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Pre-War Indy racers - Sports cars? Single seaters?

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Pre-War Indy racers - Sports cars? Single seaters?

Post by PTRACER » 5 years ago

I've always called the pre-war Indy cars "Single Seaters" even though two people (driver + mechanic) sat in them. I hadn't thought about this until Motorsportrace began entering them into the database as sports cars. What is accurate/best?

Also - vintage road races - 1890s/1900s/1910s...I've called one a 'Touring Car', but I will also call a 2000 BTCC car a touring car. We should have a discussion on this to make sure we're on the same page :)
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Post by Motorsportrace » 5 years ago

Well... I always thought they were single-seaters, but they clearly aren't, since there were two seats.

Should we call them "Open-Wheelers"? I had to call them "Sports Cars" because this is how Motorsportmemorial.org calls them, although I don't like this kind of description.
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Post by hollie3sa » 5 years ago

Is it actually possible to differ between sports cars or touring cars etc. from this era?
I don't think you can put them into groups the way you do with modern cars simply because there was no real differentiation back then.

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Post by PTRACER » 5 years ago

Open Wheelers is a good shout. Perhaps I should rename the 'Single Seater' category 'Openwheel'?

That's exactly the issue hollie. It's a case of - "If you choose a modern day category, and trace it backwards in time, what cars do you end up with?"

For example, go back to the 1920s and you'll find sportscars they drove in TT or endurance races - like the "Blower" Bentley - are direct ancestors of modern sportscars - two seats, driver sitting on the left or right, may have a roof, probably designed for use on the road. Grand Prix cars in the 1920s were very different in design/purpose. Go back to say, 1905-7 and the lines are blurred.

The closest I can describe cars like these is open wheel:
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Post by Motorsportrace » 5 years ago

I'd consider these cars as Sportcars:

Image

And this one as an Open-Wheeler:

Image

The only difference? Well... the car fenders.
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Post by PTRACER » 5 years ago

Agreed. So then, let's go back in time to our earliest fatal crash photo - the car crashed during a race by the Marquis de Montaignac. Two seats, only two wheels were covered and this was 8 years before the first 'Grand Prix', so all races were trials run on dirt roads between towns.

What do we classify this as? Road race? Rally? Sportscar? Touring Car? Open wheeler?

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Post by Motorsportrace » 5 years ago

I'd classify this crash as "Road Race" and "Sportscar" (there's a small car fender on the front-right wheel).
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Post by Michkov » 5 years ago

I always went with Sportscar if it has fenders//mudguards and Grand Prix car if it has none. Although GP cars split into Voiturettes and Single seaters in the mid 30s. Touring cars seem to only come into existence post war as a class of their own IMO

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