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Musolini and racing in the 1930s


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#1 duby

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 06:24

hellow

as we all know about the involvment of Hitler in motor-sport, i want to ask - what was Musolini doing about "his" italian teams on that time ?


thanks
duby

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#2 uechtel

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:57

At least indirectly by ordering military products from the Italian industry.

#3 fuzzi

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 10:58

Do you mean what was he doing besides running Alfa Romeo as a "nationalised" factory with state subsidy? ;)

#4 Ralliart

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:54

One thing he was doing was visiting his Fascist party friend Enzo Ferrari.

#5 RStock

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 17:47

One thing he was doing was visiting his Fascist party friend Enzo Ferrari.


Really ? How often did he visit ? Did they pal around ? Hang out on weekends and such ?

#6 Ralliart

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 20:19

Mussolini visited Ferrari at least once. Don't think anyone put a gun to Ferrari's head forcing him to join the Fascist party.

#7 D-Type

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 23:46

Italy isn't Germany.

The Italian Fascist government had none of the institutionalised anti-semitism of the Nazis.

Italian cars were racing without needing the spur of a government prize to encourage tham. Alfa Romeo and Maserati were actively racing against Bugatti

Alfa Romeo were state-owned so it wasn't difficult to give them a discreet subsidy if the honour of Italy was at stake.

Mussolini was known to send messages to Italian drivers that they must win "for Italy" and to congratulate them if they did.

Enzo Ferrari was not an active, believing member of the Fascist party. He was a pragmatic manager of a racing team and racing car maker who co-operated with the government of the day and no doubt made donations to party funds on occasions. His title of Commendatore was awarded to him by the Fascist government. But none of that merits describing him as a Fascist. A fellow traveller, maybe, but not a fully fledged Fascist like Max's father.

When Italy went to war, Enzo Ferrari's works switched over to war work including the manufacture of machine tools. But what factory in any country refused government contracts for war-related products? Maybe a few US Quaker companies refused to make weapons but that's about it.

Edited by D-Type, 19 August 2009 - 22:39.


#8 Ralliart

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:35

According to what I've read, Mussolini visited Ferrari in Modena in 1924, two years after he came to power. My bad - Ferrari was not then a member of the party. He joined the Fascist party in 1934. Eduardo Weber of carb fame was also a member of the party along with Marconi of radio fame. Maybe someone would have to write a book explaining why these prominent people felt compelled to join the party. Would they have suffered in any way if they hadn't? Italy did implement racial policies.

#9 RStock

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 02:40

Enzo Ferrari was not an active, believing member of the Fascist party. He was a pragmatic manager of a racing team and racing car maker who co-operated with the government of the day and no doubt made donations to party funds on occasions.


Exactly . And what did his association with the facist party get him ? Ricart being put in charge of Alfa , and his cars , the Alfetta's being confiscated . His factory bombed and most of his machines confiscated by the Germans . Must not have been a very good fascist . He wasn't even blacklisted after the war like Colombo .

Enzo Ferrari - "More so than an anarchist, I am a rebel. I am intolerant of the moral violence to which I am subjected through today's carnival of political and social sermons."


Enzo was a capitalist pig , plain and simple put .


#10 RAP

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 07:16

When looking back, don't forget that in Europe between the wars democracy was a very fragile thing, and in many countries a rather new and unproven form of government. Many countries had severe social & economic difficulties post WW1 and my perception is that plenty of people thought the choice would come down to a left-wing dictatorship (communism) or a right wing one (fascism). If you were middle/upper class that it wasn't a difficult choice ......

#11 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 10:03

From what I can gather, the influence of the Italian government on the teams was less overt than in Germany. But it was there nevertheless.

Alfa were effectively nationalised and by the end of the decade were - apart from their racing activities - dedicated almost purely to military contracts: trucks and aero engines. Maserati seem to have been (at least until 1938-9) less susceptible to government pressure - I suspect this change is due to the change in ownership of the company at the end of 1937. I believe Orsi had some links to the Fascist party - he was certainly vehemently anti-communist - and Maserati apparently had intentions of building a prestige V12 for Mussolini's use (presumably in an attempt to outshine Hitler's Grosser Mercedes).

At times, discrete pressure seems to have been brought to bear on both teams and drivers - Nuvolari was warned about his criticism of Alfa Romeo in 1938 for example - but the peak seems to have been over the winter of 1938/9, when there was increasing tension between Italy and France. This had its roots in the Spanish Civil War, where Italy was actively involved in military operations: France was officially non-interventionist, but was a conduit of support for the Republicans.

Mussolini stepped up his diplomatic assault by demanding the return of certain former Italian possessions like Nice, Savoie and Corsica, together with the French colony of Tunisia, which had a substantial Italian minority. The French - not unnaturally - resisted this, causing Mussolini to take things further.

In motor sport circles, this meant a ban on racing in France - both for Italian teams and drivers - and all-Italian driver line-ups for the Alfa and Maserati teams.

#12 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 18:15

Some very direct statements on Enzo Ferrari have been made in this thread. Some plain incorrect.

Understand that Ferrari was interested in motor racing only. He also was a shrewd business man. Politically he was not outspoken at all. Yes, he joined the fascist party, in 1934, under pressure of Gobbato and others at AR. But he was basically uninterested even unimpressed by Mussolini.

He only met Il Duce once. Mussolini was to pass Modena when travelling from Milan to Rome. A local senator invited him for dinner and wanted to show of local hero's Ferrari and Guido Corni. Ferrari was asked to escort the group in his Alfa RLSS. Il Duce tried to follow him in his new AR sport, only spinning of more than once.

Ferrari was a business man, also responsible for a work force. In times of war people have to make choices they wish they should not have to make. So Ferrari maneuvred as best as he could.

To get back to the initial question:
The Fascist party was no direct sponsor of racing. They more or less infiltrated 'their' companies to serve the 'good' cause one way or another. They did show of as much as they could with their stars such as Nuvolari.


#13 aldo

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 13:58

The story about Italian State support to racing in the Thirties and the depth of the link of Enzo Ferrari with the fascist party is rather complex and still partly unexplored.
Italy never went through a honest historical study of the fascist years, because what they left behind in 1945 was still too closely linked with economy. politics, society. History and stories about those years have been sistematicaly bent to the dominant interests of the time. For instance, no serious enquiry was ever made on war crimes by Italian forces in Russia, former-Yugoslavia, Lybia, Ethiopia. Links and collusions of industrialists, capitalists, ruling families with the fascist government have never been studied and published.

Italy officialy adopted anti-semitic laws in 1938, on the same principles as Nazi Germany, yet anti-semitic actions did start years before, even though in a downplayed manner. Dreyfus had problems to drive for the Scuderia Ferrari even before 1938 laws. The Scuderia was "warned" to dispense of the services of Chiron when the political situation between Italy and France took to the worst.

Alfa Romeo racing efforts weren't directly subsidized by the government, yet Mussolini was an attentive listener. The rule of the day, in those years, was: "Whatever you want to do, ask Mussolini for it". And the second rule was: "Mussolini is always absolutely right". Gobbato and Alfa Romeo had easy inroads to Mussolini, who was an Alfa car lover. Alfa Romeo was the largest manufacturer of aircraft engines for the Italian Air Force and a strong employer both in Milano and, later, in Pomigliano near Naples (OT: Alfa Romeo aircraft engines were Bristol and De Havilland, manufactured under licence. They never had their own capacity to develop a worthy engine).

Ferrari, always placing his personal interest above everybody and everything else, took the best advantage out of the good links between Alfa Romeo and the fascist consorterie.
It has still to be ascertained how much a fervent fascist he was or, as everybody else with social or economical prominence, he had to comply with fascism. Yet, I did a study on the 1936 "Notiziario" (i.e. the newsletter) of the Scuderia Ferrari. The material is ample enough to prove that his personal prose and the general tone of the publication go quite beyond the basic level of compliance with fascist propaganda directives. An example: the Nuvolari victory at the 1936 Vanderbilt Cup is mentioned in the inner pages because the cover and the cover story are for the visit of Mussolini at the Alfa Romeo factory.
Enzo Ferrari was a first-class journalist. As such, he sensed the spirit of the times and knew how to lure his audience. Maybe, we could accept that his fascist professions were only a journalistic effort.
Yet, doubts remain. He was spared post-war trial and execution (like Weber) apparently because he managed to give some covert financial support to the communist maquis forces in Modena, while making money through his pro-nazi war production. Nothing unusual in those years. Nevertheless, such a page of his life is still shrouded in doubt and darkness.

#14 ndpndp

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 14:22

Aldo,

Thank you for this very illuminating post.

All so rare on this forum nowadays.......

ADAM

#15 RStock

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 02:57

The story about Italian State support to racing in the Thirties and the depth of the link of Enzo Ferrari with the fascist party is rather complex and still partly unexplored.
Italy never went through a honest historical study of the fascist years, because what they left behind in 1945 was still too closely linked with economy. politics, society. History and stories about those years have been sistematicaly bent to the dominant interests of the time. For instance, no serious enquiry was ever made on war crimes by Italian forces in Russia, former-Yugoslavia, Lybia, Ethiopia. Links and collusions of industrialists, capitalists, ruling families with the fascist government have never been studied and published...

...Alfa Romeo racing efforts weren't directly subsidized by the government, yet Mussolini was an attentive listener. The rule of the day, in those years, was: "Whatever you want to do, ask Mussolini for it". And the second rule was: "Mussolini is always absolutely right". Gobbato and Alfa Romeo had easy inroads to Mussolini, who was an Alfa car lover.

...It has still to be ascertained how much a fervent fascist he was or, as everybody else with social or economical prominence, he had to comply with fascism. Yet, I did a study on the 1936 "Notiziario" (i.e. the newsletter) of the Scuderia Ferrari. The material is ample enough to prove that his personal prose and the general tone of the publication go quite beyond the basic level of compliance with fascist propaganda directives. An example: the Nuvolari victory at the 1936 Vanderbilt Cup is mentioned in the inner pages because the cover and the cover story are for the visit of Mussolini at the Alfa Romeo factory.
Enzo Ferrari was a first-class journalist. As such, he sensed the spirit of the times and knew how to lure his audience. Maybe, we could accept that his fascist professions were only a journalistic effort.
Yet, doubts remain. He was spared post-war trial and execution (like Weber) apparently because he managed to give some covert financial support to the communist maquis forces in Modena, while making money through his pro-nazi war production. Nothing unusual in those years. Nevertheless, such a page of his life is still shrouded in doubt and darkness.



It's true the association between the Fascist government at the time and the Auto industry was complex and still not fully understood or explained . I've tried to find out more about this subject over the years but information is hard to come by . One thing that needs to be remembered though was that Alfa was under control of the state holding company the "Istituto di Ricostruzione Industrial" and was being managed by Ugo Gobbato , who was highly intertwined with the Fascists .

As for Enzo , I know he did not think much of Gobbato and his way of doing things . He was too strict and staid with a "matter of fact" way of running the company , and wanted to run the racing effort the same way , which Enzo did not believe was the proper manner to approach racing . He believed racing took a much more an improvised method , with the ability to change design and such rather quickly in order to respond to the ever evolving world of racing .

Of the few things I have been able to learn about Enzo's opinion on the Fascist regime , one was that he had been approached sometime in the 1920's to pursue a political office or appointment , but turned down the offer . And sometime during his stint at Alfa he was said to have made a comment about the "duality" of Fascism , and it was not in complimentary terms . It was something along the lines of Fascism being "two-faced" in that it preached democracy but practised socialism .

These things have always led me to believe that Enzo was a Fascist much as Bernd Rosemeyer was a Nazi . They were doing what they had to do to get by , and given a choice , neither of them would have had anything to do with the systems . They were racers , and therein lay their interest . I've always considered Enzo as a free market capitalist , who knew he would fare better that way than under an oppressive closed regime . And he was too much of a free spirit and self-made type to tolerate someone else telling him how to run his buisiness .

Edited by REDARMYSOJA, 25 August 2009 - 02:59.


#16 aldo

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 10:39

Very interesting viewpoint from a foreigner, rather well informed on Italian history.
Let me say that the dualism of fascism between democracy and socialism is completely wrong. Fascist Italy was a totalitarian state and basic rules and rights of democracy were written off. If Mussolini himself was a socialist party member in his youth, when he was in power he acted violently against socialists and socialism, also ordering or approving assassinations, both in Italy and abroad.
I'd to say that to define Ugo Gobbato as a fervent fascist is something well beyond everything that is known about him, his beahviour, his management style and actions. He was a manager and a theoretician of the strictest fordist-tayloristic observance, as it also clearly appears from the books on industrial organization he wrote.
Surely, for him, planning and organisation were of paramount importance and he struggled to give his imprinting to an inefficient company like Alfa Romeo was. Car production and racing cars had a very secondary role at Alfa Romeo and the decision to assign the management of the racing effort to the Scuderia Ferrari is a proof af such a status. Yet, technical issues and the development of the racing cars stayed with the ageing Jano and his staff.
Alfa Romeo racing dept capabilities and skills were quite limited, as proved by the endless series of failures after 1934. The Scuderia was, on the contrary, very able to make the most of profit (both money and image) through a very smart selection of races to enter and an effective communications/propaganda. To do so, they had to be skilled in organisation and planning, which is just the contrary of improvisation.
About Enzo Ferrari links with the fascist state and party, I remain convinced that he was with them at a level which was above average, i.e. he was not neutral but he complied with fascism more than the average Italian entrepreneurs and industrialists did. Living in a town like Modena with a strong socialist/communist heritage and worker's culture, he knew who the fascists were and what they did.

#17 Patrick Italiano

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 11:10

I totally agree with Aldo. As he did, I have read the Ferrari texts in his home magazine, and albeit he was compelled in using nationalistic tones, the actual writings go well beyond the expected minimum, to say the least.

I also fell uncomfortable with Robby's opinions about "Enzo free marketer" vs. IRI owned Alfa Romeo or a supposed "socialist" content of fascism. It makes plainly no sense, while again Aldo gets the point in stressing both Enzo's lack of ingenuity about politics (Modena is one of the few places where communists opposed fascists in an armed and organized way, back in 1922) and his exceptional opportunism where there was money to be made and glory to be obtained with the lowest possible investment. The regime did fit that perfectly.

OTOH, Alfa Romeo was maintained alive with public funds from as back as 1923, when the Banca di Sconto, holder of stock, had failed, and takeover by IRI only followed the previous, 1927 ownership by ILI (Istituto di LIQUIDAZIONE industriale), in order to turn Alfa Romeo into a high level producer of military furnitures (aero engines, trucks, and busses). Gobbato's appointment was consistent with such a goal, as he was top-level in his branch and had a CV including running the Lingotto Fiat plant in the 20s and creating a ball bearing plant in USSR on behalf of Fiat in the early 30s. But it's also true that the fascist party tried to use Alfa as a playground for mere political infiltration and internal rule. That was not so much to please Gobbato, as not consistent with any idea of efficiency. Especially during the war, fascist leaders inside the factory were reputedly not among the wisest or more competent workers.

In a more general way, Italian industrialists just played with the regime, unlike the German industry that made huge profits, but had to comply with the Government's orders. Italians instead kept raw material hidden for themselves, insisted in producing material (airplanes etc) discarded by officials, failed to lend production licenses to other companies for raising output, etc.

But the regime never supported Alfa racing activities in any real way, other than sending telegrams reading "you MUST win". Whether Alfa racing failures after 1934 can be ascribed to the "ageing Jano", I'm less convinced than Aldo. He certainly failed the 12C37, and neither he nor anybody who put his hands on that car, even in modern times, has understood what is the issue with that car. Except for that technical failure, I think, from the reading of as many documents as I could find, that Jano didn't receive the workforce, tooling and material he needed and had been promised, which resulted in huge delay in the presentation of new racing cars. If they had been ready as initially planned, they might have been more of a challenge for the German cars. Yet, around 1937-38, a technical step was being jumped which needed a more "scientific" approach than Jano's, combining theorical studies with rigorous experimentation instead of mere use of experience. Ricart tried himself at that but failed as well, albeit his designs undoubltly incorporate far more modern solutions.

#18 RStock

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 19:50

There are points raised by both aldo and patrick I want to address , (and thank you both for your replies and additional information)so I'm going to try and take them one by one . I hope this isn't to much of a mess this way .


Very interesting viewpoint from a foreigner, rather well informed on Italian history.
Let me say that the dualism of fascism between democracy and socialism is completely wrong. Fascist Italy was a totalitarian state and basic rules and rights of democracy were written off.


Well , first , I don't know at what exact time or in what overall context Enzo made the "two-faced" remark . It could have been in hindsight , or on a topical matter . But I am under the impression that it was early on in his involvement with Alfa Romeo , which would have been sometime in the 1920's . And I am no expert on the Fascist regime , to say the least . All I know is what I have read on the matter , but I know at least some say that early on there was at least a "pretense" of democracy to their ideology . Then there was the "corporatism" platform which was somewhere in the middle of capitalism and socialism plus the anti-communist stance . Some historians have said that Mussolini's early theory of economics and his practice of economics were at odds also . They were a bit all over the place and a bit of a mess . Perhaps this is what Enzo was refering to moreso than any overall leadership .


I'd to say that to define Ugo Gobbato as a fervent fascist is something well beyond everything that is known about him, his beahviour, his management style and actions. He was a manager and a theoretician of the strictest fordist-tayloristic observance, as it also clearly appears from the books on industrial organization he wrote.
Surely, for him, planning and organisation were of paramount importance and he struggled to give his imprinting to an inefficient company like Alfa Romeo was. Car production and racing cars had a very secondary role at Alfa Romeo and the decision to assign the management of the racing effort to the Scuderia Ferrari is a proof af such a status. Yet, technical issues and the development of the racing cars stayed with the ageing Jano and his staff.


Yes , I did not mean to cast Gobbato as a fervent Fascist . I stated he was "intertwined" with them , but that was due to his position at Alfa . I don't know of the extent of his involvment with Fascism . I know there is speculation about how he met his end . Some say it was due to his support of Mussolini and the Fascists , but I know that is disputed by some , and I don't believe the real truth has been determined , but someone more knowledgable would have to adress that point .

And yes , his manner of business was not from a Fascist veiwpoint , but rather of a managerial one which has to be accountable for expenses and overall well-being of the company . He was not a racer as was Enzo , which was the cause of Enzo's consternation .


About Enzo Ferrari links with the fascist state and party, I remain convinced that he was with them at a level which was above average, i.e. he was not neutral but he complied with fascism more than the average Italian entrepreneurs and industrialists did. Living in a town like Modena with a strong socialist/communist heritage and worker's culture, he knew who the fascists were and what they did.


I totally agree with Aldo. As he did, I have read the Ferrari texts in his home magazine, and albeit he was compelled in using nationalistic tones, the actual writings go well beyond the expected minimum, to say the least.


Just as I did not mean to cast Gabbato as a fervent Fascist , I did not mean to absolve Enzo of his involvment either . He no doubt did things that he probably later regretted , as far as how his fellow Italians would view him . In my opinion he was "playing the system" in that he went along with the status quo to gain favors and enhance his own agenda . I don't think he did them out of any political ideology , however , but as a way to get ahead in the game . That's just what I have concluded .

I think he knew that if he didn't go along , at least in appearance , he would lose all he had gained . Not many at the time were willing to pull up stakes and leave for what could be a better situation in another country . Enzo was a proud Italian and I doubt he would have wanted to leave his country . There were those such as Rosenberger at Auto Union that did have to "get the hell out of dodge" as we say here in the states , but being Jewish , he was fleeing for his life , and had been jailed for his religious affiliation . Those weren't the types of threats men like Enzo faced , so they were in a position to make different choices .

I've read speculation that Giulio Ramponi fell out of favor with the Fascists due to his independant nature , which is why he went to England to pursue his craft and ended up imprisoned during the war . It would be proper to commend these fellows for their tribulations and note that they made much different decisions that had a hard effect on their life , while those such as Enzo stayed and "played the game" .

I also fell uncomfortable with Robby's opinions about "Enzo free marketer" vs. IRI owned Alfa Romeo or a supposed "socialist" content of fascism. It makes plainly no sense, while again Aldo gets the point in stressing both Enzo's lack of ingenuity about politics (Modena is one of the few places where communists opposed fascists in an armed and organized way, back in 1922) and his exceptional opportunism where there was money to be made and glory to be obtained with the lowest possible investment. The regime did fit that perfectly.


Yes , all true . I think it's important to remember that Enzo was a young man at this time , and wanted to work his way to the top . It's my opinion that given the wisdom of age , he saw that a free market was a better place for him . So I think it was later that he became more of a "free marketer" . In my opinion , his experience with Gobatto and Ricart , and losing his team back to Alfa , along with the after effects of the war he would surely have seen the Fascist system was not the way . After all , Enzo made most of his money selling cars here in the capitalist USA . And I believe above all , Enzo was a businessman who had learned involvement in politics was counter productive .

And as has been noted , there is not a lot of solid fact to base things on , and this is my opinion that I have come to in my research of the matter . I have somewhat concluded that there isn't much to find out here because there really wasn't much to it . As has been noted also , Mussolini and the Fascist state didn't have much involvment with the motorsport divisions of the Italian companies other that to say "Win for Italia !" .

I have seen that Alfa with some involvment of Enzo provided a car for Mussolini's chauffeur , Baratto was his name I believe , to enter the Mille Miglia , 1937 if I recall correctly . And I've seen that Mussolini contacted both Enzo and Tazio to help end their fued later in the decade . I'm not sure how much Mussolini did on that account , however , it might have just been a simple letter , or if he spoke personally to them . If anyone has more information on that particular matter , it would be greatly appreciated .

Edited by REDARMYSOJA, 25 August 2009 - 19:53.


#19 cannell

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 21:32

Interesting that Enzo could join the Fascist Party, for whatever reasons, and then get along reasonably well with a workforce heavily influenced by Communism after the war. I believe me largely managed to avoid the strikes that afflicated other factories in the region, yes?

www.crimsoncars.blogspot.com

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#20 Tim Murray

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 22:47

I have seen that Alfa with some involvment of Enzo provided a car for Mussolini's chauffeur , Baratto was his name I believe , to enter the Mille Miglia , 1937 if I recall correctly .


I always understood that Ercole Borrato was one of the Alfa Romeo factory test driver team who had been seconded from Alfa to Mussolini's staff as his highly experienced, well trained and competent chauffeur. Sanesi drove with him in the Tripoli-Tobruk didn't he???? You know, sand filters to the fore...

DCN


More on Borrato is available via 'Search'.

#21 RStock

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 00:05

Interesting that Enzo could join the Fascist Party, for whatever reasons, and then get along reasonably well with a workforce heavily influenced by Communism after the war. I believe me largely managed to avoid the strikes that afflicated other factories in the region, yes?

www.crimsoncars.blogspot.com


No . They were quite the headache . They were a large part in Enzo's decision to sell the road car division to Fiat .

Scaglietti on the unions causing Enzo troubles .

“Ferrari was indeed having problems . The workers were giving him hassles and headaches. He was really fed up with the whole thing.”


Forghieri

“The strikes were one of our biggest problems,” he said. Parts would arrive late. Tension was constant. Production slowed. Much of the fun had gone out of the game.





#22 RStock

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 00:06

More on Borrato is available via 'Search'.


Thanks !


#23 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 08:36

On 26 March 1939 Ercole Boratto (not Borrato), the chauffeur of Benito Mussolini won the Mille Miglia Africana, also known as the “Litoranea Libica”, which was held along the course Tobruck - Tripoli in Libya, at the time Italian colony. The race was organized to replace the classic Mille Miglia which was suspended in Italy after the accidents during the 1938 edition of the event, that claimed the lives of eleven spectators. Winners of the race were Boratto with the works test-driver Consalvo Sanesi in the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B. Apparently entered as co-driver, Sanesi did most of the driving in the 1,500-kilometer road race.

#24 Tim Murray

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 09:39

Slightly OT, but here are a couple of articles relating to a memoir Boratto wrote about his time with Mussolini:

http://hnn.us/roundu...tries/8988.html

http://www.timesonli...ticle731787.ece


#25 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 14:02

The only time Ferrari met Mussolini, he also met Boratto. In fact when Il Duce went for diner with the local politicians of Modena, Ferrari had to stay behind in a room next door together with Boratto.
Boratto also raced once for the Scuderia Ferrari in the 1937 Mille Miglia, right?
Ferrari did speak positive about him in his memoirs.

#26 RStock

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 19:36

Thanks all for the further info about Boratto .

Now , if anyone knows more about Mussolini intervening in the feud between Tazio and Enzo .

Oh , and if anyone knows more about this story , while we're at it .

http://forums.autosp...w...=108643&hl=

#27 RStock

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 19:45

Boratto also raced once for the Scuderia Ferrari in the 1937 Mille Miglia, right?



Yes Arjan , he did . teamed with G. B. Guidotti . I don't know if the car was entered by Scuderia Ferrari or as a private entry by Mussolini , perhaps . Nor his finishing order . I can't get the page covering that race to open at World Sports Racing Prototypes site . :well:

#28 Tim Murray

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 22:03

The WSPR site does seem to be running very slowly at the moment, but I eventually managed to get the following info from it:

Boratto shared an Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Pescara Spider Touring with Mancinelli in the 1936 MM, finishing 13th overall. In the 1937 MM he shared an Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B MM Berlinetta Touring with Guidotti, finishing 4th overall and winning his class. According to both the Lawrence and Lurani Mille Miglia books, the car was owned and entered by Mussolini, and Guidotti did all the driving. Boratto was also entered in the 1940 MM but did not start.

As mentioned earlier, he and Consalvo Sanesi won the Litoranea Libica (Tobruk-Tripoli) race in 1939 in an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS.

A couple of websites describe Boratto as a cousin of Mussolini.

#29 RStock

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 20:22

The WSPR site does seem to be running very slowly at the moment, but I eventually managed to get the following info from it:

Boratto shared an Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Pescara Spider Touring with Mancinelli in the 1936 MM, finishing 13th overall. In the 1937 MM he shared an Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B MM Berlinetta Touring with Guidotti, finishing 4th overall and winning his class. According to both the Lawrence and Lurani Mille Miglia books, the car was owned and entered by Mussolini, and Guidotti did all the driving. Boratto was also entered in the 1940 MM but did not start.

As mentioned earlier, he and Consalvo Sanesi won the Litoranea Libica (Tobruk-Tripoli) race in 1939 in an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS.

A couple of websites describe Boratto as a cousin of Mussolini.


Thanks Tim .

Hmm...I've never heard he was a cousin . That would explain Mussolini's trust in him though .

Did the books say anything about Scuderia Ferrari playing a part in the Mille Miglia entry , if you remember ? I've read that they provided the car , or perhaps that was they prepped the car .

#30 Steffe Ornerdal

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 20:41

I wish this story was true:

Gröfaz (Grösster Feldherr Aller Zeit) Adolf ordered Mercedes and Auto Union to build two types of racing cars, one with the engine in front of the driver, the other with the mill at the back.

Benzino Gasolini got mad about this and got Alfa Romeo to do a racecar with two engines, one in the front and the other at the back.

The Alfa Romeo Bi-Motore.


Regards
Stefan
www.formula2.net

#31 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 21:33

:up: Great story! :rotfl:


#32 Tim Murray

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 22:40

Did the books say anything about Scuderia Ferrari playing a part in the Mille Miglia entry , if you remember ? I've read that they provided the car , or perhaps that was they prepped the car .

Here are the exact words from both books.

Lawrence:

Another new model was the latest expression of the Jano straight six series, the Tipo B. These had all-independent suspension and unblown 2.3 litre engines which, in race trim, were giving over 100 bhp. Scuderia Ferrari had Tipo B Berlinettas for Siena/Emilio Villoresi and Severi/Righetti while Il Duce entered one for his chauffeur, Boratto, and Battista Guidotti. Guidotti had been Nuvolari’s passenger several times, now his name appeared as the second driver but in fact he drove the whole way while Boratto took the credit.

Lurani:

Two of these Type B Alfa Romeos, with bodies built by Ghia of Turin, represented Scuderia Ferrari and were driven by Siena/Villoresi and Severi/Righetti. The third car featuring coachwork by Touring of Milan, designed by Felice Bianchi Anderloni, belonged to Benito Mussolini. This splendid car was entrusted to Mussolini’s chauffeur, Boratto, with Guidotti as second driver. The second driver drove the whole race while letting Boratto take the glory.

They both seem quite clear that Mussolini owned and entered the Boratto car, which had different coachwork to the Ferrari cars, but as the car was a new model it surely seems likely that all three Tipo Bs would have been factory-prepared for the race.

#33 D-Type

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 21:40

I wish this story was true:

Gröfaz (Grösster Feldherr Aller Zeit) Adolf ordered Mercedes and Auto Union to build two types of racing cars, one with the engine in front of the driver, the other with the mill at the back.

Benzino Gasolini got mad about this and got Alfa Romeo to do a racecar with two engines, one in the front and the other at the back.

The Alfa Romeo Bi-Motore.


Regards
Stefan
www.formula2.net

:confused: :) :lol: :rotfl: :rotfl:
Nice one!

Edited by D-Type, 30 August 2009 - 21:42.