Jump to content


Photo

The Mistery of Attilio Marinoni


  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Felix Muelas

Felix Muelas
  • Member

  • 1,188 posts
  • Joined: November 99

Posted 24 October 2000 - 21:50

Six or seven months ago Leif Snellman and myself received the first of a series of two emails from Attilio Marinoni´s son, Jorge Luiz.

He was writing in Portuguese, of course, and claimed several facts, some of them curious to say the least.

His immediate concern was the fact that the picture Leif’s site had published of Marinoni was simply wrong, and he could prove that through pictures he had in magazines his father had left. No big deal, really, we apologized and promptly substituted it with the right one.

But the mail contained an information that we immediately spotted as strange: Jorge Luiz Marinoni claimed that his father "went to Brazil after the War and there he died in 1984 aged 68"

Well, well, well...

We wrote to Mr Marinoni pointing to him the fact that almost every source we had ever read was not exactly pointing out at his father surviving accident at the wheel of an experimental Alfa 158 colliding with a lorry on the Milan-Varese Autostrada on 18th June 1940! Actually, taking a look at the pictures of the accident one will tend to agree with the majority of the sources...

We also pointed out to Mr Marinoni the fact that, if his father’s participation in the 1924 Grand Prix de l´ACF at Lyons where he is usually quoted as co-driver to Campari was true, he must have been 8 years old at the time!

The extremely disappointing answer from Marinoni came as a huge email where he told us two things:

a) He confirmed his father’s dates of birth and death, along with the places: born 29th February 1916 in Venice, Italy and deceased 22nd August 1987 at City of S. Leopoldo, Brazil.

b) He enclosed three pictures from a magazine of 1936 with a report of the 1936 IV Grande Premio Cidade do Rio de Janeiro. These seemed to be true, as the combined quality of the paper (and cello tape) and the dubious scanning skills of Mr Marinoni did not exactly suggest a fraud.

He promised to come back with answers to the very basic questions, but he didn’t.

During that time, we asked Hans Etzrodt his opinion. You might imagine, he came back to us with "the file" on Marinoni that left very small room for Marinoni´s son assertions as true and/or accurate.

So it looks to me that there are several possibilities here: either we accept the fact that Marinoni's death against a truck was a misunderstanding on the very first place, either we accept that he died and his son does not know what he is talking about!

Not to mention the fact that should his racing record be accurate as we know it, he would have co-driven Ascari being just 8 years old!

Another option would mean that Marinoni escaped Europe alive to find a new home in Brazil because of the war, and then re-built his life somehow differently. But even in this one, dates do not match...

Or finally did someone else took over Marinoni's name -and maybe even identity documents- and then built a family in Brazil and... ?

Your comments, as always, will be welcomed

Felix Muelas


Advertisement

#2 Felix Muelas

Felix Muelas
  • Member

  • 1,188 posts
  • Joined: November 99

Posted 24 October 2000 - 21:52

Where I say Ascari please read Campari

Felix



#3 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,097 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 24 October 2000 - 22:11

When was the son born? This might give some clues...
What a mystery!

#4 Felix Muelas

Felix Muelas
  • Member

  • 1,188 posts
  • Joined: November 99

Posted 24 October 2000 - 22:34

Ray

We do not know, but I will be safe assuming he might be a post-war kid, on his fifties now...He said his father (aged 23/28 in 1940-45 according to his data) "went" to Brazil, so I guess he married there

I forgot to mention that, although (assumed) the owner of some of his father´s memorabilia (like the 1936 magazine that he scanned) he made at least two typing mistakes when spelling Nuvolari, what makes one assume (also) that he might not be an expert on history on racing.

Don´t know how relevant that is, but he might still be wondering what the hell was that story that we told him about the 1940 accident...

Felix


#5 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 6,040 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 24 October 2000 - 23:28

It seems to me probable that there are two people here

(1) The racing driver, who raced with Campari in 1924, won the Spa 24 hours in 1928, 29 and 30 raced in Brazil in 1936 and waaas killed in 1940.

(2) The father of Jorge Luiz Marinoni who was born in 1916 and died in 1987.

It seems at least possible that Jorge Luiz Marinoni found the 1936 picture of the racing driver and mistakenly believed it to be his father. If this is the case, it seems that ll the facts stated by Felix fall into place.



#6 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,173 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 25 October 2000 - 04:00

Would it help if we had Attilio Marinoni's birth date or at least the year he was born? Maybe Alessandro Silva could check in one of Rome's libraries? Maybe this data is available through the Alfa Romeo Museum?

#7 Leif Snellman

Leif Snellman
  • Member

  • 1,078 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 25 October 2000 - 07:02

Originally posted by Roger Clark
It seems to me probable that there are two people here

(1) The racing driver, who raced with Campari in 1924, won the Spa 24 hours in 1928, 29 and 30 raced in Brazil in 1936 and waaas killed in 1940.

(2) The father of Jorge Luiz Marinoni who was born in 1916 and died in 1987.

It seems at least possible that Jorge Luiz Marinoni found the 1936 picture of the racing driver and mistakenly believed it to be his father. If this is the case, it seems that ll the facts stated by Felix fall into place.


I immediately found it curious that while Marinoni had a long GP career it was only the South American race that the son seemed to be aware off and have pictures from. I can see no reason why Marinoni if he cut out those three pictures shouldn't also have had a extensive collection of pictures from his career in italy.
No, I think that either:

(1) Jorge's father cut out the text because a racing driver happened to have the same name as he. (See as an example the "Nyberg" topic here on the Nostalgia forum :) ). We could create a scenario where the father later showed the old pictures to his son. "Sure, I did some racing for Ferrari when I was young! Don't you belive me? Here you have it all blank on white!". Question: How common would the name Attilio Marinoni be? This scenario if revieled would be very disappointing from Jorge Luiz' point of view. :(
(2) Or then as Felix says, did someone else took over Marinoni's name -and maybe even identity documents- and then built a family in Brazil and... ? This scenario would surely be a terrible shock to Jorge Luiz. :( :(

So I have been in a no win situation here and have not as you may understand so far made any effort to enter Jorge's information into my homepage.

#8 Michael M

Michael M
  • Member

  • 142 posts
  • Joined: March 00

Posted 25 October 2000 - 09:19

Jorge Luiz’ father was born in 1916, so clearly too young for any racing activities before 1936. And also too young for beeing chief mechanic in 1934, where he was 18 only. Remember, contrary to today in those times the drivers had been men, and not boys.
About which age difference are we talking? We do not know the year of birth of Attilio Marinoni, but a co-driver in 1924 most probably had to be an experienced mechanic, so we can estimate he was at least 20-25 years old, which would put his birth to 1899-1904, 12 to 17 years older than Jorge Luiz’ father.
Sure, a lot of guys left Europe immediately after the war towards South America, most of them for abvious reasons, and some of them by using other identities. In 1945 Jorge Luiz’ father was 29, so why odopting the identity of someone who is at least 45 years old? This makes no sense. And, if he had done so, he would have taken over not only Marinoni’s name, but also his passport or birth document or whatsoever to prove that he is Attilio Marinoni, and that means that his official date of birth as documented in Brazil could not have been 1916, but much earlier.

Felix says „His immediate concern was the fact that the picture Leif’s site had published of Marinoni was simply wrong, and he could prove that through pictures he had in magazines his father had left”. These pictures had been from 1936 as I understand, so they show most probably the “real” Marinoni. This would mean that the original photo show on Leif’s website was really not correct. I checked the photo, but it is really difficult to estimate the age of the person shown.

I agree with Leif, if this guy was the “real” Marinoni, why did he keep only this Brazilian article, and nothing from his European races? I believe that Leif’s version no. 1 probably is correct, some of his Brazilian friends, collegues, or neighbours some day come along, and said “Hey Attilio, are you the guy who raced at Rio in 1936?”, somebody found the old magazine in his cellar, they cutted out the article, laughed about it, and dropped the whole thing. After the death of his father Jorge Luiz found this old article in the piles of documents his father had left, and must have concluded that the Attilio Marinoni shown there was his father. May be in the meantime he has found out that he was wrong, therefore his silence.


#9 Barry Lake

Barry Lake
  • Member

  • 2,169 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 25 October 2000 - 12:30

I have read that Marinoni was 48 years old when he was killed in that Autostrada testing crash. Therefore he would have been born around 1892.

#10 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,097 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 25 October 2000 - 12:40

This brings into play the prospect of him being the grandfather, perhaps?

#11 Leif Snellman

Leif Snellman
  • Member

  • 1,078 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 25 October 2000 - 12:50

We considered that possibility also. It is not impossible that the father and grandfather had the same name. Jorge says his father was born 1916. Now according to Hans Etzrodt, Marinoni participiated in the Monza 24 Hours, 14 Jun 1924. Lets say that the hypotetical grandfather/GP driver was born in 1892. Then he would be 24 when his son was born and 32 at his race debut. Sounds quite OK to me.


#12 Felix Muelas

Felix Muelas
  • Member

  • 1,188 posts
  • Joined: November 99

Posted 25 October 2000 - 12:59

I am loving your comments but please remember that Marinoni had a very curious face. I mean, he looked a bit like a fish, with his eyes a bit too much out of his orbits under normal circumstances.
(Sorry for not finding the right word in English :blush: )

And as things went by, the picture that was on Leif's site was the one where Marinoni and someone else were pictured. Not knowing which one was Marinoni, we choosed the wrong guy and that is what made Jorge Luiz protest.

But then we sent the picture of the two guys to him, with a note on the lines : "Sorry we picked the guy from the left, obviously your father is the one from the right". So he did get our picture. And although we asked him to please confirm that the man on the right with big eyes was his father, he didn't. Not that he denied it, he simply did not comment on that on the next email.

What I mean with this is that, although not known by us at the time, I have discovered after that Marinoni's physical aspect (unless an accident on a public Autostrada like his, if survived, can change your face a lot) will not be one of those that will allow the common walking man to be confused with him...

Putting aside the fact that the theory for another guy called Attilio Marinoni and how he will discover that he could use his Ferrari background to impress his son, we are forgetting here that whomever that Attilio was, he went to Brazil after the war, so was not living there before...what clearly makes a strange explanation the fact that the only material we have been submitted is a 1936 race report in Brazil!

I see that so far none of you is handling the possibility of Marinoni actually surviving the accident, being "reconstructed" and for whatever reason "invited" to leave his country and go to Brazil without becoming a public figure.

The fact that we are not able (yet) to compare his birth date with the one that Jorge Luiz claimed (has anybody noticed that he was supposed to be born on one 29th of February, not an usual day!) opens very few doors for speculation. He would need to have been born something like 20 years earlier for the story to make sense (his survival not included)...and even then I do not see how a son might imagine that his father died at 68 when really eightysomething!

Unless, of course, he was so well "reconstructed" after the accident that he would look much younger. Yes, I know, this is not The X-Files Forum, just the Nostalgia one...:)

Felix Muelas





#13 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 25 October 2000 - 15:46

Very, very, very interesting! The son could be a lot younger though, maybe even born in the eighties!?

#14 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,173 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 25 October 2000 - 17:25

Felix wrote:
...He confirmed his father’s dates of birth and death, along with the places: born 29th February 1916 in Venice, Italy and deceased 22nd August 1987 at City of S. Leopoldo, Brazil.

Barry Lake stated:
I have read that Marinoni was 48 years old when he was killed in that Autostrada testing crash. Therefore he would have been born around 1892.

If Attilio Marinoni had been born in a leap year (29 Feb.), here are the possibilities: 1888 - 1892 - 1896 - 1904 - 1908 - 1912 - 1916 - 1920 - 1924 - 1928 -




#15 Leif Snellman

Leif Snellman
  • Member

  • 1,078 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 25 October 2000 - 18:13

Originally posted by Felix Muelas
I mean, he looked a bit like a fish, with his eyes a bit too much out of his orbits under normal circumstances.

:eek:

he went to Brazil after the war, so was not living there before...what clearly makes a strange explanation the fact that the only material we have been submitted is a 1936 race report in Brazil!]


Well, if we assume that he came to Brazil after having lost everything during the war. It should of course then be a natural thing to try to find something in old newspapers. And that particular race would then be the only one were he would be able find a picture of himself in a Brazil paper.



Unless, of course, he was so well "reconstructed" after the accident that he would look much younger. Yes, I know, this is not The X-Files Forum, just the Nostalgia one...:)


Gentlemen! We can rebuild him! We have the technology to make the world's first bionic Ferrari driver, make his face 24 years younger and send him to Brazil! Sorry but it doesn't sound too convincing to me! :lol:

#16 Felix Muelas

Felix Muelas
  • Member

  • 1,188 posts
  • Joined: November 99

Posted 25 October 2000 - 19:35

Leif

Of course I was just kidding :rolleyes:

Hans

Very interesting remark about the leap years. My grandmother was born also in 1892 (and died in 1991, just a couple of months short of the milestone what, by the way, ruined my plans to convert her into the Barcelona Olympics Grandmother). Of course, under no circumstances I could have thought four years before that she might have been aged 68...ever! :lol:

So, gentlemen, what do you think sounds as the most acceptable theory on all this Marinoni story? (Unnaceptable theories will also be given their due credit :) )

Felix




#17 Roger Clark

Roger Clark
  • Member

  • 6,040 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 25 October 2000 - 20:04

Here is another picture of Marinoni.. I think!

Posted Image

#18 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,173 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 26 October 2000 - 03:15

I put all posts from this thread through my big saltshaker, with the result of the
Grandfather-Father-Son theory.

[list][*]Grandfather The racing driver Attilio Marinoni was born 1892. He married and when 24, he fathered a son, the Father, born in 1916 and gave him his first name, Attilio. The Grandfather was 26 at the end of WW I and joined Alfa Romeo as mechanic/driver. In 1924, his first recorded appearance in racing, he, the Grandfather was 32 years old. He later died in the autostrada crash in 1940, 48 years of age.

[*]Father The father was born 29 February 1916 in Venice, Italy as the son to racing driver Attilio and was named after his father, the racing driver. When he, the Grandfather, died in the 1940 autostrada crash, young Attilio was 24 at the time. He, quote "went to Brazil after the War and there he died in 1984 aged 68" (22nd August 1987 at City of S. Leopoldo, Brazil). But during his time in Brazil, he, the father married and fathered a son, named Jorge Luiz.
[*]Son Jorge Luiz Marinoni was born in Brazil. He sent the e-mail about his father with information about his grandfather, both named Attilio Marinoni. It could be that Jorge Luiz does not know about his grandfather.

The Grandfather-Father-Son theory will work here, if applied. Wheather it is true or not is another issue.[p][Edited by Hans Etzrodt on 10-26-2000]

#19 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,097 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 26 October 2000 - 03:25

Father could have never mentioned grandfather's racing to son, thereby leaving a gap in his knowledge. Or son might never have listened closely enough to realise that there was a grandfather in racing too, then mistakenly put the two together after father's death.
Or momma might have stirred things along with misinformation because she hated father playing with cars.
Do you hear the waves breaking, Hans?
Just thought I'd ask...

Advertisement

#20 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,173 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 26 October 2000 - 03:47

Well, it should be worth a brief discussion. We might have to find a good detective to ask the right questions in Portuguese and send an e-mail.
Felix, what do you think about it? ;)

#21 Barry Lake

Barry Lake
  • Member

  • 2,169 posts
  • Joined: February 00

Posted 26 October 2000 - 05:14

It is a shame Jorge-Luiz seems to have dropped from sight.
It would be interesting to ask if he has any family photos of his (real) father so we could see what sort of similarity, if any, there is to Marinoni the Alfa Romeo driver.

#22 Flicker

Flicker
  • Member

  • 194 posts
  • Joined: August 00

Posted 26 May 2001 - 11:35

just wanting to move this thread UP! :D

Posted Image

8-9-1935 XIV° Gran Premio d'Italia
The refuelling of Attilio Marinoni's Alpha Romeo Tipo B P3 3.2

BTW, how many P3s was produced by Enzo & Luigi Bazzi ? Six... or?

#23 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 27 May 2001 - 06:15

The number of P3s produced by Ferrari, Flicker, was nil...
The Alfa factory built six cars in 1932 and a further nine (or possibly ten) in 1934/35. Five of the first series were passed on to Scuderia Ferrari late in 1933, and an unknown number (six?) of the second series at later dates



#24 Hans Etzrodt

Hans Etzrodt
  • Member

  • 3,173 posts
  • Joined: July 00

Posted 04 November 2001 - 10:57

Felix,
Here a snippet you might like for you collection when I came across Marinoni’s obituary in the AUTOMOBIL-REVUE No. 26, pg. 3 of June 25, 1940. There is contradiction with the date of the crash!

Attillio Marinoni †
In the early morning hours of last Wednesday [June 19], Attilio Marinoni from the racing department of the Milan automobile factory had an accident on the Autostrada Milano-Varese at a test drive with a 1,5-liter Alfa Romeo racing car. The accident happened at kilometer 22 at the height of a road overpass, when Marinoni passed a vehicle and suddenly faced a Camion, which he could not avoid due to his own high speed. The collision was unavoidable, the pilot was killed instantly and the little Alfa heavily damaged to then go up in flames.

With Marinoni, who was in his forty-ninth year, the international sporting community loses one of their best known figures. He was one of the oldest and most capable technical co-workers of the Alfa Romeo-Works. Very early he was already active in their workshops and soon changed over to the racing department where he, on the side of Giuseppe Campari, represented the colors of Milano during a few years at international races with alternating success. Both his last races he contested in the year 1938, where he retired prematurely in the Grand Prix of Milan for 1.5-liter-cars while he secured second place in the Grand Prix of Brazil.

His racing driver characteristics, his fine sense for the mechanic of the modern bolides predestined him directly for the trusted position of a test driver. He was the intermediary and advisor of pilots and mechanics, whom he accompanied from race to race in order to be everywhere available for them with his rich experience.