Tuesday, 2 June 2015


Here's a car that took part in the Manchester to Blackpool Veteran and Vintage car run in May 1987 organised by the Lancashire Automobile Club. The photograph was taken on the Exchange Station car park in Manchester.
It's a Belgian car, a 1912 Minerva, and the program of the event said this about the car:

22     1912 Minerva
          Reg: HS 457 4 cylinder 38 hp
          (Nigel Bradshaw, Lytham)
Minervas were beefy Belgian racers of which
this blue brute is a superb specimen. They
used Knight sleeve valve engines of more than
2000 cc, and in the 1914 TT came second, third
and fifth.

It's interesting to look at the result of that 1914 Tourist Trophy race. It was run on 10-11 June 1914 and covered 16 laps of the 60.35 km Isle of Man course, a total of 965 km. The result was:
1. Kenelm Lee Guinness     Sunbeam             10 hr 35 min 49 sec at an average speed of 90.83 kph
2. Christian Riecken           Minerva               10 hr 57 min 38 sec
3. Léon Molon                    Minerva               11 hr 22 min 20 sec
4. Richard S Witchell          Straker Squire      11 hr 22 min 50 sec
5. Jean Porporato               Minerva               11 hr 40 min 44 sec
6. W O Bentley                  DFP 12/40           12 hr 24 min 01 sec

The current rules for F1 say that the race distance is 'the smallest number of complete laps that exceeds 305 kilometres' (except for the Monaco GP which is 78 laps, or 260.5 km) and the race cannot exceed 2 hours duration. So the drivers of 1914 had to race for over five times as long and over three times the distance that the current drivers have to cover. The Le Mans 24 hour race and other long distance races are obviously longer, both in time and distance, but these involve regular changes of driver.

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