Tag Archives: Deutsch

One Shift Short Of A Hero – Talbot Lago T26 GS #11056

In 1947 Anthony F. Lago and Carlo Marchetti designed the Talbot T26C Grand Prix open wheeler which featured a 4.5 litre / 274 cui straight six cylinder motor with triple carburetors which made it’s racing debut at Monaco in 1948. Despite requiring less fuel and fewer tyres during the course of races than the more powerful supercharged cars built by Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari the T26C was considered out dated but they did win two Grand Prix races in 1949.

In 1950 3 Talbot Lago Grand Prix cars, fitted with crude 2 seat bodies, cycle wings over the wheels and the necessary lighting for night driving, were entered in the Le Mans 24 hour race. The #5 driven for 23 and a quarter hours by Louis Rosier and the remainder by his son Jean-Louis came home first one lap ahead of the similar #7 driven by Pierre Meyrat and Guy Mairesse.

Six Talbot Lago’s were privately entered, as they had been in 1950, at Le Mans for 1952 but this time the French cars were comprehensively beaten by the Peter Walker entered Jaguar XK 129 C, C-Type, driven by Walker and Peter Whitehead who finished 9 laps ahead of Pierre Meyrat and Guy Mairesse who’s Talbot Lago completed three laps more than the previous year with the same overall result.

Talbot Lago T26 GS, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

All six Talbot Lago’s were rebodied as a result of a change in body work regulations which effectively outlawed cycle winged cars at Le Mans in 1952. Pierre “Levegh” Eugène Alfred Bouillon took it upon himself to stay in his car chassis #11056 that he was supposed to be sharing with René Marchand for over 22 hours. While leading the pursuing Mercedes Benz cars by 4 laps “Levegh” missed a gear selecting 2nd instead of 4th with terminal consequences for his engine that caused his retirement, with just over an hour to go, handing an unpopular 1-2 victory to the Mercedes Benz team.

So far as I have been able to ascertain today’s featured car seen at Goodwood in 2009 is chassis #11056 raced in 1951 at Le Mans by the Argentinians Froilan Gonzales and Onofre Marimon who retired before half distance with a broken radiator.”Pierre Levegh” acquired the car in 1952 and body work by Charles Deutsch was fitted to comply with the new regulations effectively outlawing cycle wings over the wheels.

Talbot Lago T26 GS, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In 1953 “Levegh”, racing under the name of his uncle a racer who died at the wheel of a racing car in 1904, returned to Le Mans for a second time with #11056 now sharing the car with Charles Pozzi to finish a distant 8th 400 kms behind the winning C type Jaguar of Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton. Lino Fayen joined Levegh in 1954 but this time #11056 retired after just 33 laps.

Pierre Levegh raced this car in at least a dozen other events between 1952 and April 1955 winning two of them in 1952 and 1954 at Montlhéry. On the 11th of June 1955 Pierre Levegh was invited to join the returning works Mercedes Benz team at Le Mans, on lap 34 he was involved with a collision with a slower car that saw him and his blazing 300SLR fatally land on barriers while parts of his car were hurled into the crowd and killing 82 spectators and injuring 100 more.

During the 1970’s the Deutsch body work was abandoned and the car was refitted with cycle wing bodywork as used by Gonzalez and Marimon in 1951. In 2006 11056 appeared at Pebble Beach with a likeness of the Deutsch bodywork as used by Pierre Levegh but there are significant differences not least the wider radiator grill than seen in 1952 and the curious addition of a NACA submerged duct in the spare wheel cover on the right side of the vehicle. So far as I know such ducts did not appear on Talbot Lago’s until 1953 on chassis #11055 and certainly not on chassis #11056.

If this outline is at variance with your understanding of today’s featured car please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Thanks for joining me on this “One Shift Short Of A Hero” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !


Derelict & Abandoned In Pennsylvania – DB Panhard HBR 5 #1004

It’s hard to believe that nothing is known about this DB (Deutsch Bonnet) HBR 5, seen at Brooklands a few weeks ago, between it’s export from France to the USA in 1959 until it’s discovery derelict and abandoned in Pennsylvania in 1982.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

After restoration to racing spec in 1985 it was shown and raced regularly until 1991 and then stored until 1999.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

The current owner acquired it in 2001 and restored it to European road legal condition by 2005.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

HBR 5’s were manufactured between 1954 and and 1961. The 850 cc / 51.8 cui 2 cylinder Panhard motors sourced from the Panhard Dyna Z was upgraded from 42 hp to 58 hp spec by René Bonnet.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

The upgraded Panhard motor which could be taken up to 6500 rpm when combined with the slippery Charles Deutsch designed body produced a vehicle capable of 140 mph though acceleration was rather leisurely with a rest to 62 mph time of 21.5 seconds.

DB Panhard HBR 5, Brooklands Double Twelve

Available as Coupé’s, Convertibles or outright racers the DB HBR 5 had a long competition career winning it’s class in the Mille Miglia, Le Mans and Sebring multiple times.

Thanks for joining me on this “Derelict & Abandoned In Pennsylvania” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking into the shadow’s on Americana Thursday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Engine Failure – CD 3 #64/2

At the risk of appearing parochial today’s featured vehicle, the 1964 CD 3 was not by any stretch of the imagination a great success on the track but it did point the way to aerodynamic developments that took off spectacularly in 1977 with the Lotus 78 and is still in evidence in Formula One and other top motor sports categories today.

CD Panhard 3, Goodwood FoS

The CD 3 would prove to be the last design to use a Panhard motor at Le Mans or indeed any non historic race. Power came from a supercharged horizontally opposed two cylinder 848 cc / 51.7 cui motor that produced up to 70 hp that drove the front wheels.

CD Panhard 3, Goodwood FoS

Beneath the low drag body, which has a drag coefficient, measurement of aerodynamic drag resistance, of just 0.12 was a back bone chassis with inboard disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear.

CD Panhard 3, Goodwood FoS

This photo does not show it but beneath the rear body work is a venturi tunnel which effectively managed airflow beneath the car in such away that it was sucked to the ground, which translated means the faster it went the better it’s road holding and grip.

CD Panhard 3, Goodwood FoS

Despite it’s futuristic shape and aerodynamic innovation even with a top speed of 140 mph the two CD 3’s only qualified for the last two places on the grid for the Le Mans 24 hours and both retired one with mechanical maladies. The chassis #64/2, seen at Goodwood Festival of Speed here, qualified 54th for the 1964 Le Mans 24 hours driven by André Guilhaudin and Alain Bertaut and retired after completing 77 laps due to engine failure. The 55th qualified sister car driven by Pierre Lelong and Guy Verrier made it to lap 124 before the gearbox had cried enough.

As Panhard was about to be wholly consumed by Citroën who planned to switch Panhard’s production capacity to Citroën models 1964 would be the last year the CD or Panhard names would appear at Le Mans.

Charles Deutsch, CD, who had been part of the Deutsch Bonet DB partnership went on to design the body work for the 1971 Porsche 917/20 Le Mans challenger which gained a certain notoriety after being dubbed “le Cochon Rose

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


Broken Promises – DB Panhard HBR

Somehow almost overlooked this photo by Ed Arnaudin of John B Mull in his DB Panhard competing in Race 1 at Thompson CT on the 20th July 1958, although John did not finish this race, we shall see this is a significant model in the world of national and international class H up to 750 cc 45.7 cui racing.

The manufacture of DB cars commenced after a promised drive failed to materialise at the 1936 French Sports Car Grand Prix for Charles Deutsch and René Bonnet. The following year they entered a special of their own devising using the remnants of of a Citroen Traction Avant 11 CV.

Their specials placed in the very first post war race in Paris in 1945 and with the construction of the open wheel DB7 Automobiles Deutsch & Bonnet became a business entity in 1947.

Unhappy with the supply of Citroen parts they switched primarily to using flat twin Panhard motors of 744 cc / 45.4 cui. DB Panhards took class victories at the Mille Miglia, four times, Le Mans, three times, Sebring, twice and SCCA class H, the latter in 1958 with Howard Hanna at the wheel and in 1959 with Ray Heppenstall at the wheel.

Despite their on track success after building nearly 1000 vehicles, a disagreement over the architecture of their next model led to Deutsch and Bonnet going their separate ways forming CD and Automobiles René Bonnet respectively, the latter using Renault power became part of Matra Automobiles in 1965.

Panhard which as Panhard et Levassor had been in business since 1897 was absorbed in to Citroen in 1965 with the last vehicle produced in 1967 the name is still to be found in use as a brand of French built military vehicle.

The HBR model seen here was built from 1954 to 1961 on the most common DB chassis shared with Mille Miles and Coach models of which a combined total of 660 were made.

John B Mull appears to have had a collection of vehicles to race with Evelyn Mull between them they are known to have raced a Jaguar XK120, AC Ace Bristol, Austin Healey 100 S and this DB Panhard, JB is also known to have raced an OSCA S750.

Hope you have enjoyed the Race 1 Thompson CT 20th July 1958 series, my thanks to Ed and Steve Arnaudin for the photograph and to Terry O’Neil for the race results. Join me tomorrow for Ferrari Friday when we will be looking at a vehicle driven by a reigning 3 time World Grand Prix Champion on it’s victorious debut and a month later was driven to a class victory by the USA’s first future world champion. Don’t forget to come back now!