Discover the most momentous motoring events that took place this week in history ……….
120 years ago this week, the Salzburg-Linz-Vienna road race started and was won the following day by Ritter von Stern in a Daimler 24 hp [1 June 1900]……. The Bordeaux – Périgueux – Bordeaux Race (318 km) was won by Alfred Velghe (“Levegh”) on a 4-cylinder, 7.3-litre Mors 24CV [4 June 1900]. Second place went to Étienne Giraud on a 4-5.3 Panhard & Levassor 24CV and 3rd place to the American debutant Bostwick on a year-old 4-4.4 Panhard & Levassor 16CV…….110 years ago this week, the Hon Charles Rolls (32), joint founder of Rolls-Royce Ltd, made the first non-stop double crossing of the English Channel by plane [2 June 1910]. Rolls left Swingate Aerodrome in his French-built Wright Flyer bi-plane at 18.30. He was over Sangatte, France, at 19.15, where he dropped a message to the French Aero Club, and back in Dover at 20.00. The journey took 95 minutes and he circled the Castle in triumph! Over 3,000 people witnessed the event, after which Charles was carried through the town shoulder high. In the wake of his triumph, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club. He had resigned as managing director of Rolls Royce the previous year to publicise flying as previously he had promoted motor cars. He was characteristically determined and thorough. He began with gliders and worked his way up to powered flight. He was the first British airman to fly more than half a mile. he continued his tests and trials increasing the duration of his flights and before the end of 1909 stayed up for 48 minutes. In 1910 the Royal Aero Club issued pilots licences, Rolls was given No. 2. No. 1 went to Lord Babazan of Tara. On 12th July, 1910, he took part in the flying competition at Bournemouth, which was celebrating its centenary, in his French made Wright plane in which he had crossed the channel, but modified by the addition of a new tail plane. The plane had to be flown in a circuit and land as near as possible to the centre of a circle 100 yard in diameter. At his first attempt he landed 78 from the centre, not satisfied he decided to have another try, although the wind was freshening. When his turn came he approached the target but came down at too steep an angle. Part of the airframe broke, the plane dived into the ground from a height of 70 feet, he was killed instantly. He was the first British aviator to die in a plane crash……..90 years ago this week, the first American Austins were delivered to dealers [3 June 1930]. The American Austin Car Company was founded in 1929, in Butler, Pennsylvania, in premises that had belonged to the Standard Steel Car Company. Their intention was to assemble and sell in the United States a version of the Austin 7 car, called American Austin. After some initial success the Great Depression set in, and sales fell off to the point that production was suspended. In 1934 the
company filed for bankruptcy. The automobile was designed in the hopes of creating a market for small-car enthusiasts in the United States. The cars had 747 cc (45.6 cu in) inline-four engines, enabling the car to return 40 mpg‑US (48 mpg‑imp; 5.9 L/100 km), and travel 1,000 miles or 1,600 kilometres per 2 US qt (1.7 imp qt; 1.9 l) fill of oil. It was capable of 50 mph (80 km/h) in high gear. Styling resembled small Chevrolets, with Stutz- and Marmon-style horizontal hood louvres. The bodies were designed by Alexis de Sakhnoffsky and made by the Hayes Body Company of Detroit. The coupe was billed as a sedan, and sold for $445, slightly less than a Ford V8 roadster. The Great Depression made the cheaper secondhand cars more appealing, so sales dropped off. More than 8,000 cars were sold during the company’s first (and best) year of sales, but sales fell off to the point that production was suspended in 1932. It restarted in 1934 with bodies now made in-house, but stopped again between 1935 and 1937. About 20,000 cars were produced. Beginning in the 1960s, the car gained a following with hot rodders, as well as among drag racers. The 75 in (1,900 mm) wheelbase made it attractive, even compared to the Anglia……..80 years ago this week, the Germans bombed the Quai de Javel Citroen production facility [3 June 1940]. In 1915, during World War One, André Citroën built a shell manufacturing factory on Quai de Javel in Paris. After the war, he converted and expanded the factory to mass produce cars.The Citroën factory on the Quai de Javel was the most modern of its day in Europe (100 vehicles/day in 1919 and 200 vehicles/day in1924). In 1933, despite a particularly difficult financial situation, Citroën decided to completely rebuild the factory in just five months, without stopping production.The Quai de Javel, renamed Quai André Citroën in 1958, produced its last DS in April 1975. Administrative staff moved out in 1982. Today, the Parc André Citroën stands where the Javel plant used to be…….. The 7,000,000th Ford V-8 was produced [4 June 1940]………and on the same day [4 June 1940], The B. F. Goodrich Tire & Rubber Company of Akron, OH introduced ‘Ameripol’ tires, the world’s first to be made from synthetic rubber. Ameripol made synthetic rubber production much more cost effective, helping Akron, Ohio, rubber companies, including B.F. Goodrich, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, and Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, to meet the country’s needs during World War II (1941-1945). Waldo Semon’s invention helped end the United States’ dependence on foreign rubber. Upon World War II’s conclusion, these same companies began to produce synthetic rubber items for peacetime use as well…….70 years ago this week, the first World Championship pit stop fire occurred in the 1950 Swiss Grand Prix. Felice Bonetto’s Maserati pressure system exploded and the whole pit was demolished [4 June 1950]. Happily no-one was injured – and Bonetto was classified fifth overall!…….60 years ago this week, racer Jim Clark made his Formula 1 debut driving a Lotus in the Dutch Grand Prix [5 June 1960]. Clark, who won two World Championships, in 1963 and 1965, was a versatile driver who competed in sports cars, touring cars and in the Indianapolis 500, which he won in 1965. He was particularly associated with the Lotus marque. He was killed in a Formula Two motor racing accident in Hockenheim, Germany in 1968. At the time of his death, he had won more Grand Prix races (25) and achieved more Grand Prix pole positions (33) than any other driver. In 2009, The Times placed Clark at the top of a list of the greatest-ever Formula One drivers……50 years ago this week, New Zealand race-car designer and manufacturer Bruce McLaren (cover image) died at the age of 32, after crashing at the Goodwood Circuit in Sussex [2 June 1970]. He had been testing his new M8D Can-Am car when the rear bodywork came adrift at speed, leading to the loss of aerodynamic downforce and destabilising the car, which spun, left the track and hit a bunker used as a flag station……..40 years ago this week, Alan Jones driving a Williams-Cosworth FW07B won the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama. Jochen Mass
finished second for Arrows and Elio de Angelis third for Team Lotus [1 June 1980]……..30 years ago this week, construction began on the National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green, Kentucky [2 June 1990]…….. New Hampshire Motor Speedway a 1.058-mile (1.703 km) oval speedway located in Loudon, New Hampshire (US), opened [5 June 1990]. It has hosted NASCAR racing annually since the early 1990s, as well as the longest-running motorcycle race in North America, the Loudon Classic. Nicknamed “The Magic Mile”, the speedway is often converted into a 1.6-mile (2.6 km) road course, which includes much of the oval…….. British rally driver Tony Pond became the first to average 100 mph around the Isle of Man TT Motor Bike race circuit in a standard production car – a Rover Vitesse [6 June 1990]. This record stood until 2011…….20 years ago this week, contested over 78 laps, the Monaco Grand Prix was won by McLaren driver David Coulthard after starting from third position[4 June 2000]. Rubens Barrichello finished second in a Ferrari with Giancarlo Fisichella third for the Benetton team. Championship leader Michael Schumacher started from pole position alongside Jordan driver Jarno Trulli. The race was aborted due to an software glitch in the starting procedure and Jenson Button and Pedro de la Rosa collided which started a traffic jam. At the second start, Michael Schumacher maintained his lead into the first corner. After the second round of pit stops, Michael Schumacher’s exhaust broke causing a left rear suspension failure and his retirement from the race. Coulthard, in second place, became the new race leader on lap 57. Coulthard maintained his lead throughout the remainder of the race and secured his second victory of the season, with Barrichello a further 15.8 seconds back. Coulthard’s victory allowed him to narrow the lead of Michael Schumacher in the World Drivers’ Championship to 12 points. Häkkinen retained third with Barrichello a further seven points behind. In the World Constructors’ Championship, Ferrari retained their lead which was reduced to five points over McLaren. Fisichella’s strong result reduced the gap to Benetton’s rivals Williams to one point, with ten races of the season remaining.