Peugeot’s first car on Italy’s roads is star of London to Brighton run

The very first car to have been driven on Italian roads is one of the special entries in this year’s Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, supported by Hiscox.

It was owned by wealthy textile industrialist, Gaetano Rossi. He ordered the car in 1892 and it was delivered to his home in Schio, Vicenza, in the north of the country in January 1893.

However, the car was not Italian, but French, an early 2.5 hp twin-cylinder Peugeot Type 3 with chassis number 25.

When Rossi, a friend of Armand Peugeot, purchased a second Peugeot in 1896, he gave the Type 3 to a friend, Guido Lazzari.

Lazzari lived in Aiello del Friuli, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire but lost to Italy in the First World War.

When Italian troops entered Aiello del Friuli, parts of the car were taken and the pioneering Peugeot was laid up. The car lay forgotten for some years until, in 1955, the Lazzari family – Guido died in 1953 – offered it to the Turin Automobile Museum in exchange for a then-brand new Fiat 1100.

Partially restored in time for the museum opening in 1963, the Peugeot was initially thought to be a later model but its true provenance was uncovered in 1999 by Fabrizio Taiana of the Club Storico Peugeot Italia. Until his detective work revealed the truth, the honour of being the first car on Italian soil was held by a Panhard et Levassor, which was driven in Florence in 1894.

Since then, the Type 3 has undergone a further full bodywork restoration in 2007 and, this year, its engine and other mechanical parts were reconditioned in preparation for its debut on the world-famous London to Brighton Run.

With the 2017 Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox having a French theme, it is appropriate that the ‘Italian’ Peugeot will be taking a starring role: as the oldest car on this year’s Run. It has been given start number 1 and will be the first car away. It is officially entered by the Museo dell’Automobile di Torino but will be driven by Count Alessandro Rossi di Schio – a direct descendant of the car’s very first owner.

“This is a genuinely fascinating car. One of the earliest Peugeots in existence, it is also one of the most significant and will come to London in November with an intriguing back story. It is absolutely fitting that it will be driven to Brighton by a member of the original owner’s family,” said Peter Read, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club’s Motoring Committee.

The 2017 Veteran Car Run will be held, as ever, on the first Sunday in November – this year, it falls on November 5 – and is organised by the Royal Automobile Club.

As dawn breaks, a red flag will be ceremoniously ripped up and the 400 entries will start their journey from capital to coast: the Run celebrates the passing into law of the Locomotives on the Highway Act in November 1896, also known as the Red Flag Act, and refers to a time when these new-fangled machines had to follow a man holding a red flag.

More than 400 veterans have entered this year among which are a large contingent of cars constructed in France. While Germany is generally considered to be the birthplace of the motor car, it was the French who accelerated the concept of the horseless carriage and was by far the biggest automobile producing nation as the 19th century turned into the 20th century. This year’s Run has adopted a French theme in honour of the country’s contribution to motoring.

The Run is just one element of the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motor Week. A full week crammed with motoring happenings, popular events include the free Regent Street Motor Show. Held on Saturday, November 4, it turns London’s premier shopping street into a motoring showcase that puts the spotlight on veterans, classics and moderns alike.

Auction house Bonhams will be holding its annual Veteran Car sale on Friday, November 3, while other events in London Motor Week include a motoring art exhibition at the Mall Galleries, which is open to the public, as well as invitation-only lunches, receptions and functions at the Royal Automobile Club’s Pall Mall clubhouse.

For more details of the event and access to registration forms visit www.veterancarrun.com

 

 

‘Mister Le Mans’ to celebrate his 50th birthday at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Tom Kristensen, legendary Le Mans and Sebring champion, will be celebrating his 50th birthday and the 20th anniversary of his first Le Mans win at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, taking place from June 29 to July 2.

Following his 1997 Le Mans win with the Joest racing team, driving a Tom Walkinshaw Racing- designed and Porsche-powered WSC95, TK, as he is affectionately known, went on to top the podium at Le Mans nine times, six of them in consecutive years. He is also the only man in racing to boast six Sebring wins.

The Festival will honour TK’s 36 years in motorsport with a collection of his greatest racing machines, including offerings from his glorious career at Audi as well as the stunning Bentley Speed 8. Meanwhile, the BMW V12 LMR, the first car to take TK to the top step of the Sebring 12 Hours, will be in action, tackling the famous Goodwood hillclimb.

In anticipation of this year’s Festival, Goodwood Road and Racing (GRR) have further released a competition to win tickets to the Festival of Speed, hinting at some of the awesome machines ticket-holders and GRR viewers will be treated to at the world’s most glamourous motorsport event: https://www.goodwood.com/grrc/event-coverage/festival-of- speed/2017/4/competition-win-fos-tickets/.

Saturday and weekend tickets are now sold-out, with Thursday, Friday, and Sunday tickets selling fast. Hospitality packages are available throughout the weekend. To buy tickets or enquire about hospitality visit www.goodwood.com or call the Goodwood Ticket Office on 01243 755 055.

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Goodwood Members’ Meeting tickets are likely to go quickly!

This year’s 75th Members’ Meeting, taking place at the Goodwood Motor Circuit on March 18-19, will celebrate some of the most competitive and exciting touring cars ever to race, 30 years since the inaugural World Touring Car Championship took place in 1987.

2016 Goodwood Members Meeting, 74th Members Meeting, Brooks Trophy. Photo: Drew Gibson

Running for a single year in 1987, the WTCC was open to cars complying with the FIA’s Group A regulations. The championship featured legendary names such as Roberto Ravaglia, Emanuele Pirro and Johnny Cecotto in BMW M3s battling with the Ford Sierra RS500s of German aces Klaus Ludwig and Klaus Niedzwiedz and British Touring Car Championship frontrunners Steve Soper and Andy Rouse. The Group A regulations helped spawn numerous unlikely, but superb, racers, and the demonstrations will highlight the diversity of the era, with Rover SD1s, Jaguar XJSs, Ford Mustangs and Volvo 240 Turbos sharing the Goodwood asphalt alongside the M3s and RS500s.

Goodwood Road Racing Club Members and racegoers will witness two batches of Group A greats, with the early Group A machines, including BMW 635s, Jaguar XJSs, Rover SD1s and Volvo 240 Turbos, in one and the younger RS500s, M3s and Alfa Romeo 75s on track in a later demo.

Watch Goodwood’s official track tester, 2013 BTCC Champion and Members’ Meeting and Revival race winner Andrew Jordan, test-driving a BMW 528 at the Motor Circuit on Goodwood Road and Racing this Thursday on www.goodwood.com/grrc.

A limited number of public tickets for the 75th Members’ Meeting are available and likely to be sold out within the month. Tickets are on sale at www.goodwood.com and at the Goodwood Ticket Office on 01243 755 055.