Archives for May 2013
1949 GORDINI 23S – CHASSIS 19GCS
Photo by Mike Jiggle, European Editor, VINTAGE RACECAR
By Ed McDonough
Anyone who has ever listened to Peter Ustinov’s fabulous motor racing spoof of the 1950s, the Grand Prix of Gibraltar, knows about Amédée Gordini. Ustinov’s parody of the Franco-Italian, Monsieur Orgini, and ‘eez funny leetle blue Orgini cars’ was not only hysterical but drew strongly on Ustinov’s knowledge of the then GP scene. The Orgini team was penniless, inclined to give up in existential despair and sit around smoking Gauloise, even while fueling the cars. Because they had no money for oil, they used a gift of sponsor’s cognac in the car instead! They couldn’t compete with the Teutonic efficiency of Herr Altbauer’s Schnorcedes team, or the drivers like Girling Foss and Bill Dill in the American Wildfowl.
According to Wikipedia, Ustinov was “a car enthusiast since the age of four, he owned a succession of interesting machines ranging from a Fiat Topolino, several Lancias, a Hispano-Suiza, a Delage and a Jowett Jupiter.”
While Ustinov’s portrayal of the French racing car constructor captured the frenetic way the team operated with very limited funding, it perhaps left a generation thinking that the real Gordini was not a serious player in the motor racing world, and that would be entirely wrong.
Story and Photos by Alessandro Gerelli
The RM auction was held last weekend in the gardens of Villa Erba in Cernobbio, together with the Concorso d’Eleganza of Villa d’Este. The catalogue included 38 cars and two Riva motor boats. However, it was really a Ferrari show with 16 entries. Recent models included a 288GTO, F40, F50, Enzo and a 599XX. Most others were from the 1960s. Six Bugattis were on the lawn along with a few other Italians (Maserati, Giannini, Cisitalia, Lamborghini, Lancia and Fiat). The auction was a real success: 27 million euro in sales (around 35 million US dollars) with all the Ferraris sold and most of the lots sold at prices higher than the estimate. The top price was the Ferrari 340, sold at about 10 million euros (including a buyer’s premium of 12%).
[Read more…] about The Cost of Our Passion, 2013
By Roberto Motta
Photos courtesy of Peugeot Sport
On 30 June, nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb and a fantastic new Peugeot 208 T16 will start in the most famous hillclimb race in the world: Pikes Peak.
The event marks the return of the French team at the traditional hillclimb after the memorable one-two wins on the same mountain in 1988 and 1989.
There’s still time for a few more cars on the legendary Le Mitiche to be held 21-23 of June, but you must sign up now. Mitiche Website For questions contact Dino Brunori at (email@example.com).
There are events, and there are EVENTS. VeloceToday covers the gamut, from the huge such as Concorso Italiano, Retro, Mille Miglia and Goodwood, to obscure, smaller affairs like Le Mitiche Sport a Bassano, which every year caters to barchettas particularly of the etceterini kind. It has got to be one of the most delightful affairs of all; a warm, friendly gathering of truly knowledgeable car enthusiasts who are just as happy with an OSCA as an Ortolani. [Read more…] about Coming up in June: Le Mitiche Sport a Bassano
Last week we introduced Theodore Pilette, the Belgian racing driver who finished 5th in the 1913 Indy 500, exactly one hundred years ago this week. This century old family affair will be celebrated by his grandson and race driver Teddy Pilette at Indianapolis this Sunday.
By Graham Gauld
When Theodore Pilette was killed in his Mercedes in 1921 his son, Andre Pilette, was just three years of age. But Andre would also become a racing driver after World War II.
Andre continued the car dealership business and raced anything that was around in the Pilette garage, which included an Alfa Romeo 2300, a Veritas and an HRG. For the 1948 24 hours of Spa race, he was approached by Englishman Tony Rolt to share his Aston Martin DB2. When it came to the race Rolt drove until it began to get dark and then handed over to Pilette.
Rolt then went back to his hotel, had dinner, went to bed and did not return to the track until 9.00 am to take over from the exhausted Pilette who had driven all through the night! A year later and Andre was back at Spa for the 24 hour race this time in a factory HRG winning the 1500cc class.
Story and Photos by Hugues Vanhoolandt
Last week was the 31st edition of the Mille Miglia Storica Rally, which is the world’s biggest mobile car museum, travelling along the beautiful roads of Italy from Brescia to
Roma and back. This year there more more cars entered than ever before: 415 cars at the start compared to the traditional amount of 375.
[Read more…] about Mille Miglia 2013 by Hugues Vanhoolandt
By Mario Marchesini
Last week for a variety of reasons, we didn’t deliver all of the great Lambo party photos taken by correspondent Mario Marchesini. Since we don’t do much on Lamborghini, (a feature on a weekend tune up for a Miura would be fun though) we figured it was well worth running the missing images, even though the party is quite over, though moving, we hear, to California later this year.
So enjoy, without further or much comment, the running of the Bulls in Bologna.
Herein are three reviews of books written by Graham Gauld, all available now via his website, and now offered to VeloceToday readers for a very special price from http://www.smrh.co.uk/ by using the discount coupon code word Veloce (be sure to capitalize the V). Please note all shipping is free with the use of the special coupon. Any questions or issues can be sent to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ferrari Gauld Mine
88 pages, softback, 10.50 by 10.50 inches
Havelock Publishing, Lesmahagow Scotland, 2007, copyright Graham Gauld
On sale now to VeloceToday readers for only $25 and free shipping!
[Read more…] about Three Books By Gauld; Special for VeloceToday Readers!
By Graham Gauld
Photos courtesy Pilette Family
This year’s Indianapolis 500 will be something special for Belgian ex-racing driver Teddy Pilette, for it will mark the 100th anniversary of his grandfather Theodore Pilette’s remarkable 5th place in the 1913 Indy 500. Remarkably, Teddy himself had three attempts at Indy back in 1979,’81 and’82 but did not manage to qualify. In between, Teddy’s father, Theodore’s son Andre, was a successful Belgain race driver in the 1950s, driving for Gordini and Ferrari. Finally, Teddy’s son John is now racing SEAT sedans!
But it all began with Grandfather Pilette, whose performance at Indy back then was of particular significance because his Mercedes-Knight was the smallest car in the race at just over 4 liters and he even averaged 20 mpg on fuel. So who was Theodore Pilette?
Born in 1883, he was a teenager when the automobile hit town and clearly he was impressed and went into the auto trade as soon as he could and became a dealer for Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (Mercedes).