Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Marie-Luise Kozmian (Kozmianowa)

Marie-Luise Kozmian is the anglicised name of Maria-Ludwika Kozmianowa, who raced a Bugatti T37 and other cars in central and eastern Europe in the 1930s. She is occasionally also called Maria von Kozmian.

She was born in 1892 as Maria Komorowska and married Andrzej Kozmian, an engineer. She was a wealthy landowner in what is now Poland.

Her first racing car seems to have been an Austro-Daimler.

The first major outing for this car may have been the Rajd Pan (Women’s Rally) in 1930. She was the winner of the fourth edition of this event, held that year, as well as one other running of the rally. This was a city-to-city road rally; the 1930 route passed through Warsaw, Zakopane and Wisla then back to Warsaw, some 1150km.

Many sources describe her as winning the 1930 Lwow (Lemburg) Grand Prix, but contemporary results do not support this. Other sources call it a race for touring cars. Motor Sport magazine reports that she won the class for “dominant type cars”, run over 15 laps (45km). “dominant type” cars were “the models on which the manufacturer was concentrating”, which suggests it was a production car class. There were additional races for Sports and Racing cars.  

The next big event for her was the 1931 Baltic Cup, in which she won the Touring class. The event was held in Poland and was a 7km time trial.  

Some time after this she acquired a new car, a Bugatti T37. This car could run in Voiturette races and she used it in two editions of her home Grand Prix, at Lwow. She was sixth in the voiturette race at the 1933 event and was an entrant for the 1934 race, which did not go ahead.

During her career, Marie-Luise travelled around central Europe to compete. In 1933, she travelled to Hradec Kralove in what is now the Czech Republic for a street race. She was second in the 1500cc class.

In 1934, she took the Bugatti to Switzerland for the Berne Grand Prix, run to Voiturette regulations. This race supported the Swiss Grand Prix. She was tenth overall, behind the French driver Anne Itier.

The same year, she took part in the Klausen hillclimb, also in Switzerland. She was second in the 1500cc class, behind “Johnny” Lurani’s Maserati.

Hillclimbs were said to be her best events, although results are not often forthcoming. A series of pictures show her racing the Bugatti up the Semmering pass in Austria, but it is not known which year she entered. She did set a new ladies’ record on that course in 1933 and was third in the 1500cc Sports class, but she may have driven there more than once. She is meant to have raced until 1937.

She died in 1955.

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