Here we have two photos of the same car, both taken at the Crystal Palace circuit in the south of London itself on April 2, 1938. The driver appears to be the English amateur driver Buddy Featherstonhaugh (pronounced “Fanshaw”!) who had it on loan from its Swiss owner Hans Ruesch. Featerstonhaugh was a professional jazz musician thorough his life, playing the saxophone and clarinet. Due to the Ruesch ownership, this Alfa had white nose on its red paintwork, being the Swiss racing colors. This Alfa Romeo, an 8C35, and thus a almost current Grand Prix car had won the Donington Grand Prix in October 1937 driven by Ruesch and Richard Seaman.
Featherstonhaugh was obviously not about to bend such an important and fast car and qualified rather slowly. The race was called the Coronation Trophy and was run in two 10-lap heats and a 16-lap final. Both the heats and the final were run on a handicap basis. In effect, the heats would decide the grid order for the final. Eatherstonhaugh finished fifth in the second heat but retired from the final after a spin in which he stalled the Alfa Romeo. Both the first heat and the final were won by B. Bira’s ERA.
To see more photos from our archive go to: http://www.klemcoll.com/TheGallery.aspx