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Arturo Merzario


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#151 eldougo

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 10:13

:wave:

Here is a good pic of Arturo.. 1979.

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#152 Mallory Dan

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 12:48

Little Art intrigued me. It seemed that when he wanted he could go really well, given the state of his machine, but at other times, in the same car, he seemed not at all bothered. Was he a true 'Latin charger, 100%er' like Regga/Brambilla, or more of the moody sort like Lole, who only gave it his all when things were in his favour ?

#153 renzo_zorzi

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 18:11

:up:

thx for confirming this funny story and the pix!

@Mallory: although i am too young to have him seen race, i got the impression he was aguy of tremendous bravery - he was one of the main guys (if not the most important one) to rescue niki lauda at nurburgring 76. what an irony he had to leave ferrari because of lauda more or less back in 73.

wasnt he also quite successful in sportscar-racing too? i think i remember something like arturo beeing the winner of a couple of chamionship races of the 1977 season driving an alfa tipo 33.

#154 sieb

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 18:27

Great Sponser !

I recall that Jim Hurtubise was sponsered once by a life insurance company in Indianapolis, and that already caused a stir.

I will look for a pic if someone is interested.....

#155 sieb

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 18:40

Taken from the beautiful book Indianapolis Racing Memories 1961 - 1969,
written by Dave Friedman.

The scan can be found here: Thombstone Life Insurance

#156 renzo_zorzi

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 18:53

hey now ther sumthing came to my mind:

wasnt mario andretti - then beeing by far the oldest one in the field - sponsored by a company that produced pace-makers at his short two race ferrari comeback in 1982?

would make another funny sponsor :lol:

#157 fausto

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 18:56

The company that sponsored Merzario, La Varesina-Sofam, was one of the biggest in the Milan area, maybe it doesn't matter, but the same company was involved back in 1992 in the famous "Mani Pulite" scandal, it seemed that they used to bribe politicians to gain the funeral service contracts by local autorithies.....

back on Arturo subject he won also racing Abarth 2 litres back in the early 70s, he is still racing, this year in the Italian and Spanish GT championship, driving a Ferrari 360 GTC

#158 jadb1

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 23:10


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Regards Alejandro


#159 theunions

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 18:48

Originally posted by sieb
Taken from the beautiful book Indianapolis Racing Memories 1961 - 1969,
written by Dave Friedman.

The scan can be found here: Thombstone Life Insurance


Add to that the fact he almost died in that car...

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#160 theunions

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 18:49

Originally posted by renzo_zorzi
hey now ther sumthing came to my mind:

wasnt mario andretti - then beeing by far the oldest one in the field - sponsored by a company that produced pace-makers at his short two race ferrari comeback in 1982?

would make another funny sponsor :lol:


Not really, given that they (Intermedics) were sponsoring Gordon Smiley earlier in the year...

#161 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 12:47

Originally posted by jadb1

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Regards Alejandro


pecunia non olet

#162 ghinzani

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 21:08

Originally posted by Nanni Dietrich


pecunia non olet


Geld stinkt nicht?

#163 ensign14

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 21:24

Filthy lucre.

#164 ghinzani

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 07:50

Originally posted by ensign14
Filthy lucre.


...adds nothing, but we all get cash from chaos!

#165 ensign14

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 07:52

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

Maybe that's for RC...

#166 edelweiss

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 19:34

I stumbled over this pic of Arturo Merzario, Watkins Glen 1973.
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It is from this site http://f1gt.ifrance....ies/gal1973.htm

It shows Arturo Merzario in his Ferrari 312 B3 with no wings whatsoever!! No front wing, no rear wing. You can see where they usually had the front wing.

Does anyone has the story about this curious pic?

BTW 'Little Art' Merzario has his birthday today! He is from 11-03-1943, so 63 years old.

#167 Twin Window

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 19:37

He lost the front wing during the race, IIRC, and when he pitted the Ferrari crew removed the rear wing to 'balance' the car aerodynamically...

#168 edelweiss

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 20:18

Originally posted by Twin Window
He lost the front wing during the race, IIRC, and when he pitted the Ferrari crew removed the rear wing to 'balance' the car aerodynamically...

Thanks for the answer. Meanwhile I have done some research myself and found (in Heinz Prüller - Grand Prix Story 1973) that it was the rear-wing of Merzario that broke and was ripped completely off. It happend in the corner before start/finish. But what happened then to the front wing?
Who has another source.

#169 David M. Kane

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 21:28

I was at that race, but I can't remember which corner I was in at the time. :drunk: I was behaving like your typical student at the time...wait a minute I had been out of school for at least six years.
I believe this car was Ferrari's first full monocoque, the prototype tub was done by John Thompson
who left Bruce McLaren a few years before to set-up his own business.

#170 conjohn

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 21:34

According to Autosport, he lost the rear wing in the fast corner before the pits, and after a couple of laps he pitted to remove the front aerodynamics, to even out the handling.

#171 interexcel105

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 21:36

Three years on the thread title should probably read "Happy 63rd Birthday Art Merzario", and I hope that Artur(i)o celebrated a great birthday with many more still to come.
Having thoroughly enjoyed the inaugural GP Masters race at Kyalami, my wish is to see Art competing in the 2006 edition together with "Happy Jacques", his old team-mate....
Buon compleanno, Arturo!!! :up:

#172 GIGLEUX

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 22:53

The same in Motor Sport. He too had a nasty moment during first friday practice session of Canadian GP
riping off nearly all the bodywork but being able to regain his stand!

#173 Twin Window

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Posted 11 March 2006 - 23:49

Originally posted by conjohn

According to Autosport, he lost the rear wing in the fast corner before the pits, and after a couple of laps he pitted to remove the front aerodynamics, to even out the handling.

So I remembered it back-to-front, as it were. :D

Thinking about it, I'm sure that AutoSprint carried pics of the incident in their report and the wing ended up on the start/finish straight opposite the pitlane...

#174 Andre Acker

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 16:49

Happy birthday, Arturo !

I remember my first trip abroad, I went to Monza to see the 1975 Italian GP and I managed to be in the pits on Friday, Saturday and Sunday courtesy of the Copersucar team.
Merzario drove the Copersucar, as Wilson Fittipaldi had broken an arm in Austria.
He showed to be a very nice guy.

He did marvelous things with the Abarth 2000, embarrassing the Alfa Romeo team at Brands Hatch in 1972 and winning the 2000 SP Championship. A pilot that could drive any sort of car (F1, F2, GT, SP, Touring).

And still alive in spite of being a regular smoker !

#175 Twin Window

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 01:25

Originally posted by CSGPR

Arturo Merzario was, by my best opinion, a far better Grand Prix driver than his record shows. He had his Grand Prix debut for Ferrari in 1972...

...and he finished sixth!

Yep; I agree about him being underrated.

He was also a favourite driver of mine. I took these on my 'Instamatic' during the 1974 British GP meeting at Brands Hatch;

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Plus this one taken - on a Zenit - at the Thruxton F2 meeting, 1980...

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:up:

#176 FerrariV12

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 02:42

Too young to have seen him race, didn't he qualify a (then very uncompetitive) Williams third on the grid in 1974? (Kyalami?) Seems a pretty impressive effort, was he one of these inconsistent-but-very-quick-on-his-day types?

#177 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 04:14

:wave: Does any of you know ANYTHING about Arts race car transporters?

Regards Bjørn

#178 caneparo

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 08:05

Merzario is often guest in motoracing talkshows here in italy. notably "processo al gran premio" (crappy one) and "griglia di partenza" (a good one) in which he often pairs with his team manager Palazooli, now turned TV commentator, with whom he often speaks of their experiences in their team. As a commentator he often speaks that the Formula 1 of today is nothing compared to old days, old cars, old circuit, old risk.
As a driver I saw his one-off on a Viper at Italian GT at Monza last year. He was going great with a very old car and keeping the pace of MC12 and 550.

#179 Yorgos

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 12:23

Isn't Palazzoli the "Pal Joe" who used to race Group4 Panteras etc and Group6 2 liter cars sometimes as Merzario's co-driver?

Cheers
Yorgos

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#180 fausto

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 14:11

Originally posted by Yorgos
Isn't Palazzoli the "Pal Joe" who used to race Group4 Panteras etc and Group6 2 liter cars sometimes as Merzario's co-driver?

Cheers
Yorgos


Yes!

#181 David M. Kane

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 14:12

I saw Art drive at Watkins Glen in the unloved B3, the rear wing came off and he ran it until "it"
quit. I thought he was underappreciated.

#182 WHITE

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 14:24

Originally posted by David M. Kane
I saw Art drive at Watkins Glen in the unloved B3, the rear wing came off and he ran it until "it"
quit. I thought he was underappreciated.



:up:


He knew he would no longer be at Ferrari in 1973, however he did his best to honour his contract till the very last moment. He could have perfectly retired, given the bad conditions in which he was racing and nobody would have dared criticizing him for that, but he raced till the end. IIRC, Merzario finished four laps behind the winner. He was one of my favorite drivers ever since.

#183 Andre Acker

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 14:57

Hi everybody !

Arturo was a great driver, he could drive very fast F1, F2, GT, Touring cars, SP anything !
Some examples : F1 with a very poor Ferrari car in 1972/73, Williams/Iso Rivolta in 1974/75 then March in 76/77, F2 (1977 with Chevron and Osella), GT with Ferrari (1970), SP with Abarth (2 Litre European Champion in 1972), Ferrari (1971/72/73), Alfa Romeo (74/75).
I think he used to race almost every week (as many drivers at that time, including the F1 stars), he even did some hillclimb races.
I had the pleasure to meet him twice, first in Monza 1975 when he drove the Copersucar Fittipaldi car (Wilson had a broken arm), then in Rio de Janeiro 1978 (Brazilian GP) where he drove his very poor Merzario F1.
A great guy, very friedly, should be an example to these so said nowadays 'superstars'.

VBR.
André Acker.

#184 MonzaDriver

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 15:21

Originally posted by Andre Acker
Williams/Iso Rivolta in 1974/75

A great guy, very friedly, should be an example to these so said nowadays 'superstars'.

VBR.
André Acker.


Dear Andrè about this period he said in an interview that he was waiting for the 74's fee,
and he made another agreement with Williams for the 75's fee. When he tried to collect the 75's fee he received a letter from the bank that the bank account was in the red.

He said he keep both the check and the bank's letter in a small frame.
Arturo is a witty person too.

MonzaDriver.

#185 Pedro 917

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 15:46

Arturio (his real name) is one of my favorites too. Here are some pictures from Goodwood 2006:

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Going through the whole Alan Henry Ferrari Prototype Era book my brother asked him to sign.

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Checking out a technical problem on the Alfa

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Adjusting the seat of the Ferrari.

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autographs...

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Taking the Ferrari out.

#186 Pedro 917

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 16:04

and some of my brother's pictures:

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#187 David M. Kane

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 17:07

Pedro 917:

He looks pretty fit to me. I'd hire him in a minute. :cool:

#188 Andre Acker

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 18:02

Some stories about Arturo (also known as toothpick) :

* During the 1974 season, Frank Williams said his cars did not need special and very expensive materials (titanium etc) to save weight as his drivers were already so light (Merzario and Lafitte 55 kilos each). If you consider Brabham's drivers were "heavy weight" (Reutemann and Pace, almost 80 kilos each), he was absolutely right !

* There was a very heavy rain in the Sunday morning practice of the 1975 Italian GP. So heavy that the chicane looked like a swimming pool. Arturo told me that when he arrived there he just braked the Copersucar and left the water take the car ahead, to the exit of the chicane, and continued his way ... to the pits.

* In 1978 he brought his Merzario F1 to the Argentinian and Brazilian GPs, the car was so badly made (very rough finishing, I mean) that Argentinian Magazine Corsa compared it to one of the worst "F1 meccanica nacional", a sort of very rudimentar Argentinian F1.

#189 P 4 Staff

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 18:47

This pic rings a bell.

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Who is Arturio talking to?

#190 rdmotorsport

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 21:11

never to be underestimated our art. wonderful skills one day then when the mood came to him "drove like a woman" frank williams quote not mine after the 1975 race of champions although very brave and so skillfull in the wet not sure about his f2 cars though! rodney dodson

#191 FLB

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 21:20

I've always wondered how badly he was affected by Ignazio Giunti's death in 1971. He crossed the pitlane and went on the track to try to get him out.

Of course, he did exactly the same thing five years later when he got Lauda out of his 312T2...

#192 Bruno

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Posted 29 July 2006 - 05:23

wouhaou! ! ! very very good pics Pedro. thank.

#193 interexcel105

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 19:32

Thanks for reviving this thread and for the great pix!

#194 interexcel105

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 19:50

Sorry for my brief previous post - I was having trouble getting logged on and treated it more as a test.

Regarding previous questions by Bjorn and FLB:
I think it was at the 1977 French GP where Art proudly showed off his newly-acquired (but second-hand) transporter, daubed in red and sporting MERZARIO TEAM script on the sides. I also recall a photograph in a 1978/1979 issue of Autosprint showing Art cooking up some french fries for his crew, presumably in the kitchen area of his transporter.

Other than Giunti, I think that the death of Giovanni Salvati (in a 1971 F2 Temporada race where Art also competed) affected Arturio deeply: in an interview many years later, he described Salvati as perhaps the greatest lost Italian racing talent of the 70's. It is also notable that other than the Giunti and Lauda accidents, Art was one of few drivers to render assistance at the 1978 Peterson/Monza accident - this selfless attitude could perhaps have stemmed from his military training period: "always help your buddy who's in trouble".

#195 interexcel105

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 20:18

If this works (trying to post an image from my hard disk), TNF members should be treated to my attempt of recreating Merzario A2 from a cannibalized Tamiya kit, many years ago.




#196 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 20:47

:wave: Thank you interexcel105.

Regards Bjørn

#197 ghinzani

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 21:39

That pic of Art in his F2 in 1980, hes got two nomex balaclavas on! Maybe a legacy of seeing the Lauda and Giunti infernos?

#198 fausto

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 07:42

Could it be that he had just cut his hairs very short, and the double balaclava was needed to fit the helmet the right way

;)

#199 Henk A. Hazelaar

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 15:31

Februari 1983

The Merzario team presentation with the new Merzario M28 / F2 (Circuit Fiorano).
From left, Fulvio Maria Ballabio, Aturo Merzario, Guido Dacco.

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Best regards,


Henk A. Hazelaar

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#200 Rockford

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 17:55

Nice pic here of "the man", for those who haven't spotted it yet...

http://www.autosport...to.php/id/57892