Tag Archives: TT

The One That Escaped – Mercedes Benz 300 SLR no.5

Giovanni, better known as Hans, and Fritz Schlumpf were born in Italy in 1904 and 1906 respectively before there Swiss father. an accountant, and Alsatian mother Jeanne Becker resettled in Mulhouse, Alsace then under German rule.

Hans became a banker and Fritz a wool broker before going into business together in 1929 founding SAIL a public limited company in 1935 which began acquiring shares and later a controlling interest, in the Malmerspach spinning mill before managing takeovers of further textile manufacturing businesses.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed

On the 28 June 1976 the Schlumpf Brothers had to file for bankruptcy with the loss of 2,000 jobs, just as another Schlumpf pet project is about to come to fruition unbeknownst to the laid off workers.

Nine month’s after the loss of their jobs members of the CFDT union discovered that the Schlumpf brothers had converted one of their old textile mills in to a 17,000 sq meter / 182986 sq foot museum, due to open shortly after the brothers filed for bankruptcy, containing over 400 vehicles mostly Bugatti’s and only a few other European makes, including to day’s featured 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SLR no.5, which were laid out along immaculate gravel avenues of lights separated by tiled walk ways.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Naturally the former Schlumpf employees did not take kindly to the appearance of being paid a pittance while the brothers employed a staff including seven assistant mechanics, two upholsterers, two body-work specialists, an assistant body-work specialist and five painters many of whom were former employees of Bugatti, another business based in Mulhouse that had ground to a halt in the 1950’s, to maintain and indeed restore to their former glory so many cars, not all of which were acquired in pristine condition.

After occupying the factory and apparently holding the Schlumpf brothers hostage for 3 days the French Government negotiated the brothers exile to Switzerland and declared their Collection of national cultural significance ensuring it would not be broken up nor sold abroad and founded the what today has become La Cité de l’Automobile – National Museum – Schlumpf Collection in Mulhouse with various national and regional private and public bodies eventually reimbursing the brothers and presumably their creditors to the tune of 69 million francs.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Just how the Schlumpf brothers managed to acquire 300 SLR no.5 in 1966 remains a mystery, at least one source reckons it was “probably” traded for a fabled W196 Grand Prix car of the same vintage, which only begs the question how did the Schlumpf brother obtain a W196, because Mercedes Benz have been quite meticulous in holding onto their post war racing heritage.

# no.5 has a three race history, it started the 1955 Mille Miglia at 7:01 am with Karl Kling at the wheel who like Juan Manuel Fangio who started at 6:58 attempted to drive the route solo, however he never made it to the finish of the 1,000 race after crashing out.

Juan and Karl drove # no.5 to a second place finish on the in the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod and according to Mercedes Benz the same pairing finished second, to chassis #no.4 driven by Moss and Collins, driving the same car on the Targa Florio where the team secured victory in the 1955 World sports car championship over Ferrari who scored one victory and Jaguar who scored two victories.

Thanks for joining me on this “The One That Escaped” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Donnet. Don’t forget to come back now !


$20m Winner – Aston Martin DBR 1/2

This month sees the 90th Anniversary of the first running of the 24 Heures du Mans or Le Mans 24 Hour race which is organised by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and run on the Circuit de la Sarthe much of which today follows the same course as in 1923.

In order to celebrate one of my favourate events in the international motorsports calender I will be posting 26 blogs that cover just a fraction of the Le Mans story, starting with the Aston Martin DBR 1 that coincidentally won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1959, the year I was born.

Verdon-Roe, Aston Martin DBR1/2, Goodwood Revival

Today’s featured Aston Martin was the second of a run of five racing cars that were built to more or less the same design between between 1956 and 1959. DBR1/2 was the first to be fitted with a 3 litre / 183 cui 6 cylinder motor from new in 1957. DBR 1/1 built in 1956 was orginally fitted with a 2.5 litre / 152 cui motor which was replaced in 1957.

Tony Brooks and Noël Cunningham-Reid drove DBR1/2 to victory at the World Sports Car Championship round held at the Nurburgring in 1957 two weeks after Tony Brooks had led an Aston Martin 1-2 result driving the same car in the non championship race at Spa. Brooks and Cunningham-Reid shared DBR1/2 again at the 1957 Le Mans 24 hours which they did not finish after being involved in an accident. The same pairing shared DBR 1/2 at a second non championship race at Spa which they won.

Verdon-Roe, Aston Martin DBR1/2, Goodwood Revival

In 1958 Stirling Moss shared this car with Brooks at Sebring where they retired from the 12 hour race with an axle problem. Two more retirements followed at the Nurburgring and Le Mans but at the end of the ’58 season Brooks and Moss won the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood, where the car is seen above with Bobby Verdon-Roe at the wheel.

Verdon-Roe, Aston Martin DBR1/2, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

In 1959 Stirling Moss won a minor race at Silverstone with the Aston before Roy Salvadori and Carrol Shelby took over the driving duties for the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hours to score the Marques only out right Le Mans victory having covered 323 laps one more than the second placed sister car, DBR 1/4 driven by Maurice Trintignant and Paul Frère. At the end of the year DBR1/2 was driven to victory by Salvadori and Shelby in the TT at Goodwood again which secured the World Sports Car Championship for Aston Martin.

In 1960 Major I. B. Bailie acquired the car entering it for the 1000 km race at the Nurburgring where he came 22nd with Edward Greenhall and for the Le Mans 24 Hours with Jack Fairman sharing the driving the car finished it’s forth consecutive Le Mans 24 hour race in 9th place. Bailie scored further podium finishes with the car up to 1961. In 1963 David Ham acquired DBR1/2 and raced it on at least 2 occasions which netted podium results in class but no overall wins.

Last year DBR1/2 which played a leading role in Aston Martin’s 1959 World Sportscar Championship success was offered for sale with an asking price of US$20 million. If DBR1/2 ever does change hands at that price it will become the most expensive Aston Martin ever.

Thanks for joining me on this “$20m Winner” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Biting The Hand – Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa 59/60 #0774

After attracting the attention of US Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti in 1957 Dan Gurney found himself at the wheel of a North American Racing Team Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, owned by Chinetti at Le Mans in 1958 and drove the car up to 5th place before handing over to his team mate Bruce Kessler who got caught up in someone elses accident before the car retired. That drive impressed Ferrari sufficiently to earn Dan a drive with the works Ferrari team.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

For their 1959 Le Mans effort Ferrari built today’s featured Ferrari 250 TR chassis #0774 for Gurney to share with Jean Behra the car managed twice as many laps as Dan’s first attempt but still fell way short of a result.

Next time out Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien drove the car at Goodwood in the TT Race where they also failed to score a result both the 1959 Le Mans and Goodwood TT had been won by Aston Martin in what turned out to be a championship winning season for them.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

1960 would see a return of fortune for the Ferrari sports car team and chassis #0744 played an important role winning two championship races first Phil Hill and Cliff Alison won the 1000 kms at Buenos Aires and then Olivier Gendebien and Paul Frére won the Le Mans 24 hours scoring Ferrari’s third win in the Endurance Classic and helping Ferrari to their sixth World Sports Car title.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

Between these successes #0774 was loaned to Chinetti’s NART team for Ritchie Ginther and Chuck Daigh to drive in the Sebring 12 hours but they failed to finish and after Le Mans the car was sold to Eleanor von Neumann who entered it for Phil Hill to drive in the 1960 LA Times Grand Prix at Riverside where he finished 7th overall.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

In 1963 Tom O’Connor bought the car for his Rose Bud racing team which promptly stripped the motor out and fitted it to their Lotus 19 chassis 952 that featured here on GALPOT a couple of years ago.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

Under the ownership of Paul Pappalardo #0774 was reunited with it’s original motor in the 1980’s and the car won two class Concours d’Elegance awards at Palm Beach and Pebble Beach in 1993.

Ferrari 250 TR, Goodwood Revival

In a twist of biting the hand that feeds irony Dan Gurney eventually won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1967 with co driver AJ Foyt driving for Ferrari’s sworn enemy Ford in a Mk IV.

After 26 years in Paul’s custody ownership of #0774 passed to Hong Kong sourcing and logistics magnate William E ‘Chip’ Connor who kindly took it to the 2012 Gooodwood Revival for the Tribute to Dan Gurney Parade.

Thanks for joining me on this “Biting The Hand” 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 !


Goodwood RAC TT Celebration – Ferraris

The RAC TT or International Tourist Trophy is a more or less annual award given to the winners of a selected motor race. It was first awarded in 1905 making it the longest lasting trophy in Motorsport. Among the many venues that hosted the RAC TT is Goodwood which ran TT races from 1958 to 1964. Below are 9 of the 10 Ferrari’s that took part in the Revival Celebration TT practice sessions a couple of weeks ago.

Ferrari 250 GT Drogo, Goodwood Revival

The #14 Ferrari 250 GT Drogo started life as a 250 GT SWB (Short Wheel Base) Competizione chassis #2445GT in 1961, it was supplied to Garages Francorchamps in Belgium and is known to have won at least seven European races in the hands of Robert Crevits in the 1961 and ’62 seasons. At Le Mans in 1962 Robert Darville crashed the car and it was subsequently sent to Piero Drogo in Modena where the current bodywork was fitted. Apparently James Coburn briefly owned this car in 1964. Dutchman David Hart shared the #14 with 2006 RAC TT winner Michael Bartels at Goodwood.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Beadvan, Goodwood Revival

Readers from Rowdy.com may remember my blog on the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan, I’ll repost the whole blog here if I find myself getting short of Ferraris to write about, chassis #2819 is a bastard in so much as it also started life as a 1961 250 GT SWB, but Count di Misurata had his car upgraded by Giotto Bizzarrini, the man responsible for designing both the Ferrari 250 GT SWB and the later 250 GTO. The ‘Breadvan’ was driven at Goodwood by Nicholas Minassian and Max Werner.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Goodwood Revival

One of my all time heroes Art Merzario shared the #19 250 GT SWB/C with Kilian Koenig. This 1960 model chassis #1811GT was another car originally supplied to Garages Francorchamps and in the hands of Robert Crevits won 3 races outright in the 1961 season.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Goodwood Revival

Conrad Ulrich shared his #20 250 GT SWB chassis #3107GT with Frank Stippler at Goodwood. This chassis was originally supplied to M. Auregli in Italy and has no race history, that I can discern, until the current owner acquired it in 1999.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione, Goodwood Revival

This light weight 1961 250GT SWB Compitizione was originally entered by the North American Racing Team in the Paris 1000 kms for the Mexican Rodriguez brothers who won on the cars debut race. Subsequently it was sold to Doug Thiem in the USA who succesfully campaigned this chassis #3005GT in 1962. The #21 car now belongs to Lukas Hueni who shared it with Carlo Voegele at Goodwood.

Ferrari 250 GTO, Goodwood Revival

Gregory Whitten’s #23 250 GTO chassis #3413 was originally used as a spare car and tested by Graham Hill and engineer Mauro ‘Fury’ Fogheri on the Targa Florio in 1962, later that year #3413 was acquired by Edoardo Lualdi who scored numerous overall and class wins hillclimbing with it. In 1963 Gianni Bulgari raced it scoring a class win on the Targa and an overall win at Monza. In 1964 the car was fitted with ’64 GTO bodywork at the Ferrari factory for new owner Corrado Ferlaino who promptly took another class win on the Targa and at least two more hillclimb class wins. In 1967 Jack Le Fort acquired #3413 for £6000 /@ US$ 15,000 after several further changes of ownership Gregory Whitten acquired it in 2000 for US$ 7 million ! Greg shared his car with 6 time Le Mans winner Derek ‘Dinger’ Bell at Goodwood.

Ferrari 250 GTO, Goodwood Revival

The #24 Ferrari 250 GTO chassis #3767GT was raced with the #8 by original owner David Piper to 5th place in the 1962 Tourist Trophy at Goodwood. David won races in Angola and South Africa with this car in 1962. In 1963 David shared the car at Sebring with the cars next owner Ed Cantrell who clocked up further class wins with the car through to the end of 1964. Since 1974 #3767 has been the property of heavy plant magnet Anthony Bamford at Goodwood his son Jo shared the drivng duties with Alain de Cadenet.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta , Goodwood Revival

Jose Albuquerque, of Portugal brought his 250GT Compitizione to Goodwood and shared it with Barrie Williams. Chassis #2159GT was originally supplied to Garage Montchoisy, Geneva, CH and Gérard Spinedi won on his debut in the 1000m sprint at Cern, Spinedi scored numerous overall and class victories in races, rallies and on the hills up to 1964. Mr Albuquerque has been the custodian of this car since 2001.

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta , Goodwood Revival

Finally Garage Francochamps appears to have acquired this 1960 steel bodied 250GT SWB Berlinetta chassis #2069GT from Baron de Fierlant in 1962, apart from a 2nd place in the 1962 Ardenne hillclimb with Robert Crevits at the wheel, the car has no discernable competition history until the turn of this century when Vincent Gáye acquired it. Vincent was sharing #2060GT with former national hillclimb champion David Franklin in the RAC TT celebration.

My thanks to PauloSF at Ferrari Chat for his contribution to todays blog.

Thanks for joining me on this RAC TT edition of ‘Gettin a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

SOT Thanks to a strong alignment of favourable planets I’ll be attending the Bill Boddy Tribute Day at Bill’s spiritual home Brooklands tomorrow, if I had not picked up a copy of Motor Sport, edited by Bill Boddy, in January 1973 I’d never have been bitten by the passion I still have 38 years later for all things motoring.