Featured France Grands Prix Ireland Northern Ireland

Observe the Sons of Ulster: Paris-Madrid 1903

County Down, Ireland: September 1916 Responding to deft touch, the Sopwith Strutter prescribes a shallow arc from Carnalea. Barely above the telegraph wires. No conscious check of bearing – instinctively the pilot dips a wing, and there… K and the children are at the homestead. Waves, and kisses blown. Banking right over Helen’s Bay. Swinging […]

Racing Daydreams - Nice to La Turbie
Featured France Sports Car Racing

Elliott Zborowski – Death on the Corniche

1 April 1903, the motoring greats were set for the literal high-point of Nice Week – the hillclimb from Nice to La Turbie. 1903 was planned and expected to be a huge year for the sport, and Mercédès in particular. There were 12 of their 60hp machines in Nice, including a brand-new one for Count […]

Featured France Myths & Curios

Avenues & Alleyways – The 1903 Mercédès Limousine

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what value a location? To stand on a street corner and watch the world scurry past. To stop and smile at the thought of the excitement, innovation, history that once filled a space, so mundane today. The Mercedes-Benz entry for the 1952 Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo […]

Racing Daydreams - Behra Grave
Featured France Grands Prix

Ici Repose Jean Behra

Follow tramline 1 in Nice towards its northern extremity – until it is just you and some shoppers heading to Saint-Sylvestre. Hop off at Gorbella – walk past Lidl & Monoprix. Take a left, up the hill – to Mont Claire Virenque – and there opposite the lycée you will find Cimetière Saint Barthélémy… and […]

Racing Daydreams - Renée Friderich
Featured France Myths & Curios Rallying

Friderich, Père et Fille – Bugatti, Nice

It’s 24 February 1932 – the event is the Rally Paris-St Raphaël Féminin – the woman is Renée Friderich. She is 20 years-old, and today – as her friend & mentor Hellé Nice sets fastest time – she will lose her life at the wheel of this Delage D8-S. It was a bad accident, perhaps […]

Racing Daydreams - Lautenschlager 1914 ACF
Grands Prix

Bill Mason’s Finest – Racing Mercedes

How lucky we are that film-maker Bill Mason shared our passion, and used his talent & time to leave a legacy for future generations. From the outset, that first Shell film of the 1949 British Grand Prix, Bill’s work attracted & inspired followers of motor racing. Increasingly, as the decades have passed, the films have […]

“Energy Conquers the Elements”? – Mercédès & the 1905 ‘Coupe de la Méditerranée’ - Racing Daydreams by Colin Johnston
Motorboats Myths & Curios

“Energy Conquers the Elements”? – Mercédès and the 1905 ‘Coupe de la Méditerranée’

“I have in my garden a bronze statue the patina of which has the soft shade of light emerald and which readily catches the eye of the passer-by… The pedestal of the trophy has in embossed letters two inscriptions. The front one is a little compromising: ALGIERS-TOULON RACE FOR MOTOR BOATS – ORGANISED BY LE […]

Over-Braked, Over the Ditch, and Over Here: The Day the Americans Took Le Mans - Racing Daydreams by Colin Johnston
Grands Prix

Over-Braked, Over the Ditch, and Over Here: The Day the Americans Took Le Mans

It’s curious how sport can diverge. Relatively straightforward sporting concepts, growing in different directions due to geography or arena. It can be difficult to reconcile different ‘codes’, different approaches. But, if possible, the result can be spectacular. On Sunday 2nd April, 1899 – after 8 hours 22 minutes of racing, and seven falls – French […]

Hiring Speed: A British Major Win, the First Champagne - Racing Daydreams by Colin Johnston
Grands Prix

Hiring Speed: A British Major Win, the First Champagne

The second of July this year will see drivers & teams training for the Grosser Preis Von Österreich. It’s a pretty safe bet that the winning car on Sunday will have been created in the UK. There’s a fair chance that the winning driver will be British too. All rather unremarkable these days. Is there […]

Notte Blu, Montagne Blu del Passato - Racing Daydreams by Colin Johnston

Notte Blu, Montagne Blu del Passato

A car horn blast in the early morning. A tight shot of a ‘Blu Notte’ Giulietta Sprint Veloce as it pulls out to pass our camera car. Cut to the Alfa’s interior. The navigator checks his map – a snatch of conversation in Italian – the car screeches to a halt. Driver & navigator dash […]