1936 – General strike

“During 1936 Europe began to tear itself apart. Striking workers had locked Ettore Bugatti out of his factory and Renault was shut down by massive strikes complete with militant factory occupations. Delage ceased to exist save as a ward of Delahaye.

A week before its traditional solstice date the ACO canceled the 1936 24 Hours. The club held entries that would have filled every one of the new pits including a renaissance of French entries from Delage & Delahaye and Tony Lago’s Talbot team. There was even a Germany entry, a two-car team from Adler, the first from Germany since the giant 7-liter Mercedes-Benz SSKs. A pair of private Alfas along with the usual collection of English Le Mans specialists also filed. All for nothing.

The ACO tried to reschedule during the first weekend in August but in July Spain erupted into civil war and Le Mans, like a very nervous Europe, had to watch and wait.

In Paris the ACF behaved politically and formatted their annual Grand Prix de l’ACF at Monthlery as a 1000 kilometer sports car race. This to keep the Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union GP teams at home and vouchsafe a French victory. Jean-Pierre Wimille and Raymond Sommer won in a Bugatti T57G “Tank”. It was the script the ACF had hoped for; in fact the first six home were all French cars. The entire affair was a Parisian petit Le Mans of sorts and a fine preview for the 1937 24 Hours.”

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)