Luigi Chinetti

Author

admin

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

Luigi Chinetti, who passed away recently, knew Enzo Ferrari way back in the ’30s, but though the former scored the first of the latter’s nine victories at Le Mans with the 166 Mille Miglia Ferrari in 1949 (and owned the car that took the last of them), and though he sold countless of II Commendatore’s products as North American distributor, theirs was a relationship based on ambivalence.

As a racing driver Chinetti had a sound career, for he had also won Le Mans in 1932 and again in 1934, both times in Alfa Romeos. In between those triumphs, he was second in the 1933 race, sharing with Philippe Varent.

After cruising through Europe he fell into a wonderful opportunity when he was engaged by Lucy O’Reilly Schell (mother of Grand Prix driver-to-be Harry) to run a pair of Maseratis in the 1940 Indianapolis 500, and thus he went to North America via New York. He decided to stay, and in 1946 gained American citizenship. On a subsequent brief return trip home he chanced to meet Ferrari again, and one way or another they agreed a deal whereby he became the US importer, running out of 49th Street in New York city. His Le Mans triumph in 1949 did wonders for Ferrari’s growing reputation. Back in the ’30s Chinetti had actively encouraged the emergent Raymond Sommer, a gallery-playing society gentleman driver with a fantastic talent and a fierce belief that the way you played the game far outweighed the result you obtained. Now, via deals with entrants such as Temple Buell, Frank Arciero and Tony Parravano, Chinetti indirectly helped a whole new generation of stars such as Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Masten Gregory and Richie Ginther to establish their reputations on the North American sportscar scene.

Later, he formed his own North American Racing Team (NART) which campaigned Ferraris with great enthusiasm and no small measure of success. It was in one of his cars that Jochen Rindt and Gregory won the 1965 Le Mans, after a flat-out drive.

He was also responsible for introducing the Rodriguez brothers, Ricardo and Pedro, to the Sarthe, where they staged such a terrific fight in the 1961 race with his 250 Testa Rossa. Later that year, he would help to massage Ricardo’s passage into the works F1 team.

Luigi Chinetti could be an irascible man with his customers and in many ways he was far ahead of his time, for while he would rarely shrink from giving true talent a chance in one of his cars, he understood only too well the value of charging wealthy amateurs for the privilege. D.J.T.

Related articles

Related products