Joining Whitney Straight Ltd as debutant entrants on Grand Prix scene in 1934 was Ecurie Braillard a team run by Countess Nelly Braillard who’s drivers included her younger brother Louis Braillard, who has beaten the up and coming Whitney Straight in the 1933 Grand Prix d’Albi, Benoit Falchetto and Raymond Sommer.
Like Whitney Straight Ltd Ecurie Braillard opted for the Maserati 8CM buying two of them including #3009 featured today, in these photographs taken at last weeks VSCC Spring Start meeting at Silverstone, which were supplemented by a Bugatti Type 51.
Unlike #3011 which was the subject of a book by Denis Jenkinson information on #3009 is a little more difficult to find. Of the references I have found is one in which Louis drove #3009 to third fastest time in the 1934 La Turbie Hillclimb in Provence France.
At the end of 1934 Louis was injured in an accident on the St-Lô Hillclimb apparently after insisting the teams other 8CM’s, #3015, brakes were switched from hydraulic to mechanical operation. His injuries were compounded by a skiing accident early in 1935 which saw him follow Whitney Straight into early retirement aged just 29. Ecurie Braillard, for whom Louis’s brother in law Benoit Falchetto had won the the 1934 Grand Prix de Picarde and a Libre race at Montlhéry aboard #3015, disbanded at the end of 1935.
Luigi ‘Gigi’ Soffietti bought #3009 from Ecurie Braillard for the 1935 season and recorded a 3rd place with it in the 1935 Grand Prix run on the streets of Pau in Southern France.
Current owner Sean Danaher, seen in the white fire suit, is recorded as having spent between 1990 and 1999 restoring #3009.
Thanks for joining me on this “Third At La Turbie & Pau” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Bugatti. Don’t for get to come back now !