MYSTERY CAR QUIZ – I tried this one a month ago and no-one guessed it. OK, next try: It wears the name of a former World Champion, the car got a nickname because it was slightly modified by its entrant, Colin Bennett. And, last but not least, you’re being asked who the chap behind the wheel is. And it to make it all quit a lot easier: Today is his birthday. AND NO, IT’S NOT LEWIS HAMILTON! Can’t make it any easier than that, can I? Any takers?
7/1/1985, Lewis Carl Hamilton is born in Tewin, Hertfordshire, UK.
Lewis Hamilton made his F1 début at the Australian Grand Prix in March 2007, finishing third, and became the first ever F1 driver to secure a podium finish in each of his first three World Championship Grands Prix. He had a serious chance at the title tillthe final round and is considered one of the favourites to take the crown in 2008.
Henri Louveau purchased from the French Treasury after WW2 an old Maserati 6CM, which was confiscated property and which he personally patched up so well that he won with it one of the races of the Bois de Boulogne prologue in 1945. After various successes he entered F1 racing with a 4.5-liter Talbot Lago in the 1950 Italian and 1951 Swiss Grands Prix. But two big crashes at Pau and Bern that year the same year would see him retire and running a Delage and Maserati dealership and a major car and truck rental operation in Paris.
Born: 25th of January 1910 in Suresnes, France.
Died: 7th of January 1991 in Orléans, France, aged 80.
Italian expatriate and UK resident, Val Musetti was a well known stunt driver for all sorts risky film scenes, from The Italian Job to Superman II, and still runs a stunt coordination business today. As a hobby he hit the race tracks and won quite a number of races in the domestic British F1 Championship, aka Aurora Series. 1981 must have been his best season as he took the title winning seven rounds.
Brausch Niemann was a regular in the South African Championship and subsequently participated at the local F1 GP. In 1963 he took part with a Lotus-Climax and in 1965 at the wheel of a Lotus-Cosworth, always entred by his sponsor Ted Lanfear. He later would swap four wheeled achinery for 250cc racing bikes and won the South African 250cc Championship in 1979.
Salzer had some career, starrting as a mechanic to the ercedfes works team, then becoming chief-mechanic, test driver and finally getting the chance of becoming works-driver in 1903. He proved to be a good choice as Otto went on to win several races until WW2 broke out. Even after the war he re-took his job in style and kept winning races for Mercedes.
Born: 4th of April 1874
Died: 7th of January 1944 , aged 70
Reg Parnell successfully raced a private Maserati 4CLT/48 and an E-Type ERA which led to an invitation to drive for the Alfa Romeo team in the very first World Championship Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1950, finishing third and later winning the Silverstone International Trophy in 1951, he was also a test driver for BRM and their V16 project. He later became the team manager for Aston Martin and oversaw the famous 1-2 at Le Mans in 1959 when Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby led home Maurice Trintignant and Paul Frere. Parnell then led the team into F1 but at the end of 1960 the programme was abandoned. 1962 saw the formation of the Reg Parnell Racing Team taking Lola into Grand Prix racing. He died at the age of just 53 due to a thrombosis after a routine appendix operation.
Born: 2nd of July 1911 in Derby, UK.
Died: 7th of January 1964 in Derby, UK, aged 52.
Mike Wilds debut in F1 came in mid-season 1974 with a March, joining Mo Nunn’s Ensign team thereafter. He then got the BRM works-drive for 1975, but was blamed for the poor showing of the actually uncompetitive P201 at the Argentine and Brazilian GPs and got sacked. He then joined the Aurora Series where he took the F2 class title in 1978. After that he retreated more and more to the British club scene and historic racing. He made unfortunate headlines in 1994 by crashing an ex-Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari 312T3 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed heavily, sustaining a broken leg and other serious injuries. Despite embarassed, it wouldn’t stop Mike from coming back and actually winning titles in historic racing.
An Alfa Romeo works-driver for much of his career he would do well in Grands Prix racing, later with Maserati and as Mercedes-reserve driver, but had his greatest successes in sports car marathons, like the Italina Mille Miglia.
Born: 27th of February 1901.
Died: 7th of January 1958 , aged 57