The last surviving driver from the very first Formula One World Championship season in 1950, Robert Manzon, has died at the age of 97. The Marseilles-born Manzon was 33 years old when he rolled his Gordini Type 15 onto the grid for the Monaco GP that May 21, and over the course of the next seven seasons would contest 28 Grands Prix. His best results were a pair of podium placings, 3rd–place finishes in Spa’s rainy 1952 Belgian GP with the works Gordini and in the French GP of 1954 at Reims in a private Ferrari, with his best World Championship ranking being 6th in 1952. He did win the non-championship F1 race at Naples in 1956 for Gordini, and also raced sports cars for the French marque, winning the XXIV Gran Premio di Pescara in 1956. To his family and friends in the sport Vintage Racecar offers its sincerest sympathies.
Ruth Levy, who took to motor racing as a way to express herself and escape the normal bounds of convention in her day, has passed away at the age of 85. Levy began racing in the winter of 1954-’55, driving a borrowed MG on a frozen lake in Minnesota, and realized almost immediately that she had found “her thing.” She began racing with a Porsche Speedster she’d bought during her marriage to jazz pianist Lou Levy, and before her brief career ended she’d become the West Coast Women’s Champion (1957), driven in all the major U.S. races in Porsches, Ferraris and Aston Martins, and been teamed with fellow female star Denise McCluggage. To her husband, Wayne Raymond, and their two daughters, Jackie and Pam, as well as their families, Vintage Racecar extends its deepest sympathies.
The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, has opened a new exhibit featuring the cars of Colin Chapman, “Lotus: The Art of Lightness,” which will run through April 26. Chapman’s mechanical genius made itself known primarily by his dedication to the philosophy of “less is more,” as he tried to make his cars as light as possible, and that it is the idea examined by this exhibit. Further information may be found by visiting www.AACAMuseum.org.
Alfa Romeo will be one of the featured marques during SVRA’s U.S. Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glen on the weekend of July 23-26. “Alfas at The Glen 2015” will bring large numbers of the iconic Italian cars to the upstate New York circuit to compete in their own race groups and then take part in a special race for the Nuvolari Cup.