Classic Car Catalogue

Bol d'Or

Bol d'Or
24-25 May 1931
St. Germain


Entries and results:
No. Driver: Car: Engine:   Position: Class: Category: Position:
  Cheret Sphinx-Staub       350 cc 3-wheel 1st
  Amino Amino JAP     500 cc 3-wheel  
  Peger Monotrace       500 cc 3-wheel 1st
  Gander Monotrace       750 cc 3-wheel  
  Remont Sandford       750 cc 3-wheel 1st
  Sandford Sandford     5th 1100 cc 3-wheel 1st
  Bourgier Darmont-Morgan     acc 1100 cc 3-wheel acc
  Roger Colin C.M.       350 cc cyclecar 1st
  Raymond Viratelle       350 cc cyclecar  
  Wanamaker L.R.W.       500 cc cyclecar 1st
  Robail Robail J.A.P.       500 cc cyclecar 2nd
  Lecomble Lecomble       500 cc cyclecar 3rd
  Renaud Renouvier       750 cc cyclecar 1st
  Antony Antony       350 cc racing 1st
  Gordine Sag. Jap.       500 cc racing  
  de Latour Sima-Violet     dnf 500 cc racing dnf
  Bertholon Sima-Violet       750 cc racing 1st
  Marc Chauvierre Rosengart       750 cc sports 1st
  Gauthier Rosengart       750 cc sports 2nd
  Giraud-Cabantons Caban     dnf 1100 cc racing dnf
  Vernet Caban     6th 1100 cc racing 2nd
  Labric Caban       1100 cc racing  
  Trebor Caban       1100 cc racing  
  Chevallier Chevallier       1100 cc racing 6th
  Rally Naden       1100 cc racing 4th
  Delonne Rally       1100 cc racing  
  Trennet B.N.C.       1100 cc racing  
  Pesato B.N.C.       1100 cc racing  
  Martin Amilcar     4th 1100 cc racing 1st
  Druck Amilcar     dnf 1100 cc racing dnf
  Dunaoret S.C.A.P.       1100 cc racing  
  Vanhoof d'Yrsan       1100 cc racing  
  Violette Morris V.M.       1100 cc racing 3rd
  Naegnad Naegnad       1100 cc racing 5th
  Metais B.N.C       1100 CC sports  
  Judet B.N.C       1100 CC sports  
  Bourcier Tracta     3rd 1100 CC sports 3rd
  Vallon Corre la Licorne     2nd 1100 CC sports 2nd
  Violet Violet-Huascar     1st 1100 CC sports 1st
  La Caze M.L.C.       1100 CC sports  
Motor Sport
July 1931
THE big international races which figure as the most important events in the automobile calendar are seldom open to the participation of the ordinary amateur who cannot hope to compete on level terms with teams of racing cars entered by their manufacturers and running with a highly complex factory organisation behind them. Their absence from these races, however, lends additional interest to the one great event of the year which may be said to be organised almost entirely for the more or less amateur entrant, the French 24-hour race for the Bol d'Or run in the environs of Paris. The event is open to cars and eyclecars up to 1,100 c.c. and there is never a paucity of starters ; but the entry list seldom has more than a sprinkling of cars whose makers' names are well-known, and the majority of machines which run bear curious titles or the names or initials of their drivers. Your real enthusiast in France, who probably is an amateur but for the ownership of one of those small garages on a great main road where repairs are carried out so amazingly efficiently, decides that he would like to build his own ideal small car ; and so he sets to work and finally the product of his labours is entered for the Bol d'Or 24-hour race where perhaps it will win its class, its builder will gain fame and, who knows, one day his name as yet unknown will rank with those of Renault, Peugeot or Parnhard.
One Driver Throughout.
Another peculiarity of the Bol d'Or is that in spite of the fact that the race goes on for two rounds of the clock, only one driver is allowed per car. Your entrant, therefore, as well as being an efficient mechanic must also be an enthusiast for long spells at the wheel. It must be admitted also that he should be distinctly indifferent to changes of scenery, for this tenth Bol d'Or, which took place this year on Whit Sunday and Monday, 24th and 25th May, was run over the Circuit of St. Germain, which has a total length of little more than 2½ miles.
At 5.45 on the Sunday evening, directly after the finish of the motor cycle race, the thirty-nine machines, which were to take part in the car event, were drawn up on the starting line. In the 3-wheeler division there was a single machine with a 350 c.c. engine, a Sphinx-Staub driven by Cheret. In the 500 c.c. class was a Monotrace, driven by Peger, with Amino on a car of his own construction powered with a J.A.P. engine, while another Monotrace with a 750 c.c. engine started with Gander as its driver and had against it a Sandford driven by Remont. The biggest 3-wheelers with 1,100 c.c. engines consisted of a Sandford driven by its manufacturer and a Darmont-Morgan driven by Bouxgier.
The smallest of the four-wheeled cyclecars which also had 350 c.c. engines, were driven by Raymond and Roger Cohn, and were described as a Viratelle and a C.M. respectively. In the 500 c.c. class Wanamaker and Robail both drove cars of their own construction described as an L.R.W. and a Robail J.A.P. respectively, while the biggest cyclecar was a 750 cc Renouvier driven by Renaud.
The only 350 c.c. racing car was an Antony driven by Antony himself, and the two 500 c.c. racing cars were a Sag. Jap. driven by Gordine and a Sima-Violet with de Latour at the wheel, while in the 750 c.c. racing division Bertholon had another Sima-Violet and the 750 c.c. sports cars consisted of two Rosengarts driven by Gauthier and Marc Chauvierre. The 1,100 c.c. class attracted by far the greatest number of entries. In the racing division were four Cabans, the marque which proved successful last year, and they had as their drivers Giraud-Cabantons, their constructor, Vernet, Labric and Trebor. In addition Chevallier drove a car bearing his name, and Delonne a Rally, while Rally himself drove a Naden. Two B.N.C.'s were driven by Trennet and Pesato, Martin and Druck had Amilcars, Dunaoret an S.C.A.P. and Vanhoof a d'Yrsan, while Madame Violette Morris drove her own machine called a V.M., and Naegnad a car called after him. In the sports division were two more B.N.C's driven by Metais and Judet, Bourcier drove a Tracta and Vallon a Corre la Licorne, while Violet himself drove a Violet-Huascar and Madame La Caze an M.L.C., which stands for Maria La Caze.
Monsieur Cuillier, having made a preliminary tour of the circuit on his Amilcar in order to see that the road was clear after the motor cycle race, Monsieur Mauve, the indefatigable organiser of the Bol d'Or, and Josephine Baker who certainly added a novel note as the starter of a motor race, took their places in it as the pilot car. Slowly the minutes ticked by and at last as 6 o'clock struck, the pilot car moved off and led the competitors for the first lap of the circuit. Then it drew in to the side of the road and the tenth Bol d'Or had started in earnest.
The Start.
It was soon apparent that the fastest cars in the race were Druck's Amilcar, the two Cabans driven by Giraud Cabantons and Vernet, Treunet and Metals' B.N.C.'s and the big Sandford driven by its maker. At the end of the first hour Trennet and Giraud Cabantons had both covered 20 laps, while the two other Cabans driven by Vernet and Roger Labric and the big Sandford all had 19 to their credit. During the second hour Giraud-Cabantons, last year's winner, gradually drew ahead, and by 8 p.m. had a lead of a lap on his team-mates, Vernet and Labric, who in turn had gained a whole lap on the Sandford. The leader continued to run remarkably regularly, covering 20 laps an hour, and at 9 p.m. had scored 60 and was a couple of laps ahead of his nearest competitor.
At about half past nine de Latour's Sima-Violet caught fire on the straight stretch past the timing box, and although the driver got out unscathed the car was put out of the running. About half an hour later Bourgier's Darmont-Morgan burst a tyre at almost the same spot and left the road. Here again the driver was fortunately unhurt, but his machine was wrecked.
The Caban Leads.
At the end of the fourth hour Giraud Cabantons was one down on his schedule, having covered 79 laps, but he was still comfortably in the lead, and Bernet, Labric and Sandford having dropped back somewhat, Druck's Amilcar and Violet's Huascar were now second with 76 laps. During the fifth hour, however, Giraud Cabantons again managed to cover 20 laps, and Labric passed Violet, so that the Caban position looked healthy, although Druck on the Amilcar was still second. Although it was now 11 p.m. the night was beautifully fine and a large crowd of spectators continued to watch the cars circling the course in the darkness.
Giraud Cabantons again put 20 laps into the sixth hour, and at midnight, when one quarter of the race had gone, he had a lead of half a dozen laps over Druck, his nearest competitor, with Violet and Judet on the B.N.C. third with 112 laps to their credit.
During the early hours of the morning a light rain began to fall, but this seemed hardly to trouble Giraud-Cabantons who continued serenely. His team-mate Labrie, however, and Druck on the Amilcar had both disappeared from the race, and Violet on the Huascar was now an easy second with Vallon who was also running in the 1,100 c.c. sports division on a Corre La Licorne, third. The race now looked like a certain thing for Giraud-Cabantons, until suddenly at about 11 o'clock, in the morning, he drew up at his pit, and after working on his car for some time finally withdrew. This let Violet up into the lead, and at midday on the Monday he had covered 328 laps against the 323 completed by Giraud-Cabantons before his retirement. Vallon on the Corre la Licorne, the second man still in the running, had still only covered 322 laps, while Bourvier on the Tracta was third with 314 to his credit. During the afternoon the cars continued running with few incidents of note, and promptly at 6 o'clock in the evening all the competitors were stopped. Violet and the other class winners were thereupon given a great ovation, and Cheret who had driven the smallest 3-wheeler in the race, was specially applauded as he had also ridden throughout the 24-hour motor cycle the day before.