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The man who crashed car # 14 at Le Mans 1932. Twice!

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#1 ReWind

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 18:12

This should be an easy one for those who have more books on the 24 heures du Mans than I have.

AFAIK at the 1932 race Russian (or rather: Georgian) Dimitri Djordjadze entered at least one Alfa Romeo 8C-2300. This car carrying number 14 was very fast at the beginning of the race but had an early crash at Arnage losing a vast amount of time. After that the car was driven furiously to regain ground but had another crash at Maison Blanche which proved to be terminal.

According to one of my few sources (Ian Bamsey) the driver at both crashes was Attilio Marinoni. According to another source (Edmond Cohin) it was Freddy Zehender (with Marinoni not even appearing in Cohin's list of cars entered).

The Le Mans Register gives the driver pairing for car # 14 as Attilio Marinoni / Angelo Guatta.

I assume the car was to be shared by Marinoni and Zehender (instead of the completely unknown - to me, that is - Guatta). But that doesn't answer the question: Who drove (and twice crashed) the car, Marinoni or Zehender?

Any hard facts?


#2 Marcor

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 20:32

I have the book "Les 24 Heures du Mans 1923 - 1982" edited by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest which includes pictures and results of that period. In the chapter 1932, there is a picture with the next caption in English and French:
1)- in English: "Cortese /Guidotti seem unaffected by the damage at White House as they drive past in their Alfa Romeo (n°11). On the right, Brisson's Stutz challenges Trevoux's Bentley (n°5), while on the left, spectators encourage Marinoni as he tries to disengage his Alfa Romeo. Even a jack was not enough."

2)- In French: "Beacuoup de dégats du côté de Maison Blanche alors que passe, imperturbable, l'Alfa Romeo (n°11) de Cortese / Guidotti. A droite, la Stutz (n°3) de Brisson fait face à la Bentley (n°5) de Trévoux, tandis qu'à gauche, sous les encouragements du public, Marinoni tente de dégager son Alfa Romeo. Même un levier de secours n'y suffira pas."

And according the book, Alfa Romeo n°14's drivers were Marinoni and Guatta.

#3 ReWind

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 18:45

Marc - Thank you for your lonely post.

Since nobody else bothered to deal with my question I have to assume the driver I asked for was indeed Attilio Marinoni, not Goffredo Zehender.

That leaves us with Marinoni's partner.

Does anyone know anything about Angelo Guatta?

As far as I can see Le Mans 1932 is his only appearance in the motor racing history books. And even there he didn't manage to tackle the race itself.

#4 Tim Murray

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 19:09

Further confirmation - David Hodges, in his book The Le Mans 24 Hour Race , has Marinoni as the driver who crashed twice, with Guatta as his co-driver.

#5 David McKinney

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 19:33

Guatta was a regular in sportscars, always Alfa Romeos, for many years.
In the Mille Miglia he was fifth in 1928 (with Bornigia), ninth in 1929 (Cortese), first in class in 1930 (Pirola), first in class again in 1931 (Gazzabini), fourth overall in 1935 (Rüesch) and second in class in 1937 (Cortese).
The 1932 Le Mans race seems to have been one of the few other events he contested, though he was fourth in the 1930 Circuito Auto del Sud (with d'Ippolito).
I am fairly sure, though by no means certain, that he was an Alfa employee

#6 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 18:06

In the early 1920s Angelo Guatta was the usual riding mechanic of Ugo Sivocci, with which he won the Targa Florio in 1923. Guatta sustained severe injuries in the accident that claimed the life of Sivocci at Monza on 08 September 1923.

As David McKinney said, he was an Alfa Romeo employee.