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Heroes
Additional Views:   enlarged   artist:   Paul DOVE
Year
:
1906
Make
:
Renault
Model
:
AK 90CV
Media Size Framed Edition Price  
ORIGINAL SOLD 36" x 48" --- 1 $4,900.00
Sold Out
Giclée on canvas 22" x 28" --- 25 $475.00
Giclée on watercolor paper 17" x 22" --- 100 $195.00
Heroes
1906 French Grand Prix

Artist Notes:
"This was the first ever Grand Prix; the drivers heroically facing hundreds of miles on unmade roads. The Austro-Hungarian driver Szisz in the Renault storms past Duray in the Lorraine-Dietrich and the similar car of Rougier, as they struggle to change punctured tires. Szisz drives on to victory in the searing heat."

(See http://8w.forix.com/f06.html for more information on this historic race, which took place over 2 days 26-27 June, 1906. In part:

There were some notable novelties on the winning car. One was the hydraulic dampers invented by Louis Renault himself, the first ever on a racing car. The other were Michelin's new detachable rim wheels. In those times tire changing was a complicated business involving cutting the old tube away with a knife and then forcing on the new tire. On the new system the rim was attached to the artillery wheel with eight bolts and easy removable. As the new Grand Prix rules demanded that the driver and the mechanic should do all the pitwork themselves, the advantage of the new wheels was so enormous that Renault and two other manufacturers whose cars were well under the 1000 kg weight limit decided to use them in the race even if the wooden artillery wheels each weighted 9 kg more that a wire-spoked wheel. Renault used the new system on the rear wheels and ordinary artillery wheels at the front.

The first car started at 6am and was followed by others with 90 seconds intervals. It turned out to be an extremely hot day with temperatures up to 120 degrees! The track that was littered with sharp stones proved to be a tremendous test for both men and cars. A tar mixture that had been used on the track surface, a precursor to later asphalt roads, melted in the heat and tar hit the exposed skin of the competitors creating bad burns. Renault driver Edmond had to retire with burns and glass in an eye. All three Itala cars were out before half distance and several others were also forced to call it a day. Szisz, who was known for his mechanical sensitivity, started off at a good, fast pace and after a fine 3:47 pit stop he took over the lead on lap 3 and held it until his car was flagged off after 5:45:30 and moved into the parc fermé for the night. Second after the first day was Clement (Clement-Bayard), 26 minutes behind Szisz, with Nazzaro (FIAT) third and Shepard (Hotchkiss) fourth.

There were 17 cars left to start the second day. The cars were started according to the time in the first day. Szisz started off at 5:45.30am and immediately stopped the car again for a tire change and complete service. Still, he was off again 14.5 minutes before Clement was allowed to take up the chase. Szisz continued to drive a safe race, nursing the car, and not even a broken rear spring on lap 4 could hinder him from opening up the gap further from his rivals. The heat was as bad as the day before making the race into a "race of tires" with the teams using the Michelin system in a clear advantage. At the end Szisz took the flag after having run for a total time of 12:14:07 to finish over 32 minutes in front of Nazzaro, whose Jante amovible wheels had made him able to pass Clement. Richez in the second Renault had crashed after having made a record 1:15 pit stop. Fastest lap of the race had been made by Baras (Brasier) with a time of 52:25.4 while the top speed on the straight had been recorded by Szisz's Renault with 96 mph.)




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