michael ulrich das rennen das bugatti verpaßte das straßenrennen paris-madrid und sein berühmtester nichtstarter monsenstein vannerdat
michael ulrich the race bugatti missed the paris-madrid road race and its most famous non-starter that was not the reason!
für swantje michael ulrich the race bugatti missed © 2005 by verlagshaus monsenstein und vannerdat münster © 2005 michael ulrich text layout and artwork michael ulrich english translation michael ulrich french translation sylvie péjac printed in the e.u all rights reserved no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying recording or any information storage or retrieval system without prior permission in writing from the publisher isbn 3-86582-085-9
peu de gens se souviennent des automobiles de dietrich c était il y a un siècle cette période de notre histoire industrielle reste pourtant riche et mouvementée son apogée est peut-être atteinte en 1903 avant cette course paris-madrid où nous devions engager 15 voitures 13 « de dietrich » en provenance de l usine française de lunéville et 2 « de diétrich » venant de l usine alsacienne donc allemande de reichshoffen construites par ettore bugatti et pilotées par lui-même et son ami emile mathis de dietrich doit beaucoup à michael ulrich il a tout d abord contribué à recréer la type 5 disparue en réalisant avec uwe hucke la maquette au 1/8 de la voiture il a effectué ensuite un travail de recherche colossal véritable synthèse culturelle européenne seule capable de rendre compte de la complexité de la vie automobile de l époque et des sources disponibles aujourd hui principalement en allemagne en angleterre et en france ce travail concernait au départ la type 5 première voiture de course due à 100 à ettore bugatti puis s est élargi à la course paris-madrid elle-même ainsi qu à l ensemble des participants dont de dietrich la genèse de l activité automobile d adrien de turckheim le démarrage d ettore bugatti et d emile mathis chez de dietrich sont mis en lumière michael ulrich est également un artiste qui a sélectionné de magnifiques images pleines de vie pour nous conter cette histoire la collaboration avec les associations automobiles bugatti et mathis a permis d élargir et de préciser les sources ce livre arrive à point pour expliquer la recréation d une voiture de dietrich système bugatti et apporte le complément culturel indispensable pour comprendre cette aventure démarrée en 1981 avec hugh conway et à laquelle mon père à participé une aventure où à partir de quelques plans de photos et de passions partagées les rêves les plus fous d ettore bugatti peuvent devenir une réalité concrète c est avec une réelle émotion que je relis l histoire de mon arrière grand-père eugène de dietrich recentrant en 1904 les activités industrielles sur le ferroviaire et donc obligé de se séparer de l automobile laissée aux turckheim pour rester indépendants nous avons été amenés récemment à faire ce même choix « être majoritaire dans une activité réduite » en revanche nous avons une consolation ceux à qui nous avons mis le pied à l étrier comme ettore ont su se développer progresser dans leur domaine et comme nous n ont finalement pas si mal réussi marc-antoine de dietrich président de l association de dietrich président du conseil de surveillance de de dietrich
1 contents prologue 3 part 1 the race predecessors 7 preparations 13 pésage in the jardin des tuileries 27 parc fermé 35 road signs signalling etc 37 timekeeping 40 participants 45 prizes 58 tourist excursion 60 supporting programme 61 presentiments 63 the first and last stage 65 charles jarrott s race 73 other voices 103 racing results 117 team competition 127 the grease monkeys 131 the wild riders 133 to stop or not to stop the race 135 the victims 137 aftermath 155 part 2 bugatti mathis and de dietrich ettore bugatti 249 e.e.c mathis 259 de dietrich cie 263 cars from lunéville système amedée bollée 277 système turcat-méry 287 cars from niederbronn paul nicodème système vivinus système bugatti the first races in 1902 type 5 paris-madrid internationales automobilrennen frankfurt 5 semmering-bergrennen die internationalen automobilrennen zu berlin two racing cars three versions 303 307 311 327 335 337 345 351 359 the state of the art of automobile design 163 weight problems 167 the competitors 169 mors 171 renault frères 177 mercédès 185 panhard-levassor 195 ader 203 cgv 206 clément 208 décauville 210 darracq 211 de dion-bouton 212 gobron-brillié 215 napier 221 wolseley 224 motor cycles 229 pneumatics 241 epilogue 377 acknowledgements appendix
3 prologue on an august afternoon in 2000 my wife and i were visiting monika and uwe hucke in their comfortable warwickshire farm house after a much too short but very exciting run in their bugatti type 53 we were sitting in the library and discussing cars mainly bugatti and people mainly bugatti related all of us enjoying the relaxed atmosphere uwe hucke talked very enthusiatically about the de dietrich-bugatti type 5 built for the paris-madrid race in 1903 a car i had never heard of he unfolded an old large 1/2 scale drawing of what turned out to be a tubular chassis with a huge engine and next to no bodywork with the driver s seat behind the back axle not similar at all to any bugatti known to me the conversation turned to modelling and suddenly he began to persuade me that i always had wanted to make a scale model of that car he knew for certain that this would not be too difficult for me to do as i would get any help from him i needed i told him that i never had built a model car from scratch but he simply carried on talking about the car getting me more and more hooked so having spent this afternoon and some days later another one with the huckes i must have been infected enough by uwe hucke s enthusiasm that when we went back to berlin apart from very pleasant memories we took with us a pile of drawings old photographs and a commission for a scale model for the next year i spent most of my spare time reconstructing this car and drawing new plans in 1/8 scale from the scarce information that was left after nearly a hundred years on top of the research on the particular car and the general lines of car construction in 1903 i started digging into the fascinating history of the gruelling paris-madrid race which emerged as a turning point in the history of motor sport all this work was accompanied by intensive communication between uwe hucke me and various other people he put me in touch with i especially remember several very long phone calls to norbert steinhauser in france who as the leading expert on bugatti s early days has done a lot of research on the type 5 he proved to be extremely helpful sharing his wealth of information with me sending photographs and his own sketches on various construction details as well as commenting on my drawings in august 2001 during our annual english holiday we revisited the huckes to discuss the finished drawings and to have a look at the chassis of the full size replica that uwe hucke had started to build in the meantime using my plans he was even more enthusiastic than the year before and could not wait to see his favourite car as well as the model finished back in berlin the construction of the model went on very well accompanied by a lively exchange of photos of both the model and the parts for the replica but then about christmas time bad news came uwe hucke s illness from which he had recovered years ago had come back and within four months we received the news of his untimely death although i had known him only for a relatively short time it seemed to me as if i had lost a friend so i decided to carry on making the model even though i expected monika hucke to stop the project to my astonishment i heard that she was not only interested in seeing the model finished but also planned to carry on with the construction of the car and even wanted it to be completed for the centenary of the famous race!
4 this book emerged from the idea to sum up the outcome of my research for the model of bugatti s first genuine racing car this tiny but not unimportant chapter of motoring history should not disappear in oblivion again to build the model apart from dealing with the construction i also had to consider the historic environment which on one side includes ettore bugatti s early life as well as the history of the house of de dietrich and on the other hand the history of motor sport in the very early twentieth century what fascinated me most was bugatti s very marginal connection to this epic disastrous race paris-madrid which became known as the first turning point in motoring history i soon had to find out that the nebulous tales available today confirm the mythical character of this race to death articles on the subject even in renowned magazines are full of errors and exaggerations with quite some effort i managed to find one single book on the subject la grandiose et meurtrière course parismadrid by jean-robert dulier in 1966 regrettably only published in french apart from quite a number of tables it contains loads of documentary material details like the circumstances of some accidents are discussed thoroughly many connections became only evident by reading this book even though sometimes it does not agree with contemporary sources and sometimes omits remarkable details occasionally i have adopted quotations from magazines printed here to which i could not find direct access for the centenary on 24 may 2003 jean-francois blattner henri mellon and paul kestler during a commemoration at the chateau of reichshoffen presented their documentary of the race the most comprehensive up to then and generously allowed me to use their work for this book in the course of my research i encountered many more people willing to share their wealth of knowledge with me as well as providing me with wonderful photographs and illustrations there were too many to list them here but i thank all contributors for making this ambitious project come true not very much is known about bugatti s early days as a constructor and racing driver an important chapter in his life is his first employment as head of a major construction department in the newborn motoring industry his years with de dietrich in niederbronn/alsace bugatti s first thoroughbred racing car which was built there seems to have been scrapped as early as 1904 and has left only very few traces to concentrate on the car and its short racing records would not be too interesting for a reader after several discussions with friends i decided therefore to take a wider view on the subject and to include the automobile history of the house of de dietrich in the first few years of the new century after the motorcar s first wobbly steps the final shape of the automobile for years to come cristallized pioneered by motor sport as it would be during the whole history of motoring many features which are commonplace today were then used for the first time for instance the front wheel drive streamlined bodywork and the ohv engine that quite a few constructors went astray becomes also apparent in the story of the paris-madrid race details and connections have today mostly disappeared in the mist of the past to collect and research historic facts is one thing to represent them in a way that boredom about numbers and tables does not start after reading three pages is another i have tried to let come to life a comprehensive picture of this fascinating facet of the very early days of motoring by not only presenting technical facts but also citing the people involved the pivotal point remains bugatti s first full blooded racing car uwe hucke once said to me in my new book i will correct some errors others and i myself made certainly i will create some new ones also in this book errors and misinterpretations will emerge sometimes i will stay merely speculative but in the end this it is not intended as a scientific treatise!
7 predecessors part 1 the race already in 1903 town-to-town races had a great tradition in france town in this context can be replaced by paris as races were nearly always started here even long before the invention of the motorcar the greatest bicycle race of the year was run from paris to bordeaux in france and especially in paris the evolution of the motoring industry and thus of motor sport concentrated the first motor race ever was the paris-rouen reliability run in 1894 during scrutineering before the race only 21 out of 102 vehicles examined were not deemed unsafe by a technical commission count de dion finished as the unofficial winner with an average of 18.66 kph he was disqualified because his car lacked the second person demanded by the rules the chauffeur georges lemaître on peugeot was declared the winner in the following years the number of these races rose permanently more and more competitors took to ever growing distances until in july 1899 the longest of them all was run the tour de france from paris champigny to paris saint germain 2172 km astonishingly only seven days were needed for this distance of course every competitor dreamed of victory the foremost objective was though in spite of all obstacles of mechanical or any other kind to arrive at all thus these long distance races were mainly reliability tests where sometimes factors totally different from maximum engine power or driving skills decided over victory or defeat after 1900 the number of these races declined in 1903 paris-madrid was the only event of its kind in france preparations for the race paris-rome in the following year were already in full flight in may 1903 may 24th 1903 near bordeaux the black dot on the horizon was what photographer gabriel baillot d estivaux has been waiting a long time for.
8 the following table shows the routes the distances and the ever rising average speeds needed for victory in the french town-to-town races paris-rouen paris-bordeaux-paris paris-marseille-paris marseille-nice-la turbie paris-dieppe paris-trouville marseille-nice paris-bordeaux paris-amsterdam-paris bordeaux-biarritz pau-bayonne-pau paris-bordeaux tour de france paris-st malô paris-trouville paris-ostende paris-boulogne bordeaux-biarritz circuit du sud-ouest pau nizza-marseille bordeaux-périgueux-bordeaux paris-lyon 22-7-1894 11/14-7-1895 24-9/3-10-1896 29/31-1-1897 24-7-1897 14-8-1897 6/7-3-1898 11/12-5-1898 7/13-7-1898 21-8-1898 6-4-1899 24-5-1899 16/24-7-1899 30-7-1899 27-8-1899 1-9-1899 17-9-1899 1-10-1899 25-02-1900 26-03-1900 3-4-6-1900 14-06-1900 127 km 1178 km 1710 km 240 km 171 km 173 km 227 km 574 km 1431 km 293 km 206 km 565 km 2172 km 372 km 168 km 324 km 232 km 263 km 337 km 202 km 318 km 565 km 1347 km de dion/de dion-bouton levassor/panhard 18.7 kph 24.5 kph mayade/panhard 25.3 kph de chasseloup-laubat/de dion 31.0 kph jamin/bollée jamin/bollée charron/panhard de knyff/panhard charron/panhard loysel/bollée lemaître/peugeot charron/panhard de knyff/panhard antony/mors antony/mors girardot/panhard girardot/panhard levegh/mors de knyff/panhard de knyff/panhard levegh/mors charron/panhard levegh/mors 40.4 kph 45.4 kph 32.9 kph 37.6 kph 43.3 kph 26.8 kph 54.6 kph 48.2 kph 48.6 kph 49.4 kph 56.5 kph 52.3 kph 53.9 kph 59.7 kph 70.0 kph 59.0 kph 78.0 kph 61.1 kph 64.7 kph 85.3 kph 71.1 kph 72.1 kph 62.2 kph 1st coupe internationale gordon bennett paris-toulouse-paris 25/28-7-1900 paris-bordeaux 29-05-1901 527 km fournier/mors including the second gordon bennett cup winner girardot/panhard 60.0 kph paris-berlin paris-arras-paris 27/29-6-1901 15/16-5-1902 1105 km 864 km fournier/mors farman/panhard paris-vienna 26/29-7-1902 990 km m renault/renault including the third gordon bennett cup winner s f edge/napier 58.1 kph of course there were numerous other motor sport events in france big and small like the famous week of speed at nice which included the la turbie hillclimb then the mont ventoux hillclimb the circuit du nord as well as the circuit des ardennes and the speed week of ostende in belgium also in austria germany and italy quite a few places cared for spreading the racing virus switzerland as well as the kingdoms of england and bavaria abhorred the lunacy of speed races were not allowed to be held there on public roads as in contemporary publications varying times and average speeds are to be found the calculation of average speeds proving to be faulty anyway i have given up on verifying the official averages in the list above thus the speeds mentioned may not give the absolute truth but demonstrate the progress the astonishing increase of speed in the town-to-town races soon caught the attention of contemporary statisticians in several 1903 papers one could find diagrams showing this development amongst them even the zeitschrift des
9 with this racer equipped with a daimler engine emile levassor won the paris-bordeaux-paris race from 11 to 14 july 1895 mitteleuropäischen motorwagenvereins in berlin who were totally opposed to motor racing this development can best be seen on the route paris-bordeaux where four races were run from 1895 onwards on always the same road in 1895 25.54 kph were enough for levassor to win who had to cover the distance in both directions the second edition in 1898 was won by chevalier rené de knyff at 37.6 kph in 1899 the average put up by charron compared to 1895 nearly doubled to 48.2 kph in 1901 fournier reached 85.31 kph what was to be expected for 1903 after in 1902 paris-bordeaux had not been run certainly not another duplication of speed but from the experience gained on the first and only really fast leg of paris-vienna in the previous year one could expect an average of more than 100 kph eventually this mark was only missed by a fraction the first race to bordeaux and back to paris by the way saw a very important première the michelin brothers took to the road on pneumatic tyres and finished the race having suffered 22 punctures