50 years of the Italian Grand Prix

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Current page

181

Current page

182

Current page

183

Current page

184

Current page

185

Current page

186

Current page

187

Current page

188

The very first race to be called a Grand Prix (or Great Prize) was the event run by the Automobile Club of France in 1906, and the French held a monopoly on the title for a number of years. In 1921 the Italians registered their Grand Prix of Italy for a race held at Brescia on September 4th. There was no Italian Grand Prix in 1929, for economic reasons, nor was there one in 1939 for political reasons. During the middle thirties the Germans dominated Grand Prix racing and when Tazio Nuvolari left Alfa Romeo to join Auto-Union the Italians became a bit disenchanted. His victory for Auto-Union at Monza in 1938 was the last straw, and for 1939 all Italian races were run to the “voiturette” limit of 1,500 c.c. — in effect, to the Formula Two of the day — so there was no Italian Grand Prix that year. It was reinstated in 1947 on a circuit in Milan, and in 1948 in Turin, but in 1949 it returned to its real home which was Monza, and has been held there ever since.

This year’s event was the fiftieth Italian Grand Prix and the Marlboro tobacco firm gave Baron de Graffenried the go-ahead to organise a celebration, which he did with great success. He gathered together from all over Europe twenty-nine Grand Prix cars from 1921 to 1977 which were representative of cars that won or took part in the Italian Grand Prix, and many of them were similar to those that actually won an Italian Grand Prix. Alfa Romeo sent along their 1924 P2, their 1932 “monoposto” and a Tipo 159 from 1951. Vandervell Products produced a 1958 Vanwall, the Porsche factory ran one of their flat-8 cars from 1962, McLaren Racing sent along an M23 McLaren and Team Lotus put in their spare Lotus 79 to represent last year. Other entries came from private owners, including Rob Walker with his 1927/36 straight-eight Delage, Bill Summers with his Tipo 34-6C Maserati, Count Castelbarco with his Amilcar Six and Regazzoni with his own Ferrari 312B2 from 1971. Peter Gethin (winner in 1971 with BRM) drove the McLaren M23, Emerson Fittipaldi (winner in 1972) drove Rob Walker’s Lotus 49, Luigi Villoresi drove a 6CM Maserati, Piero Taruffi drove a Monza Alfa Romeo, Georgio Scarlatti drove a Cooper-Climax, Robert Manzon drove a Gordini, Roy Salvadori an Aston Martin and “Johnny” Lurani drove his own Alfa Romeo. The works Alfas were driven by Bonini (P2), Guidotti (monoposto) and Sanesi (159), while who else but Stirling Moss drove the Vanwall? Other cars, such as Ferraris of 1949 and 1954 were driven by their owners, as were 250F Maseratis, Bugattis, Talbot-Lago, Ballot and Roland Pilain.

After a parade lap the cars were lined up on the grid in order of age and performance, with Regazzoni on pole position in his 312B2 and they all stormed off for three laps of the circuit. Regazzoni, Gethin and Fittipaldi indulged in a splendid mock-race and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, weaving in and out of the old cars during their third lap. Many team members from the past were gathered around the cars on the grid, such as David Yorke with the Vanwall, Guerrino Bertocchi with the Maserati, Giulio Borsari with Regazzoni’s Ferrari and so on. It was a truly splendid gathering for which thanks must go to Baron de Graffenried and to Marlboro for giving him a free hand to get on with the job of gathering all his old friends together for everyone’s enjoyment. We haven’t seen so many Grand Prix cars of all ages really motoring for a long time, and the previous day many of them had driven from Milan to Monza at a good 80 m.p.h. behind a police escort on virtually closed roads. The Italians still love motor racing and all is well with the world. — D.S.J.

Related articles

Related products