A Model T racing in France, 1911 or 1912

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: A Model T racing in France, 1911 or 1912
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - 01:21 pm:

I believe this is Henri Depasse, and/or possibly Frank Kulick, in a French Grand Prix (not recognized as one of the "sanctioned" Grand Prix's), taken in 1911 or 1912.

They didn't teach us about this in Ford Racing History 101!







June, 1911:




March 1912 Grand Prix enties:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - 01:55 pm:

You can't make this stuff up. This is the entry list for the 1912 French Grand Prix. The Ford is entered in the "big car" class.

"The Automobile" March 1912



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - 08:48 pm:

This is what I've found:

Ford entered the Grand Prix in both 1911 and 1912. Both years, Ford was entered in the "unlimited" class. We have a wire service account saying Kulick (Frank) is in France for the 1911 Grand Prix, the day before the race.

Then this:

The Ford is ruled "ineligible" for some reason. The driver is listed as Henri Depasse (French Ford Agent).

It appears to me this is a "standard" Ford T, not the 410 cubic inch Ford "special" that Frank Kulick has been winning races and hill climbs with throughout 1911 in the U.S (although I don't know for sure).



Then, again in 1912, Ford is accepted as one of the Grand Prix (now back to the "regular" Grand Prix) entries. Again, the Ford is in the "unlimited" class.




However, the Ford that competes is a stock Model T driven by Henri Depasse. The Ford does not finish, leaving the race during the seventh lap....



So, next time your engaged in a game of "Ford Model T Trivial Pursuit", you may be the only player who is aware that not only was a Ford Model T accepted to run in the French Grand Prix twice, in 1912 the Model T did indeed run in the race (as the only American entry).

What's a "Chebby lover" going to say to that? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Olivier CHABANNE on Thursday, May 09, 2013 - 02:17 pm:



Here Henri Depasse.
It was the first Ford car importer in France, he used Ford T chassis to participate in various car races.
My 1912 was sold by Henry Depasse, and the plate's name.

Olivier


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Martin on Monday, August 05, 2013 - 05:21 am:

In fact although Depasse had entered the 1912 race in a T, the most reliable source I have found shows him as Did Not Start. In 'The French Grand Prix' by David Hodges (Temple Press 1967) is the following information.
"The race that year was run in two classes, for unlimited Grand Prix cars, and for the 'Coupe de l'Auto' which was effectively restricted to production cars. Henri Depasse entered a T in the latter, but according to Hodges "Non-starters in the Coupe de l'Auto were the Hispano Suizas, which were not ready, a Koechlin two-stroke and a Ford entered by that company's Paris agent, Henri Depasse."
Many other sources that list the details of results and finishers of that event do not even include Depasse in the DNFs or retirements.
Yes, he did enter.
No, he did not race.
This old story of Depasse in the 1912 GP has been repeated often enough for many to believe it is fact. It is not. I have even seen written reports that it was Charles Montier who raced a T there; wrong again.
Depasse did however compete elsewhere and even managed a second at the Mont Ventoux hillclimb in 1911 aboard a stripped down Model T.
Unfortunately these days of quick and easy access by Google or whatever means people can access 'facts' or 'information' without needing to verify the sources, and if something is repeated often enough it in turn becomes 'fact'.
Dig deeper folks!
Chris M.


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