Journal: When’s The Last Time You Saw These French Beasts Racing Wheel To Wheel?

When’s The Last Time You Saw These French Beasts Racing Wheel To Wheel?

By Petrolicious Productions
June 6, 2016

Story by Stewart Perry // Photography by Ross Perry

A race meeting in rural Victoria, approximately 130 miles from Melbourne, is not the place you’d expect to find an abundance of pre-war French Grand Prix cars here in Australia. The recent Historic Winton held at the Winton Motor Raceway, however, would make you rethink that theory.

With an exceptional turnout of seven of these Grand Prix beasts, France’s once-world-dominating machines were able to delight the crowd with their speed, simplicity, and seriously brave pilots.

Five Type 35, 37, and 51 Grand Prix Bugattis were accompanied by a 1926 Talbot Darracq Grand Prix (one of only three ever produced), and a 1927 Salmson Grand Prix. An early Bugatti Type 23 Brescia road car also ran, albeit in the regularity section rather than the all-out racing class.

This year marked the Historic Winton’s 40th anniversary, having been established in 1976 as Australia’s second ever (by a mere five months) all-historic race event. It was a sight to watch all of the classes thunder ’round, sure—but these pre-war machines stole the show.

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Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

This exact mix of Frenchdom’ parading’ [ that aint racin … thats displaying with a modicum of speed for effect ] around a track or roadway ? Perhaps never . But a similar mix including and in fact featuring Bugatti Type 35 , 37’s Talbots etc ? Colorado Grand – W&W’s etc et. al . Seriously … an eclectic mix of post WWI Frenchdom zipping around in displays of speed just aint that hard to come by . Not that the relative commonality takes anything away from the moments when they do come together mind you

But for my money… Type 35’s etc on public roads just can’t be beat . Especially when driven by a pair of gorgeous French twin aristocrats in their ‘ family ‘ Type 35 😉

8 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

“That ain’t racin” ?!? You need to come to Winton for the next historics. I’ve seen a Type 35 with *armloads* of opposite lock pushing through the esses there, and earlier this year at the Philip Island Festival, that yellow Bug was not doing parade laps, either. These guys are seriously pushing both their’s and the cars’ limits, and make for some great racing.

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