Forgotten Hero

Another ‘holy grail’ was to reach 100mph. That had actually been achieved 3 years earlier by a totally forgotten Frenchman Louis Rigolly in July 1904. Little is known about him but he did appear in some of the races at the turn of the century. The magical number was achieved on an Ostend road in Belgium. Try to imagine what it must have felt like and what bravery it must have taken: Sitting behind a 13 litre engine, no cockpit and perched on a seat out in the open; suspension with springs like a stage coach and tyres that might burst at any second with giant chains powering the rear wheels inches under your elbows…. and brakes – what brakes! The road was bumpy, dusty, cracked and as the car leaped and jumped over the rough surface in clouds of gravel scrabbling for grip you can really see the man is a hero.

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