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Arturo Merzario

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#201 p6owner

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 20:33

Wasn't Fulvio Ballabio sponsored by Mickey Mouse? Not often you get irony like that in international motor sport.... Little Art was one of my favourite drivers of all time too. And not just for managing to get himself sponsored by a funeral director (Imola 1979). He was a superb sports car driver - from recollection he acquitted himself well as co-d to Ickx Redman and Andretti amongst others and won the Targa Florio with Sandro Munari. Brave too, as the Lauda business shows - I think the story was that without Art the efforts of Edwards et al would have been for nought as he was the only one who could get the Ferrari belts undone.
Having said that, I spoke about Art to Simon Hadfield a couple of years ago (he was Merzario's chief mechanic at Team Merzario for a while) at a HSCC meeting - he sad much what FW said about Little Art's variable performances. Still a complete star in my book though.


#202 caneparo

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 08:51

Originally posted by p6owner
[B] Brave too, as the Lauda business shows - I think the story was that without Art the efforts of Edwards et al would have been for nought as he was the only one who could get the Ferrari belts undone.

Arturo was interview by Autosprint last month for the 30 years since the ring fact. I think you would be interested in such a quote:

Merzario spoke about Lauda's accident:
"I had just passed from Mosley's and Herd's MARCH to the Williams-Wolf team. I qualified the car for the German GP and like almost everyone I started with wet tyres but soon I pitted. I restarted and I notinced in fornt of me a Ferrari. I saw and not saw between the curves of such a long circuit, then at a certain point, after Adenau's bridge, I saw a big flame and I understood a bad accident had happened. For instinct I stopped my car, in the middle of the track, and I threw myself into the flames. Something had started in my brain, in that moment I wanted to save that man who was dying. It could have been Regazzoni or Lauda, but at the end it wasn't that important. Niki was conscious inside the cockpit, he lost his helmet - this a strange thing - and he was screaming for the pain. Moving his body he was preventing my rescue and for two times I had to move away as the heat was unbearable. He should have crouch and hold his breath, but rationality was obviously gone for blessing...Finally Niki lost consciousness, his body released and I could unsafasten his belt and save him. No, Niki was not pleasing me since the times of the Euro 2000 e the fact that he took my place in Ferrari did definitely not improve our relations, but in front of such a drama dislikes and personal tastes mean nothing. This year, at Europe GP Ecclestone and the German tv RTL organised an event between the feast and the reality show to remember the 30 years of that experience and for the occasion I recalled Niki: "For me you were a prick, and a prick you still are, but in a good sense". The we went back to Bergwerk and I made him found a plastic ear on the grass, to make fun. Damn!! he took it in the right way and he tastly laughed of it."

#203 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 12:56

Monza, 1973 Italian GP, September.

During Saturday practice i was in the green field on the embankment, out of the Ascari bend. One of my friends with me was at his "racing debut" as F.1 spectator, looking at the cars going so fast out of the chicane in our direction, he was frightened. "You don't know - we said him - they are The Drivers, don't be afraid!!!"

At the time, during practice the marshals' control was so soft (during the race they had much more attention!) that I was able to arrive behind the guard-rail, supporting with my elbow in order to photograph the cars. I took good pictures to Gethin passing at full speed, Hulme, Revson, Ickx, Schenken.

Suddenly I saw a Ferrari going very slowly on the right side of the track, just in front of me! It was just Arturo Merzario in the Forghieri's 312T3 #4 with some problem, going slowly to the pits.

"You are mine!" I said. I tried to spread me out of the armco in order to frame him better in my camera... Arturo was more and more near, he raised the head and looked at me from his helmet visor, and made me hello with the hand... all things were ready to take the photo, an incredible photo!!!!!




Oh well, my damn Kodak Instamatic-50 jammed!!!

Somewhere in my basement I have a picture of Merzario at 1973 Italian G.P. Just the rear wing of Merzario...

#204 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 17:58

Monza 2006, Italian GP, September Porsche Carrera Cup support race. Merzario is guest driver.

Can you believe it, tha same chap who drove F1 here 30+ years ago!!

An italian friend told me Merzario is a man who always raced, and is quite puzzled with what to do if he is not entered in a race on a given sunday!!

Posted Image

Posted Image

#205 caneparo

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 19:43

Last year I saw him in GT ITALIA in Monza and he was driving an outdated Viper. He was able to keep the pace with better MC12, 575 and 550. Merzario has been the best italian driver in the 70's and he can have a place in the itlian motorsport hall of fame (if they'll ever do one :drunk: )

#206 Bill Becketts

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 21:31

Who remembers Monza 1970's
when Arturo drove the Ferarri without wings..........

#207 Twin Window

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 21:36

I think you're remembering Watkins Glen, 1973 Bill...

#208 Bill Becketts

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 20:37

Originally posted by Twin Window
I think you're remembering Watkins Glen, 1973 Bill...

You must be right Twinney :blush:

I remember reading Motor Sport then, when the centre pages were the only chance way we could see COLOUR photos of the races. I thought I had remembered a photo of Art's Ferrari at Monza......I don't have these copies any more, so unless someone can help me.... :(

#209 eldougo

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 06:06

Posted Image..GermanGP1979.

Uploaded with ImageShack.us....Personal Eldougo pic.

Posted Image,,Vallelunga 1974 Osella F2

Uploaded with ImageShack.us...Copyright Belli On Four Wheels No88

Edited by eldougo, 24 April 2011 - 06:12.

#210 john winfield

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 10:49

One of Little Art's best drives, in the Abarth, winning the Martini 2-litre sports car race at Silverstone in 1972.  There's not much of Arturo to see (literally, I suppose!) but the Pathé footage is still interesting:





Edit.  Apologies to anyone worried that a new post, on an old thread, might mean that Arturo is no longer with us.  I'm sure he's fine, hope so anyway.  I thought of creating a new thread just to avoid the problem....

Edited by john winfield, 12 February 2020 - 10:57.

#211 2F-001

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 11:22

Thanks for that link, John.

I was at Club Corner when the Heat 2 deluge overwhelmed the race and, as my Dad put it at the time, we 'got out feet wet right up to our armpits'.


I've always loved the 2-litre Group 6 cars.


Quester's Chevron dominated Heat 1 (if I recall correctly); would it be right to consider that project as the 'proving ground' for the M12 engine ahead of BMW's onslaught on F2? 

Edited by 2F-001, 12 February 2020 - 11:23.

#212 john aston

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 12:18

I remember that day too - but the key memory is of depleting the UK's WD40 stocks in trying to keep my mate's  sodden Mini electrics working .en route on the M1 from Leeds . 


I agree about 2 litre Gp 6 cars- they looked and sounded amazing , and their pace belied their capacity, especially  in the wet . I suspect it was even wetter that day than Intl Trophy '78 or '75 GP . Or even a recent Classic ..or two ...  :(

#213 68targa

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 14:18

Glad you explained about Arturo, I was worried for him for a moment. 

In my view he was and still is a legend  Maybe he did'nt always get the breaks but he always tried hard, even with his own cars F1 and F2  he just seemed to love his racing so much.


Not sure if there is already a thread for 2 litre sports cars, maybe there should be, but they are often overlooked. They provided some great stand alone races with top class drivers and variety of chassis - Lola, Chevron, Abarth, Gropa, Martin, Daren, Astra,  Nathan, Nomad, Saturn.....  any more ?

#214 2F-001

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 14:31

March, GRD, Alpine...?  And TOJ.

Edited by 2F-001, 12 February 2020 - 14:34.

#215 Mallory Dan

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 14:45

Osella, Royale, GRAC?

#216 MCS

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 17:46

Good memory test!   Dulon, Huron, Taydec . . .

#217 wolf sun

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 21:43

Sauber, URD...

#218 68targa

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 10:26

That's a good list. 

To get back on topic, during his full time career did Arturo Merzario ever drive a sports car other than a Ferrari and Abarth and Alfa Romeo?  I don't think he did but am ready to be corrected.

#219 Sterzo

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 10:40

He did drive a BMW M3 in (I think) the Nurburgring 24 Hours and probably elsewhere, but you could argue that's not a sports car. According to the dreaded Wikipedia, he raced a Centenari prototype in his later career - and that had an Alfa Romeo engine.


(Reason for edit: misspelled Wikipedia... oh dear).

Edited by Sterzo, 13 February 2020 - 10:42.


#220 GazChed

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 10:56

According to the racingsportscars site, Art raced a Porsche 934 at Le Mans in 1976 as well as several appearances in BMW Procars. In later times, as Sterzo mentioned he raced a Centenari in the 1997 International Sports Racing championship along with other small Italian manufacturers such as Gaiero (98), Picchio(98) and Tampolli(99). When it became the FIA Sportscar Championship he raced a Debora (2001) and a Pilbeam (2002). The Abarths he raced were often Abarth Osellas and he also raced Osellas in 2 litre Group 6. In more recent years he has frequently raced Porsche GT cars in Italian GT races.

#221 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 10:58

Just pipped by Gaz, but here’s the link to his Racing Sports Cars results pages:


He did the Daytona 24 Hours in 1976 in a Dodge Charger!