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1954c MERCEDES BENZ W196 REIMS F1 Cover with MAURICE TRINTIGNANT signature 1
MotorsportMemorabilia 1954 Grand Prix commemorative cover contains Maurice TRINTIGNANT's signature

The 1954 was a complex season with Juan Manuel Fangio being signed up for Mercedes but being free to drive for other teams until the cars were ready to race. Fangio won the first 2 races of the season, in a Maserati 250F, at Buenos Aires and Spa-Francorchamps; he then won a further 4 races in the Mercedes-Benz W196 to become World Champion by a clear margin. Unusually, the W196 was produced in open wheeled and streamlined versions, the latter being raced on the faster circuits. Despite the late introduction the Mercedes W196 took 4 pole positions for the season and led for 376 laps versus Ferrari's 304, despite the German cars missing the first 2 races. Ross Wardle has produced artwork that compliments our 1955 cover, showing Juan Manuel Fangio crossing the line at Reims, finishing just 0.1 seconds ahead of his team mate, Karl Kling.

Please note that the signature on the front of the cover is pre-printed, the real signature is on an envelope within the cover. Maurice Trintignant misunderstood what was was being asked of him and signed some plain envelopes rather than the colour covers.

The third special envelope contains the autograph of MAURICE TRINTIGNANT who was the leading French driver of his day, achieving excellent results often without the best machinery. Driving a Bugatti, he won the Grand Prix des Frontieres at Chimay in 1939 but, due to the War, his early promise pre-war did not blossom until 1947 when he won the Avignon Race in an Amilcar. In 1948, he won races at Perpignan and Montlhery for Simca-Gordini but was seriously injured in the Swiss GP at Bremgarten and lay in a coma for 8 days. For Simca, he won the Circuit des Ramparts, Angouleme (1949) and, for Gordini, races at Geneva (1950), Albi (1951) and Cadours (1951 & 53). Between 1954 and 1957 he won 9 major races for Ferrari including the 1954 Le Mans 24-Hour Race, in a Ferrari 375, co-driving with Froilan Gonzales. His 2 Formula 1 World Championship wins were both achieved at Monte Carlo, in the Monaco GP: in 1955, driving a Ferrari 625 and 1958, in a Cooper-Climax T45. His final F1 points were scored taking fifth place in the 1964 German GP at the Nurburgring, driving his own BRM P57; he retired from GP racing at the end of the season, aged 47 years; he was the top French driver of the period.