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Thread: The Rosier Roycroft Ferrari

  1. #1

    The Rosier Roycroft Ferrari

    Hello, I'm posting for the first so please excuse the errors. I've always kept an eye on the forum and really appreciate the knowledge and photos from the members.
    I decided to write after reading Steve's new book on historic NZ racing cars and in particular the chapter about Ron Roycroft's 375 Ferrari. I grew up with the idea that the car was Gonzales !951 British GP winning car. But over recent years, after reading overseas forums, I thought that this was now doubtful. But Steve seems sure it is That Car.
    So, recently I've been trawling the web looking at photos from the 1951 Grand Prix season. I found three really good web sites. Motorsportimages.com has some great photos of the Italian and Spanish GPs. Grandprixphoto has photos from the German GP. The other site is called Oldracingcars.com and it has an archive by the late David McKinney relating to the entrants and results of all the races from 1949 thru to 1953 There are also notes on some of the cars including the Gonzales car. He doubted this was the car that Rosier, then Roycroft, later owned.
    From looking at these photos I reckon the Ferrari team used seven cars during the 51 season. The first two were 1950 12 sparkplug cars. One is the Gonzales car and that also won the German GP with Ascari. The other was driven by Villoresi in the first part of the season but was not seen again after the Swiss GP after an accident. The next three cars are the 24 plug cars that were introduced through the first part of the season. You can tell these cars apart by the exhaust pipes coming out of the engine. In the 12 plug cars they are evenly spaced. In the 24 plug they have differing gaps between pipes. The last two cars were first seen at the Italian GP. They were 24 plug but had bodywork that came up behind the driver and were nick-named "camelli" or camel.
    You can also identify individual cars through the different GPs by little differences in the way the louvres are made in to the engine covers, the rivets holding the bodywork and the front grills are not all the same. By comparing photos from the Italian GP to a good photo of Rosier in the 375 the following year at the Albi GP that is on the cover of his biography I could tell it was Villoresi's "camelli" car. Steve writes that the old Gonzales car had been re-engined with a 24 plug 12 cylinder before the German GP where Ascari won with it. I couldnt find any photos that proved this one way or the other so it is possible that the Villoresi car is The Car with new bodywork fitted for the Italian GP.
    I also found another photo that shows on old 12 plug car in the pits at Monza. It was driven by a Brazilian named Chico Landi. Unfortunately it only lasted a lap before braking down so I don't think there are many other photos if any. So I hope this one below is genuine. It is not the best phot but it shows 2 things that I think makes it the British/German GP winner. The set of louvres below the driver has a deformed louvre second from the front and the engine cover louvres has one that is a darker shade for some reason. Its the fifth one in front of the middle securing catch. Hopefully I've attached a picture of Ascari at the German GP and one of the Monza pits.
    I maybe wrong about this so would appreciate comments.
    Cheers, AllanAttachment 70837Name:  Image (3).jpg
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Size:  150.9 KBName:  MOnza512.jpg
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  2. #2
    I have nothing to add re the car, but the silver haired gent in the waistcoat looks very like Taruffi. I've gone back to my library, the same photo is in his autobiography.

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