Wednesday 20 April 2011

1934 Grand Prix de Nice

In the beautiful coastal setting of Nice, France, the 1934 Grand Prix was vaguely reminiscent of Monaco.

The racers started along the Quai des États-Unis, with the waterfront and grandstands to their left, and the cityscape and pits to their right.

1934 Grand Prix Season – Grand Prix de Nice – Alfa Romeo P3Limited edition of 50 – 14.5”x 11” (36.8 cm x 27.9 cm) – $150 USD plus S/H

At the green flag, they raced off down the Promenade des Anglais, past the Hôtel Negresco, downshifting quickly at the tight hairpin curve to the right, back down the Promenade, upwards through the city, around the Jardin Albert 1e, and back to the waterfront starting point.

Three Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeos (driven by Louis Chiron, Count Trossi, and Achille Varzi) squared off against seven Maseratis (whose drivers included Tazio Nuvolari, Philippe Étancelin, and Whitney Straight), one Bugatti team car driven by René Dreyfus, and some privately entered Alfas, Bugattis, and Maseratis. Both the Mercedes and Auto Union teams chose not to participate.

The race start saw Varzi and Chiron leading, with Nuvolari and Dreyfus battling for third place. Dreyfus crashed out, allowing Nuvolari’s attention to shift to Chiron. But Nuvolari’s Maserati was not up to another duel and threw a piston.

After the necessary pits stops by all the racers, Étancelin’s Maserati took second place, with Trossi slipping into third position.

With Nuvolari’s retirement, there was no one to really challenge Varzi’s lead, and the somber Italian took the race.

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