Rear-view Mirror

A regular look back at old motoring and motor sport items…


100 years ago

In 1921, the first French Grand Prix since WW1 was held at Le Mans. American Jimmy Murphy won the race driving a Duesenberg Model A, a victory that was said to be in no small way due to the car having hydraulic brakes: it was the world’s first production car to be so equipped. As a quick aside, it is interesting to note that after doing a demo lap preceding this year’s Le Mans 24-Hour, Fernando Alonso reckoned that today’s circuit was too fast for current F1 machinery…

Another automotive innovation appeared a century ago, also in France, when Sizaire-Fréres exhibited a car with all-independent transverse-spring suspension, the Type 4RI, which went into production two years later.

Stateside, William C Durant, who had made Buick the best-selling automobile in America and co-founded both General Motors and Chevrolet – along with acquisitions of numerous other brands – went out on his own and established Durant Motors.

At the Berlin Auto Show, Edmund Rumpler exhibited an extraordinary car with a low drag coefficient – “and of astonishing ugliness”. Only a few of these Rumpler Tropfenwagens were produced.

Although American company Chadwick Engineering had produced a number of supercharged cars before WW1, in 1921 a Daimler-Benz team with assistance from Ferdinand Porsche were the first to install superchargers on some Mercedes-Benz production models.




Sorting through a collection of old photos recently, this superb image popped out and simply have to share it with you. It is of Pedro Rodriguez driving  the 1967 Cooper-Maserati Type 86, which is powered by a 2 998 cc V12 delivering 380 kW at 10 000 r/min mated with a Hewland five-speed gearbox. Tyres were Firestone, fuel and oil by BP, plugs by Champion,  and Brakes by Girling with Ferodo linings.

Things sure were different 54 years ago…


(NB: No copyright infringement is intended with any of the images used to illustrate these articles.)