Focus on four cars of the Tour Auto Optic 2000
Tick-tock, tick-tock, we are eagerly waiting for the 30th running of the oldest historic rally still existing: the Tour Auto Optic 2000. There are only one hundred days left before the beautiful old machines set off, for the very first time, from the ephemeral Grand Palais. You already know the themes of this year: the winning Ferrari 250SWBs and Jaguar MKIIs. Nevertheless, we have decided to give you a little taste of the gems that will cross the most beautiful French roads.
1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spring Veloce Zagato (#4458)
This car is entered in the competition section by Jean-Jacques Gravier and Dany Seignerin. In this category, pilots and their mounts fight against time. The goal is clear: the fastest is the winner! The Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint was presented in 1954 at the Turin Motor Show, it looked like a competition car, but it was a Touring car! And although the Italian manufacturer had withdrawn from racing in 1953, some private customers continued to race their cars. The model then participated in many events in Italy, including the Mille Miglia in 1956. The Coupe ranked 11th overall and first in category. During this rally, Carlo & Dore Leto Di Prielo went off the road, damaging the car. But, instead of having it repaired by the manufacturer, they turn to friend Elio Zagato. The bodybuilder makes the beautiful Italian weigh 110 kg less. The Zagato is lighter and has a perfected aerodynamics which now allows it to reach 195 km/h. Only 18 copies were produced and among them, only three feature the Zagato double bulb roof. The car entered in the Tour Auto Optic 2000 by the Gravier / Seignerin crew is one of them. Extremely rare!
1971 BSH (#2137150)
The BSH is a Berlinetta designed by François Benais and Max Saint Hilaire who combine their initials to name it. This sports car, on a tubular frame with central beam, is offered for sale as a kit or manufactured. The 600 kg-weight makes it very competitive against the same-weighted Alpine. Introduced in 1970, it would have been produced in only 200 copies. Its mechanics is borrowed from the Renault 8 Gordini, R12 and R16. Its handling and lightness make this car a perfect ally to conquer hill climbs and rallies. Thus, in 1971, the BSH # 2137150 took the start of the Tour de France with Le Mans &Tour de France regular driver, Segolen, Unfortunately, he will not make it to the end of the rally due to an engine failure. So, 50 years later, the driver and the car are back on stage to conquer the event, this time in its historic version, and they definitely intend to take their revenge! This year, Segolen will be accompanied by Thierry Guitton to live this great adventure.
1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL (#6500298)
In the regularity category, where the goal is to get as close as possible to a determined average, one name regularly comes to the top of the podium: Nicoules. Indeed, the father/son duo Jean-François / François Nicoules were the title holders in 2020. But it was not their premiere since they already add three victories in the Tour Auto Optic 2000 (Jean- François in 2012 & 2013 / 2015 together). In 2021, they leave their Ford Mustang and set off with a jewel of automotive history: the Mercedes-Benz 300SL.
1951 Austin A90 Atlantic Sport (#B5780)
The Tour Auto Optic 2000 is also an opportunity for enthusiasts to discover new cars, the automotive history is so extensive … And on the discovery side, a little-known by the general public newcomer is popping up: an Austin A90 Atlantic Sport from 1951. Designed after WWII, it appeared in 1950 as a two-door Coupe equipped with a 2.6L, four-cylinder engine. Its atypical look will not go unnoticed! On August 30th, do not miss it and its Philippe Patenotte / Jean-Marc Dhilly crew.