Revs Institute to Recreate The Red Devil’s Ride at FOS
Jenatzy’s Drive in the 1908 Mors Celebrated at Goodwood Festival of Speed
Revs Institute for Automotive Research took its 1908 Mors overseas to roar up Goodwood’s famed hillclimb course, in a recreation of ‘The Red Devil’s Ride’ at the Festival of Speed this last weekend. The big French Grand Prix machine participated in a recreation of its history with Camille Jenatzy, an accomplished road racer known as “The Red Devil”, thanks to his red beard, who piloted the imposing 2750-pound, 12.5-liter, 100-horsepower Mors in the 1908 French Grand Prix.
Among Jenatzy’s many impressive accomplishments was winning the 1903 Gordon Bennett Cup, however, possibly the most interesting fact about Camille Jenatzy’s life, was his death. Intending to scare guests at his hunting lodge, he hid out and made ominous bear-like growling sounds to scare them. Startled by the animal noises, one of his guests shot him!
Ironic he should die in such a manner, given Jenatzy’s record as a race driver at a time when that activity could easily be fatal. Consider the day in 1899 when he became the first man to drive more than 100 km/h, piloting the electric car La Jamais Contente.
For the 1908 French Grand Prix, Jenatzy, in the Mors, only managed to finish 16th, nearly an hour and half behind the winning Mercedes. The 1908 Grand Prix was Mors’ last major effort in competition. The company had been restructured following the panic of 1907, and by 1909 the American Mors was discontinued.
Now part of Revs Institute’s Collier Collection, the Mors, with its12.5 liter 4-cylinder engine, performed admirably in Goodwood’s famed hillclimb course as part of the Clash of the Titans, Pre-War GP Batch 1, Class I group at the Festival, running all three days, June 26 – 28th. Playing the role of ‘The Red Devil’ was the renowned restorer and driver of such vintage machines, Eddie Berrisford. Rest assured, he was careful to make no growling sounds of any sort.
“Commemorating Camille Jenatzy’s famous ride with the 1908 Mors at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed was exhilarating and educational” Scott George, vice president and curator of Revs Institute said. “The Red Devil’s place in history, shown in context with our wonderfully preserved Mors created a spectacle visitors will long remember”.