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Hagerty Employee

Legends of Motorsports: René Dreyfus

Competing during the Golden Age of Grand Prix Racing, René Dreyfus often found himself in the position of underdog, whether as a self-funded driver competing against cars fielded by factory-backed teams or as a Frenchman of Jewish faith racing during a time when Hitler’s Nazi government was supporting the “Silver Arrows” of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union to the tune of millions. He would overcome these challenges and triumph personally as well as professionally, escaping France just ahead of the Nazi invasion only to return later to Europe as a translator for the U.S. Army in Italy ... Read the full article on



Until it closed in 1979, Le Chanteclair was the go-to stop in Manhattan for car enthusiasts of every stripe.  Rene was often on hand to say hello and to share his autograph.  The menu and wine list were consistently superb.

Intermediate Driver

One helluva driver was Rene Dreyfus!

Intermediate Driver

He was the ultimate gentleman, always eager to share his life experiences, not only in auto racing, but business and life in general. The highest honor for a driver was to share a glass of his favorite Remi Martin cognac, and be regaled by the story of his famous crash while driving for Bugatti. 

New Driver

Great article, thanks. Neil Bascomb recently published a book on Lucy O'Reilly Schell and Dreyfus. It is on my list to read. 

New Driver

What a terrific article. Thank you.