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Edoardo Lualdi


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#1 Scuderia Pinguino

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Posted 04 January 2003 - 11:33

I have only discovered this amazingly impressive forum today and I wonder if anyone can help me with this one.

This, I'm afraid is a real brain teaser.

I am trying to find out some specific information about Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi. By way of backround, this gentleman driver raced all kinds of Italian exotica ( Ferrari 250GTO. Dino 206SP & various Abarths) in world sportscar events from 1953 until his last major race at Monza in 1967. He also owned, for a brief period, the Ferrari 212E Flat 12 2 litre hillclimb car now owned by Carlos Monteverdi and driven by David Franklin.

However, around the 11th May 1972, he totally destoyed Merzario's then current Abarth Osella SE021 (the only Hewland gearbox car) in a Italian hillclimb one week before Bell (standing in for Merzario) was due to drive it at the Salzburgring round of the European 2 litre sportscar championship.

My question is: has anyone any idea where the accident occured? circumstances of the accident? and what on earth was an, effectively retired driver, doing, driving Osella's only championship contending car in a competition one week before a round of the ESC?

This might look a bit of mundane query but it is very much a part of some chassis research that we are trying to do.

Anyone with a run of 1972 'Autosprint' might have the answer but we don't. thank you

Colin Pool

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#2 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 02:12

The Autosport report gives a vague "where" the accident happened but not "why."

With the Targa Florio the main event in the Italian's weekend Abarth found themselves pushed to find both a car and driver to send to Salzburg, especially as the previous weekend the familiar "special" Abarth 2000 which won at Vallelunga was completely destroyed at a hillclimb in Italy by Eduardo Lualdi, so a new car was hurriedly built for this race with none other than Derek Bell the driver, the car running under Canon colours.

The Motoring News report makes no mention of the accident but does say that the car was late arriving.

#3 David T.

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 09:22

In September 2002 I personally met Edoardo (not EdUardo) Lualdi-Gabardi and had with him a long chat. This apart, his major accident happened in 1972 at the Castell'Arquato-Vernasca hillclimb driving an Osella PA1. He left the track and had to remain in hospital for six months. At that point he had to stop his racing career. Now Edoardo Lualdi-Gabard is 71 y.o. and lives in Busto Arsizio. At his last race he neither should drive but he decided to, but he felt that the car wasn't right. The gearbox wasn't working very well, if he selected the fourth gear, the second happened to be selected. He negotiated a bend at 220 kph, it was raining. He forgave the gearbox default and that he should do 5th-3th instead of 5th-4th - otherwise the 2nd gear would have been selected. The car nearly stopped abruptly, and skidded on the wet tarmac. He spun and crashed against a cement post with the nose. So he stopped the car with his legs...

#4 Scuderia Pinguino

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 12:28

What an amazing Site this is!

Firstly, thank you Milano Fistonic for your post. I had seen the Autosport article which certainly was vague but it was this piece of information that got me searching in the first place.

I was fascinated to see your post, David T. I knew that the Vernasca Flag was last run competitively in 1972. The story was that an Abarth lost control in the the village of Lugagno which is in between Castell d'Arquato and Vernasca. Apparently, the car left the road and ended up in a cafe resulting in some death. The event was then banned but is now today by Claudio Casali and the Piacenza motor club as a regularity/ parade event. We sometimes attend the event and out of interest I attach a pic of our car (PA2) this year at the point in Lugagno where the 1972 accident occurred.

However, I think that this is all coming together. I do know that the Ferrari 212E competed at Vernasca in 1972 but I do not know who drove it but I think that Edoardo Lualdi owned it at around this time. I do not think that Lualdi could have had his accident in a PA1 since the first PA1 was built towards the end of 1972 in readiness for the 1973 season so it seems possible that Lualdi's accident was in the SE021. Do you know if Lualdi's accident was the crash that caused the hillclimb to be banned?

The point about the problem with the gearbox is very interesting. If this was the SE021 'Alettone' that Lualdi crashed then this car was the first car ever to be fitted with a British Hewland gearbox (FT200) and it is unlikely that Lualdi would ever have encountered this type of gearbox before. I know that from my early days with these gearboxes that they take a little time to get used to and it is very easy to select the wrong gear.

Thank you so much for your post, now that I know it was Vernasca, I will see if Claudio has any information
Colin Pool

#5 Scuderia Pinguino

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 12:30

Sorry. I should have said that this was 'the first Abarth car to be fitted with a British Hewland gearbox'

#6 Scuderia Pinguino

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 01:54

Claudio Casali has now come back to me and confirmed the details of Lualdi-Gabardi's accident. It was not at the point where I thought but on the entry to Lugagno.

His information, which came from an interview with Lualdi in Auto D'Epoca magazine was that he was driving a PA1, which is what you said. However I am pretty sure that the 1st PA1 (serie 1) did not get built until late Autumn 1972 and this would seem be confirmed by the Autosport and Autosprint magazines. The Vernasca Silver flag was held in May 1972.

However Claudio is sending pic's of the car taken during the meeting and that will solve my reasearch. Thank you again for pointing me in the right direction!

Colin Pool

#7 Scuderia Pinguino

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Posted 15 February 2003 - 09:37

I now have pictures of the Abarth from Italy. They show the car at the start, on the course and after the horrific accident. There is nothing left of the front of the car.

However, for what it is worth. I can confirm that this car was the SE021 and 'not' a PA1 which clears up the mystery for me.

#8 zonda

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 10:10

Hello, David T.
You mentioned that you met Edoardo Lualdi ; I would like very much to get in touch with him about another car he drove, and on which I am doing an history research : the Ferrari 250 GT "TdF" 0899GT...badly damaged in an accident as well, but I beleive not with Lualdi at the wheel.

Maybe you could ask him if he agrees to be contacted - or as an alternative you give him my email or tel number...

Many thanks :) in advance.

#9 Bruno

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 13:22

in my files, I indexed 120 victories of Edoardo Gabardi “Lualdi” between 1956 and 1971. all obtained over Ferrari. but I do not have any photograph of this pilot. somebody would have some

#10 Andre Acker

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 15:19

Originally posted by Scuderia Pinguino
I now have pictures of the Abarth from Italy. They show the car at the start, on the course and after the horrific accident. There is nothing left of the front of the car.

However, for what it is worth. I can confirm that this car was the SE021 and 'not' a PA1 which clears up the mystery for me.



Please, show us these pictures !
The SE021 is one of my all-times best loved racing cars !
I remember Merzario's fantastic races on it in 1972.

VBR.
André Acker.