Equipe Simca-Gordini T15
By: Jeremy McMullen
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By: Jeremy McMullen
|It is the battle between champion and underdog that creates real drama and a sense of worth for what it is that is being fought over. A battle between two dominant forces really makes the prize of victory all but worthless. But the very same prize of victory, when contested between contenders of varying ability immediately boosts victory's value.
Even from year one, Formula One has had its dominant forces. Those forces may change from year-to-year or by decade-by-decade, but nonetheless, there is always a couple of teams that victory is all but assured. But if we look, it's always the teams not expected to be there that gets the crowd and makes people come back. 'Perhaps this team will be able to go from back-marker to champion', we think. We look with anticipation to see who just might surprise us.
Unlike today, where each team is responsible for its own design, there was more of a mix of teams and options back during Formula One's first season. There were the big manufacturers, but there were also customer cars able to be bought for a specific entrant or team. But then there were the small privateer teams, the smaller underdog manufacturers who claimed more success from a mere finish than victory. One of those small manufacturers that flavored F1's early years was Equipe Simca-Gordini. Of course in many cases, success is more a matter of timing than anything else. In the years after World War II, Simca-Gordini was able to build itself into a potent force. The war effectively leveled the playing field, but only for a short time. However, by the time Formula One came into existence the gaps began to widen once again and the Simca-Gordini team had really no answer for any team from Italy. By Formula One's inaugural season, the likes of Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Maserati had become the favorites. Despite its short foray into Formula One, Simca-Gordini; however, proved it was one underdog that could be a threat.
Amedee Gordini learned early on about designing competitive race cars as he worked for Alfieri Maserati at Isotta Fraschini during his early teens. After World War I, Gordini built his first car. Soon, Amedee moved and began a tuning business. During this time, Amedee travelled to see Paris and decided to stay. Gordini initially found work repairing Hispano-Suiza engines. This eventually led to Gordini starting his own company specializing in the repair of the Hispano-Suiza engines. It was during this time a friendship was forged with the owner of a Fiat assembly plant, a man by the name of Henri-Theodore Pigozzi. Through this relationship Gordini began to modify and tune Fiats.