Fangio the gentleman racer
I HA F BEEN READING KARL LUDVIGSEN’S ELEGANI BOOK
Juan Manuel Fangio Motor Racing’s Grand Master. This comprehensive account is not only elegant of text, but copiously adorned with marvellous pictorial tributes to the five-times World Champion. Fangio was not only a driving genius, he was a considerate person, of great magnetism. I remember how Shell gave a presentation to him at Shell-Mex House on London’s Embankment after a World Championship victory, to a full house, not all by any means motor-racing followers. After a speech in Spanish we could not follow, as no interpreter was present, the great man returned to his place, and the whole assembly, tough oil men among them, rose without prompting to their feet. Juan Manuel’s charm and personality were like that. I also recall Jenks telling us how, after the Maserati of Moss and himself had gone off the road and down a ravine in the 1956 Mille Miglia and they had rejoined the road on foot, it was Fangio who stopped to ask if they were
alright. Urged to go on, as he was in the race, I .angio said not to worry, he was touring to finish, having sensibly weighed up his chances. As the newspaper bills used to say, ‘Read all about it’ in Ludvigsen’s book.