Thursday, 20 September 2012

Gordon Bennett!!

Indeed.

Look at this monster. It's a Richard-Brasier 96hp racing car. It may only have 4 cylinders, but that makes for an 11.3-litre (11.3 litre!!) engine, and it was the winner of the 1905 Gordon Bennett cup. Here is a photo of it in action.

Gordon Bennett was an interesting character. Heir to a fortune - and the New York Herald - he was the man who sent Stanley to look for Dr Livingstone (I assume there was a story in that) but is more noted for being profligate. Not only did he sponsor what eventually became Grand Prix racing, he also established prizes for yachting and ballooning and once set a wad of bank notes on fire because they were uncomfortable in his pocket. He spent much of his life in France, being educated here and founding the Paris Herald (which eventually became the International Herald Tribune). You can read all about him, and the expression Gordon Bennett! here.

This photo was taken at Autos Enjouées in Joué-les-Tours.

Simon

4 comments:

Tim said...

So what's the capacity in Cubic Inches... or in the case of this beast... Cubic Feet!!

You can hear the bank notes coming out of the exhaust!!

Leon and Sue Sims said...

Have you heard of the Mercedes Semmering - 18 litres of beast and one lived in Melbourne.
It was a Rob Roy Hill Climb car written about in my book. I should do an occasional post on famous Aussie Historic cars - what say you?

Ken Broadhurst said...

I don't think Americans know the expression "Gordon Bennett" — I know I didn't. It seems to be typically British (Aussie too?).

Simon said...

Ken - but he was one of your best know exports of the 19th century :)

Leon - 18 litres is just silly, 11.3 litres should be a moderate sufficiency....