Track Map of the Past: Grand Prix Automobile de Pau

Forgive the less than stellar scan of this circuit map for 1933’s inaugural running of the Gran Prix de Pau. Despite the poor resolution, you can see one of the elements I love in old track maps: the small illustrations of nearby buildings and landmarks. The elegantly hand lettered labels and arrows only help accentuate the glory of that little town illustration on the left side of the map.

Playing with points of view is something that seems to have gone away in contemporary track map design, but it’s common in the earlier maps we’ve featured. Having a top-down view of the track alongside isometric scenery illustration seems so illogical when I imagine it, but when I see the results on paper it works perfectly well. Compare to this map of the contemporary Pau map and join me in mourning (Even though it’s pretty good by contemporary track map design standards).

2 responses to “Track Map of the Past: Grand Prix Automobile de Pau”

  1. Mike Jacobsen says:

    Wonderful comparison! And the circuits are the same, exclusive of modernizations and an added loop! Wish I’d had these maps when I was in Pau 30 years ago–I would have driven the old circuit!

  2. Mike Jacobsen says:

    I had a look at Pau on google earth; the modern circuit is the same except for the loop on the Allee de Musset which goes up and around the Casino Palais. All of the street names have been changed except the Ave. General Poeymirau! The straight past the gare is now Gaston Lacoste and going away fro m the station curve it is now Ave Napoleon instead of Gen. Pay! Turns out I have driven part of the circuit as I once stopped at the station just to use the facilities!

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