|03-19-2017, 09:58 PM||#1|
The future is unwritten
Join Date: Oct 2002
Mar 20th, 2017: Hellé Nice
Hellé Nice was a talented, bold, and beautiful race car driver, a true pioneer of the sport in her day.
She went to Paris at age 16, where she found work in some of the city's music halls. She became a very successful dancer under
the stage name Helene Nice which eventually became Hellé Nice. She built a solid reputation as a solo act but in 1926 decided to
partner with Robert Lisset and performed at cabarets around Europe. Her income from dancing as well as modeling became such
that she could afford to purchase a home and her own yacht. She was an avid downhill skier but an accident on the slopes
damaged her knee and ended her dancing career.
Being a fan of fast cars and motorcycles, she decided to try her hand at professional auto racing. In 1929, driving an Omega-Six,
she won an all-female Grand Prix race at Autodrome de Montlhery while setting a new world land speed record for women.
Ettore Bugatti thought Nice would be an ideal person to add to the male drivers of his line of racing cars. She achieved her goal
joining the Bugatti Team in 1931 and drove a Bugatti Type 35C in five major Grands Prix in France. She owned and raced a
Bugatti type 35 in the early 1930s, competing at prestigious international circuits like Le Mans, Reims and Monza. A fatal 1936
crash in Brazil put her off the team. For the next two years, she competed in rally racing while hoping to rejoin the Bugatti team.
But Hitler put an end to that.
1949 was the first Monte Carlo Rally after the war and Nice was there to take part. At a large party organized to celebrate the
return to racing, Louis Chiron, a multiple Grand Prix champion and Monaco’s favorite son, loudly accused her of being a spy
for the Gestapo. He, had been racing for the Nazi propaganda Mercedes Benz team. This was complete bullshit but it destroyed
her career. Why would he do that? Most likely he saw her talent and popularity as an obvious threat to his career.
She died in 1984, impoverished and largely forgotten after her boyfriend of 15 years took her money and ran. In the end, she
was to be found living alone in a small apartment in a run-down part of Nice, provided rent-free, by a sympathetic landlord.
Her only income were handouts from a charity organization called “La Roue Tourne”, which helped former theatricals.
The Hellé Nice Foundation, Inc. A registered non profit in Georgia, and Federal 501(c) 3 status is being approved.
"The goals for the Hellé Nice Foundation is to educate the public about the history of women in motorsports, and as the
foundation grows financially, to be able to sponsor young women with an interest in pursuing a career that may not have all the
money they need.”
Sheryl A. Greene, Founder, The Hellé Nice Foundation, Inc.
320 Knox Bridge Trail, Canton, GA 30114
About Ms Nice
Everything is interesting... look closer.
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