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a12096_bira

In context

Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh (born 15 July 1914 in Bangkok, Thailand; died 23 December 1985 in Barons Court Station, London), better known as Prince Bira of Siam (now Thailand) or by his nom de course B. Bira, was the only Thai race car driver to race in Formula One. He raced in Formula One and Grand Prix races for the Maserati, Gordini, and Connaught teams, among others. He also was an Olympic sailor in the Melbourne Olympics, 1956 in the Star, Rome Olympics, 1960 in the Star, Tokyo Olympics, 1964 in the Dragon and the Munich Olympics, 1972 in the Tempest. In the 1960 Games he competed against another former Formula One driver, Roberto Mieres, who finished 17th and ahead of the prince in 19th. Birabongse was the only Southeast Asian driver in Formula One until Malaysia‘s Alex Yoong joined Minardi in 2001. Prince Bira was not only a racing driver, he was also an excellent pilot of gliders and powered aircraft. In 1952 he flew the remarkable distance from London to Bangkok with his own twin engine Miles Gemini aircraft.

Prince Bira accepting the trophy for winning the London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace in 1937, having driven his ERA.

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Text from Wikipedia

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There Was A Time…..

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….. when Formula 1 racing was just men and cars.

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a12065_blue train bentley

Legends cling to many famous cars, but perhaps the most fabled of them all
is the story of the “Blue Train” Bentley.

Once upon a time, March 12, 1930, to be exact, a wager was made amongst a group of early motoring enthusiasts at a dinner party at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France. A high-spirited discussion was prompted by the Rover motor car’s advertisement, claiming that its Light Six was faster than the famous express train Le Train Bleu. One person in the group was Captain Joel Woolf “Babe” Barnato, a well-known playboy millionaire, the heir to a South African diamond and gold mine, an international sportsman, and one of the original “Bentley Boys,” as well as the chairman of Bentley Motors and the winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1928 and 1929. He boasted that he would have no difficulty outrunning Le Train Bleu in his Bentley Speed Six. He bet £100 on his claim.

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Captain Joel Woolf
“Babe” Barnato

The next day, at 5:45 p.m., Le Train Bleu steamed out of Cannes, heading to London’s Victoria Station, while Barnato and his relief driver left the Carlton Hotel in his Speed Six. Although they battled heavy rain and fog, delays from searching for fuel, a punctured tire and having to use their only spare, and a choppy ferry ride across the English Channel, they arrived at the St. James Street Conservative Club four minutes before Le Train Bleu had even reached the ferry at Calais, France. Captain Barnato won his bet; however, the French authorities promptly fined him a sum far exceeding his winnings for racing on public roads. Bentley Motors was also excluded from the 1930 Paris Salon for conducting an unauthorized race.

The next day, at 5:45 p.m., Le Train Bleu steamed out of Cannes, heading to London’s Victoria Station, while Barnato and his relief driver left the Carlton Hotel in his Speed Six. Although they battled heavy rain and fog, delays from searching for fuel, a punctured tire and having to use their only spare, and a choppy ferry ride across the English Channel, they arrived at the St. James Street Conservative Club four minutes before Le Train Bleu had even reached the ferry at Calais, France. Captain Barnato won his bet; however, the French authorities promptly fined him a sum far exceeding his winnings for racing on public roads. Bentley Motors was also excluded from the 1930 Paris Salon for conducting an unauthorized race.

Spare parts and accessories for Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars
As for the car that he actually raced that day, that story too is one of legend. Barnato happened to have owned ten 6½-Litre cars, with seven being standard chassis and three being Speed Six chassis. For decades, the car depicted as the “Blue Train Bentley” in countless newspapers and magazines, as well as in a commemorative painting of the race with Le Train Bleu by Terence Cuneo, was Barnato’s streamlined “fastback” coupe, which had been bodied by Gurney Nutting and wore chassis number HM2855. However, the Bentley he actually drove that day was a rather unassuming black, fabric-covered saloon that had been built by H.J. Mulliner on a 1929 Bentley Speed Six chassis, number BA2592. Captain Barnato had owned that car for a year before the event, while his Gurney Nutting Coupe was still being built.

Text from RM Auctions

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a12042_hobbyhourse

Image found on SpaceQuest

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The Monte Carlo rally has ended in uproar over the disqualification of the British cars expected to fill the first four places. The first four to cross the finishing line were Timo Makinen (Finland) driving a British Motor Corporation Mini-Cooper, followed by Roger Clark (Ford Lotus Cortina), and Rauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk, both also driving BMC Minis.

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But they were all ruled out of the prizes – with six other British cars for alleged infringements of complex regulations about the way their headlights dipped. The official winner was announced as Pauli Toivonen, a Finn who lives in Paris, driving a Citroen.

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BMC and Ford have lodged protests but even if they are upheld, the reputation of the rally has been severely dented. After the race, a British official said: "This will be the end of the Monte Carlo rally. Britain is certain to withdraw."

Timo Makinen said: "None of us dreamed that the stewards would turn the results upside down – and for such a stupid reason."

This will be the end of the Monte Carlo rally

British team spokesman

The British cars were disqualified because they used non-dipping single filament quartz iodine bulbs in their headlamps, in place of the standard double filament dipping glass bulbs, which are fitted to the series production version of each model sold to the public.

According to new rules introduced at the end of last year, any car entering the rally must come off a standard production line, with at least 5,000 cars being built to a similar specification. The British cars were equipped with standard headlamps – but the only way of dipping them was to switch to non-standard fog lamps.

Richard Shepherd, from the BMC, said: "There is nothing new about the lights at all. They have been used in our rallies, on rally cars, including the Monte for two years now and we’ve had no trouble at all in the past."

The confusion arose because the rally organisers initially said the race would be run under the old rules – and only announced the switch after entries had been accepted. The BMC says it spent £10,000 on preparing for the Monte Carlo rally – and is now considering withdrawing from next year’s race.

In Context
The British teams’ protest to the race organisers was rejected. They boycotted the official farewell dinner held at the International Sporting Club. Prince Rainier of Monaco showed his anger at the disqualifications by leaving the rally before attending the prize-giving which he had always done in previous years.

On 13 October 1966, the supreme motor racing and rally tribunal upheld the disqualifications. The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile in Paris said the iodine quartz headlights fitted on the British cars were not standard.

The Citroen declared the official winner, which had similar lamps, was approved because the bulbs were fitted as standard on some models.

Pauli Toivonen never drove for Citroen again. In 1986, his son Henri won the Monte Carlo rally.

Text from BBCs OnThisDay

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a1113_racing

A step up from racing with lawnmower at least, but then again, if it has got an engine, you can race it 😉

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Aunt Mabel boasting about all the prizes she has won competing in beer relays.

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And here’s a picture of Mabel in training for the next competition.

In Context

Beer raleys are arranged like this. There are three persons in each team and the teams stand on each side of a table. In front of each competitor is an open bottle of beer. No 1 on each team grab the bottle as the start signal sounds, empty it and smashes the empty bottle in the table. The moment the bottle hits the table, No 2 grabs his, empty it and so on. The team that finishes first wins of course.These competition is run in cup system, so the winning team may have downed copious bottles of beer before the competition is over. I should know, during my design studies this was the most popular game we had and I was good at it – Ted

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