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Ascari crash

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by Bryanp, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. Bryanp

    Bryanp F1 Rookie
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    Aug 13, 2002
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    I was catching up with some car reading when I saw an article about the 1955 Monaco GP in the Dec. 8, 2003 Autoweek. The article had a quote by Mike Hawthorn that I had never seen before about Ascari's fatal crash in 0562M four days after his crash into the harbor at Monaco.

    I have heard the theories about Ascari having had an undiagnosed concussion that led to a blackout when he was taking his third lap in 0562, a 750 Monza that Castellotti was testing that day for Ferrari at the Monza track. I've also heard the theory about either a workman or a dog crossing the track that Ascari had to dodge at the Vialone curve.

    But I had never heard this theory from Hawthorn which plugs into our earlier discussion about tires.

    "Hawthorn was sharing a 750 Monza with Umberto Maglioli in the [upcoming Supercortemaggiore 1000] and arrived at the track (Monza) about an hour after Ascari's crash. They had been unable to get 6.50x16 tires for the race and had to use 7.00x16s. Hawthorn said he had tried their car on these tires and in his first biography, Challenge Me the Race, he wrote, 'I found it very nasty indeed when I came to the Vialone Curve, where there were a lot of little ripples on the road surface. I came to the conclusion that the rims were too narrow for these tires and had them taken off my car. Where Ascari crashed there were long, broad, black tire marks, followed by marks of the wheel rims digging into the road. It seemed to me he probably changed into fifth just as he hit the ripples, the car started to slide, the tires rolled under and the rims gouged into the road, causing it to somersault . . . .'"

    Sounds like a plausible theory. The Assembly Data Sheets indicate that 0562M was sold with 5.50x16s on the front and 6.50x16 on the rear, but this was after Ferrari rebuilt 0562 after the crash with the smaller tipo 111, 2 liter motor. This is especially timely as my father and I search for replacements for the original Engleberts (5.25x16 front, 6.00x16 rear) for 0556(0446)MD. Dad tells me, though, that he raced his 500 Mondial for 5 years with 6.00s on the front and 7.00s on the rear and never had any 'rollover' problem.
     
  2. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jim Glickenhaus
    Are you able to find tires?
     
  3. Bryanp

    Bryanp F1 Rookie
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    Mr. G - the short answer is no. Michelin bought all the old Englebert molds but then stopped making them a few years ago. We have searched the world for 5.25x16s with no success.

    The plan is to use the R5 Dunlops, 5.50 up front and 6.00 at the rear.
     
  4. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jim Glickenhaus
    That would be a good choice
     
  5. trkevin

    trkevin Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
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    K. Blommaert
    The 500 Mondial I use as avatar is using 'Dunlop Racing 5.50 - 16' tyres in the front. I don't know what's at the back. Shall I find out what rear tyres they use Bryanp? It will be Dunlop Racings, but I don't know the size.
    Englebert tyres was based at Liege here in Belgium, shall I try to get more info? I maybe know some people that could know more about 'Pneu Englebert'.

    They are racing the 500 Mondial in the european Shell Historic Challenge and will race in the Le Mans Classic 2004 so that should be good tyres to race the car.
     
  6. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 20, 2003
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    Dirty Harry
    bryan - check this site out - 3 possible sources listed, two listings are phones and addresses
    http://www.austinworks.com/t-tires.html
    .Coker is the only one linked from the site - There I see some knobby tires, definitely not racing tread:
    DEKA 5.25x16 at $139 each - Tubes for 12.95
    But, hey - you might wanna go off-roading.


    Blockley has 5.50 x 16 drawings completed, mould under manufacture. Read the accompanying summary of what speeds they're capable of - meeting specs, while they're at it.

    I'm assuming when you have searched far and wide for 5.25x16 tires, you also searched for tyres. What other search criteria did you use that would be helpful to anyone interested in assisting the uncovering of a rare gem?
     
  7. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
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    From what I have read, no mechanical defect (including tires) was found on Ascari's Ferrari after the accident. And a tire problem does not seem the likely cause if Castellotti had done 25 laps earlier in the day (at greater speed) with no problem. Here is a pic from "The Man With Two Shadows", post-crash.
     
  8. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
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    On the subject of Ascari, here is an interesting pic I have only seen once, showing his Lancia D50 being pullled out of the harbor after his accident at Monaco, just days before his death. Pic from "Classic & Sportscar" , 11/90.
     
  9. Bryanp

    Bryanp F1 Rookie
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    Miltonian - good shot of 0562; I had not seen it before and it sure rules out a rollover of the left rear tire. But I don't know if the Vialone curve is right or left! It also looks like the gas tank was painted black, which squares with some of the chassis photographs in Merritt's book.

    Thomas - we have searched both via the web and mostly through folks who do vintage F-racing. Have learned a lot through some of the best tire (and tyre) gurus like Carl Jones in Australia. There are some remaining Engleberts in the 5.5 size, but they were made some 4 and 5 years ago so they really wouldn't be viable by the time the car is ready in 2005.
     
  10. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
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    Vialone is a left-hand bend, described as "a curve that is so gradual that it is hardly a curve at all, and was normally taken at high speed by 'Ciccio' (Ascari) with no trouble at all."

    Just how this incident turned from a high-speed spin into a fatal flip has not been verified. Hawthorn may have been correct about the tires, we will never know.
     
  11. Boudewijn

    Boudewijn Moderator
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    May 15, 2003
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    Boudewijn Berkhoff
    History also explains the bend's present name: Variante Ascari.
     

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