Jump to content


Photo

Eraldo Sculati


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Arjan de Roos

Arjan de Roos
  • Member

  • 2,086 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 05 May 2009 - 13:13

Out of curiosity I collected information on this man as I never seen a solid piece written on him. Please comment or add info if you can!

Eraldo Sculati (dec 1918-19?), journalist by profession, mining engineer by education and Ferrari sporting director (SEFAC) from 1956 (the year when Fangio won his fourth world drivers title) until the spring of 1957. He came from Terni and later lived in Rome.
Sculati was an amateur racing driver, participating (with success) in hill climbs as well as the Mille Miglia (1950 and 1951) with a Lancia Aprilia.

Sculati is rarely mentioned in racing/Ferrari literature. But when so, he is portrayed as a silent, good guy, a friend with the drivers, even a joker but possibly not the strong character as needed in Maranello in the fifties. He is also known to be quite introvert.

He founded in 1958 the magazine Autorama (still existing today).

Before joining Ferrari he was sports editor in a left wing newspaper called Paese Sera. During his racing he had met people who asked him to write some material for the press. What had started as a joke led him to develop a solid career in journalism. His accomplishments with Paese Sera were a full automotive insert and even Fiat advertisements (in what was a communist newspaper). He was also one of the founding fathers of the UIGA, the association for Italian automobile journalists.
When Ugolini left Ferrari for Maserati, Ferrari contacted Sculati through Carlo Mariani (counsel to the UIGA). Ferrari must have known Sculati as a proper racer in the Mille Miglia. Ferrari had information that Sculati had been enlisted to the Brigade Julia (part of Italian Army called Alpini, a mountain combat unit) and had taken part in operations on the eastern front during WWII.

- Spa 1956
For the Belgium GP Ferrari had one car free (Musso had broken his arm at the Nurburgring 1000 km that weekend before). Sculati telephoned Frere in Brussels. Frere said no to Sculati as he was unsure how good he would perform after a year absence from GP racing, also in front of his home crowd. Still Frere had to be in Spa as journalist. He arrived in time for second practice (with helmet!). He was asked to take a few laps in the Ferrari D50, the experience would give him great front row insight for his journalistic writings. Just a matter of some laps and Frere was part of the Scuderia again. And in style he finished a superb second to Peter Collins.
Was it Sculati who as a colleague journalist could persuade Frere?

- Monza 1956
The championship was to be decided Monza. Fangio had the best chances for the title. Collins and Behra could still beat him to the title, but they had to finish high with Fangio failing to score.

Fangio was accompanied by his manager *) Marcello Giambertone. During the race Fangio noticed a steering problem. He stopped at the pits. At that time Fangio has a private mechanic within the Scuderia who cannot find the needed spare part. Even the spare car is disassembled. No chance as already four laps are gone. Castellotti (previously retired) jumps into Fangio’s car, leaving a disappointed champ behind in the pits.
Giambertone requests Sculati to pull in Luigi Musso so Fangio can continue with his car. Sculati follows up on this request with mixed feelings. He holds out a red flag for Musso, but he ignores it. Musso only comes in when he really needs petrol and tires. Sculati then reaches out to him, but Musso refuses and rejoins the race.
There seems to have been a heated discussion between Sculati and Giambertone after that. Did Sculati at first even say plainly no to the Fangio camp?

Then Collins came in for his tire change. The Englishman is behind Moss and Musso, but with a chance to win the race and thus the title.

Now some sources **) claim that Giambertone reached out to Collins to explain Fangio’s situation and to give up his car. This as Sculati, the team manager had left the box and even gone to the press area to avoid any new confrontation with Giambertone.
Fangio and other sources later stated that this was untrue (like other statements in the Fangio biography by Giambertone) and Sculati was standing next to him when Collins came in, saw Fangio and jumped out ***).

Sculati was team manager for the first races of 1957 but came in conflict with Cesar Perdisa who brought considerable funds from his family publishing business. Ferrari described that he was a proper racer, a very good journalist but as team manager lacked the precision to blot down every detail needed for later reference.

In 1957 Sculati seemed to have attended the Sebring 1000 km race as team manager. Later that year Sculati was replaced by Mimo Amorotti. Possibly due to pressure from some customer Sculati had chosed not to stay on and left Ferrari.

After leaving Ferrari he founded Autorama: a car magazine. This magazine was the first to include a free gift for its readers. This effected in great sales. Even such that Domus, editor of Auto Italiana, hired him as the new director for their car magazine. In the following years he continued as an automotive journalist.

*) What was the role of Giambertone exactly? He called himself manager of Fangio, Fangio referred to him as an assistant.

**) Giambertone later wrote an autobiography on Fangio that would raise a few eyebrows. Even so that Ferrari would counter some plain false accusations with his first book “Il miei joie terribile”, also leading to a cooled relation with Fangio deep into the eighties. Fangio possibly was barely if not at all involved with this (first?) autobiography.
A calm Sculati was infuriated by false accusations in this book. Ferrari is known to have advised Sculati not to react. He did so himself.

***) In Automobile Year 1956 I saw some pictures of this historic pit stop. Still I cannot figure out if Giambertone and/or Sculati are standing close to the D50.



Advertisement

#2 Paul Parker

Paul Parker
  • Member

  • 1,687 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 05 May 2009 - 14:40

Hi Arjan, thank you for the interesting post.

Does anybody have a good picture of Sculati?

#3 Arjan de Roos

Arjan de Roos
  • Member

  • 2,086 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 05 May 2009 - 15:20

Following the link to the Life picture library (see the "Who's that girl (with Peter Collins)" thread) I found this one:

Posted Image

Copyright Time Life Magazine

#4 Paul Parker

Paul Parker
  • Member

  • 1,687 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 05 May 2009 - 15:59

Thanks for that Arjan.

#5 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Member

  • 14,207 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 05 May 2009 - 18:41

- Monza 1956
The championship was to be decided Monza. Fangio had the best chances for the title. Collins and Behra could still beat him to the title, but they had to finish high with Fangio failing to score.

Not Behra,surely? Going into Monza he had scored 22 points in 5 races. With only the best 5 results counting for the championship, the best score he could have achieved would have been 27 points, and Fangio already had 30 before Monza. The only person who could have beaten Fangio to the championship at Monza was Collins.


#6 RStock

RStock
  • Member

  • 1,316 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 06 May 2009 - 15:41

- Spa 1956
For the Belgium GP Ferrari had one car free (Musso had broken his arm at the Nurburgring 1000 km that weekend before). Sculati telephoned Frere in Brussels. Frere said no to Sculati as he was unsure how good he would perform after a year absence from GP racing, also in front of his home crowd. Still Frere had to be in Spa as journalist. He arrived in time for second practice (with helmet!). He was asked to take a few laps in the Ferrari D50, the experience would give him great front row insight for his journalistic writings. Just a matter of some laps and Frere was part of the Scuderia again. And in style he finished a superb second to Peter Collins.
Was it Sculati who as a colleague journalist could persuade Frere?


Arjan , Frere must have argued with himself a bit about whether he wanted to drive that weekend or not . He gave Sculati a "No" at first , but then took his helmet with him to the track . Even then , when he asked Sculati who the "other car" was for and Sculati told him "You !" he refused and left the pits . But according to a story by fellow journalist who was at the track that weekend , Frere's friends told him he "was crazy" not to accept the offer . That seems to be what finally convinced him to have a go . He still only intended to practice , making the team agree he would be under no obligation to race . But apparently time behind the wheel convinced him the car was good , and he still had the ability to do well .

- Monza 1956
The championship was to be decided Monza. Fangio had the best chances for the title. Collins and Behra could still beat him to the title, but they had to finish high with Fangio failing to score.

Fangio was accompanied by his manager *) Marcello Giambertone. During the race Fangio noticed a steering problem. He stopped at the pits. At that time Fangio has a private mechanic within the Scuderia who cannot find the needed spare part. Even the spare car is disassembled. No chance as already four laps are gone. Castellotti (previously retired) jumps into Fangio’s car, leaving a disappointed champ behind in the pits.
Giambertone requests Sculati to pull in Luigi Musso so Fangio can continue with his car. Sculati follows up on this request with mixed feelings. He holds out a red flag for Musso, but he ignores it. Musso only comes in when he really needs petrol and tires. Sculati then reaches out to him, but Musso refuses and rejoins the race.
There seems to have been a heated discussion between Sculati and Giambertone after that. Did Sculati at first even say plainly no to the Fangio camp?

Then Collins came in for his tire change. The Englishman is behind Moss and Musso, but with a chance to win the race and thus the title.

Now some sources **) claim that Giambertone reached out to Collins to explain Fangio’s situation and to give up his car. This as Sculati, the team manager had left the box and even gone to the press area to avoid any new confrontation with Giambertone.
Fangio and other sources later stated that this was untrue (like other statements in the Fangio biography by Giambertone) and Sculati was standing next to him when Collins came in, saw Fangio and jumped out ***).

Sculati was team manager for the first races of 1957 but came in conflict with Cesar Perdisa who brought considerable funds from his family publishing business. Ferrari described that he was a proper racer, a very good journalist but as team manager lacked the precision to blot down every detail needed for later reference.

In 1957 Sculati seemed to have attended the Sebring 1000 km race as team manager. Later that year Sculati was replaced by Mimo Amorotti. Possibly due to pressure from some customer Sculati had chosed not to stay on and left Ferrari.

After leaving Ferrari he founded Autorama: a car magazine. This magazine was the first to include a free gift for its readers. This effected in great sales. Even such that Domus, editor of Auto Italiana, hired him as the new director for their car magazine. In the following years he continued as an automotive journalist.

*) What was the role of Giambertone exactly? He called himself manager of Fangio, Fangio referred to him as an assistant.

**) Giambertone later wrote an autobiography on Fangio that would raise a few eyebrows. Even so that Ferrari would counter some plain false accusations with his first book “Il miei joie terribile”, also leading to a cooled relation with Fangio deep into the eighties. Fangio possibly was barely if not at all involved with this (first?) autobiography.
A calm Sculati was infuriated by false accusations in this book. Ferrari is known to have advised Sculati not to react. He did so himself.

***) In Automobile Year 1956 I saw some pictures of this historic pit stop. Still I cannot figure out if Giambertone and/or Sculati are standing close to the D50.


Arjan , I'm not sure if the real truth will ever be known . I think you can speak Italian ? If so , there is an interview here with Sculati's wife . My Italian isn't good enough to read it , and the translated version doesn't do much good . She doesn't say much about the Monza race , but perhaps there is something you haven't seen before .

http://www.dellicarr...lati.php?node=3


#7 Manel Bar

Manel Bar
  • Member

  • 134 posts
  • Joined: July 06

Posted 07 May 2009 - 19:39

Arjan , Frere must have argued with himself a bit about whether he wanted to drive that weekend or not . He gave Sculati a "No" at first , but then took his helmet with him to the track . Even then , when he asked Sculati who the "other car" was for and Sculati told him "You !" he refused and left the pits . But according to a story by fellow journalist who was at the track that weekend , Frere's friends told him he "was crazy" not to accept the offer . That seems to be what finally convinced him to have a go . He still only intended to practice , making the team agree he would be under no obligation to race . But apparently time behind the wheel convinced him the car was good , and he still had the ability to do well .



Arjan , I'm not sure if the real truth will ever be known . I think you can speak Italian ? If so , there is an interview here with Sculati's wife . My Italian isn't good enough to read it , and the translated version doesn't do much good . She doesn't say much about the Monza race , but perhaps there is something you haven't seen before .

http://www.dellicarr...lati.php?node=3


It is a modern interview of Italian author Delle Carri to Signora Giovanna, E. Sculati’s widow.
Regarding Monza 1956, she repeats the official report because his husband was very calm and discrete man and never commented her the details of the incident.
Howewer Eraldo Sculati was infuriated some time lafterwards when in his biography of JM Fangio, Giambertone said the the Scuderia boycoted the Maestro during the 1956 season.
The Commendatore suggested Sculati not to argue with Giambertone. “ Forget it: As more spoken, these matters become worst.” the Old man told him


#8 RStock

RStock
  • Member

  • 1,316 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 07 May 2009 - 20:36

It is a modern interview of Italian author Delle Carri to Signora Giovanna, E. Sculati’s widow.
Regarding Monza 1956, she repeats the official report because his husband was very calm and discrete man and never commented her the details of the incident.
Howewer Eraldo Sculati was infuriated some time lafterwards when in his biography of JM Fangio, Giambertone said the the Scuderia boycoted the Maestro during the 1956 season.
The Commendatore suggested Sculati not to argue with Giambertone. “ Forget it: As more spoken, these matters become worst.” the Old man told him



Thank you Manel . I wasn't sure exactly what she said . I suppose it adds nothing more .

I seem to remember Fangio saying that although he got on fine with the other drivers , he didn't have a great relationship with the team as they did . But he simply chalked it up to the others having been there before him . I don't really remember him complaining about it .

#9 Arjan de Roos

Arjan de Roos
  • Member

  • 2,086 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 07 May 2009 - 21:00

Not Behra,surely? Going into Monza he had scored 22 points in 5 races. With only the best 5 results counting for the championship, the best score he could have achieved would have been 27 points, and Fangio already had 30 before Monza. The only person who could have beaten Fangio to the championship at Monza was Collins.


Indeed, I was mistaking!

http://www.dellicarr...lati.php?node=3

Redarmysoja, this interview I read with great interest and used it partly for the above. It would be great if "Gli indisciplinati" could be translated to English!

Edited by Arjan de Roos, 07 May 2009 - 21:03.