Teams Carlos 'Charles' Pozzi
By Jeremy McMullenPage: 1 2 next >>
|1950|| Carlos 'Charles' Pozzi ||Talbot-Lago || || || ||T26C |
The term 'starving artist' evokes images of there being little reward financially for what a person loves to do. Yet, there are those that find what they are passionate about being an impetus for financial reward.
Born in 1909 in Montmartre, a part of Paris, France, Charles Pozzi had to learn quite early on about being responsible, perhaps in lieu of chasing after dreams. Charles' father died in World War I when he was still just a child. As a result, Pozzi looked at the world practically. Seeking to be able to afford the necessary things of life, Charles dropped the idea of being an agricultural engineer in favor of buying and selling automobiles. Car manufacturing was really starting to take off and appeared to offer financial reward for anybody with even a little drive to succeed. Sure enough, by the time Charles was in his 20s and 30s his car brokering was prospering.
Growing in success, Pozzi came to be entranced by more luxurious models of automobiles. As a result, just prior to World War II, Charles switched to focus more on buying and selling luxury cars. While this obviously would not be lucrative during the years of the war, Pozzi was positioned well when the war came to an end.
During the war, Charles used his talents to develop coal from wood. He even developed cars that were able to run off of charcoal.
After the war's end, many people had zest for life; not wanting to miss out on anything this life had to offer. This meant good things for a man like Pozzi. Charles went out rounding up cars left after the war and had them rebuilt for sale. Pozzi offered those with means the latest and most luxurious models of luxury cars. But buying and selling luxury cars wasn't good enough for Pozzi. Not only was he enabled to pay the bills, but now, he had the means to dabble in something which greatly interested him. Deciding not to remain something of an 'armchair quarterback', Charles decided to go racing. Charles was already 37 years old when he competed in the Grand Prix of Nice in April of 1946. Charles arrived for the race with his own Delahaye 135CS. The Grand Prix of Nice consisted of 65 laps of the 2 mile circuit. Pozzi qualified 16th for the event. Despite his inexperience, Charles drove consistently to end up 8th, though 14 laps down to Villoresi who won the race in his Maserati 4CL.
From Nice on, Pozzi competed in about one grand prix race a month, with the exception of July when he competed in two races. One of the highlights for Pozzi during this period was the fact he did not suffer a did not finish (DNF) at any of the races. Pozzi's best results, during the span of five races, was a 4th and a 5th place finish.
| In July, at the Grand Prix de Bourgogne, Charles, once again, drove his Delahaye 135S at the Circuit de Dijon-Prenois. Ten entrants, mostly French, took part in the 100 lap race. The course was 1.2 miles of the streets around Dijon, France. Jean-Pierre Wimille ended up winning the race. Only four entrants finished the race, and Pozzi was that caboose of four cars. Charles finished some 12 laps down to Wimille.|
Charles' next 'best' result of 1946 came the very next race, the Grand Prix des 24 Heures du Mans. Held in Nantes, France, sixteen competitors vied for the victory at the 2.5 mile street course. Pozzi showed rather good form during this race. Despite coming in 5th, he did so while only losing two laps to race winner 'Raph'.
1947 started early and cold for Charles as he travelled to Stockholm, Sweden for the Stockholm Grand Prix. Charles navigated the 3 mile road course in his Delahaye 135 and ended up finishing the race 5th. Reg Parnell ended up winning the race in his ERA A type chassis. In all, the race took just over one hour and at an average speed of 68mph.
After the race at Vallentuna, Charles would drive in the next four events for Ecurie France. Ecurie France's car of choice was the Delahaye 135CS, of which Pozzi was quite familiar. Over Charles' next two events he did not achieve any results of great note. Then, in June of 1947, Charles attended the Grand Prix of Nimes, which took place at the Aerodrome de Nîmes-Courbessac. Pozzi was one of 26 entrants for the race, which took place on the 3.2 mile street course that ran around the Nimes aerodrome. Luigi Villoresi ended up winning the 70 lap race for Scuderia Ambrosiana in a Maserati 4CL with Chiron and Parnell coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Charles ended up the race in 5th place, finishing four laps down. Pozzi would follow up his 5th at Nimes with a 7th place finish at the Grand Prix de Reims. This was his last race for Ecurie France. After the race at Reims Charles went back to driving his own car for the remainder of '47 and throughout the rest of the '40s decade. His next race was the Grand Prix de l'Albigeois, which took place near Albi, France.
At the Circuit des Planques, Pozzi brought his Delahaye 135CS yet again. Pozzi would start the race from the 15th starting spot on the grid. Out of the twenty-five entrants only eight remained running at the end of the 40 lap race which took part on the 5.5 mile street course near Albi, France. In the end, Charles had the best result of his career finishing the race 3rd, one lap down to Louis Rosier and his Talbot-Lago T150. Pozzi ended up beating the likes of Ascari, Villoresi and Parnell.
After Albi, Charles followed up his 3rd with two-straight 5th place finishes at the Grand Prix de Nice and the Grand Prix d'Alsace. After a DNF at Les Rues de St.-Gaudens, which was only the third DNF of his career, Charles finished 7th at Sempione Park in September of 1947. After Sempione Park, Charles would have a string of three races where he did not finish worse than 5th, and in two of the races he finished 3rd.
Charles' worse result of the three races came at his very next event, the Grand Prix de l'A.C.F., held in Lyon, France that year. The race consisted of 70 laps of a 4.5 mile street course. Over half of the field failed to finish the race as the attrition was high. But this did not hamper Pozzi who drove his Delahaye up through the field and finished 5th, three laps down to Chiron who won the race.
A month later, Pozzi took part in his first sports car race. Charles traveled to Torino, Italy with a new Talbot-Lago T26 to compete in the Grand Prix of Torino. The race was 105 laps of the 2.98 mile road course. Many grand prix regulars were present for the race including; Ascari, Villoresi and Sommer. Pozzi put his new Talbot-Lago to good use as he took pole for the race. This was impressive considering the fact this was Charles' first sports car race. Unfortunately, Charles wasn't able to hold onto the lead. Sommer and Chaboud's pace were just too fast for Pozzi. After being lapped twice by Sommer, and once by Chaboud, Charles had to settle for 3rd. This wasn't a bad result given his limited sports car experience.
After his rather successful bid in sports cars, Pozzi was back behind the wheel of his Delahaye and looking to close out 1947 with a successful grand prix. Charles' last race for the year was the Grand Prix du Salon held at the popular Montlhery track outside Paris. The race was held on the shorter 3.9 mile street course and was 48 laps in length. The successful run Pozzi had been experiencing continued at Montlhery. What is interesting is that Eugene Chaboud seemed to have Pozzi's number. At Torino, Chaboud was driving a Delahaye and beat Pozzi, who was driving a Talbot-Lago, for the 2nd place finishing spot. Then, at Montlhery, Pozzi was back driving his Delahaye 135CS and was beat out for 2nd by Chaboud who was driving a Talbot-Lago T26C. Yves Giraud-Cabantous ended up winning the race driving for Ecurie France in a Talbot-Lago T26.
1947 was a very successful year for the rather inexperienced Pozzi. He looked to keep the positive momentum going into 1948.
Charles got his 1948 campaign off to a positive start at the Grand Prix du Pau. Charles took part in the event with a new car, a Talbot-Lago T150C. He started the race from well back in the field, but the race was contested over 110 laps of the 1.7 mile street course and would provide ample opportunity for cars to break. And break they did. In all reality, only seven cars were still running at the end of the race out of the fifteen that started. Raymond Sommer ended up coming in 2nd despite the fact he lost a wheel on what was his last lap of the race. He had over a lap lead on 3rd place finisher Giraud-Cabantous. Therefore, despite losing the wheel he still finished 2nd. Charles was still running at the end and came across the line in 4th, two laps behind race winner Nello Pagani.
Unfortunately for Pozzi, his 4th place at Pau would be his best finish throughout the rest of the year. He would score a few top-tens at the Grand Prix of the Nations, the Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten and at the Grand Prix de l'A.C.F. Charles took part in one sports car race that year. Charles decided to stop doing battle with his good friend Eugene Chaboud and ended up co-driving with him at the 12 Hours of Paris race, which was held in September of '48. Forty-eight entrants took part in the race. Pozzi and Chaboud started from well down in the field but were able to finish 11th overall.Page: 1 2 next >>