On This Day in F1: 22 May

On this day in F1 – 22 May, brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler BlackJack’sBriefs

1455 – The first battle in the 30-year War of Roses took place at St. Albans, England…

1570 – First atlas, with 70 maps, was published…

1819– First steam-propelled vessel crossed the Atlantic (Savannah leaves Ga)…

1840 – The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony was abolished…

1843 – First wagon train, of 1000 people, departed Independence Missouri for Oregon…

1891 – The first public motion picture was given in Thomas Edison’s lab…

1892 – British doctor, Washington Sheffield, invented the toothpaste tube…

1897 – The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames was officially opened…

1906 – Wright Brothers patented a ‘flying machine’

1933 – Loch Ness Monster was first reportedly sighted by John Mackay…

1943 – First jet fighter was tested…

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. . . and, in 1955… 

Louis Chiron

Louis Chiron

Louis Chiron, born in Monaco in 1899, was the oldest driver to compete and finish, in 6th place, in a Grand Prix, just before his 56th birthday. Although his final full season was in 1951 he reappeared for half the 1953 season before making a ‘guest‘ appearance at Monaco in 1955 He also entered at Monaco in 1956, and in 1958, but didn’t start either event… and subsequently joined the organising team of the Monaco GP.

Delage

1928 Rome GP

In a 34-year career (1925-1958) Chiron won 22 GP, mostly in the late 20’s and early 30’s but also the French GP in 1947 and 1949. At 50, does this make him the oldest GP winner…? [Answers on a postcard.]

In 1933 he teamed with Luigi Chinetti to win the Spa 24hrs. and also drove a Delage to 7th in the 1929 Indy 500… and also won the 1954 Monte Carlo Rally…

In 1999, twenty years after Chiron’s death, Bugatti created a theme-car in his honour – the Bugatti 18/3 Chiron.

Bugatti 18/3 Chiron

Bugatti 18/3 Chiron

After WWI Chiron, always short on cash, turned to wealthy women to finance his desired lifestyle meeting his benefactresses in the dance halls of Monaco and Nice, where they were literally standing in line to tango with the elegant and extremely handsome chauffeur/dancer. Thus did the unsuspecting husband of his long- time lover Alice “Baby” Hoffmann become one of his key financiers.

Women had always been responsible for the most significant developments in Chiron’s life, and his success with the fairer sex can be attributed to a Russian noblewoman who financed his private school education, music lessons, and courses in etiquette, thus providing the necessary training for him to become a true lady’s man.

A bit different to Kobayashi raising sponsorship on the internet…

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Meanwhile… This Day in 1958

. . . while Louis Chiron was making his last appearance at a GP… arriving in the United Kingdom was one of the biggest figures in rock and roll. Nowhere in the world were the teenage fans of the raucous music coming from America more enthusiastic than in England, and the tour of the great Jerry Lee Lewis promised to be a rousing success.

“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls Of Fire” had been massive hits in the UK, and 27 appearances were booked for the biggest tour yet by an American rock-and-roll star. There was just one problem: Jerry Lee traveled to England with his new young wife in tow.

An inquisitive reporter enquired as to the identity of the very young woman. “I’m Myra, Jerry’s wife,” – “And how old is Myra?” at which point Jerry Lee, realising the rest of the world might take a somewhat skeptical view of his third marriage, gave the answer, “Fifteen,” which was a lie.

Myra Gail Lewis was actually only 13 years old… and was also Jerry Lee’s first cousin… but the pair had married five months before his divorce from his second wife was made official. Jerry Lee tried to set minds at ease on this last point, saying the second marriage was null and void because it had taken place before his divorce from his first wife was finalised… but even the most skilled public-relations expert would have had difficulty spinning the unfolding story in Jerry Lee’s favor.

The press and public hounded Mr & Mrs Lewis, their fashionable Mayfair hotel encouraged them to seek lodgings elsewhere, and they left England less than a week after their dramatic arrival – on this day, in 1958.

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. . . and thence to 1961…

when John F Kennedy was sworn in as US president…

the first revolving restaurant (Top Of The Needle, in Seattle), opened… a chimp returned safely from a space flight…

five Britons were accused of spying for Moscow…

the Nazi war crimes trials began…

a victorious Castro banned elections… and 1,500 Cuban exiles, with the CIA, invaded the “Bay of Pigs” – 118 were killed and 1,202 were captured by Cuban forces… and later offered, in exchange for 500 bulldozers…

Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, after orbiting the planet… followed, a few weeks later, by the first US astronaut, Shepard, who just left the Earth’s atmosphere – and came straight back down again…

Berliners woke to a divided city after 20% of the entire East German population had defected to West Germany…

Britain applied for membership of the EEC… and Private Eye was first published…

the birth control pill became ‘available to all’… and Pampers disposable diapers were introduced…

The farthing coin (a quarter of an ‘old’ penny), used since the 13th century, ceased to be legal tender in Britain… and black & white £5 (Sterling) notes ceased to be legal tender in Britain…

The First inflight movie was shown on TWA…

IBM introduced the Selectric typewriter ‘Golfball’…

. . . and Harold MacMillan told the British people: ‘You’ve never had it so good’…

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22nd May – 1961

Von Trips and P Hill

Von Trips and P Hill

At the Dutch GP, taking place one week after the Monaco GP, the front row was taken up by three Ferraris. Wolfgang von Trips took the lead from the start and led every lap to the chequered flag. Phil Hill was a solid second though constantly pressured by Jim Clark, who made a great start from the fourth row. The two traded second place, with the Ferrari quicker on the straight and the Lotus faster in the corners, until about 20 laps from the end when the Ferrari pulled away.

Fourth place was also hard fought, Monaco victor Moss and Ginther, who made a bad start, battled nose-to- tail until the very end with Moss passing Ginther on the final lap when the throttle on the Ferrari stuck open and Ginther narrowly avoided an accident. It was a rather dull race but was historic as one of only three races with a full field where every car finished (the 2005 Italian Grand Prix and the 2011 European Grand Prix were the others).

But in fact, this race made history as the only F1 race ever where all the cars that started managed to finish the race without making a single pit stop.

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9 responses to “On This Day in F1: 22 May

  1. Since there was no “on this day” yesterday.
    On this day 21 may 1950:
    It all began exactly on this day, the 21st May. Sixty three years ago, on this very same circuit that wends its way through the Principality of Monaco and which this coming Sunday, hosts the sixth round of the 2013 World Championship, Scuderia Ferrari made its debut in the Formula 1 World Championship.
    There were four Ferraris entered in the race: two 125 F1s, in the GP49 evolution, entrusted to the Italians Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi and two 125 F1s for France’s Raymond Sommer and the British driver Paul Whitehead.

  2. Aha. 55 years of age and driving in a Grand Prix.

    Well after Jonathan Neale’s comments this week about Jenson driving for McLaren for ‘as long as he wants’, we may now see this challenged.

    Button fans will be ecstatic I’m sure.

    • Hi SteveH – the list of events from Kennedy to MacMillan are intended to put things in context and all refer to the year, 1961, not 22 May specifically. Sorry I didn’t make this clear for you.

  3. Huh?? again. Nazi war crime trials began in 1961? Come on, Judge13, your credibility is falling fast here.

    • Hi Steve again – this struck me as odd as well but half a dozen websites gave the item. I have now clarified that in 1961 was the trial in Israel of Adolf Eichmann. The BBC headline was: “1961: Nazi war crimes trial begins.” – I suspect this was simply copied around the web, as I did… 😉
      I don’t think it need reflect on his honour’s credibility though…

  4. Haha at the Kobba line!

    Now, where does one find a Russian noblewoman these days?

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