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FOREWORD:

The 1932-33 seasons are largy the work of Hans Etzrodt, who wrote the account of almost all the major races and also contributed much to the appearence of the pages. The format of the 1932-33 seasons is a bit different from the rest of my homepage and my hope is that the readers will like the changes. The original 1934-39 pages were planned for the limited Net resources available to me back in 1998 when every bit and byte had to be counted but now ten years later I'm glad I didn't have to worry about that any more but could give Hans more or less free hands to get the reports correct and complete. Much work is still to be done on the minor races and to incorporate these two seasons with the rest of my page but I think the current pages already set a new standard that I hope to keep up to in the future.
Leif Snellman
The information on these pages is derived mainly from period magazines. Great guidance was received primarily from the Swiss AUTOMOBIL-REVUE and I am indebted to those outstanding journalists for their diligent reporting. My gratitude extends to Tony Kaye for patiently editing the text material and Leif Snellman for his superb drawings, also providing the basis to write elaborate accounts of these long ago races, bringing them back to life. Several others have given valuable advice and corrected errors. I extend my gratitude to all those helpful specialists and enthusiasts.
Hans Etzrodt

INTRODUCTION:

The year was dominated by Alfa Romeo. Tazio Nuvolari was the most commanding driver, after winning six grand prix races and the International Championship, which gave him the title of European Champion. He also won the Italian Championship.

The formula for 1932 was the same as 1931 except that the minimum race duration for Grandes Épreuves decreased in 1932 to a minimum of five but not more than ten hours. Three Grandes Épreuves were organized to this formula, decided by the CSI as follows.

  • Formula libre; no restriction on engine capacity, weight or fuel consumption and its composition.

  • Only one driver allowed on board; driver changes allowed in front of pits.

  • Two mechanics in addition to driver(s) allowed assisting at pit stops.

  • Two-seater body with minimum width of 100 cm; single-seat (monoposto) bodies, measuring less than 80 cm wide, were allowed as of 1932.

  • Restoration of a European Championship for manufacturers, whose classification resulted from the points gained at the international Grands Prix of the national Automobile-Clubs. The international (European Champion) driver championship title was also held. The classification was initially determined by the results of the Grands Prix of Italy, France, Belgium and Germany. The highest-classified driver, who participated in all four races, would be the Champion.

  • In the event, only the Italian and French Grand Prix were organized to this formula because the German Grand Prix lasted just 4 hours, 47 minutes and 22.08 seconds and the Belgian Grand Prix, held for sports cars, was excluded for rules noncompliance.

    The races:
    In 1932, the Grands Prix de l'ACF, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Spain carried the same ranking of importance. The Grand Prix of Spain was cancelled and Belgium changed to a non-conforming formula, holding their race as a 24-hour endurance event for sports cars. Therefore only the Grand Prix of Italy, de l'ACF and Germany remained as Grandes Épreuves and those events were linked together into an International Championship, later during the year this was re-titled as the European Championship of 1932. But it was not a coincidence that just these three Grands Prix formed a European Championship, because they represented the countries most active in automobile sport in 1932.
          Besides these three traditional Grands Prix, a further 11 international races of significance were held for grand prix cars, which were considered major events of great publicity and where the main contenders competed.
          An additional 18 regional races - including some of international character - were of less importance, mostly national or club events where the fields of grand prix cars were sometimes mixed with those from minor formulae.
          Bugatti won the first race at Tunis with his proven 2300 cc Type 51, a design dating back to 1931. The 2300 cc Alfa Romeo Monza, which won the second event at Monte Carlo was always a serious opponent and the next race at Rome saw a Maserati victorious. Mercedes-Benz had withdrawn from racing during the hard economic times of 1932. Italy maintained its leading position in motor sport, not only with their cars, but Italian drivers were also setting the stage. Mussolini's visionary and financial support influenced the popularity of motor sport in Italy where most of the major races were held. The fastest racecar was the newly designed 2.6-liter 8-cylinder tipo B Alfa Romeo monoposto, known also as the P3, which was introduced in June of 1932 at the Italian Grand Prix.
          Besides Italy, both France and Great Britain had excellent private drivers, who were very active in the sport. Numerically most races took place in France but the majority of those were minor events. In England racing was restricted to Brooklands.

    The European Championship
    was held for constructors as well as drivers. With a low point system in place, Alfa Romeo was the winner with three points and Nuvolari became European Champion driver with four points. See also 1932 European Championship paragraph.

    Cancelled events:
    The Grand Prix of Alessandria, planned for Easter Monday on March 27, 1932 had been cancelled in early March due to financial difficulties. The Grand Prix of Belgium, planned for July 10, 1932, was cancelled in early April. This was one of the most important events of the European Automobile Championship. The reason given by the A.C. of Belgium for the regrettable news was that last year's race had not fulfilled the expectations of the organizers and at the present financial crisis the implementation would be too risky since during the same month of July the Grand Prix of Germany and France plus the 24-hour race at Spa would take place. The Grand Prix of Hungary, to be held on May 1, 1932, was cancelled at the last moment at the end of April. The organizers justified their decision with unexpected difficulties in the preparations. From the beginning they had questioned the implementation of this race. The Grand Prix of Spain at San Sebastian, planned for September 25, 1932 was cancelled in May. No reasons were given at that time. Since the race was to count as the fourth run for the European Automobile Championship, another race should have been nominated in its place, but this never happened. The Mugello Circuit Race, to be held on May 29, 1932, had been postponed for unknown reasons end of May 1932 to an indeterminate date.




    1932 SEASON LINEUP:

    Factory Racing Teams:

    SA Alfa Romeo
    entered racing events under their 1932 factory name Societá Anonima Alfa Romeo, located in Portello, Italy. For the early 1932 entries they employed the previous year's 8C-2300 biposto racecar, also known as the Monza models in honor of their first Grand Prix victory at the 1931 Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo di Monza. At the Italian Grand Prix in June 1932 the new Alfa Romeo tipo B monoposto made its first appearance and by winning this event became their main weapon. After this great victory at its first race, the tipo B was commonly called "P3", in recognition of being a worthy successor to the victorious P2, eight years before. The team manager was the outstanding Aldo Giovannini for the three Italian drivers Tazio Nuvolari, Mario Umberto Borzacchini and Giuseppe Campari under contract plus the German Rudolf Caracciola. The German became a fully fledged team member only after the Monaco Grand Prix. SA Alfa Romeo participated at major races like the Grands Prix of Monaco, Italy, de l'ACF and Germany, the Coppa Ciano, Coppa Acerbo, the Grands Prix of Monza and Marseille. Ferrari also entered the Portello works top drivers with cars at the Targa Florio and at the Masaryk Circuit.

    Automobiles Ettore Bugatti
    (Molsheim, France) continued with the previous year's designs, the 2.3-liter Type 51, and the 5-liter Type 54. The fight against the government backed 2.6-liter Alfa Romeo monoposto was unsuccessful since the Type 51 was lacking power and the T54, 5-liter monster's dramatic road holding was not cured in 1932. Only one win at major events foretold the beginning of the end of the great Bugatti period. The main drivers were Louis Chiron and Achille Varzi with Albert Divo and Guy Bouriat as reserves at major races like the Monaco Grand Prix, Targa Florio, Avusrennen, Eifelrennen, Grands Prix of Italy, de l'ACF and Germany, the Coppa Ciano, Coppa Acerbo, Masaryk Circuit and the Grands Prix of Monza and Marseille.

    Officine A. Maserati
    (Bologna, Italy) had at their disposal the M26 (8C-2500), (8C-2800) and V5 (16C-5000) racecars. The Factory entered 2.8-liter cars for their contracted drivers Luigi Fagioli, Amedeo Ruggeri and René Dreyfus. The Swiss driver Carlo Pedrazzini signed a Maserati contract in February to drive their 2.8-liter racecar at some of the major events. When Dreyfus departed the Bologna team after the Avusrennen to drive a private Bugatti, Ernesto Maserati twice drove at major events and Giovanni Minozzi once. Amedeo Ruggeri died in a December crash at Montlhéry during a record attempt with the only 16-cylinder Maserati V5. Major races entered were the Grands Prix of Tunis, Monaco and Rome, the Targa Florio, Avusrennen, Eifelrennen, the Grands Prix of Italy and Germany, the Coppa Ciano, Coppa Acerbo, Masaryk Circuit and the Grands Prix of Monza and Marseille. The M26 racecar with 3000 cc engine was probably entered for the first time at the 1932 German Grand Prix but this cannot be confirmed A severe kidney disease, which required an operation, caused the death on March 3 of 44-year old Alfieri Maserati, the famous Italian designer and former race driver. His brother Ernesto then took over the direction of the factory.

    Private Racing Teams and cars:

    Scuderia Ferrari
    (Modena, Italy) participated in only six major events, mostly finishing in the mid field. Drivers sent to these races were primarily Antonio Brivio and Pierro Taruffi but also Pietro Ghersi and Eugenio Siena with Gianfranco Comotti once at the Rome Grand Prix. The Scuderia contested only two events outside Italy, the Tunis Grand Prix and Masaryk Circuit.
          Since the Alfa Romeo works team in Portello entered most of the major races, Scuderia Ferrari cars played a lesser role. However, at the Targa Florio, Ferrari's organization took part with half of the Portello team, winning with Nuvolari and Borzacchini in the first two places. Nuvolari also drove for the Scuderia at the Masaryk Circuit near the year's end, finishing in third place. The Scuderia operated with the less powerful Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza models and had no chance to compete against the stronger and more modern Alfa Romeo works cars. Only on one occasion did the Portello factory release a tipo B/P3 monoposto to Ferrari, near year's end at the Masaryk Circuit for Borzacchini to drive, but the expected success was not achieved.

    Scuderia Villars-Waldthausen
    which was also known just as Scuderia Villars, was formed in 1932 by Karl Baron Horst von Waldthausen and Julio Villars in Versoix near Geneva. While Waldthausen started with a 1750 Alfa sports car, an Alfa Romeo Monza racecar and a Steyr sports car, Villars raced a BNC 1100cc sports car and an Alfa Monza in the racing class, both at local events and Mont Ventoux. At the end of the season Waldthausen and Villars came fifth and sixth respectively in the sports car class of the 1932 Swiss Championship.

    PBM (Premoli Bugatti Maserati)
    was a car constructed by the Italian Count Luigi (Gigi) Premoli and engineered by Egidio Galimberti, who combined a 2.3-liter Bugatti grand prix car chassis, gearbox and wheels with a 3.0-liter, 8-cylinder Maserati engine, no. 3003 delivered on May 22, 1932. The front grill was also of Maserati origin. Compared with the 180 horse power from the T51 Bugatti, the Maserati 3.0 delivered around 220 hp, a gain of over 22%. At his first start in July at the Coppa Ciano, Premoli had a serious crash. The car was not driven again until the following year, when Premoli was fully recuperated to take up racing once more. This machine was also called BMP, BPM, MBP or Maserati Special.

    MB-Speciale or Biondetti Speciale
    was a hybrid built in 1932 by Clemente Biondetti, utilizing a Bugatti chassis mated with a 2.5-liter 8-cylinder Maserati engine, no. 2519, delivered on March 10, 1932, as fitted in the 26M with Maserati radiator and grill. The front looked like a Maserati but the side view of the Molsheim chassis and cockpit with the cast alloy 8-spoke wheels gave a Bugatti appearance. The combination of superior Bugatti handling with 185 hp of the Maserati 26M engine, compared with 180 hp of the T51 Bugatti did not seem to be a great advantage. Various unproven reasons exist as to why the technician Biondetti pursued this modification.

    A French Equipe was formed in 1932 by five Bugatti drivers of which Max Fourney and Mme Itier were members as reported by AUTOMOBIL-REVUE.

    A second French Equipe consisting of French Alfa Romeo drivers was supposed to be formed in 1932 but their intentions remained unknown, according to AUTOMOBIL-REVUE.

    Hans Stuck,
    After Hans Stuck completed his South-American tournée earlier than planned, the Daimler-Benz factory let him know that for economical reasons they could no longer let him use the Mercedes-Benz SSKL with which he had been successful in South America. The Bochum Benzole Alliance, as well as the Darmstadt sporting patron Wilhelm Merck then provided financial support to make an agreement possible with the Untertürkheim factory, according to which Stuck would continue to compete with a Mercedes-Benz. The first major race was planned for May 22 at the Berlin Avusrennen. The next start was the following week at the Eifelrennen. A further entry at the German Grand Prix at the end of July did not materialize. In total he entered nine minor events, almost all of which were hill climbs. He achieved great success in the sports car class, winning the 1932 International Automobile Hill Climb Championship for sports cars, while Caracciola won this title for racecars.

    Heinrich Joachim von Morgen,
    from Berlin, drove his 2.3-liter Bugatti T35B for the last time in February 1932 at the Eibsee ice race. He then acquired a 5-liter Type 54, which von Morgen had raced at Tunis. After encountering insurmountable car problems that led to his retirement, he returned the T54 to Molsheim. In exchange the German picked up Varzi's 2.3-liter Bugatti T51 after the Monaco race and entered it the following week at Rome. Von Morgen was able to finish third behind Fagioli and Taruffi but ahead of Varzi and Czaikowski in similar cars. His next race was the Avusrennen, where he retired with engine problems. The following week came the Eifelrennen, where he died in a never fully explained practice crash. The Berliner was part of the German Bugatti team that was formed in 1930 with Prince zu Leiningen and Burggaller.

    René Dreyfus,
    the French driver who had been taken on by Maserati as works driver for 1931 and again in 1932 split with the Italian company and Ernesto Maserati after the Avusrennen. Thereafter Dreyfus drove one of Louis Chiron's privately owned 2.3-liter T51 Bugattis, on the arrangement that Dreyfus would divide all the prize money that he received with Chiron. His debut was at the Eifelrennen on May 29, where he came second behind Caracciola but ahead of Chiron who placed fifth with the works Bugatti T51.

    German Bugatti Team
    was formed in 1930 by Heinrich-Joachim von Morgen, Prinz Hermann zu Leiningen and Ernst-Günther Burgaller. During 1932 their drivers competed mainly at hill climbs within Germany and von Morgen raced at Tunis, Rome, Avus and practiced at the Eifelrennen, where he died in a crash. Thereafter the team ceased to exist.

    PiLeSi Racing Team
    was a new German Bugatti team formed early in 1932 by the three German drivers Paul Pietsch, Hans Lewy and Hans Simons. This team broke up in 1933 when Pietsch raced an Alfa Romeo and Lewy left Germany for South America.




    IN MEMORIAM:

    1932 was a sad year with 12 dead. Alfieri Maserati (I) died on March 3, only 44 years old, following a kidney operation as a sequel to his accident five years earlier at the 1927 Coppa Messina. Harry Leeson (GB), a relatively unknown driver, died on May 3 in a crash in an MG Midget at the J.C.C. 1000-Mile Race at Brooklands. Riding mechanic Harry Cox (US) was killed on May 26 when Benny Benefield's car left the track and crashed during practice for the Indy 500. The driver survived. American Milton Jones crashed to his death on May 27 during practice for the Indy 500. His riding mechanic survived. Prince Georg Christian Lobkowicz (CZ), who drove under the pseudonym "Hyta", died on May 22 when only 25, shortly after an accident at the Avusrennen. Heinrich-Joachim von Morgen was only 30 when he died on May 27 during an unexplained practice accident for the Eifelrennen on the Nürburgring. C. Walter Andrae, a rally driver from Frankfurt, was 52 when he died on June 6 following a highway traffic accident. The Frenchman André Boillot was 41 when he crashed into a tree in a 301 sports Peugeot during practice at Ars-La Châtre in France on June 4. He died three days later. Christian Werner (D), the Mercedes-Benz driver during the twenties and Targa Florio winner, was only 40, suffering from a lung ailment, when he died on June 17 of a heart attack in Bad Cannstatt (D). Clive Dunfee (GB) died on September 24 in a crash with his 8-liter Bentley during the B.R.D.C. 500-Mile Race at Brooklands. Dunfee, who had only recently been married, had promised his wife to stop racing after the 500 Miles. His wife witnessed the fatal crash. Amedeo Ruggeri (I) died on December 7 in a crash after leaving the west banking at Montlhéry during a 1-Hour record attempt with the only 16-cylinder Maserati V5. Paul Bablot (F), who began racing in 1907, died at the end of December 1932 in Marseille (F).




    EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE





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    II SVERIGES VINTER GRAND PRIX

    Rämen (S), 28 February 1932.
    8 laps x km = km



    No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine
    1Henken WidengrenH. WidengrenAston-Martin1.5S-4
    2Einar LindbergE. LindbergBugatti2.3S-8
    3Karl-Gustav SundstedtK-G. SundstedtBugattiT35B2.3S-8
    4Karl EbbK. EbbMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6
    5Eric HagfältE. HagfältDe Soto3.4S-6DNS
    6John OhlssonJ. G. OhlssonVoisin4.0S-4
    7Eric BakeE. BakeBuick4.5S-8
    8Ernst TimarStedt & CoStudebaker3.4S-6
    9Uno RanchU. RanchBugattiT385.0S-8DNA
    10A. von AretinA. von AretinBugattiDNA
    11Thure JohanssonFord Motor CoFord3.3S-4
    12S.P.J. KeinänenPhilipsons Automobil ABChrysler4.7S-6
    14Whitney StraightW. StraightMaserati26M2.5S-8
    15Carl-Gustav JohanssonFord Motor CoFord3.3S-4
    16Clemens BergströmAB Hans OstermanChevrolet3.2S-6
    17E. JohanssonE.G.A. JohanssonSpecial3.2S-6DNS
    18Erik LafrenzE. G. LafrenzDodge3.5S-4
    19Harry LarssonFord Motor CoFord3.3S-4
    20Johan RamsayPhilipsons Automobil ABChrysler5.1S-6
    21K. RudolffK. H. RudolffNRV Special Steyr3.0S-6
    22Per-Viktor WidengrenP-V. WidengrenMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6
    23"Olle" BennströmS. O. BennströmFord3.3S-4
    24Folke HjelmHjelms BilChevrolet2.8S-4
    25Sven BörjessonS. BörjessonMiller Special2.4S-4DNS
    26Nikolai NenonenH. J. EloDelage4.4S-6
    27Ernesto CampeottoSvenska FiatFiat3.7S-6
    28Per NäsAB Hans OstermanChevrolet3.2S-6
    29Anders OlssonPhilipsons Automobil ABChryslerImperial6.3S-8
    30Martin StrömbergAB Hans OstermanChevrolet2.2S-6


    Text.
    Under Construction
    -
    Entries:
    -
    Practice:
    -
    Race:
    -
    Pole Position
    1
    H Widengren

    Aston-Martin

    2
    Lindberg

    Bugatti

    3
    Sundstedt

    Bugatti

    4
    Ebb

    Mercedes-Benz

    6
    Ohlsson

    Voisin

    7
    Bake

    Buick

    8
    Timar

    Studebaker

    11
    T Johansson

    Ford

    12
    Keinänen

    Chrysler

    14
    Straight

    Maserati

    15
    C-G Johansson

    Ford

    16
    Bergström

    Chevrolet

    18
    Lafrenz

    Dodge

    19
    Larsson

    Ford

    20
    Ramsay

    Chrysler

    21
    Rudolff

    NRV

    22
    P-V Widengren

    Mercedes-Benz

    23
    Bennström

    Ford

    24
    Hjelm

    Chevrolet

    26
    Nenonen

    Delage

    27
    Campeotto

    Fiat

    28
    Campeotto

    Chevrolet

    29
    Olsson

    Chysler

    30
    Strömberg

    Chevrolet

    -
    In retrospect:
    -

    Results

    Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

    1.23"Olle" BennströmS. O. BennströmFord3.3S-484h28m26.2s=
    2.12S.P.J. KeinänenPhilipsons Automobil ABChrysler4.7S-684h30m28.0s
    3.7Eric BakeE. BakeBuick4.5S-884h30m59.2s
    4.22Per-Viktor WidengrenP-V. WidengrenMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-684h34m33.0s
    5.2Einar LindbergE. LindbergBugatti2.3S-884h34m57.6s
    6.28Per NäsAB Hans OstermanChevrolet3.2S-684h35m18.2s
    7.16Clemens BergströmAB Hans OstermanChevrolet3.2S-684h36m40.4s
    8.6John OhlssonJ. G. OhlssonVoisin4.0S-484h45m48.2s
    9.1Henken WidengrenH. WidengrenAston-Martin1.5S-484h46m03.1s
    10.29Anders OlssonPhilipsons Automobil ABChryslerImperial6.3S-884h48m47.8s
    11.30Martin StrömbergAB Hans OstermanChevrolet2.2S-684h59m09.4s
    12.8Ernst TimarStedt & CoStudebaker3.4S-685h02m13.1s
    DNF24Folke HjelmHjelms BilChevrolet2.8S-45crash
    DNF15Carl-Gustav JohanssonFord Motor CoFord3.3S-44ignition
    DNF27Ernesto CampeottoSvenska FiatFiat3.7S-63crash
    DNF18Erik LafrenzE. G. LafrenzDodge3.5S-42fuel tank
    DNF14Whitney StraightW. StraightMaserati26M2.5S-82crash
    DNF4Karl EbbK. EbbMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-62fuel tank
    DNF21K. RudolffK. H. RudolffNRV Special Steyr3.0S-61fuel feed
    DNF19Harry LarssonFord Motor CoFord3.3S-40engine
    DNF11Thure JohanssonFord Motor CoFord3.3S-40
    DNF20Johan RamsayPhilipsons Automobil ABChrysler5.1S-60
    DNF26Nikolai NenonenH. J. EloDelage4.4S-60brakes
    DNF3Karl-Gustav SundstedtK-G. SundstedtBugattiT35B2.3S-80crash
    Fastest lap: Ebb (Mercedes-Benz) on lap 2 in 31m11.1s =
    Winner's medium speed:
    Weather: sunny, thaw





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    IV GRAND PRIX DE TUNISIE

    Carthage - Tunis (F), 3 April 1932
    37 laps x 12.714 km (7.9 mi) = 470.4 km (292.3 mi)


    No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

    Over 1500 cc:
    2Jean-Pierre WimilleJ-P. WimilleBugattiT545.0S-8
    4Marcel LehouxM. LehouxBugattiT545.0S-8
    6Luigi FagioliOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8C 28002.8S-8
    8René DreyfusOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8C 28002.8S-8
    10Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
    12Stanisłas CzaykowskiS. CzaykowskiBugattiT512.3S-8
    14Jean de MaleplaneJ. de MaleplaneMaserati26M2.5S-8
    16Eugenio SienaScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
    18Achille VarziA. VarziBugattiT512.3S-8
    20Heinrich-Joachim von MorgenH-J von MorgenBugattiT545.0S-8
    22Louis ChironL. ChironBugattiT512.3S-8
    Jean GaupillatJ. GaupillatBugattiT512.3S-8DNA- did not appear
    Charly JellenC. JellenBugattiT35B2.3S-8DNA- did not appear
    Clemente BiondettiC. BiondettiMB-Speciale2.5S-8DNA- did not appear
    1500 cc:
    24Mme MareuseMme MareuseBugattiT37A1.5S-4
    26Louis JolyL. JolyMaserati261.5S-8
    28Jean GallayJ. GallayBugattiT37A1.5S-4
    30Mme Anne Rose-ItierMme Rose-ItierBugattiT37A1.5S-4
    32Rudolf EberhardtR. EberhardtBugattiT37A1.5S-4
    34José ScaronJ. ScaronAmilcarMCO1.1S-6
    36Claude OzannatC. OzannatBugattiT37A1.5S-4
    38Pierre VeyronP. VeyronMaserati261.5S-8
    40Luigi CastelbarcoL. CastelbarcoBugattiT51A1.5S-8
    Jean d'HiercourtJ. d'HiercourtMaserati26C1.1S-8DNA - did not appear


    Varzi victorious in Tunis
    by Hans Etzrodt
    The Tunis Grand Prix on the Carthage road circuit opened the international racing season of 1932. Maserati entered Fagioli and Dreyfus, while Alfa Romeo was represented by Scuderia Ferrari with only one car for Siena. Bugatti was officially absent but their works drivers Varzi and Chiron raced improved 2.3-liter Bugattis. From a mixed field of 21 starters, the 12 grand prix cars battled right from the beginning with Varzi holding first place. Von Morgen, Wimille and Fagioli retired early, while Chiron and Dreyfus fell back after lengthy pit stops. Accordingly opposition was limited to Lehoux, Etancelin and Czaikowski. By winning the race, Varzi successfully defended his title as the winner of the previous year's race. The independent Algerian Lehoux came second. In the voiturette class, consisting of nine cars, Joly and Veyron with 1.5-liter Maseratis placed a clear first and second.
    The North-African race in Tunisia had acquired great meaning since it represented the opening race of the international racing season. After this year's Alessandria event did not take place in March, the race in Tunisia was indeed the season opener. For some time the organizers thought about cancelling the event after a hurricane last December destroyed a great part of the permanent grandstands, pits and almost completely ruined the restaurant. Thanks to great efforts by the organizers, an additional 100 000 French Fr. were placed in their budget to cover the damage. Thereby the race could be staged for the fourth time in Tunisia, which in 1932 was a French protectorate. The Tunis Grand Prix was first organized in 1928 and 29 on the Bardo course. Since 1931 the event was held on the very flat triangular 12.714 km Carthage circuit with high-speed corners connecting the long straights, except for the sharp hairpin leading into the 3.5 km finish straight, which contained a chicane to slow the cars down just before the finish line. The event took place near the site of the ancient city of Carthage. The race consisted of 37 laps, giving a total of over 470 kilometers. The circuit itself and regulations had not changed from the previous year. The cars were divided into two classes, up to 1500 cc and over 1500 cc engine capacity. A total of 125 000 French Fr. had been earmarked as prize money. The winner of the large class was to receive 40,000 French Fr., second 25,000, while the winner of the smaller class received 12,000, the second 8,000 French Fr. Starting money was 1,500 French Fr.
    Entries:
    The importance of the Tunisian event was attested by an entry list that included 24 competitors of high international standing. The Bologna Maserati factory entered their two 8C 2800 biposto models for Fagioli and Dreyfus. These cars were in reality improved 26M models, equipped with the stronger 2.8-liter engine. These cars were previously raced during the 1931 season. In addition there came a private entry from Jean de Maleplane in a Maserati 26 M, one of several that were built. There was also the MB Speciale, a hybrid construction by Clemente Biondetti, utilizing a 2.5- liter Maserati engine 2519 in a Bugatti T35 chassis. Alfa Romeo did not enter any of their factory cars but Scuderia Ferrari sent a red-painted 2.3-liter Monza for Siena to drive. This car had been improved for 1932. Another Alfa Romeo Monza, but painted in blue, came with the French privateer Etancelin.
          Against the six Italian cars eight Bugattis were entered. Varzi and Chiron, both Bugatti factory drivers, appeared with last year's 2.3-liter Type 51 twin-cam models. These cars had been further improved from last year but were officially not entries from Molsheim. A true private Bugatti entry came from the Algerian Lehoux, who had the new 5-liter model that had been raced for the first time late last year at Monza. This car was apparently well tried and run in. Wimille and von Morgen also arrived with brand new 5-liter models from Bugatti. Wimille had already raced his car once at La Turbie hill climb on March 24, where he won outright breaking the course record. There were two additional T51 Bugattis from Count Czaykowski and Gaupillat plus a T35B from Austrian Charly Jellen.
          The small car class consisted of 10 entries: six Bugattis from Luigi Castelbarco, Rudolf Eberhardt, Jean Gallay, Mme Anne Rose-Itier, Claude Ozannat and Mme Mareuse; three Maseratis from Pierre Veyron, Jean d'Hiercourt and Louis Joly; plus the Amilcar from José Scaron.
    Practice:
    During practice on the fast macadam course it became clear that one of the 2.3-liter Bugattis of factory drivers Varzi or Chiron was likely to win. These cars were refined T51 models from last year because both cars went faster than last year's models. But Varzi denied that any improvements had been made to his car. The brand new 5-liter T54 Bugattis of Wimille and von Morgen appeared not to be ready for the race. Clemente Biondetti in the MB Speciale did not appear; neither did Charly Jellen with his Bugatti T35B and Jean d'Hiercourt in an 1100 cc Maserati 26C.
          The existing lap record of 5m13s at 146.231 km/h was established in last year's race by René Dreyfus in the Maserati. During practice this time was bettered by Fagioli in 5m08s and Varzi 5m10s. Chiron was timed at 5m13s and Lehoux at 5m25s.
    Race:
    There were 200 colonial soldiers armed with rifles keeping control of about 50 000 enthusiastic spectators. The start of the 20 cars was set for 1:00 on Sunday afternoon where grid positions had been distributed by drawing of lots forming a grid of seven rows, lined up in numerical order.
    Pole Position
    6
    Fagioli

    Maserati

    4
    Lehoux

    Bugatti

    2
    Wimille

    Bugatti

    12
    Czaykowski

    Bugatti

    10
    Etancelin

    Alfa Romeo

    8
    Dreyfus

    Maserati

    18
    Varzi

    Bugatti

    16
    Siena

    Alfa Romeo

    14
    de Maleplane

    Maserati

    24
    Mareuse

    Bugatti

    22
    Chiron

    Bugatti

    20
    von Morgen

    Bugatti

    30
    Rose-Itier

    Bugatti

    28
    Gallay

    Bugatti

    26
    Joly

    Maserati

    36
    Ozannat

    Bugatti

    34
    Scaron

    Amilcar

    32
    Eberhardt

    Bugatti

    40
    L Castelbarco

    Bugatti

    38
    Veyron

    Maserati

    Varzi made the best start from the third row and his Bugatti went into first place. By the end of the first lap he had lost his lead, when Lehoux in the faster of the 5-liter Bugattis went to the front. The brief skirmish between Varzi and the Algerian was decided for the Italian since Lehoux' lead was short-lived. Then Chiron moved in second place, followed by Fagioli, Dreyfus, Lehoux and von Morgen.
          After the first lap Varzi was leading Lehoux, Fagioli, Dreyfus, Chiron followed by the rest. On the second lap Lehoux took the lead for a brief moment but at the end of the second lap Varzi was again in the lead . Varzi finished the third lap in 5m08s, improving on Dreyfus' record. After five laps the positions were as follows:
    1.Varzi (Bugatti)26m00s
    2.Chiron (Bugatti)26m14s had passed Fagioli and Lehoux
    3.Fagioli (Maserati)26m18s
    4.Dreyfus (Maserati)26m20s
    5.Lehoux (Bugatti)26m38s
    6.Von Morgen (Bugatti)27m38s at an even match with
    7.Etancelin (Bugatti)27m38s
    8.Siena (Alfa Romeo)27m51s
    9.Joly (Maserati)29m03s the first of the 1500 class
    10.Castelbarco (Bugatti)29m31s
    11.Veyron (Maserati)30m18s

    After the first five laps the Bugattis of Varzi and Chiron were leading. A duel between those two team mates was expected but then Chiron lost all chance due to a long stop of three minutes with ignition trouble on lap eight. Now Fagioli in the Maserati inherited second place. On lap nine von Morgen stopped his big Bugatti at his pits to change both left tires, which were flat-spotted by locking brakes on his new car. Varzi in the meantime carried on without disturbance and drove his ninth lap in 5m04s. After ten laps the order was as follows:
    1.Varzi (Bugatti) 51m38s
    2.Fagioli (Maserati)51m50s
    3.Dreyfus (Maserati)52m09s
    4.Lehoux (Bugatti)53m11s
    5.Etancelin (Bugatti)54m16s
    6.Siena (Alfa Romeo)55m12s
    7.Wimille (Bugatti)
    8.Czaikowski (Bugatti)
    9.Joly (Maserati)57m46s still the first of the 1500 class
    10.Castelbarco (Bugatti)58m23s
    11.Veyron (Maserati)59m48s

    After 10 laps the Maserati team had moved to second and third place. The order was Varzi, Fagioli, Dreyfus and Lehoux, who had already fallen back, followed by Etancelin and Siena. The only German, von Morgen, retired his 5-liter Bugatti after 10 laps with a broken right rear brake shoe and left tire worn due to a locked brake. The 5-liter Bugattis had been equipped with the same brakes fitted to the smaller 2.3-liter models and were obviously inadequate for the heavier car. All three 5-liter Bugattis were unable to demonstrate their faster speed due to inherent brake problems. On lap 14 Dreyfus had to stop at the pits to change plugs. After 15 laps the order was:
    1.Varzi (Bugatti) 1h17m07s
    2.Fagioli (Maserati)1h19m00s
    3.Etancelin (Bugatti)1h21m06s
    4.Wimille (Bugatti)1h22m02s
    5.Siena (Alfa Romeo)
    6.Czaikowski (Bugatti)
    7.Dreyfus (Maserati)
    8.Chiron (Bugatti)
    9.De Maleplane (Maserati)
    Joly (Maserati) still dominated the 1500 class in 1h26m24s, then Castelbarco (Bugatti) second in 1h27m07s and third Veyron (Maserati) in 1h29m09s .

          On lap 17, as Fagioli moved just a few seconds closer to Varzi, he encountered supercharger problems and was stranded on the circuit. One of Varzi's most serious contenders was gone and his victory was now more assured than before. With Fagioli out and Dreyfus in the pits changing spark plugs, Lehoux was once again in second position. Wimille in the 5-liter Bugatti, who had held fourth place was the next to retire on lap 17 with an overheated engine and brake problems. It would have been a worthless effort for him to continue. Gallay retired his 1500 Bugatti on the same lap with overheating problems.The 5-liter Bugattis were a great disappointment for their drivers with overheating engines, boiling radiators and insufficient brakes on all three 5-liter models. It was inconceivable, how Bugatti could release cars like that to be raced.
          Eventually after twenty laps the order was as follows:
    1.Varzi (Bugatti) 1h42m43s
    2.Lehoux (Bugatti)1h45m38s
    3.Etancelin (Bugatti)1h47m11s
    4.Siena (Alfa Romeo)1h47m17s
    5.Czaikowski (Bugatti)1h50m19s
    6.Dreyfus (Maserati)1h51m55s
    7.Chiron (Bugatti)
    In the 1500 class, Castelbarco (Bugatti) passed Joly (Maserati) but then the Bugatti headed for the pits .

          After 25 laps Varzi had increased his advantage by a great margin.
    1.Varzi (Bugatti)2h08m45s
    2.Lehoux (Bugatti)2h13m25s
    3.Etancelin (Bugatti)2h13m35s
    4.Siena (Alfa Romeo)
    5.Czaikowski (Bugatti)
    In the 1500 class, Joly (Maserati) headed in 2h23m05s Castelbarco (Bugatti) in 2h25m51s and Veyron (Maserati) third in 2h27m29s.

          Chiron, who rarely experienced bad luck, lost a total of 10 minutes through pit stops but was able to catch up near the end. On lap 27 Chiron drove outstandingly and managed to establish the fastest lap of the race in 5m03s equal to 151 km/h average speed. After 30 laps the order was:
    1.Varzi (Bugatti) 2h37m17s
    2.Lehoux (Bugatti)2h30m46s
    3.Etancelin (Bugatti)2h40m28s
    4.Siena (Alfa Romeo)2h41m44s
    5.Joly (Maserati)2h53m27s
    6.Castelbarco (Bugatti)2h56m47s
    8.Veyron (Maserati)2h56m58s

    On lap 31 Joly set the lap record for the 1500 class at 5m35s. Castelbarco had to stop once more at the pits. On lap 34 Veyron passed Castelbarco while he changed plugs the pits.
          During the last laps Varzi stayed out front, Lehoux followed next with a gap to third placed Etancelin in the Alfa Romeo. That order remained until the end. However a skirmish for second place between Lehoux and Etancelin developed. Lehoux fought desperately and established the record by taking fuel in only 25 seconds. To the cheers from the grandstand crowd, Varzi crossed the finish line in first place. He only had to stop once to refuel in 50 seconds. Lehoux followed around three minutes later but his brakes had faded. Third placed Etancelin arrived over four minutes after the winner. The rest of the field was lapped at least once by Varzi, therefore Siena, Czaikowski and Chiron, in this finishing order, had to continue driving one more circuit to complete all 37 laps and qualify as finishers. Dreyfus and de Maleplane followed next, both already lapped twice. Dreyfus stated in his book that he had had to stop altogether four times to change spark plugs and refueling loosing 10m40s.
          In the small class Joly in the Maserati had taken the lead right from the beginning. Behind him the places changed several times until lap 15. Count Luigi Castelbarco followed next in the latest 8-cylinder twin-cam Bugatti but lost second place when he had to stop at the pits to replace spark plugs. From then on Veyron held second place up to the end of the race.
          Joly (Maserati) finished in ninth place, followed by Veyron (Maserati), Count Luigi Castelbarco (Bugatti) and Scaron (Amilcar). The two lady drivers, Mme. Rose-Itier and Mme. Mareuse, finished last, two and three laps behind Joly respectively. These two ladies were apparently unable to complete the 37 laps and were flagged off. Interestingly, they were shown as finishers by AZ-Motorwelt. Race promoters usually allowed extra time for stragglers to complete the full distance, long after the winner had finished the race. Those unable to comply were then flagged off and did not classify. This rule was evidently not applied for this race.

    Results

    Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

    1.18Achille VarziA. VarziBugattiT512.3S-8373h14m18s
    2.4Marcel LehouxM. LehouxBugattiT545.0S-8373h17m14s+ 2m56s
    3.10Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8373h18m25s+ 4m07s
    4.16Eugenio SienaScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8373h19m58s+ 5m40s
    5.12Stanisłas CzaykowskiS. CzaykowskiBugattiT512.3S-8373h21m18s+ 7m00s
    6.22Louis ChironL. ChironBugattiT512.3S-8373h24m42s+ 10m24s
    7.8René DreyfusOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8C 28002.8S-8373h27m49s+ 13m31s
    8.14Jean de MaleplaneJ. de MaleplaneMaserati26M2.5S-8373h32m57s+ 18m39s
    9.26Louis JolyL. JolyMaserati261.5S-8373h34m32s+ 20m14s
    10.38Pierre VeyronP. VeyronMaserati261.5S-8373h37m15s+ 22m57s
    11.40Luigi CastelbarcoL. CastelbarcoBugattiT51A1.5S-8373h38m56s+ 28m38s
    12.34José ScaronJ. ScaronAmilcarMCO1.1S-6373h45m10s+ 30m52s
    13.30Mme Anne Rose-ItierMme Rose-ItierBugattiT37A1.5S-4353h47m27s 
    14.24Mme MareuseMme MareuseBugattiT37A1.5S-4343h50m12s 
    DNF32Rudolf EberhardtR. EberhardtBugattiT37A1.5S-427brakes 
    DNF6Luigi FagioliOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8C 28002.8S-816supercharger
    DNF36Claude OzannatC. OzannatBugattiT37A1.5S-415? 
    DNF2Jean-Pierre WimilleJ-P. WimilleBugattiT545.0S-815oil pressure, brakes
    DNF20Heinrich-Joachim von MorgenH-J von MorgenBugattiT545.0S-811brakes
    DNF28Jean GallayJ. GallayBugattiT37A1.5S-411overheating 
    Fastest lap: Chiron (Bugatti) on lap 27 in 5m03s = 151.1 km/h (93.9 mph)
    Fastest lap 1500 c class: Joly (Maserati) on lap 31 in 5m35s = 136.6 km/h (84.9 mph)
    Winner's medium speed (Varzi): 145.3 km/h (90.3 mph)
    Winner's medium speed (Joly): 131.6 km/h (81.8 mph)
    Weather: hot, sunshine
    In retrospect:
    Alfieri Maserati, the Italian automobile designer and former race driver had died unexpectedly in Bologna on March 3, only 44 years old, following a kidney operation as a sequel to his accident five years earlier at the 1927 Coppa Messina. Alfieri was a person beyond doubt and losing him as creator and head of Maserati works was of tremendous consequences. He was known for his extraordinary modesty, generosity and friendliness. He wanted to withdraw completely from active racing and therefore had not entered for the Monaco Grand Prix. Ernesto, youngest of the Maserati brothers, had matured at Alfieri's side and was then the most qualified of the brothers to take over the lead.

    Manfred von Brauchitsch had planned to participate on March 24 at La Turbie, then on March 27 at Alessandria and on April 3 at the Tunis Grand Prix. He only did the La Turbie climb and dropped the other two events. Probably the cancellation of the Alessandria race meant that the trip to Africa for just one race wasn't worthwhile. This guess is supported by the fact that only one German took part in the race.

    This report was amended after having first been published in 2008. We added the individual times every 5 laps from IL LITTORIALE plus other information from LA STAMPA and Motor Sport.

    The latest update in April 2014 was made possible with help from Lukáš Hummel by submitting a report from the newspaper L'Echo-d'Alger, which included the starting grid order.

    Primary sources researched for this article:
    ADAC-Motorwelt, München
    Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
    AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
    AZ-Motorwelt, Brno
    IL Littoriale, Bologna
    LA STAMPA, Torino
    L'Echo-d'Alger, Alger
    Motor Sport, London
    MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
    Special thanks to:
    Lukáš Hummel



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    © 2014 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 04.04.2014