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Maus Gatsonides was one of them!

Gatso 1500 Sport Platje

Maurice 'Maus' Gatsonides was born on the island of Java, in what was then the Dutch East Indies. He wanted to become a military aviator. But he was rejected and started a garage business. Maus Gatsonides was technically extremely creative, a bon vivant and a passionate and successful rally driver.

Driver, not an entrepreneur

With the Gatsometer, Maus Gatsonides finally had gold in his hands. And sometimes not because of his rally performance. Or is it? Because in the preliminary stage, Gatsonides had lived in a way that is usually presented to Italians for his passion: racing and rally driving. And that is the almost 100% sure way to enter the ship for business. It was not the production of his own brand of cars. Despite the fact that the Fiat-based racing car, the Gatso 1500 Sport, 'Platje' became legendary. Only eleven examples of the Gatso brand were built in 1945 between 1950 and 8 in 1950 different models. Fortunately, he was 'saved' by becoming a factory driver for Ford in XNUMX.

It's about the marbles. That's the game

He won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1953, among other things, which he did in a debatable way. Rally driving is not allowed outside assistance, but there were 'accidentally' people along the route who 'spontaneously' threw water at his car to cool the brakes. Maus got away with it. He was the man of unconventional approach and solutions. For example, before the rally he hid supplies of petrol behind bushes along the road and scored in a unique way during a time trial. A track marked with pylons had to be driven as quickly as possible. Every knocked over pylon gave time. Maus looked at the matter and made his plan. From the start he shot straight to the finish. A lot of pylons were killed. But his end time was so sharp that the penalty seconds for the knocked-out pylons did not change the fastest time.

Read like a boy's book

Recently we got our hands on the book RALLYES EN RACES - GATSONIDES 'ADVENTURES written by WILLEM LEONARD. That book reads like a boys' book and proves that in the past not everything was better, but it was much clearer and more playful.

Because where can you find neither a rally topper who washes away two portions of escargots with a nice bottle of wine just before the race? Which rally team will continue to sleep without sleep for three days? Not to mention all the tampering, regulation and rustling work that was used to arrive or finish on time anyway. The book contains examples of which a current rally organizer would spontaneously get flaked off the fingers.

Hear things where they belong

We read the book in one go last weekend. And then knew where to go: To Gallery Aaldering. Platje was included in the collection there after his resurrection. Including a lot of documentation. And if the crew in Brummen has read the book, it will be in the passenger seat of this piece of Dutch automotive history. As a tribute to the time when rally driving was still something for adventurers instead of tight professionals.

Gatsometers still exist

Meanwhile, Gatsometers are still being made. But then in the 2.0 or 3.0 version. The company is managed by Maus' grandsons. And the fact that the Gatsometer was actually meant to optimize speeds? Ah… That used to be.

Gatso 1500 Sport Platje
Gatso 1500 Sport Platje
Gatso 1500 Sport Platje
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5 Comments

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  1. Wonderfully written again Dolf!
    And as I understand it, very suitable for the person it is about.
    Someone who determined his own path and to follow the rules, not quite
    went outside the box

  2. Gatsonides was indeed one of me.
    At the time I witnessed him receive a print for speeding in the Rijnstraat in Amsterdam.
    With a grin from ear to ear he said, you are going to pay for it yourself, the equipment will become more expensive again.
    Strange stories about Platje are said to have been found by an old ironman.
    I have not read this book, but I will read it, but that is romanticized and not true.
    The ones who found him, at a small garage in Stompetoren, were Jaguar enthusiasts.
    Witness the Jaguar steering wheel and the E-type seats, the clock shop comes from a Riley.
    The door was professional at the time, because aluminum was welded shut to stiffen the body.
    A missing rim was found by a subsequent owner in France at a foundry that made them and happened to have another one.

    • Hello Cornelius, Thank you for this addition. Very interesting! The book I was talking about is about the rally adventures and reads more like a bad boy book than a piece of histori

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