing today’s photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “A Motorsports Gathering” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !