Sacha Gordine, prince Sacha Alexandre Gordine Gregorieff, descendant of an old aristocratic Russian family dating back to the ninth century (Ivan IV of Russia the Terrible), immigrated to France in 1917 during the Russian Revolution. Sacha Gordine was an extremely wealthy man. He was then in his early forties, and had made his name as a film producer after shooting his first movie clandestinely during the German occupation. Post-war he made films with stars such as Simone Signoret and Jean Gabin, and two of his perhaps more famous titles were La Ronde and Black Orpheus. In 1952 he set up his own racing car company, the “Société des Automobiles Gordine” (SAG), with the intention of going to Formula racing. In January 1953 the first car was virtually complete and the press was shown round the Levallois workshops. To avoid confusion with his compatriot, Gordini, he hyphenated his names to christen the project Sacha-Gordine. The ex-Porsche engineer Vigna designed a rear-engined car which featured a motorcycle-style sequential gearbox. It was very light through the use of expensive magnesium, proving Gordine’s money-no-object approach, was quite small and extremely low-slung for its time and the car’s huge nostril intakes making it even more futuristic. With 1.5-litre, 2-litre, 2.5-litre, 3-litre sportscar and 4.5-litre versions of the Sacha-Gordine 90-degree V8 engine planned it was only logical that the first finished product would be a Formula 2 car. The F2 engine with cylinder dimensions of 70 x 64mm giving a Formula 2 capacity of 1,970cc. Two cars were built up and tested once at Montlhéry by Jean Behra and possibly André Simon as well, either late 1952 or early 1953, before an entry was made for the 1953 Pau GP, held over Easter weekend. But suddenly Sacha Gordine realized that his fortune was fast dribbling away — he wrote off the whole project as a tax loss and it foundered as abruptly as it had begun.
|Société des Automobiles Gordine|