In France we have the great good fortune to possess L’Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry not far from Arpajon in the forest. Even better we have permission from the VRM to drive along it every two years The fact that we can only ride along a small part adds to the mythology of this legendary route, where many records have been established and broken, such as that of Bert Le Vack, hurtling along on a Brough-Superior, at over 200km/h back in 1929.
|heroic Bert painted by Geo Ham|
Sadly the condition of the circuit, compounded by today’s draconian regulations, and the lack of too-costly maintenance, means that you can no longer drive all of the original circuit. The old world charm and rural beauty can be misleading for as well as the feeling of making history driving along this old road, you are accompanied by a bumping, jolting ride from which Evil Knievel would be proud of emerging unscathed.
|in red the actual circuit|
Last Autumn we decided to join the meet of pre 1940 cars and bikes, organized by Vincent Chamon and his team.
Our friends ”P” and”M” had prepared two Norton Internationals: a 350 and a 500, with their well known Gardengate frames and roadholder forks
These machines, precise as Swiss clocks, have had multiple rides along the Circuit de Montlhèry but are returning to their old stomping ground for the first time for 12 years.
So, compared to our previous visit we had an additional role: I must say that nowadays, I really appreciate doing rather than watching.
This year the turnout was exceptional, there were not only some machines from the Brooklands Museum, but also one from the Hockenheim museum. I was particularly attracted by the two Mc Evoy 1000cc racers, one of which was “Bad” with its 8 valve engine, a reinforced frame, and black finish, while the other was more refined. I shouldn’t forget the presence on the track and in the pits of the most fabulous French motorcycle ever built: The Koehler Escoffier Georges Monneret 1935. There were many other motorcycles and the pits were dominated by the infernal Franck Chatokhine on his Speed Twin passing above our heads whilst Banking, spurred on by Dimitri Coste on the family ES2. As for the cars, despite the countless wonders whirling around my head, I have retained the memory of the fantastic The Graham 8 Lucenti Indy car from 1932, with its 8 inline pots. We also had a real admiration for the Stewart Sandford 3 wheeler car/cycle with its Ruby built compressor motor complete with aluminium casing. One of my favourite French brands, "Avions Voisin", was also well represented. and to top it all off the Hélica powered propeller 1919, an incredible machine straight out of a cartoon.
The atmosphere was wonderful, despite having to leave the circuit at 5:30 p.m, and (Vincent if you're listening ...) some visual pollution due to the modern cars mixed in with the old ones on the stands.
Our experience of the track with the Inters was a beautiful gift from "P" and "M" who at 82 can no longer drive, kindly offered us his place. An elegant pass of the baton. After each session, the smiles of our four pilots spoke volumes about the sensations experienced.
Looking closely reveals the Inter "Cammy" 1938 to be a modern motorcycle for its time, with a perfect frame, an engine phenomenally powerful for a single, no wonder it has been the bike of choice for private pilots, followed closely after by the Manx.
In the diary for 2015 and once again congratulations to the organizers.
|Dimitri Coste on Norton ES2 1935|
|Moto Guzzi Dondolino|
|OK Supreme 500 1934|
|Mc Evoy 1000 cc Anzani 1927|
|Triumph Speed Twin Supercharger Brooklands 1938|
|Torpedo 1909 replica|
|French Indian club|
|A Two Cam|
|The most fantastic French French Motorcycle ever: Koehler Escoffier 1000ACT Georges Monneret|
|Georges Monneret " Jojo la Moto" with the same bike in 1935|
|Rolland Pilain was the first car to beat a record at Montlhéry|
|Avions Voisin "Art Déco" interior by Paul Poiret|
|Hélica (Leyat) Replica 1919, the roadster version|
|The "Cocotte" famous Avions Voisin Mascott|
|Ford Woody 40|
|Bedelia BD 2 Tandem 1912|
|Thomas with The Graham 8 Lucenti Indy car from 1932|
|Thomas und Ingrid|
|Always better when people are well dressed|
|Brasier Hispano V8 engine1908|
|George Cohen and Paul D'Orleans|
|Jérome Coste wearing his Latest creation "The Castel"|
|Jérome with the Castel and El solitario's Bonneville Coverall|
|Would kill for a racer like this one|
|Koehler Escoffier Mandoline 500cc|
|Excelsion Manxman 250|
|My favorite the Mc Evoy 1000 8 valve all black racer 1924|
|DKW SS 250 1938 Single with 2 pistons 2 strokes compressor 130db|
|Stayer with probably a 2liters Anzani engine|
|Magnat Debon 175 racer|
|The Best Cyclecar on show the Sandford compressor, Ruby engined|
|English engineering by JENSEN|
|OMG let me take one last pic please !|
|last advices before the run , Many thanks to "M"|
|Me Just before being blowed by Franck Chatokhine the fastest rider on the track|
|Julien from our team discovering track's adrenalin ...|
|Fred our Team mate|
|The Chase between Pierre and Dimitri|