As this Swashbuckler was an expert on Stamps, vintage Aircraft and Racing Cars…
Was listening to The Guardian via my NFB Newsline for The Blind’s telephone service last Tuesday evening and was surprised to Hear the Sports section say that former racer Alain De cadenet had died at Age 76. For which I was able to listen to the Whole story vs. the You Must Register Now to Keep Reading “firewall” version below…
As I only know Messer De Cadenet’s work as a Talking Head, er Presenter from the long ago Great Speed Channel Show Victory By Design, which De Cadenet Hosted, which I always thought was a Brilliant Show! Even if I found Alain to be somewhat Bombastic and slightly full of Himself. As I know I tired of His immense Self Inflating attitude later on other various Motor Racing Broadcasts. Most notably Me Thinks Speed’s coverage of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and 24 Heurs du Mans TV Broadcasts.
And whilst I was totally aware that De Cadenet had raced multiple times at Circuit de la Sarthe. As I believe the Obituary says He contested the 24 Hours of Le Mans 14 times. And also knew He’d raced aboard His own De CadenetSports Cars.
I didn’t know that He’d had famed Formula 1 Designer Gordon Murray “Pen” Him a racecar! Which apparently came about after Il Commendatore, nee Enzo Ferrari refused to sell Him one of His top flight racing Sports Cars!
As De Cadenet made His Le Mans Debut in 1971 behind the wheel of a Belgian entered Ferrari 512M, driving with just one good working Eye! His other having been injured in a motor race previously.
Then when Enzo wouldn’t sell Him a Ferrari for the ’72 event, He commissioned Murray with the backing of Duckham’s Motor Oil to turn a Brabham Formula 1 car into a two seater Le Mans Sports Prototype, which He ultimately finished 12th Overall with longtime co-Driver Chris Craft behind the Keyboard of their Duckham’s LM72 3.0 liter Cosworth DFV V-8 entry.
For 1975,De Cadenet acquired a Lola T380 Sports Car also powered by Ford’s ubiquitous cossie’ (Cosworth) DFV V-8(“Double four valves”) variant, which gave Alain His Best finish at Le Mans. When De Cadenet and Craft finished third Overall at the 1976 24 Heurs du Mans…
While I have to give De Cadenet His Due, since He raced in earnest, and enjoyed racing at such classic, challenging venues as the Mighty Spa, aka Spa Francorchamps and the Green Hella’, nee Nurburgring’s famed Nordschleif! Not to mention shocking the Sports Car fraternity by winning both the 1980 1000km of Monza and Six Hours of Silverstone with Desire Wilson!