Much Dust, Fleeting Glory: The 1906 French GP


Léon Théry, the winner of the 1904 and 1905 Gordon Bennett races, in his 1904 Richard-Brasier. Photo: Public Domain / Wikipedia

12 teams, 32 cars

2 days, 6 laps per day, 64-mile circuit

An especially enthralling video for your weekend enjoyment, posted on “Johnny B. Goode’s” YouTube channel back in 2007: Wonderful black and white video plus an informative and passionate voiceover serve to bring the 1906 French Grand Prix, run over two mid-June days on a 64-mile-long course east of the village of Le Mans in central France, to life.

With 12 teams bringing out 32 cars, the first Grand Prix was not without controversy: Many of the teams were using hired tradesmen as mechanics for the first time, says the commentator, while a new Michelin tire/wheel combination available to only a few of the teams cut tire-changing time significantly (and played a role in Renault-driver Ferenc Szisz’ ultimate victory).

Dust … there was lots of it.

If you enjoyed the Ragtime Racers men and machinery at the Laguna Seca Rolex Monterey Reunion and Velocity Invitational this fall, you will revel in this 10-minute long video feature.

Wikipedia has some very detailed information, which you can link to HERE