Grand Prix History in Scale Models

1909, Brumm, Charles Basle, Louis Raffalovich, Renault

1909 Renault 35CV Basle / Raffalovich

This model is another example of Brumm’s inaccuracy in historic racing car modeling. The car is designated by Brumm as “Renault GP 3B Grand Prix de France 1906” and described on the box in 4 languages as Ferenc Szisz Grand Prix winning car. So many mistakes even in a short description! First, the name of Grand Prix is wrong. The right name is “Gran Prix de l’Automobile Club de France” (GP of the French Automobile Club). Second, Szisz winning car was #3A. Car #3B was driven by Jacques Edmond. Third, the car has #1, which was not used in ACF GP 1906 at all. And finally, the major drawback is that the modeled car is not Renault AK of 1906. Actually the prototype was Renault 35CV driven by Louis Raffalovich and Charles Basle in 24 hours race at Brighton Beach, New York in 1909. Both cars, AK and 35CV were very similar in appearance because 35 CV (35 hp) had GP Replica raceabout coachwork. The wrong attribution of the model to prototype is evidenced by many details, even not taking into account the starting number. Model has a lamp mounted on the left hand dumb iron, which fits with a night race 24 hours New York race, but was not used in 1906 GP. The three spare tyres are wrong for the GP Renault. The model has them horizontal on top of the fuel tank, rather than vertical behind the tank in photos of the Szisz car. So its definitely not ACF GP 1906. But what was those 24 hours race? It is also very interesting story. 24-hours races on short dirt ovals were quite popular in the US in 1900s – 1910s. First such event was held in 1905 in Columbus., Ohio and was won by Soules brothers on Pope-Toledo 30 hp car. Then several 24 races per year was run in US on various tracks, and Brighton Beach oval at Coney Island, NY was the most popular venue for such events. In 1909 at least 3 24-hours races were held at Brighton. Raffalovich and Basle in Renault 35CV #1 won the second Brighton Beach’  race held on 27-28th August. Both drivers were natives of France who emigrated to US at age of 18-19. Raffalovich, a former Renault mechanic of Russian origin, 29 at the time, had only episodic racing experience. Younger Basle, 24, had more impressive racing record. He won several dirt track races in US in 1904-1906. Later he also participated in US Grand Prize in 1910 and 1911 as well as in the first edition of Indianapolis 500 in 1911. As to Renault AK, the winning car of the first Grand Prix still waits when some of the car model companies will pay attention to it.

190924 HoursBrighton Beach 24-hours Race
Driver No.Entrant
Louis Raffalovich / Charles Basle1
Scale ManufacturerCollection
Cat. No.QualityRarity

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