Tag Archives: Selsdon

Polska Kronika Filmowa ? – Talbot T150 / T26 #82935 / 90202

Today’s blog tells the story of how I came to wonder if today’s Talbot T26C 90202 seen a couple of months ago at the VSCC Spring Start meeting featured in a 1948 edition of Polska Kronika Filmowa a Polish weekly newsreel.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

So far as I have been able to discern this vehicle was originally built in 1937 as a T150 chassis number #82935 and fitted with a 4 litre / 244 cui 6 cylinder motor and registered for road use with the French licence plate 439W1.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Albert Divo raced the car on at least 3 occasions with a best finish of 2nd in the 1937 Marne Grand Prix. In September 1937 Raymond Sommer driving #82935 now bearing the French licence plate 4397RL2 retired from the Tourist Trophy with engine problems. #82935 is shown by one source to have been intended to be part of a two car Talbot-Lago team at the 1937 Le Mans 24 hours that did not show up.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

In 1938 René Carrière and Anthony Hannoyer drove the works entered #82935 to a fifth place finish on the Mille Miglia, two months later René shared the now Luigi Chinetti entered car with René Le Bègue at Le Mans, but retired after completing 101 laps.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Two weeks later the mudguards came off and René Carrière drove #82935, entered once again by the Talbot factory and carrying the #4, seen at 1:03 in this linked clip, to a gallant 4th place finish, first non Mercedes and only 10 laps down, on the French Grand Prix winning Mercedes Benz W154 of winner Manfred von Brauchitsch.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

For it’s final two known appearances in 1938 #82935 was fitted with a 4.5 litre / 274 cui straight six and given a T26 identity with the chassis number #90202, it was not the only T150 to become a T26. René Carrière won pole position driving the car, with it mudguards refitted for the Tourist Trophy, but could only finish 4th. Philippe Etancelin joined René Carrière to drive the upgraded car in the 1938 Paris 12 Hours from which it was retired after an accident.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

The renumbered chassis #90202 made only two known appearances in 1939 the first at Le Mans where entered by Chinetti and driven by Luigi Chinetti and T.A.S O. Mathieson the car suffered another accident and retired on lap 154. T.A.S.O. Mathieson is credited with entering #90202 in the Grand Prix du Comminges run at St. Gaudens for Luigi Chinetti to drive, but once again the car retired. Chinetti entered himself to drive #90202 in the Liege Grand Prix on the 26th August 1939 a week before WW2 hostilities broke out on 1st September, but the race was cancelled.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

After the war Lord Selsdon, who coincidentally raced against #90202 in a Lagonda V12 at Le Mans in 1939, became the owner of #90202 by 1946, a time when almost anything that could move was thrown in to race at almost every available opportunity. Louis Chiron drove #90202 entered by Lord Selsdon at an event run at Bois de la Cambre in June 1946 but retired with a fuel pump ‘issue’.

Talbot T26, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

Chiron then appears to have played a part in ensuring that French patron of the Ecurie France team Paul Vallée rented or at least borrowed #90202 from Lord Selsdon for part of the 1947 season when the car was to be driven by Chiron, so far as I know he never did, but Yves Giraud-Cabantous may have driven the car referred to a ‘26SS‘ in 1947, though in which events I have not been able to ascertain.

Lord Selsdon had the car back by the 1948 British Grand Prix which was featured on the Polska Kronika Filmowa newsreel I mentioned on the top of this thread, but #90202 took no part in that event as Lord Selsdon had only been given a reserve entry.

The last mention I have found for #90202 in Lord Selsdon’s ownership is in 1949 the Jersey Road Race where Frank Le Gallais retired with a gearbox problem.

Peter Waring is known to have finished at least three races driving #90202 in 1953 recording a best 3rd at Silverstone. It was left to Dick Fitzwilliam to record the chassis last known in period win in a National Handicap event at Goodwood in 1954 nearly twenty years after the versatile chassis which had raced Mercedes Benz as an open wheeler, completed a Mille Miglia and competed in two Le Mans 24 hour races.

The Talbot #90202 seen here at the VSCC Spring Start at Silverstone earlier this year is raced by Richard Pilkington with and without mud guards and road lights.

Thanks for joining me on this “Polska Kronika Filmowa ?” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow for a car that is often incorrectly given the wrap for the blanket 70 mph restriction on Britain’s motorway network. Don’t forget to come back now !


Old Number 5 – Lagonda V12 #14089

Despite winning Le Mans in 1935 Lagonda looked to be going the same way as Bentley financially until it was rescued with an injection of cash by it’s new chairman 30 year old Alan Good.

Good hired two former Rolls Royce employees to design today’s featured car, none other than W.O. Bentley himself was responsible for the chassis while his colleague Stuart Tresilian was responsible for the 4.5 litre / 274 cui single overhead cam V12 motor.

Lagonda V12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

In late 1938 early 1939 Good announced that he would like to enter a Lagonda V12 into the 1939 Le Mans 24 Hours race.

W.O. Bentley who was to be prepare the car, originally designed as a production vehicle and never intended for racing, was adamant that this should only be done to see if the cars would last the distance in anticipation of a full onslaught in 1940 to which Good agreed.

Lagonda V12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

A short V12 chassis was lightened by drilling out as much dead weight as possible from the chassis members and independent front suspension arms. The V12 aluminium block motor was fitted with four carburetors and produced over 200 hp.

Good had hoped that Mercedes Benz star Richard “Dick” Seaman would drive chassis #14089 but Mercedes objected and so leading ERA runner Arthur Dobson was joined by Brooklands regular Charles Brackenbury at the wheel of the car which would become known as Old Number 5.

Lagonda V12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

During the preparations Lord Selsdon came into a substantial inheritance and persuaded Alan Good to enter a second car which he was to share with Lord William Waleran.

Observing strict instructions from W.O. the drivers of the two Lagonda’s lapped at a pre arranged speed and they completed 239 laps and 238 laps respectively, four more than the 235 laps completed by the winning Delahaye in 1938, but short of the 248 laps recorded Jean-Pierre Wimille and Pierre Veyron in their winning supercharged Bugatti type 57C.

Lagonda V12, Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Lagondas finished third and forth behind the Ecurie Walter Watney Delage with Old Number 5 ahead of it’s sister to secure first and second in the over 5 litre / 302 cui class.

Dick Seaman tragically was killed at Spa after an accident in his Mercedes Benz the following week.

The beginning of hostilities in 1939 meant the 1940 Le Mans 24 hours would not take place and so the Lagonda V12’s never got the chance to prove their true potential although they did finish first and second in one of the last races run at Brooklands before war broke out.

Lord Selsdon would, briefly, share the winning 1949 Le Mans winning Ferrari 166MM with Luigi Chinetti.

While Old Number 5 seen here at last years Goodwood Festival of Speed would briefly end up in the hands of Fighter Pilot and Racing Driver Robert, later Roberta, Cowell.

After war Lagonda became part of David Brown’s portfolio which included Aston Martin and was merged to become Aston Martin Lagonda.

Thanks for joining me on this “Old Number 5” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Maserati Monday when I’ll be looking at the prototype Maserati Tipo 60. Don’t forget to come back now !


Grazin’ Arizona – Ferrari 166 MM #0052M

Thanks to more photographs from Geoffrey Horton today we are looking at possibly one of oldest and most original known Ferrari race cars, one which regular eagle eyed reader Racer 187 spotted in my blog last week on the Phil Hill XK120.

Ferrari 166 MM, Danville Cd'E

This is a Ferrari 166 MM chassis #0052M shown here at the 2007 Danville Concours d’Elegance some 3 years after it was credited as having been identified by Ferrari Expert Marcel Massini in Arizona in 2004 where, it had been grazing in a barn for forty five years.

An unusual right hand drive model this 166 MM appears to have been delivered to Chinetti & Plisson in Paris and originally purchased by the 1949 Le Mans 24 hour winner, who famously won aboard another 166 MM #0008M after driving for just 20 mins, Lord Selsdon. Selsdon, real name Peter Mitchell-Thomson, raced #0052 at Le Mans in 1950 with Jean Lucas, a race from which the car retired after accident damage.

The car then was turned over to Luigi Chinetti and Jean Lucas who won the Paris 12 hours race. It came second in the 1950 Daily Express Trophy race at Silverstone driven by Dorino Serafini before Chinetti took the wheel and drove it to some 2 litre class speed records at Monthlery in France.

In 1952 owner TASO Mathieson finished 8th in the Targa Florio driving this car and in 1954 the car was fitted with a larger 2.3 litre / 142 cui Colombo V12 from the 195 S model. In 1955 the car was converted back to 166MM spec with a 140 hp 2 litre / 121 cui V12 by the factory.

Ferrari 166 MM, Danville Cd'E

By 1958 this Touring Superleggera bodied car was known to be owned in Switzerland and in 1959 a couple of owners later it was with Chinetti Motors in New York, Chinetti sold it to a Mr RL Litton of Scottsdale, AZ and despite being registered for road use in Arizona in 1964 it apparently was never seen on the road in his hands.

When the car was found in 2004 it transpired that the engine was not an original 166MM type rather a 2 litre V12 more commonly found in a Ferrari Formula 2 open wheel racer, while it is not unusual for Ferrari racers of this period to swap engines, as indeed has been recorded for this vehicle it is still a mystery as to why this car should have an engine common to an open wheel Ferrari.

Under the stewardship of Manny del Arroz the car was preserved and returned to working condition and won the Preservation Award at Pebble Beach in 2007.

#0052M is last known to have transferred ownership in Germany to Mr J Pawluk of Poland in 2008 for a reputed € 3.5 million, approx £ 3 million or US$ 5 million at todays prices.

Ferrari 166 MM, Danville Cd'E

Readers of my 2009 Rowdy posts might remember the freshly restored 166 MM chassis #0040M Reg YPY 333 belonging to the Mason – Styrrons at Goodwood.

This is a clear case where, in my humble opinion, the preserved bucket of rust is worth far more than the restored brand new machine. More photo’s of #0052 M, as it was found by Marcel Massini, in Arizona can be seen on this excellent thread at Ferrari Chat, you will probably have to sign up to see the thread.

My thanks to Geoffrey for today’s photo’s, to Michael Platzer for the chassis number and to every one who posted on Marcel Massinis Ferrari Chat thread.

Hope you have enjoyed another original patina edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !