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Author Topic: Tapper- A Hill-climb in Germany  (Read 4532 times)
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Richard Fridd
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« on: 12 March, 2013, 06:55:06 PM »

From the book 'Amateur Racing Driver'. Finally, I decided to make the event an excuse for a short holiday, and entered a touring car in the form of a rather ancient Lancia Lambda, the property of a friend who was to accompany me.We loaded the old four-seater with luggage and equipment for camping, and made the night crossing from Harwich to Antwerp, which seemed the best starting point for the five or six hundred mile journey to the Kesselberg pass, situated below Munich near German-Austrian border. It was the first of many such crossings I was to make in order to compete in Continental motor races. Early next morning we disembarked at the sprawling Belgian port, already a bustle of activity bathed in the first rays of sunshine, and having completed the customs formalities and fortified ourselves with a potent cup of coffee at a quayside bar,we made our way through the town to the Liege road. Itis always rather a problem to find the way in the myriad streets of a new town, and on this occasion we were not much rewarded by our eventual success, for the main road to Liege was in appalling condition, pitted with potholes to such a degree that our progress for the first thirty or forty miles was slowed to little more than walking pace, and whenever I could do so with safety I made use of the better surfaced cycle tracks. But by lunchtime we had reached more attractive, rolling country near the border, and soon after crossed into Germany, where our route lay by way of Koblenz, down the Rhine valley to Mannheim and Stuttgart. Having made use of our tent for a night spent en route,we arrived towards the close of the next day at Kochel, where we were to stay for the event, and found quarters at an inn of unpretentious aspect but pssessing typically German attributes-simple, spotless rooms and a table adourned with mammoth helpings of Wurst and Saurekraut. This area of Germany, the foothills of the Alps,is very beautiful. The rising mountains are covered with sweet-scented pine woods and threaded with streams and waterfalls and small, deep blue lakes, and the course for the Kesselberg Rennen lay between Kochel and Urfeld on the Walchensee, over the Kesselberg pass whic ascends in easy windings to a height of some 2,900 feet. It was about four miles long, and a very different proposition to the type of hillclimb I was used to in England. The next morning we removed our copious baggage from the Lancia and drove to the course.It must be admitted that this car was no very special example of up-to-date automobile practice, having been built some ten years previously, and, after what must have been a strenuous career, purchased on the secondhand market for the sum of 15. It was infact an ordinary Lancia tourer of 2,120 c.c. That had been modified with the idea of bringing it into the sports-class by substituting a windscreen at an extreme angle of backward slope for the original large, upright one. Unfortunately, the performance of this car was not so brisk as to reap any benefit from this aid to slipstream. However, Iwas flagged off on a practice run, but althougH the course could not be termed severe and had a wide,smooth surface,the Lancia with everything in its favour,would only just climb the hill and then wheezed up like a steam engine with a deathly rattle from the timing wheels. Proud sat my achievement in having reached the top at all, I felt justified in resting on my laurels, for it proved a magnificent vantage point to watch the course.


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« Last Edit: 13 March, 2013, 04:36:18 PM by Richard Fridd » Logged

Richard Nevison Fridd                                                                      Happy Lancia, Happy Life
Richard Fridd
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« Reply #1 on: 13 March, 2013, 04:23:59 PM »

From the programme


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Richard Nevison Fridd                                                                      Happy Lancia, Happy Life
Richard Fridd
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« Reply #2 on: 24 March, 2013, 09:29:25 AM »

Eileen Elison,as mentioned in the Cholmondely Tapper VL article (December)


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« Last Edit: 24 March, 2013, 09:31:06 AM by Richard Fridd » Logged

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Tony Stephens
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« Reply #3 on: 29 March, 2013, 12:29:58 PM »

I have owned a copy of the Cholmondeley-Tapper book for 30 years and re-read it regularly.

Also he used to live near me in Buckinghamshire - his widow died only a few years ago - at Piddington, and owned a share of Haddenham Airfield which also has historic connections (Berlin Airlift, motorcycle racing just post-war etc). As I live at Haddenham this was of interest to me, there is a fascinating website for the airfield if you want to waste, sorry while away, an hour or two.

But what made me post a reply was looking at the hillclimb programme and seeing that 4 lines above Tapper and his Lambda is another entrant Gildo Strazza from Como. Now there's a name to conjour with! Was this the same Strazza who did so well in the Mille Miglia with a Lambda and subsequently campaigned the S1 Lambda with prototype Astura engine, now owned by Gerald Batt?

And I see Hans Reusch was competing too, another famous prewar name although with no Lancia connections that I know of.
« Last Edit: 29 March, 2013, 12:32:40 PM by Tony Stephens » Logged
Richard Fridd
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« Reply #4 on: 04 April, 2013, 08:53:15 AM »

Thanks for your reply Tony, the same Strazza I think. http://www.lancianews.com/main.php?id=14&cat=Titel
« Last Edit: 16 April, 2013, 05:24:58 AM by Richard Fridd » Logged

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JohnMillham
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« Reply #5 on: 04 April, 2013, 02:10:16 PM »

Was this the same Strazza who did so well in the Mille Miglia with a Lambda and subsequently campaigned the S1 Lambda with prototype Astura engine, now owned by Gerald Batt?

Yes, but it had a Dilambda engine in those days. Regards, John
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Richard Fridd
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« Reply #6 on: 05 April, 2013, 09:49:22 AM »

Strazza featured in these tables also, plus some Lancia photos from the times


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Richard Nevison Fridd                                                                      Happy Lancia, Happy Life
Richard Fridd
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« Reply #7 on: 27 September, 2013, 07:24:19 AM »

From http://forums.autosport.com/topic/78515-thomas-pitt-cholmondeley-tapper/#entry4773078
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