In our column of October 12we talked about the frequent meetings between the Spindler and Bugatti families.
So we are not surprised to find in the Journal of Charles Spindler a sporting event of the first importance that took place in our region on Saturday, July 15, 1922: the Grand Prix of the Automobile-Club de France.
The race takes place on a closed circuit of 802 km
General spasm-slumbers at the Spindlers from 4 am It rained all night, and in the morning it rains still in torrents. A whole group, made up of family members and friends, goes to "Innenheim, where, it seems, there is a very favorable place, which, without a doubt, will not be very popular."
To access it, various means of locomotion are used: car, motorcycle, train to Rosheim for Marie-Jeanne and Paul, the children of Charles Spindler, who then had to wade in the muddy paths of the ban of Griesheim.
The race takes place on a 802 km closed circuit (60 laps of 13.4 km) starting in Duppigheim, crossing Entzheim, Innenheim and Duttlenheim to return to Duppigheim.
If there is a competition that Ettore Bugatti absolutely wants to win, this is it
If there is a competition that Ettore Bugatti absolutely wants to win, it is this one, a few kilometers from his stronghold of Molsheim-Dorlisheim. His first car, No. 5 driven by Ernest Friderich (or Ernst Friedrich), is favorite and "beautifully started the race". Unfortunately, she must give up after a few laps after a magneto failure.
According to the testimony of Pierre Weissenburger, the creator of Clos Sainte-Odile in Obernai, Mrs Bugatti was standing in the refueling tent in Duppigheim and, not seeing the runner anymore and being informed of his abandonment, she let out a sound " Maledetta! Damn! About the unlucky car.
Of the 18 cars entered, only three finish the race and the Bugatti finish in second place (driver Pierre De Viscaya) and third (driver Pierre Marco). "According to connoisseurs, the success of the day was for Bugatti, because his cars had lasted until the end and had left the morning of the factory," notes Spindler.
With some bad faith
In spite of this, Ettore is enraged just like the manufacturer of magneto who cries: a similar misadventure had not happened to him for 20 years! With some bad faith, the great builder believes that his cars would have won if the race had lasted a few more kilometers!
A fatal accident for a Fiat
The worst is that the Bugatti were beaten by Fiat, the Italian competitor, with Felice Nazzaro driving. Victory unfortunately tainted by the fatal accident of his own nephew, Biagio Nazzaro, below the road Entzheim-Innenheim. A stele still commemorates the tragic event.