Grand Prix

Grand Prix and other racing cars from the 1890’s up until 1949

The first road race was more of a trial event to test the reliability of the newly-invented automobile than a race, and was held in 1894 between Paris and Rouen.  There followed a number of long distance races between cities, such as Paris to Vienna, before they were banned for becoming too dangerous.

The Gordon Bennett Cup was held from 1900 to 1905 as a competition between national automobile clubs and in America, the Vanderbilt Cup began in 1904.  But it was in France that the first recognised Grand Prix was held, on a closed-circuit of 65 miles near Le Mans in 1906.  This was won by Hungarian Ferenc Szisz driving a Renault.

Purpose-built racing tracks soon followed – Brooklands was built in 1907 and Indianapolis in 1909.  In the 1920’s, Monza was opened in 1922 and Linas-Montlhéry – a personal favourite – in 1924.  Spa-Francorchamps held its first race in 1922 and the first Monaco Grand Prix was in 1929.

The first manufacturers to produce successful racing cars were companies such as Renault, Mercedes, FIAT and ITALA.  Bugatti and Alfa Romeo followed and in the 1930’s, there was a great rivalry between Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz.

Many drivers became household names.  Louis Chiron, Rudolf Caracciola, Bernd Rosemeyer and Richard Seaman all became famous, but perhaps the best of them all was Tazio Nuvolari, “Il Mantovano Volante”.  Beginning his racing career on motorbikes, he had great success driving many different types of car in many different events, from small MGs to the mighty Auto Unions.  Today there is a Museum in the centre of Mantua dedicated to his memory – it’s well worth a visit. 

After WWII, racing began again in Europe with victories for Talbot of France and for Italian makes Alfa Romeo and Maserati.  In 1946, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) standardised the rules for Grand Prix racing.  This led to the formation of the Formula One World Championship for drivers, which began in 1950.


1894 De Dion Bouton "Victoria" - placed 2nd in the Paris to Rouen Trial. Model by Rio
1896 Peugeot - Paris to Marseilles entrant. Model by Safir
1902 Mercedes Rennwagen. Model by Cursor-Modell
1902 Ford 999. Model by Brumm
1902 Renault Type K (Paris to Vienna - Winner Marcel Renault). Model by Norev
1902 De Dion Bouton course. RAMI Model by JMK
1902 General Grand Prix 40hp. Model by Rio
1903 Renault Course (Paris to Madrid) Driver Louis Renault. Model by Minialuxe
1903 Spyker 60hp. Model by Matrix
1903 Renault Course (Paris to Madrid). Model by Brumm
1904 FIAT 75hp. Model by Brumm
1905 FIAT 110hp (Gordon Bennett). Model by Brumm
1906 Renault GP 3B Type AK (Grand Prix de France won by Ferenc Szisz). Model by Brumm
1906 Locomobile "Old 16" (Vanderbilt Cup). Model by Brumm
1906 ITALA 45cv. Model by Rio
1906 ITALA 45cv driven by Alessandro Cagno. Model by Rio
1906 ITALA 45cv - driven by Baron Pierre de Caters. Model by Rio
1907 ITALA Grand Prix. Model by Guisval
1907 FIAT F-2 (Grand Prix de France). Model by Dugu
1908 Brasier Voiture de Course. Model for the Liechtenstein Philatelic Bureau
1908 FIAT S-61. Model by Brumm
1908 Vauxhall KN. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1909 Lauren & Klement FCR. Model by Autocult
1909 "Blitzen" Benz. Model by Brumm


1911 FIAT S.74. Model by Brumm
1911 A.L.F.A. Model by Brumm
1911 FIAT S.76. Model by Dugu
1911 Hispano-Suiza 45CR Alphonse XIII. Model by Minichamps (Mullin Collection)
1911 Ford Model T ("The Golden Ford"). Model by Autocult
1911 Benz Rennwagen Blitzen-Benz. Model by Cursor-Modell
1912 Sunbeam Coupe "L" Auto. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1913 Bedelia Cyclecar. Model by Brumm
1919 Sunbeam V-12 18.3 litre. Model by Milestone Miniatures


1920 Maybach Spezialrennwagen. Model by Autocult
1921 "Chitty Bang Bang" driven by Count Louis Zborowski. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1921 Bugatti Type 23 Breschia. Models by Brumm
1921 Duesenberg (Jimmy Murphy - French Grand Prix Winner). Model by Franklin Mint
1922 TT Vauxhall. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1922 Austro-Daimler "Sascha" driven by Alfred Neubauer
1922 Alfa Romeo RL/RM Type. Model by Autostyle(?)
1922 Aston Martin "Green Pea" - driven in the French Grand Prix by Count Louis Zborowski. Model by SMTS
1923 Alfa Romeo P.1 - driven by Giulio Ramponi in the Monza Grand Prix
1923 Bugatti Type 32 "Tank" - driven by Ernest Friderich. Model by Top Model Gold
1923 Bugatti Type 32 "Tank". Model by Brumm
1924 Mercedes Rennwagen Monza. Model by Autocult
1924 Alfa Romeo GP P2. Model by Minichamps
1924 Sunbeam GP - driven by Kenelm Lee Guinness. Model by Franklin Mint
1924 Delage 2LCV V-12. Model by Franklin Mint
1925 Leyland-Thomas No.1 - driven by J.G.Parry-Thomas. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1927 Delage ERA Grand Prix. Model by Minichamps (The Mullin Collection)
1927 Bugatti Type 35B. Models by Eligor
1928 Bugatti Type 35B - driven by Louis Chiron
1929 Bugatti Type 35. Model by Eligor
1929 Austro-Daimler ADM-R Stuck Rennwagen. Model by Fahr(T) Raum


1930 Brooklands Riley. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1932 Alfa Romeo Tipo-B P3. Tazio Nuvolari - Winner of the Coppa Ciano. Model by Rio
1932 Birkin Bentley - driven by Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1933 Alfa Romeo P3 - driven by Rudolf Caracciola at Monte Carlo. Model by Rio
1933 Bugatti Type 59. Models by Brumm
1934 Mercedes-Benz W25 - driven by Manfred von Brauchitsch. Model by Mercedes-Benz Classic Collection
1934 Auto Union Type A - driven by Hans Stuck. Model by Minichamps
1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B Aerodinamica. Model by NEO
1934 Bugatti Type 59 - driven by Tazio Nuvolari. Model by Brumm
1934 MG K3 Magnette. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1934 Morgan JAP Relay Team. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1934 Alfa Romeo P3 - driven by Louis Chiron at Monte Carlo. Model by Rio
1935 Barnato Hassan Bentley Special - driven by Woolf Barnato. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1935 Napier-Railton - driven by John Cobb to the outright Brooklands lap record of 143.44mph. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1935 MG EX 135 ("Humbug") - driven in the Brooklands 500 Mile International Trophy Race. Model by K & R Replicas
1935 Alfa Romeo Tipo B - driven by Tazio Nuvolari. Model by Rio
1935 Alfa Romeo Bimotore. Model by FDS
1935 Auto Union Type B - driven by Hans Stuck. Model by Minichamps
1935 ERA R2B "Romulus" - driven by B.Bira (Prince Bira of Siam). Model by SMTS
1936 Auto Union Type C - driven by Bernd Rosemeyer. Model by Brumm
1936 MG NA Bellevue Special. Model by Milestone Miniatures
1936 Alfa Romeo 8C
1936 Alfa Romeo Bimotore. Model by Top Models
1936 ERA - driven by Richard Seaman. Model by SMTS
1936 Austin ohc. Model by BTS Mouldings
1937 Mercedes-Benz W125 - driven by Rudolf Caracciola
1937 Auto Union Type C Streamliner - driven by Bernd Rosemeyer at the Avus Circuit. Model by Minichamps
1937 Delahaye 145 V-12 Grand Prix (from the Mullin Collection). Model by Minichamps
1937 Mercedes-Benz W125. Model by Brumm
1938 Maserati Hp 350. Model by Brumm
1938 Auto Union Type D. Donington Grand Prix Winner - Tazio Nuvolari. The head of the stag killed in practice by Nuvolari was later mounted and is on display at his museum in Mantua. Model by Minichamps
1938 ERA E-Type. Model by MikanSue
1938 Auto Union Type D - driven by Tazio Nuvolari at the Italian Grand Prix. Model by Brumm
1939 Mercedes-Benz W154 - driven by Rudolf Caracciola
1939 Mercedes-Benz W154/M163 - driven by Hermann Lang. Model by Mercedes-Benz Classic Collection
1939 Mercedes-Benz W165 - driven by Hermann Lang. Model by Mercedes-Benz Classic Collection


1940 Alfa Romeo Tipo 512. Model by Autocult
1946 Delage D6 Grand Prix. Model by Minichamps (from the Mullin Collection)
1947 Peugeot 402 Speciale Darl'Mat - as raced at Saint-Cloud, Paris. Model by ESDO
1948 Gordini Type 15 Formula 1500 - as raced at the Grand Prix de Pau. Model by Atlas
1949 Ferrari F1 166FL - driven by Juan Manuel Fangio. Model from the Ferrari F1 Collection
1949 Ferrari 125 F1 - driven by Alberto Ascari. Model by IXO