Jules Goux

6/4/1895 - 6/3/1965

Jules Goux

Jules Goux was a successfull Grand Prix driver and the first foreigner to win the Indianapolis 500. It was back in 1913, his victory being put down to his liberal consumption of champagne during pitstops! Which doesn't sit well with the current practice of sipping a bottle of milk, a practice that began when Louis Meyer won the 1933 race and asked for buttermilk following the nearly five-hour event.

Jules Goux died 56 years ago, he was 70


Born in Valentigney, France, his father Eugène was a manager at Peugeot’s bicycle plant  at nearby Sochaux. Jules, who had trained as an engineer, joined them and influenced by the Gordon Bennett Cup, he began racing cars in his early twenties.

Success came in 1908 on a circuit set up on roads around Sitges, near Barcelona, Spain, when he won the Catalan Cup, a victory he repeated the following year. Because of his racing success, along with Georges Boillot, he was invited by Peugeot to race for their factory team.

As part of a four-man design team led by Paulo Zuccarelli and Ernest Henry, Goux helped develop a racecar powered by a radical new Straight-4 engine using a twin overhead cams. Jules Goux won the 1912 Sarthe Cup at Le Mans driving a Peugeot and, in 1913 he travelled with the team to the United States to compete in the Indianapolis 500 race. Goux won the race, becoming the first French person to ever do so.

The following year, World War I broke out in Europe and his racing career had to be put aside for service in the French military. At war's end, Goux returned to European Grand Prix motor racing. He finished third in the 1919 Indy 500 when driving a Peugeot that had been entered by the Speedway itself! In 1921, driving for Ballot Automobile, he finished third in the French Grand Prix then won the inaugural Italian Grand Prix at Brescia, Italy.

The Frenchman lost a heroic battle for the 1922 Targa Florio when Giulio Masetti’s Mercedes passed his battered and brakeless Ballot near the end and for the next few years his racing career was marked by repeated problems. He did not return to the winners circle until 1926, driving for Bugatti in a T39A model, winning both the French Grand Prix at Miramas and the European Grand Prix at the Circuito Lasarte, Spain.

He continued to work for Bugatti and then Peugeot until 1954. At the time of his death he was still living in the town of his birth in an area still dominated economically by the long established Peugeot business.

 


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