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The Besana brothers and the 1948 'Temporada'


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#1 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 November 2002 - 21:56

Doing some rummaging at the moment on the Besana brothers' twin-sister Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa cars of 1948. According to oft-published legend Gabriele and Soave Besana shipped their cars - or at least one car, Gabriele's first-off chassis '002-C' - to the Argentine for that year's Temporada. As yet I have only found reference to one car racing in South America in the early months of that year, and that was in Brazil, and the mention is here in the Temporada thread, with Soave's 004 being cited. Has anyone seen proof that the car(s) appeared in Argentina????

DCN

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#2 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 13 November 2002 - 23:03

Count Gabriele Besana (I) - Ferrari 166 SC 002C (2.0) - This car appears with the legend "DNA" at all the 4 races of the 1948 Temporada in Argentina, but I could not find any other reference to that driver / car. I do not know the exact meaning of DNA though.

Arturo :)

#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 13 November 2002 - 23:13

DNA = Did Not Appear/Arrive

In other words an entry was apparently made and accepted, but the car, or driver, or both did not turn up at the race.

#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 12:22

How's your Spanish, Doug?

http://www.automovil...ia/historia.htm

Includes lots of good pictures of the Temporadas, track maps etc. Unfortunately no stats though.

No mention of Besana either :( , but there is an email link to the author of the articles.

#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 12:39

I had a feeling I had seen pix in the past of Gaby Besana with his new Ferrari - the first to be sold to a customer by the infant company - in BA, and now Alessandro Silva has just sent me a fine photograph of him in the new Ferrari 166 apparently in Palermo Park, Buenos Aires, during the 1948 Temporada series - with Varzi's big Alfa just visible in the background. OK, so Besana arrived there with the car - how come the race results previously published here in TNF omit him....???? There seems to be hard written evidence that a Besana Ferrari ran at Interlagos in March that year - driver listed as brother Soave and chassis serial (perhaps by presumption) listed as his sister car '004-C' rather than Gaby's '002-C'...but is that right??? Any corroborative evidence?????

Posted Image

And thanks Alessandro...

DCN

#6 Felix Muelas

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 13:12

Is this the picture?
Posted Image

Because it might be a good idea to ask the authors of the site who publishes it where did they get it from...and we might get some answers!
I'll do that.

fm

#7 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 14:28

Thanks Felix. There seems to be more to this business than meets the eye. I have pored through the contemporary coverage in 'Auto Italiana' and there appears to be absolutely NO mention of Besana, nor of his first Ferrari to sell to a private customer, at all.

Which is...odd...

The magazine's race reports and the subsequent two-part review of 'the Italian tour to Argentina' were all written by Corrado Fillipini, who was engaged - I believe - by Peron's ACA to act as the go-between agent involved in securing entries, shipping, travel etc from the Italian racing fraternity. Since he apparently studiously avoids any mention of Besana - and of Ferrari - and since 'Auto Italiana's Ferrari coverage through much of the following European season of 1948 seems almost pointedly to avoid mention of the Besanas - other than in bald race results - I am beginning to wonder if there was some personal animosity between Fillipini - who was made Editorial Director of 'Auto Italiana' upon his return from Argentina - and the brothers...

The reason this has all resurfaced right now - incidentally - is that Bonhams/Brooks Europe have the ex-Gabriele Besana 166 for sale in the forthcoming December Gstaad auction, and I'm currently trying simply to get its early history straight.

DCN

#8 karlcars

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 17:14

By coincidence this is a car I know quite well. I was very close to Stan Nowak's restoration of the Ferrari and once drove it at Bridgehampton. Stan it was who winkled out much of the early history and the Besana relationships. It was once Motto-bodied as I recall -- or was that the sister car?

#9 alessandro silva

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 18:34

Originally posted by Doug Nye
I have pored through the contemporary coverage in 'Auto Italiana' and there appears to be absolutely NO mention of Besana, nor of his first Ferrari to sell to a private customer, at all.

Which is...odd...

For some reason the Besana bros. were forgotten in Italy already in the early 50s. I have no explanation to offer.


Originally posted by Doug Nye
The magazine's race reports and the subsequent two-part review of 'the Italian tour to Argentina' were all written by Corrado Fillipini, who was engaged - I believe - by Peron's ACA to act as the go-between agent involved in securing entries, shipping, travel etc from the Italian racing fraternity.

The main force in the organization of the international races was the president of the A.C.A. sporting commission, Francisco *Pancho* Borgonovo. In a interview in 1988 he said: *In order to get the whole history right, I have to mention a name. It is fundamental. It is the one of Corrado Filippini. It is to Filippini’s merit if great drivers came to Argentina [….] European countries had one Grande Epreuve each […] whereas the Argentine, thanks to people like him, hosted for a couple of months each year the best in Europe and saw four consecutive Grands Prix”. Some exaggeration notwithstanding it is true that it was Filippini who organised the Italian expeditions, the more numerous among European drivers.
While he was the head of the Italian drivers’ association before the war, somebody commented that it was more the drivers’ Union than their association as Filippini was continuously acting on their behalf. For today’s standards Filippini could be called a manager: before the war he had helped Italian drivers racing abroad in signing collective contracts for single races, minimized the expenses by organizing the trips, pooled together resources and all that. He kept on after the war even if he had been ousted from the association. He had organized the trip to Indianapolis in 1946 and helped the Italian teams and drivers with the French organizers during that European season. In early 1947 he was heavily criticized for the decision of taking Italian drivers to Argentina, then an unknown entity in international racing, but Varzi and Villoresi swiftly took the opportunity. Filippini had been able to secure 1000 US [up to 2500 by 1949] dollars per driver for each race of starting money and “Raph” too was probably part of the deal, by coming with two cars for one of which Varzi had priority in the choice. Prizes were going to be pooled together in a fund administered by Filippini, who, after deducting expenses, would divide the substantial remainder between the drivers.

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Since he apparently studiously avoids any mention of Besana - and of Ferrari - and since 'Auto Italiana's Ferrari coverage through much of the following European season of 1948 seems almost pointedly to avoid mention of the Besanas - other than in bald race results - I am beginning to wonder if there was some personal animosity between Fillipini - who was made Editorial Director of 'Auto Italiana' upon his return from Argentina - and the brothers...

We can surmise that Besana was not part of the package. Besides, Filippini was much better as animator than as reporter.
No animosity certainly from the part of Ferrari. As I said Filippini had been the head of a previous – pre-war - drivers association until 1946, but he had to leave it after the war for reasons which are unclear. Enzo Ferrari asserts that in post-war years the association did not have the good fortune of finding another man as objective and enthusiastic and able to gather consensus from everybody as Filippini (his words).
Auto Italiana is indeed an indifferent source fo early Ferrari days. Two very hard to find sources are better: Italian magazines Interauto and L'Auto sport. Interauto was the answer to Auto Italiana by Giovanni Canestrini, the Gazzetta dello Sport motorsports editor, always in polemic with them. It lived a difficult life until the early 50s. I have never seen the other magazine, I am just aware of it from quotations.

BTW Felix, I got the picture of Besana in Buenos Aires together with other Argentinean material quite recently. I'd love to know from where it comes from.

#10 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 19:39

Originally posted by Felix Muelas
Is this the picture?
Posted Image

Because it might be a good idea to ask the authors of the site who publishes it where did they get it from...and we might get some answers!
I'll do that.

fm


They said at that site, just below the picture, that he was the first driver to drive a Ferrari in Argentina, but that he did not took part in the GP.
[SpanishModeON] Gabriele Besana fue el primero en pilotar un Ferrari en suelo Argentino aunque no llego a participar del Grand Prix[SpanishModeOFF]

Arturo

#11 Jimmy Piget

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 20:28

Originally posted by alessandro silva

For some reason the Besana bros. were forgotten in Italy already in the early 50s. I have no explanation to offer.


Circa 10 years ago, I had a small exchange of letters with another (a third one !) Principe Besana, about brothers Gabriele and Soave.
My correspondant, unfortunately, was not related to them but informed that what he knowed was that both brothers had left Italy in the early '1950s.
If I can find that letter one day (it's somewhere home), perhaps I could mention which country they went to (if it was mentioned).

#12 Jimmy Piget

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 20:31

Originally posted by Jimmy Piget


what he knowed


Oooops ! Sorry, chaps, for this gibberish !

Should be read : "what he knew".

#13 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 22:13

This is all fascinating stuff - sorry for the mispelling of 'Filippini', brain-fade - yes Karl, it was '002-C' which for much of its life did indeed carry a wheel-enclosing body fashioned by Rocco Motta (it is understood).

It would appear that there are certainly further depths to be plumbed in the story of Ferrari's first customers - led by the Besana brothers... I spoke at length with fellow early Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa owner/driver Prince Igor Troubetskoy some years ago...has anyone had, or seen reported, first-person contact with either Gabriele or Soave Besana, or their 1948 Gruppo-Inter Ferrari team-mate Bruno Sterzi? 'Chico' Landi won the 1948 Bari GP reputedly in one of the Besana's twin Ferrari 166s...is there first-hand recollection recorded from him???

DCN

#14 Michael Müller

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Posted 14 November 2002 - 23:44

I have this picture also in my archive, but can't remember it's source, as it dates back to the time where unfortunately I found sources not that necessary (mistake, I know!). It was titled as "Buenos Aires", but unclear is whether it was taken on Jan 18 (II. Gran Premio del General Juan Perón y de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires) or Feb 14 (Premio Dalmiro Varela Castex), because it was common to keep the same race numbers for all Temporada races, at least those in Argentina.

Karl mentions good old Stanley Nowak, who on one side did an incredible work to safe old competition Ferraris already at a time where most people considered them as scrap, but on the other side created considerable confusion by making history to fit his cars. Stan
first found 004C and sold it with a restoration to Carl Bross, he charged an extra fee of $500 for "the oldest Ferrari in existence". Later he found 002C, with the Motta body, he also sold this car to Bross and charged a fee of $1000 "for the oldest Ferrari!" Stan then had to justify its racing history and make it fit into his already established 004C history (Nowak is the source of the story that 01C became 002C). Bross died and Anthony Bamford bought his collection, he had the remains of 010I already, and rebuilt it by using also parts from 002C. Nowak then bought the remains of 002C back from Bamford, and in the end Stan did build a Spyder Corsa that had mostly very old Ferrari parts (except for the body), but not all from 002C or from a Spyder Corsa in general.

Although the Nowak story that 002C is ex-01C in some circles has survived till today, this is disproved since years, even Colombo in his memoirs says 002C was a completely new car. The early history I believe is well known, first appearance as tipo 159 at Modena in Sept 1947 with Cortese

http:www.axos.nl/retrorace/ferrari/Ferrari159SC-002C-Cortese-Modena-1947-1.jpg

and 2 weeks later Raymond Sommer's win at Torino

http:www.axos.nl/retrorace/ferrari/Ferrari159SC-002C-Sommer-Torino-1947-1.jpg

Late in 1947 Ferrari sold 2 cars to the Besana brothers, who had been heirs of a Milano candy fortune, and as Gabriele needed a prompt delivery for shipment to Buenos Aires they took 002C on the spot. Unclear for me is the engine, although all sources say "2 litres" or tipo 166 I believe it was still a 1.9 litre 159 then. Colombo returned to Maranello in early January 1948 only, and his first job was to reconstruct the V12 from 1.9 to 2.0 litres. So obviously 002C was upgraded from 159 to 166 only after its return from South America.

David Seielstad some time ago confirmed to me that 002C in fact went to South America in late 1947 (he claims even having the name of the ship and shipping date). Also Colombo talks about "the meteoric but ill-fated appearance of Count Besana" in Argentina. Most sources only state "Count Besana", but the guy on the picture in my opinion is Gabriele.

The second Besana car was 004C, which was a complete new car and equipped with the 166 engine from the beginning. It was delivered to Soave Besana on March 17, who entered it already for the Targa Florio resp. Giro di Sicilia on April 3-4. There are reports that he took 004C to Sicily, but strange enough he did not race his own car but took over the job as Bruno Sterzi's codriver in # 010I. Doug probably knows more details, as far I know I interviewed Prince Troubetskoy long time ago also about the 1948 Targa. Considering the delivery date of 004C (factory records) it is impossible that it made the trip to South America.

The last reported appearance of 002C in South America was at Interlagos at April 12, so it is unlikely that the car was back in Italy already for the Mille Miglia on May 1, and we can take as proven that the Besana entry was in fact 004C. Gabriele by the way went home by plane, so he could be co-driver for Soave.

http:www.axos.nl/retrorace/ferrari/Ferrari166SC-004C-BesanaBrothers-MM-1948-1.jpg

For Bari on May 30 002C was not only back in Italy, but had received some minor modifications like a new grille with crankhole, mirror, additional bonnet straps, and for sure also the 166 engine. Details can be viewed clearly on this picture taken at Mantova on June 13

http:www.axos.nl/retrorace/ferrari/Ferrari166SC-002C-GBesana-Mantova-1948-1.jpg

and Pescara August 15

http:www.axos.nl/retrorace/ferrari/Ferrari166SC-002C-GBesana-Pescara-1948-1.jpg

Firenze on Sept 26 I believe was the last F2 race of 002C

http:www.axos.nl/retrorace/ferrari/Ferrari166SC-002C-GBesana-Firenze-1948-1.jpg

004C at the end of 1948 was sold to Franco Mosters, and 002C during the winter received at Maranello the new "egg crate" grille which was now common for all Ferraris. It was entered by Gabriele Besana together with Franco Cortese for the 1949 Mille Miglia.

http:www.axos.nl/retrorace/ferrari/Ferrari166SC-002C-Besana+Cortese-MM-1949-2.jpg

After that I have lost the competition history of 002C, it seems that the Besana brothers finally accepted that racing was not their thing. In 1950 it was rebodied by Motta as roadster, whether for one of the Besanas or a possiblenew owner I don't know.

Mistakes possible, most of it I typed without searching my files due to lack of time. However, a Spyder Corsa topic in TNF I cannot miss …

#15 dretceterini

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 00:53

It's Rocco Motto...not Motta...no connection to the Italian candy company. The name of the company was Ca Mo (Carr.Rocco Motto di Torino). He bodied something like 4 Ferraris, and was also the guy that did the Siata 208 spiders (in spite of the fact many of them are badged Bertone or Vignale).

There was much on 002 in one of the Ferrari US magazines about 10 years ago, and I expressed my opinon in a reader's letter on the subject. I can't find a copy of the letter, and I don't remember the exact date.

There has been a lot of "discussion" over the years on the first few Ferraris, usually with the view of the current owner of the car beiong put forward as "fact"...mainly because they are trying to sell the car..

I am fairly aware of the "politics" of the Italian car industry and realted publication during the immediate post-war period...and I would view almost everything written with a degree of suspiction...even what Lurani wrote...and he was a distant realtive on my mother's side...

#16 Doug Nye

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 11:08

Stu - 'Motta' was merely my finger trouble ....

Michael - I absolutely concur in your view of the late Stan Nowak - irrespective of the tyranny of published/recorded chassis serial numbers we should all appreciate that the realities of racing and commercial survival make funny things happen, and - like you - I have no problem with the late 1947 Ferrari 159 having been recycled to become Gaby Besana's first customer car '002C' - just as I have no problem with the late Paul Jackman's ex-Dudley Folland car having been Nuvolari's famous Mille Miglia mount which went through that celebrated process of progressive disassembly through that race...

I am also pretty confident - though only on a level of about 5.1 out of 10, to be honest - that the first prototype 1947 chassis - or at least one of the 'three' - was later recycled as the basis of another car, which was nothing to do with these '1948 series' open-wheel-bodied 166s.

Besana's 'Argentine' car is an interesting conundrum, however.

Did Besana start any of the Argentine races, or none at all?

If not why not? If there was a mechanical problem which prevented him participating there, how come the car recovered sufficiently to give him his one recorded start, at Interlagos, in Brazil?

What was the nature of the problem either in Argentina or in Brazil, where he apparently failed to finish the race?

Were the Argentine problems indeed more political than technical????

Is the moon made of green cheese???? Is the Euro truly a sub-species of kangaroo????

These are weighty questions...

DCN

#17 Michael Müller

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 15:11

I don't believe that 002C was recycled, pictures prove that the car has been sold to Besana "as is", and Besana was well aware that this was an "used" car, because otherwise delivery on the spot was not possible. I also believe that the car was stamped 002C from the beginning, 03C was invented by Nowak in order to make his histories fit together. Parallel to 002C - which in fact was the first Spyder Corsa - Ferrari started building the 2 road cars 001S and 003S, so here obviously was the birth of the even and odd number separation (for those not so familiar, the first 2 cars before 002C had been numbered 01C and 02C). Some months later the designation of the SC had been changed from C (Corsa) to I (Internazionale), strange enough splitting the 2 sister cars 004C and 006I.

And the first prototype (01C) to be recycled into another car - there are some interesting stories that 01C became 010I, which seems to be reasonable considering the somewhat different front shape of 010I and the disappearance of 01C in winter 1947/48. Using Doug's scale I would put myself between 6 and 7. However, the other story of 02C becoming 020I I would rate only at 0.5 max. But in order to avoid the standard lawyer mail no discussion in public about this!

The Besanas had been "gentlemen drivers", but contrary to others like Count Bruno Sterzi and Prince Igor Troubetskoy their racing capabilities had been much below average. The 2 Ferraris had been simply toys for some rich but bored guys whose only profession was to be sons. I believe that this was the reason that the Besanas had been put aside somewhat by the more professional drivers and also by the press. They are important for the early Ferrari history, but not for racing history in general. They soon lost interest in racing, after a busy 1948 season only the MM 1949 plus 1 or 2 minor sports car races or hill climbs (I have to check if of interest) had been entered.
And the Temporada? I really don't know! The picture confirms that Gabriele at least was present at scrutineering or training. Some remarks to Tony Kaye's Temporada list, as far I remember this list was topic at TNF 2 years ago, where everybody was invited to add as much as possible details to complete the files, the s/n 002C for Besana e.g. was one of my "donations". No complete entry or result lists had been available, but all data was puzzled together from numerous sources. Whether Besana did not start, did not qualify, dropped out for technical reasons, or finished 3 laps behind - nobody cared and nobody found worth to mention him or his car. He was a nobody compared to Varzi, Villoresi, and Wimille, and his funny little vehicle at that time was nothing more than an underpowered sports car built from scratch somewhere in far away Italy. Sorry if I'm hitting some Ferraristi in the middle of their heart, but that was the reality. The 159 engine had reportedly 120 HP, but the reality was more in the range of 105 or so. Compared to the supercharged 3.0 and 1.5 litre competition really a joke, especially with a low capability driver at the wheel. So why should a journalist find it worth to report even a single word about Besana and his 159/166?

The topic of Chico Landi and Bari was discussed here in TNF earlier
http://www.atlasf1.c...&threadid=23710
Don't know whether it is included in this thread, but I remember that Landi arrived at Bari with his Maserati 4CL believing this to be a real "Grand Prix", only to find out that it's for Formula 2. For reasons unknown to me Gabriele offered him his car for the race.

Posted Image

And if I may add some personal words to # 002C - Doug may forgive me! - too perfect, too glossy, over-restored! Stan's original work was fine, but making a show car out of this old racer in my eyes was a sacrilege.

#18 Doug Nye

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 17:51

Michael - I pretty much agree with every word you write. But since '002-C' had lost its original body so long before, circa 1951 - and the new look-alike(ish) body was made in America in a 'Pebble Beach concours'-type climate of opinion, it can be no surprise it emerged looking like a freshly-unwrapped boiled sweet...or what Colin Chapman used to describe as "a tart's boudoir".

And despite Gaby Besana's self-evident lack of stature within the racing world it IS odd that no mention is made of him anywhere in the relevant Temporada results, regardless of anywhere in the report texts. His presence in Argentina simply seems to have been air-brushed out - even in period. At least in 'Auto Italiana' - as far as I can see. And while I have a VERY realistic view of Ferrari shortcomings - pre-war, post-war and today - I don't accept at all your contention that the presence of one of the then-new V12s in Argentina (albeit at minor level) did not merit some mention, particularly after the new design's pretty successful debut season in Italy. Ignoring it just doesn't fit in with enthusiast instincts, never mind journalistic instincts...

Incidentally a California-based dealer was trying to sell the ex-Prince Igor/Paul Jackman '010I' at one point and removed the raised lead/tin/aluminium 'slug' on which that serial was stamped, allegedly to find '0010I' stamped into the metal of the frame underneath. The second '0' had part of the left-side of this stamping missing. When you looked at the stamping then from the other side - i.e. the other way up - what had looked like '0010I' viewed the initial way, looked like 'I01C0' - so immediate cardiac arrest set in with whoops and shouts of 'this car began life as '01C'.

I was involved with Gianni Rogliatti in early suspicions that '020I' - the prototype Le Mans Berlinetta by Touring - might have used a set-aside early chassis frame bought from the works (for a song) by Franco Cornacchia I seem to recall - but we never found any such conveniently convertible numbering on that car's chassis frame...

DCN

#19 alessandro silva

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 18:18

I have contemporary reports in Argentinean daily newspapers and magazines for the 1948 Temporada. There is no mention of Besana for the first three races (Palermo BA, Mar del Plata, Rosario). The fourth race was in Palermo on Febr. 14th. In the report of the race in the newspaper El Mundo of Febr. 15th the following line can be found:
“Solamente no se hizo presente el aficionado italiano Gabriel Bessana [sic]” ” which means, I believe, “Only non show was Italian enthusiast Gabriel Bessana”. It is interesting that no mention is made of the make of the car, and that Besana is called just an enthusiast and not a hero as are all the other drivers in these reports!!
So one Besana (and there is no problem in saying that it was Gabriele at this point) was a DNS or a DNA.
We can surmise then that the picture was taken for practice at the second Palermo race and that Besana was a DNS.

Soave Besana was certainly a second string amateur driver, but not as incompetent as Michael says. In 1938 he had been for instance a winner in class at the Stelvio hill-climb in a Lancia Aprilia Spl, and a winner overall at the Bolzano-Mendola in a production Lancia Aprilia (in truth it was a Club race that year). The best showing in the Ferrari during 1948 was in my opinion at the very difficult Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti, where he finished third overall five minutes behind the winner Bracco and one minute behind the second, Gigi Villoresi, both in Maseratis.

If Doug has Auto Italiana at hand he could check in the report of this race what was said about Besana and the Ferrari. The race was held on July 11th 1948.

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#20 Doug Nye

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Posted 15 November 2002 - 22:44

Thanks Alessandro yet again - the 'Auto Italiana' report on the 1948 Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti was written by 'Nibbio' - Giovanni 'Johnny' Lurani - who seems to have been pretty impressed with Besana's performance writing (forgive my textbridge plagiariser programme) that Soave had put in "the most beautiful drive of all those made in the 11 Coppa d'Oro" - and that it took not only a good car but also a good driver to finish so little behind not only a Bracco but also a Villoresi - have I got that right?:

"Nella fino a 2000 cc si aifrontavano due poderosi schierarnenti, la Maserati poteva contare sugli assi Villoresi e Bracco oltre che su faccioni mentre Ia Ferrari contava sul Biondetti, i fratelli Besana, Sterzi e Bianchetti che correva con Righetti. Via questa lotta doveva evidentemente scaturire il vincitore assoluto. Giovanni Bracco arrivato oggi all’apogeo della sua form a, ha guidato con irruenza e soprattutto con stile preciso ad ha colto la piu grande vittoria della sua carriera prendendosi il lusso di superare un campione come Gigi Villoresi il quale per altro non si e impegnato molto nella prima meta di gara fidando su errati riferimenti ed e riuscito a dirninuire Ia distanza solamente verso la fine.

"Villoresi e arrivato con una gomma posteriore a terra, comunque que il distacco da Bracco e netto ed il biellese ha vinto meritatamente e bene, tenendo sempre il comando se pure a meta gara aveva un margine non troppo largo sui fratelli Besana che hanno compiuto quella che noi non esitiamo a giudicare dicare la piu bella corsa di tutte quelle effettuate nella II Coppa delle Dolomiti.

"Soave Besana ha portato Ia 12 cil. Ferrari ad una affermazione quanto mai lusinghiera e sebbene le Maserati serati vincitrici abbiano dimostrato delle qualita di tenuta, stabilita. frenata e potenza senza dubbio grandissime, tanto da permettere ail loro piloti di piazzarsi ai primi ‘due posti assoluti sfruttandole senza risparmio, pure la 2 litri dei Besana ha dimostrato di essere una macchina di grandissime possibilita, Infatti solo una grande vettura e un grande pilota possono prendersi il lusso di finire a ridosso di un Gigi Villoresi e di un Bracco. dopo essersi anche inseriti per qualche tempo addirittura fra la coppia trionfatrice, Biondetti e stato tagliato fuori dalla lotta fino dall’inizio per noie insignificanti.

"Sterzi ha lamentato la rottura del serbatoio dell’olio, Bianchetti si e lasciato travolgere dal ritmo di gara ed e uscito di strada senza conseguente. Roberto Vallone che correva con Trovanelli sulla interessante Fiat-Stanguellini maggiorata giorata a 1500 cc.. dopo fortunose modifiche di distribuzione di peso effettuate alla vigillia. ha compiuto una bella gara ragolare e velocissima piazzandosi in ottima posizione nonostante noie di candele.

"Nella classe massima ill favorito Roll colla famosa berlinetta aerodinamica speciale dell’Alfa Romeo che qui riappariva per la prima volta dopo I’incidante della Mille Miglia. ha vinto a forte andatura. La sua macchina non era evidentemente Ia piu adatta aI percorso della Dolomiti ad il torinese ha comunque compiuto una bellissirna corsa che lo ha portato al (5th) posto assoluto...." etc etc etc...

Mention of Bianchetti is interesting - I can't find my Coppa d'Oro book right now, was this in Ferrari's 1940 815 that he owned?????

DCN

#21 dretceterini

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Posted 16 November 2002 - 04:42

Doug:

I know YOU knew that it was Rocco Motto and not Motta, but I have run into many people who DO think it's Motta and he was realted to the candy makers..that's why I mentioned it...

As to the whole 010I, 0010I (which when the lead was removed looked like I01C0 when read upside down and backwards)...I wrote a letter on this (which I mentioned earlier in this thread) to one of the US Ferrari magazines SPECULATING that this "evidence" tended to prove the car was actually 01C.....the car had been so restored/cobbled up/modifed/etc (make your choice) that I don't think there is any way to establish this as FACT...

#22 Michael Müller

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Posted 16 November 2002 - 12:07

Please correct me Doug, but as far I know the first restoration of # 002C incl. the replica bodywork has been done by Stan Nowak in 1976, long before the "Ferrari hype", to a standard which then was reasonable compared to the actual value of the car. The later condition of the car, especially when owned by Sydorick, gave me the impression that a second - concours style - restoration had taken place, but I'm lacking details. I have to admit that my interest in these cars is concentrated on their original racing history, and not on their commercial history.

http://axos.nl/retro...002C-1997-1.jpg

Nothing to say against a first-class restoration, but aluminium should remain bare aluminium, neither polished nor chromed, and also lacquered parts should be repainted but not polished. However, this is off-topic.

About # 010I, I know the story in FORZA and other media of course, and my first idea was "another attempt to increase value". However, what me always made thinking is the fact that # 010I was delivered to Grupo Inter already in March 1948 (together with 006I and the Besana 004C), whereas # 008I made its first appearance only at Bari 2 months later (together with 012I and 014I). Also the completely different radiator grille shape of 010I disturbed me. For the MM 1948 Ferrari was keen to put everything on the road with 4 wheels, he even "borrowed" Troubetskoy's # 010I for Nuvolari, but where was # 01C?? That does not mean that I fully believe that 010I is 01C, but at least I would not exclude it.

The story of 020I came up at the time when # 018I still existed - although only in some obscure reports. So next "free" number consequently was # 020I, which was unlikely after it was proven that 018I never existed. Only some components had been manufactured and stamped already with 018I and 020I, but the cars never had been built.

May be my comments about the Besanas and the Ferrari had come over somewhat harsh, which was not my intention. We are tending to glorify the very early Ferrari history as the "birth of a legend", which principally is correct, but in my opinion the 1947 successes are very often overvalued. All races had been national Italian sports car events, with mostly limited competition. At Caracalla Cortese had serious problems to beat Righetti in his 1100 Fiat-Stanguellini, and also at the other races most of the competition was 1100 cc Fiats. At race car events their competion was the same small Fiat engine in the Cisitalias. The real first success against serious competition was in fact Valentino Parc, but even this was "only" a sports car race.
For sure latest the Torino success made the racing world notice this new cars from Maranello, but such fame mainly should have been restricted to Italy, and to sports cars. In the world of Grand Prix racing, and especially that of Formula Libre, there was yet no place for the prancing horse from Maranello - which would change very soon of course as we know.

And about the Besanas, both brothers may have been good drivers, but in a field of world class professionals like Varzi and Wimille they must be rated at the lower end of the scale. Winning club races and local hill climbs is one thing, but GP racing another. I doubt that both brothers had been good enough for being potential candidates for one of the works teams or professional independent scuderias.
Alessandro's quoting of "Besana is called just an enthusiast and not a hero as are all the other drivers in these reports" is really interesting, in this context it reads like "the will is there, but ….!"

Bad quality, but a rarity, both brothers in # 002C at the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti 1948

Posted Image

And for Bianchetti at the Dolomite 1948 I have a "166 S Coupé" entered by Grupo Inter. Inter owned the 166 S roadster (# 001S), the TF winning car, but "Coupé" would tend to the Berlinetta # 003S, the MM winning car of Biondetti/Navone. By the way, can anybody tell me who was the entrant of that car in the Mille Miglia? Ferrari claims it as works victory, but the car was registred in Milano (11176MI). Sterzi's company was Milano based, so was this also a Scuderia Inter car? If so, the Dolomite data (Bianchetti - Inter - 003S) could be correct.

#23 O Volante

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Posted 16 November 2002 - 12:22

Due to other commitments I was not able to look into this matter a little earlier. However, I can come up with two so far unmentioned sources, who are basically confirming the emerging picture.

The Besana Ferrari occupies a special place in Argentina's racing history: it was the first Ferrari ever to come to the country. Therefore its story is told at some length in Jorge A. Augé Bacqué's "Ferrari y Argentina. Un Amor Pasional" (A&F, Buenos Aires 1995), on page 14. According to him, the Besana car was the 125S which was raced for the first time at Piacenza in May 1947. When it came to Argentina, the intention was to race it in the 1948 International races - despite the fact that the car had two-seater bodywork, and was known to have been used with cyclewings as a sports-car in Europe in 1947.

However, these features seem not to have been the reason that the car finally only appeared once at a racing circuit in Argentina: In "El Grafico", no. 1494, from 27 February 1948, Augé Bacqué reports, journalist Ricardo Lorenzo (alias "Borocotó") explained this kind of cars (sportscar - cyclewings = racing car) appearing in post-war Europe to the Argentine readers. His text was accompanied by photos of the Besana Ferrari, showing it at the Palermo circuit, apparently taken during a practice session (These pictures are reproduced in the book, p. 15: one shows the car with - what is to me - a standard 166 1 + 1/2 seater bodywork, race no. 22; the other has Besana looking into the engine compartment - sorry, no scanner!). According to Augé Bacqué, neither the engine nor the roadholding of the car were well during this practice session, and finally the engine gave up completely, leaving Besana without a race start.

Augé Bacqué claims that the note by "Borocotó" and the pictures are the only traces left by the car in Argentina - neither the date when it appeared at the Palermo track, nor a reason why it did not show up at the other International races are given. One interpretation may be, I would think, that the car suffered the serious engine trouble in practice for the first race at Palermo, the damage being too difficult to repair in time for the other races. In the light of the information provided by Alessandro above, however, one is tempted to think that the car suffered the troubles in practice for the second Palermo race, taking place four weeks after the first one: in that perspective the non-appearance of the car in the other three earlier race may simply be the result of a late arrival in the country ...

In any case, the DNS at Palermo was not the end of Besana's South American tour, as a look into my faithful "O Volante" race reports makes clear: they do not have him in their report on the 3° GP de Sao Paulo at Interlagos on March 21, 1948, but "O Volante" gives Gabriele Besana on 10th place of the 14 car grid for, and an early retirement in the 2° Circuito Internacional de Interlagos, on 11 April 1948. The trouble is there is no mention of what car he used - may be his now repaired Ferrari, or anything else possibly on loan from the Brazilians. Again Besana is not appearing in "O Volante"'s report on the 9° GP do Rio de Janeiro, at Gávea on April 25, 1948; there is also no mention of him in Paulo Scali's treatment of that race in his book "Circuito da Gávea" (Tempo & Memória, Sao Paulo 2001), pp. 86-89.

#24 Michael Müller

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Posted 16 November 2002 - 15:07

Highly interesting news! I'm thinking what will be cheaper - buying the book or sponsoring a scanner :lol: ?
The info that Besana's car was based on the first Ferrari ever as appeared at Piacenza I believe is still based on Stanley Nowak's $ 500 "oldest Ferrari" premium.

#25 Michael Müller

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Posted 16 November 2002 - 15:42

One remark to the "lost body" of # 002C. Acc. to my files Clemente Biondetti raced the Besana # 002C sporadically in 1949, e.g. at Senigallia on August 21. In 1950 he then built his (in)famous Jaguar-Ferrari, which some sources report to have been a Spyder Corsa with XK120 engine. This info obviously is not correct, as the whereabout of all SC's for 1950 is known, it seems that the car was a mix out of Jaguar, Maserati, and "Biondetti" parts plus a Spyder Corsa body.

Posted Image

Comparing the Biondetti Special above with the Besana # 002C in 1949 version

Posted Image

both look quite similar. Add to this the fact that # 002C was rebodied in 1950, and the obvious good relation between the Besanas and Biondetti, it could quite well possible that the obsolete 002C bodywork found a new home here. I'm pregnant with this theory since long, but I'm unable to prove it.

#26 O Volante

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Posted 16 November 2002 - 16:09

Well, Michael, given your interest in Ferraris, buying the book is surely the better option! :)
I got my copy from www.auto-mobilia.com.ar - Hector did a perfect job!

#27 Doug Nye

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Posted 19 November 2002 - 22:56

Originally posted by Michael Müller
Please correct me Doug, but as far I know the first restoration of # 002C incl. the replica bodywork has been done by Stan Nowak in 1976, long before the "Ferrari hype", to a standard which then was reasonable compared to the actual value of the car. The later condition of the car, especially when owned by Sydorick, gave me the impression that a second - concours style - restoration had taken place, but I'm lacking details.


Thank you everyone for contributions to this thread, which seems to have expanded into the total history of the car. There is evidence that its early - post-Besana - record is as follows:

In 1949, after Gabriele Besana had shared this car with the experienced Franco Cortese – under race number ‘630’ – in the Mille Miglia, he sought a buyer for the it. In 1950 it appears that ‘002-C’ was campaigned by Luigi de Filippis – brother of lady racer Maria Theresa. The car was sold during that year to Renato Nocentini, the Florence Ferrari dealer, whose Garage Rotunda business had its - presumably rather tired - open-wheeled slipper bodywork replaced by a new wheel-enveloping body shell fashioned by Rocco Motto.

What became of the discarded Spider Corsa or Siluro body is yet to be proven, but your Biondetti notion is VERY interesting, Michael.

Nocentini evntually found a buyer in visiting American Dr Samuel Scher of New York, who test-drove the car and was evidently very impressed by it. He then imported it into the USA, where it was registered as a 1953 model. Soon after, however, he decided to sell it - via Irwin Goldschmidt of Long Island, NY, as broker. Goldschmidt found a customer in Frank Adams, who contracted Bill Wonder to rebuild the 2-litre V12 engine, but Mr Adams investigated the car more fully and complained to Goldschmidt that it was not “a current 1953 model”. After threat of litigation the story goes that Mr Goldschmidt settled out of court.

Ferrari '002-C' - still Motto-bodied - then passed to Don Vitale of Waterbury, Connecticut, before he eventually sold it on to Richard O’Hare of Westfield, Massachusetts, reportedly for $3,500.

Mr O’Hare demonstrated it in restored condition at the Bridgehampton ‘Double-500’ race meeting (I'm not sure what year) having been invited by the Ferrari Club of America to show off this early 166 on circuit between races. It was there that O’Hare met Stan Nowak, who later bought ‘002-C’ for the price O’Hare had paid for it years before.

In 1968 Nowak showed it at the Ferrari Club of America’s Annual Meet at Greenwich, Connecticut, and in 1969 Ferrari aficionado Carl Bross agreed to purchase ‘002-C’ and to have Nowak restore it fully to its original Besana-period Tipo 166 Spider Corsa form. Del’s Auto Body of Locust Valley, New York, was cued-up to do the work, using the sister ex-Soave Besana car ‘004-C’ (loaned by its contemporary owner ) as a pattern. Before work could be completed, Carl Bross died. Further work was then suspended.

His Estate was settled around 1972, when Anthony Bamford – now Sir Anthony – of the British JCB company, purchased ‘002-C’s bare chassis, engine, mechanicals and all related components together with the rest of the Bross Ferrari collection. He subsequently also acquired another Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa – serial ‘010-I’ - from the John Willment Estate. Inspection of the two sister cars led to work being concentrated upon this latter machine, while ‘002-C’ was stored until – through Stan Nowak – new buyers were found in Bill Zunkel of New York, USA, and David Cohen of Vancouver, British Columbia.

The car must have been restored with a look-alike Spider Corsa body at that time, as it was subsequently shown at the 1983 Pebble Beach Concours where it won the Charles Chayne Special Award as "the outstanding technical design of its era". Subsequently, ‘002-C’ was further restored at SSR Co of East Setauket, Long Island. On August 26, 1994, the fully restored car was presented at the Concours Italiano at Quail Lodge, Carmel, California, and on August 28 that year it reappeared at Pebble Beach.

In 1995 it was then sold to David and Ginny Sydorick of Beverly Hills, California, who subsequently showed it in the Cavallino Classics and in 1997 it featured – most appropriately – in Ferrari’s 50th Jubilee celebrations in Rome and at Maranello and Modena, after having starred in the Mille Miglia Retro driven by Ferrari’s 1961 Formula 1 World Champion Driver, Phil Hill...

That's the way its later life panned out - but I'm still intrigued by the Besana trip to South America, and its whys, and its wherefores, and its detail....

Frustrating, isn't it?

DCN

#28 dretceterini

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Posted 20 November 2002 - 05:28

Doug (and all) :

I don't have everything you have, but what I do have concurs. As to 010I...I was wondering...do you think it's actually 01C?

Best,
Stu

#29 Michael Müller

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Posted 20 November 2002 - 14:14

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Frustrating, isn't it?

Indeed ...

#30 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 December 2002 - 19:45

Just for the record, the Gaby Besana 166 Spider Corsa was sold at the Bonhams & Brooks Europe Gstaad auction sale last week for 1,086,000.00 Swiss Francs - which I am told converts to £480,658.48 UK - or for the emergent nations that's US $764,862.96 - or $1,361,629.05 Australian. Nice thing for someone to find under the Chrimbo tree...

DCN

#31 antonvrs

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Posted 24 December 2002 - 06:26

[QUOTE]Originally posted by dretceterini
[B]It's Rocco Motto...not Motta...no connection to the Italian candy company. The name of the company was Ca Mo (Carr.Rocco Motto di Torino). He bodied something like 4 Ferraris, and was also the guy that did the Siata 208 spiders (in spite of the fact many of them are badged Bertone or Vignale).

TE]
Stu-
Having had my hands on as many SIATA 208 spiders as anybody since Ernie McAffee it's my opinion that none of them had ANY bodymaker's badge on them. I know some of the Fiat 1400 based SIATAs had bodies by Motto and I seem to remember seeing a 300BC SIATA spider with a Vignale badge.
I believe that the first reference to Vignale being responsible for the 208 spiders was in Adriano Cimarosti's book on the Carrera Panamericana.
In recent years I've seen photos of sketches by Vignale's designer of the period(whose name I can't recall at the moment) purporting to be the 208 spider. They're similar, but not close enough to convince me. I've always thought I saw the hand of Franco Scaglione, especially in the rear fender shape but whoever the designer was I'll bet it wasn't Rocco Motto.
The prototype for the 208 spiders(chassis BS502) which is actually a "tipo 400L" was, I believe, built in steel by Bertone.
The 35 or so "production" 208 spiders, were designated "tipo 200BS". They were built in 2 batches or "series" with enough differences in body construction, lighting equipment etc. that I've often thought that they might have been built in 2 different shops.

Best regards,
Anton

#32 dretceterini

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Posted 24 December 2002 - 13:38

Tony:

If anyone would know, it would be you  ;)

I'm not sure who designed the 208 (I've heard that it might have been Michelotti), but I was of the understanding that Motto actually did all the bodies except for the steel prototypes..

I agree that the design looks like Scaglione..

Thanks and Happy Holidays,

Stu

PS: didn't realize that antonvrs was you...

#33 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 01:32

It's my understanding that the Motto body from 002C still exists today and is owned by a gentleman who lives in Briar Cliff, NY. Does anyone have a picture of this body on 002C?

A couple of things about Carrozzeria Rocco Motto. Over the years I've owned two Motto bodied cars and I believe that Motto was not a designer but he was an expert builder of lightweight racing cars. It was said of Rocco Motto, that if he had been alive at the same time as Michelangelo, Michelangelo would have been a second-rate metal man!

Motto is generally credited with the bodies of all the Cisitalia D46 racers, the first Cisitalia streamlined coupe (the Box), the Cisitalia GP car, and the 204 Spider sport. He also bodied Stanguellini, Nardi, and many other italian racers. In french cars he did several Delahaye and Salmson. He only did one Siata 1400 that I know of, and I owned it for many years. My information is that this was a one-off done for Luigi Segre when he was manager of Siata, and it did have Motto badges. It is generally agreed today, that Motto did build the production Siata 208S spider under contract to Siata. These were not badged by Motto, but many of the cars he built were not badged by Motto, and that' a problem today.

I still own a Motto-Cisitalia 1100 spider corsa today and it is badged by Carrozzeria Rocco Motto. In the center of the badge is a picture of the Cisitalia GP car from straight on. Luckily I have both of the original body badges. I would love to find out more about Rocco Motto and the cars he bodied.

#34 dretceterini

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 02:35

Peter:

I thought I sent you an article on Motto from some Italain magazine about 5 years ago. Do you have it? Do you need it?

and yes, the Motto body from 002 still does exist, but I am not sure who has it. Motto bodied Ferraris were discussed in a recent thread on the Ferrari chat forum..I started the thread..


http://www.ferrarichat.com/

Stu

PS: did you get the attachment of the photo of the Gerosa/Gilco/Siata??

#35 dretceterini

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 02:39

Tony:

I have seen the drawing you refer to, and it is signed Michelotti. He may have designed the car; I don't know. I think Motto actually built most, if not all, of the bodies...but I have no prooof of this. Michelotto also had his own body shop at various times. Maybe Motto worked at some time directly for Michelotti. Again, I don't know for sure...

Stu



[QUOTE]Originally posted by antonvrs
[QUOTE]Originally posted by dretceterini
[B]It's Rocco Motto...not Motta...no connection to the Italian candy company. The name of the company was Ca Mo (Carr.Rocco Motto di Torino). He bodied something like 4 Ferraris, and was also the guy that did the Siata 208 spiders (in spite of the fact many of them are badged Bertone or Vignale).

TE]
Stu-
Having had my hands on as many SIATA 208 spiders as anybody since Ernie McAffee it's my opinion that none of them had ANY bodymaker's badge on them. I know some of the Fiat 1400 based SIATAs had bodies by Motto and I seem to remember seeing a 300BC SIATA spider with a Vignale badge.
I believe that the first reference to Vignale being responsible for the 208 spiders was in Adriano Cimarosti's book on the Carrera Panamericana.
In recent years I've seen photos of sketches by Vignale's designer of the period(whose name I can't recall at the moment) purporting to be the 208 spider. They're similar, but not close enough to convince me. I've always thought I saw the hand of Franco Scaglione, especially in the rear fender shape but whoever the designer was I'll bet it wasn't Rocco Motto.
The prototype for the 208 spiders(chassis BS502) which is actually a "tipo 400L" was, I believe, built in steel by Bertone.
The 35 or so "production" 208 spiders, were designated "tipo 200BS". They were built in 2 batches or "series" with enough differences in body construction, lighting equipment etc. that I've often thought that they might have been built in 2 different shops.

Best regards,
Anton
[/QUOTE]

#36 dretceterini

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 20:01

bump

#37 Adam F

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 00:05

Just to point out that a fairly clear rear-view photo of Besana's Ferrari, with other cars, on the grid at the 1948 Sao Paolo GP appears in the recently published book "Motor Racing - the Golden Age" by John Tennant (page 358/359).

BTW this book includes many fantastic atmospheric photos from all eras.

The 1948 Sao Paolo photo is from the Ludvigsen Library.

I'm not close to the detail of the foregoing discussion, but at least another photo of the car in South America should aid/confirm its identity.

#38 Kvadrat

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 00:34

Posted Image Posted Image
Source - "Motor Racing - the Golden Age", copyright - Ludvigsen Library

#39 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 19:24

Can someone post a photo of 002C with the Rocco Motto body?

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#40 dretceterini

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 23:00

Peter: There was a thread on Ferrari chat that showed it. The body supposedly still exists on the east coast. Just use search there and type in Motto, and it shouldn't be too hard to find the photo.

#41 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 00:01

Originally posted by Michael Müller
One remark to the "lost body" of # 002C. Acc. to my files Clemente Biondetti raced the Besana # 002C sporadically in 1949, e.g. at Senigallia on August 21. In 1950 he then built his (in)famous Jaguar-Ferrari, which some sources report to have been a Spyder Corsa with XK120 engine. This info obviously is not correct, as the whereabout of all SC's for 1950 is known, it seems that the car was a mix out of Jaguar, Maserati, and "Biondetti" parts plus a Spyder Corsa body.

Posted Image

Comparing the Biondetti Special above with the Besana # 002C in 1949 version

Posted Image

both look quite similar. Add to this the fact that # 002C was rebodied in 1950, and the obvious good relation between the Besanas and Biondetti, it could quite well possible that the obsolete 002C bodywork found a new home here. I'm pregnant with this theory since long, but I'm unable to prove it.


Carrozzeria Rocco Motto did the spider corsa (or siluro) body for Biondetti's Jaguar-Ferrari (see the "Cars bodied by Motto" post), so that sort of indicates it probably was not the "lost body" of # 002C, unless Motto was the original coachbuilder of 002C! It would be fascinating to find out that Motto bodied 002C twice!