24-30 July: Motoring Milestones

ford-model-tt-truck-15

Momentous motoring events that took place during this week in history …..

120 years ago this week, the Paris-Dieppe Race from Saint-Germains to Dieppe, a distance of 106 miles, was won by Bollee driven by M. Jamin in a time of 4h. 13m. 33s, at an average speed of 25.1 mph [24 July 1897]. The race included seven Bollee and seven Panhard cars……. 110 years ago this week, the fourth Glidden Tour ended in New York City – the four cars of the Buffalo (NY) Automobile Club were declared joint winners [24 July 1907]. The contest was a club affair with teams from automobile organizations who represented different cities competing for the prize. Eighty-two cars carrying nearly three hundred passengers started out July 9 at Cleveland. The distance covered on this tour was 1,519 miles over roads that ran from gravel and clay to brick pavement or asphalt and many were in very bad condition. In addition to the Glidden Trophy, the AAA in 1907 also offered a new Hower Trophy, named for William J. Hower,

Mitchell finishing 1907 Glidden Tour in New York City

Mitchell finishing 1907 Glidden Tour in New York City

chairman of the AAA’s Touring Board, for the winning individual runabout, with the Glidden Trophy awarded to the winning automobile club with three or more entries. There was also a third sub-division in the 1907 Tour, for motorists who desired to participate in the Tour but who were not competing for either trophy. This Glidden was a very strenuous tour that was marred by several terrible accidents. Officials were criticized for setting short completion times for long distances, causing the tourists to push their cars to the limit. Mr. T. J. Clark died from injuries received when his Packard skidded on a sharp muddy turn and rolled into a ditch. Miss Teenie Rollins suffered a broken jaw and shoulder when she and other passengers in the Pierce Great Arrow driven by Kenneth R. Otis overturned. Contemporary reports of the tour show that accidents and breakdowns were simply considered to be part of early touring with the majority of starters persevering to complete their Glidden Tour…… 100 years ago this week, Ford introduced its first truck, the Model TT, available for just $600, the most radically

Ford Model TT

Ford Model TT

different Ford Model T variant ever produced [27 July 1917]. While it used the same 20 hp engine and transmission, it’s chassis was 25 inches longer than the standard Model T, and was beefier, too. TTs had a different rear end, with worm gears and lower ratios, to enable the classic Ford Model T motor to move a ton of freight. Speed was the trade off. The result of lower gear ratios, designed to haul freight, and an approximately higher weight of 900 lbs over the heaviest regular T is that TTs drive significantly slower than regular Ts. If you push them hard they might reach 24 mph, but they are far happier at around 20 mph……. 90 years ago this week, the 1928 Chandlers, featuring 25 different models, were introduced by Frederick C. Chandler of the Chandler Motor Company of Cleveland, Ohio, UK. By 1929 the company was purchased by the Hupp Motor Works [30 July 1927]……. 80 years ago this week, driver Ernst von Delius collided with Richard Seaman during the German Grand Prix held at Nürburgring on lap 6 and the accident was eventually fatal for von Delius, experiencing thrombosis [25 July 1937]. Von Delius was 25 years old. The race was won by German Rudolf Caracciola in a Mercedes-Benz W125…….. Racer Ernest von Delius (25) died from injuries suffered the previous day when his Auto Union crashed

 Ernest von Delius

Ernest von Delius

during the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring [26 July 1937]……. 70 years ago this week, the 1948 Packard Twenty – Second Series Super Eight and Custom Eight convertibles were introduced, the marque’s first open-bodied cars of the post-World War II era [25 July 1947]……. Charles Van Acker drove the Offenhauser-powered Tucker Partner Special to victory in the AAA Championship race in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US [27 July 1947]…….. 60 years ago this week, Jean Behra driving a BRM P25 won the Grand Prix de Caen (France), the marque’s first major racing victory [28 July 1957]……. 50 years ago this week, Phil Hill, in his last race as a professional driver, and Mike Spence drove the Chaparral 2F to victory in the BOAC 500 sports car race at Brands Hatch, England [30 July 1967]…… 40 years ago this week, Bobby Isaac survived a race of attrition to post a dominant win in the Nashville 420 at the 0.596-mile Nashville Speedway (Tennessee. US), at the state fairgrounds. Isaac led 214 of the 420 laps and was two laps ahead of Bobby Allison at the finish. Neil “Soapy” Castles finished third, a whopping 26 laps behind. Only nine of the 36 starters were running at the finish [25 July 1977]…… 30 years ago this week, Bill Elliott stormed to victory from the pole position to win the Talladega 500 at Talladega (Alabama, US) Superspeedway, marking the last race at the 2.66-mile track without carburetor restrictor plates [26 July 1987]. Elliott topped qualifying with a speed of 203.827 mph, which was the last 200-mph-plus qualifying effort before Marcos Ambrose’s 203.241 mph pole-winning lap at Michigan last month. Elliott led the final 38 laps and edged Davey Allison by .15 seconds in a 1-2 sweep by Fords. Dale Earnhardt was third in a Chevrolet. The race was run with a special restricted carburetor on every car, but plates were not introduced until the following year. ….On the same day [26 July 1986] Nelson Piquet drove a Williams-Honda to victory in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. The McLarens of Keke Rosberg and

Alain Prost was second before he ran out of fuel at the 1986 German Grand Prix

Alain Prost was second before he ran out of fuel at the 1986 German Grand Prix

Alain Prost both ran out of fuel on the final lap. Rosberg was running second, just behind Nelson Piquet’s Williams, when his car stopped just after the Ostkurve chicane. Prost was running third, behind Piquet and Ayrton Senna’s Lotus, when his car came to a halt on the finishing straight. The Frenchman got out of his car and tried to push it over the finish line, to great applause from the crowd, but was unsuccessful. Both drivers were passed by Nigel Mansell’s Williams and René Arnoux’s Ligier, who thus finished third and fourth respectively. Rosberg was eventually classified fifth with Prost sixth, as Rosberg had been ahead of Prost at the start of the final lap and the seventh-placed car, Derek Warwick’s Brabham, was a lap behind.……. Freeway shooting incidents were the talk of Los Angeles [27 July 1987]. Since June 18th there had been nine incidents involving vehicles and guns. Two motorists were actually shot to death and four others were injured. Police psychologists blamed “self-centered attitudes, violence in films and even the breakdown of family…” for the ‘road rage’. Authorities recommended that drivers avoid confrontation. In other words, don’t honk your horn, flash your headlights or wave your middle finger at that S.O.B.! It could be fatal……. 20 years ago this week, contested over 45 laps, the German Grand Prix was won by Gerhard Berger for the Benetton team, from a pole position start [27 July 1997]. Michael Schumacher finished second in a Ferrari, with Mika Häkkinen third for the McLaren team……10 years ago this week, Hoosier Tony Stewart won his second Allstate 400 at the Brickyard over runner-up Juan Pablo Montoya, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 champion [29 July 2007]. Montoya became the first driver to participate in three major racing events at IMS – the Indianapolis 500, the United States Grand Prix and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

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