Historic motor racing photo

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Canonballer
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Historic motor racing photo

Postby Canonballer » Wed 19 Jun 2019, 17:48

Back in 2011/12, after taking voluntary redundancy from my full time job of 25 years, I took up a temporary position with a local environmental consultancy for a few months. Whilst visiting a client and during a conversation about my interest in photography, he gave me a photo depicting an historic motor racing event (below). Neither he nor I had any idea as to when and where the shot was taken, a situation that to this day has not changed!

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Anyway, having been stored away for a good few years and shortly after moving house, I once again came across the photo and decided to try cleaning it up, with a view to perhaps framing it and displaying it at home. So after scanning, I spent several hours working on it in Photoshop, resulting in the image below.

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I was just wondering if any club member with an interest in historic motorsport, might have any inkling as to when and where this shot might have been taken?

Answers on a postcard please...……………….
Regards,

Dave Newman
Mike Farley
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Re: Historic motor racing photo

Postby Mike Farley » Wed 19 Jun 2019, 23:31

Canonballer wrote:I was just wondering if any club member with an interest in historic motorsport, might have any inkling as to when and where this shot might have been taken?

Top Gear test track? ;)

I was thinking that the occupants of the bungalows might not find race day much fun, but one household seems to be enjoying the specatacle for free.

Given the prominent Autocar advert, the magazine could be interested. Either they or their readers might be able to identify the track. It would be worth a punt to their letters page.
Regards

Mike Farley
(Visit my website and blog - www.mikefarley.net)
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Peter Boughton
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Re: Historic motor racing photo

Postby Peter Boughton » Thu 20 Jun 2019, 17:20

It is/was the Ards TT circuit in County Down. The corner is in Dundonald, and looks very different today.

Date-wise, the road-based track was in use between 1928 and 1936 for the RAC Tourist Trophy races (until two fatal accidents at the 1936 race).

Assuming it was one of those events, since some of the Ards TT programmes are online and confirm that the numbers 8 and 31 were given to different cars, identifying the make of the two in the image will confirm the year...
1928: 8 = ? , 31 = ?*
1929: 8 = Riley , 31 = ?
1930: 8 = Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS, 31 = Alvis FWD
1931: 8 = Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 LM, 31 = Riley Brooklands 9*
1932: 8 = Alvis, 31 = M.G. Midget
1933: 8 = Riley TT6, 31 = Sullivan Special Morris Minor
1934: 8 = Invicta, 31 = Riley
1935: 8 = Alvis, 31 = Adler
1936: 8 = Delahaye type 135CS, 31 = Riley Brooklands 9

*Different banners in other photos of the same location suggest it's not the 1928 or 1931 races.
Last edited by Peter Boughton on Thu 20 Jun 2019, 18:23, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: rule out 1928+1931 events
Canonballer
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Re: Historic motor racing photo

Postby Canonballer » Thu 20 Jun 2019, 18:28

Many thanks to you Mike, for your helpful comments about contacting Autocar Magazine. I must confess that although I had thought perhaps of contacting the Brooklands Museum people to see if they could shed any light on the event, I had not thought about contacting the magazine, even though this possibility was staring me right in the face (Doh!) :roll:

But I have to say Peter, I am truly amazed by the huge amount of detail that you've managed to dig up. :shock: :o What a star! Thank you so much for all the work you must have put into this!

From what you've discovered, it might still be worth me contacting the Brooklands Museum, in order to identify the car and therefor the year.
Regards,

Dave Newman
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Peter Boughton
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Re: Historic motor racing photo

Postby Peter Boughton » Thu 20 Jun 2019, 19:17

Not as much work as you might think - the heritage section of Shell's website gave the release of AeroShell as 1928, and another website showed The Autocar was 4d until 1940.
Looking at races between those dates, a description of the Ards circuit just happened to mention the "Central Bar" being a popular viewing point.
Searching for "ards tt" then brings up a whole bunch of different sites giving information, photos, and more.

I tried doing image searches for the cars but none appear to match - no doubt that'll be easy for someone who knows about them though.
waconquy
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Re: Historic motor racing photo

Postby waconquy » Thu 20 Jun 2019, 19:53

That was amazing Peter I never heard anything like it. That's the way to do research.
regards Wally
Mike Farley
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Re: Historic motor racing photo

Postby Mike Farley » Fri 21 Jun 2019, 08:16

If nothing else, Peter's sleuthing (for which I too doff my virtual hat in respect) demonstrates just what an incredible resource the Internet is. So much information which is so easily accessed.
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Mike Farley
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Canonballer
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Re: Historic motor racing photo

Postby Canonballer » Wed 10 Jul 2019, 20:11

This wraps up my original post regarding the event shown in the photo I originally posted.

Following Peter Boughton's amazing efforts to identify the venue and year of the event depicted, I wrote to the Brooklands Museum in Weybridge, asking if they could identify the cars in the photo.

This was their reply:

"....Dear David,
 
Thank you for getting in touch.
Your member has done an excellent job with his research so far, and I can confirm that this was taken at the 1932 Ards TT.
Number 31 is the MG C Type driven by Cyril Paul (retired after 13 laps).
Number 8 is the Alvis FWD driven under the pseudonym ‘Karachi’ (retired after 26 laps).
 
Let me know if I can be of any further help.
 
Kind regards
 
Andrew
 
Andrew Lewis
Collections and Exhibitions Manager
 
Brooklands Museum Trust Ltd
Brooklands Road
Weybridge
Surrey
KT13 0QN..."


So the mystery has finally been solved!

But once again, huge thanks (and respect) are due to Peter Boughton for his incredible efforts to identify the venue and year of the event depicted. Something that was also recognised by my contact at Brooklands.

So many thanks once again Peter!

Regards.
Regards,

Dave Newman
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Peter Boughton
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Re: Historic motor racing photo

Postby Peter Boughton » Thu 11 Jul 2019, 13:56

Knowing that it was the 1932 race, we can narrow down the time the photo was taken even further...

The corner looks to be ~1.5 miles before the end of the lap, so taking into account car speeds and handicaps from the programme, and knowing that #31 retired after 13 laps, the most likely encounter of those two cars on that corner is on race lap 11.

In short, the photo was probably taken around 12:24:25 on 20th August 1932. :)
Canonballer
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Re: Historic motor racing photo

Postby Canonballer » Thu 11 Jul 2019, 15:12

Now that is simply showing off Peter!!! :D I am perfectly happy with the information that you've already found out to date.

In all seriousness though who would have thought that this photograph would have proved so interesting eh?

Regards.
Regards,

Dave Newman

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