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Racing drivers named Cecchini


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#1 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 06 July 2022 - 12:05

Forgive me for taking up your time on something that may or may not generate one sentence in my book, but I'm trying to establish the relationship between:

Giorgio Cecchini who comes fifth in a Fiat Balilla in the 1933 junior Coppa Acerbo and makes an offer for Whitney Straight's Magnette after the race and...
Raffaele Cecchini who comes second in a Magnette in the 1934 race, splitting winner Hugh Hamilton in Robin Mere's Magnette and third-place Dick Seaman, in the Magnette Whitney had won in a year earlier.   

 

I'm aware of a presumably different Giorgio Cecchini who raced occasionally in the '50s and '60s and was involved in a fatal accident in the 1956 Mille Miglia, who may be a son and / or nephew of the men I'm interested in.

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks

 

Paul



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#2 Michael Ferner

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Posted 06 July 2022 - 18:55

I would guess that Giorgio Cecchini is just a mistake for the 1933 Coppa Acerbo. Period articles I found show the family name only, so it's entirely possible that someone saw it and remembered the postwar chap, adding two an two... For me, it's the same person, and Venables described him as "an Italian printer" in The Racing Fifteen-Hundreds. Period sources suggest he was from Rome, and later press articles mentioned his first name as Raffaele.



#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 July 2022 - 19:49

I'd concur with Michael's thoughts. There's also a 1960s sports car racer called Ansano Cecchini, who used the nom de course ANS.

 

I believe Raffaele Cecchini was colloquially known as 'Lello'. He was associated with the Giannini Brothers tuning house, who prepared - and probably modified - his monoposto K3, of which all trace disappeared during the war years. Best known for record-breaking, initially with a modified Fiat 500 and later a custom-built car called Moscerino (Mosquito), which I suspect - but cannot prove - had a Norton Cammy engine. Moscerino's fate is also unknown.

 

There is an Italian book about the Gianninis - 'Giannini A. & D. Storia di una grande passione' by Vincenzo Marchionne Mattei, published in 2013 by Libreria Automotoclub storico italiano (ISBN 978-8898344000). I've never seen a copy, but it might hold some clues.



#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 July 2022 - 21:43

There's a gallery of his cars - including his K3 and Moscerino - on Facebook:

 

https://www.facebook...e-del-moscerino

 

And not sure where I got the information - Italian press perhaps - but I have him down as a pharmacist rather than a printer.



#5 helioseism2

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Posted 07 July 2022 - 02:34


There is an Italian book about the Gianninis - 'Giannini A. & D. Storia di una grande passione' by Vincenzo Marchionne Mattei, published in 2013 by Libreria Automotoclub storico italiano (ISBN 978-8898344000). I've never seen a copy, but it might hold some clues.

I have a copy of this. I'll go find it and report back.



#6 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 07 July 2022 - 09:30

Michael, Vitesse, Helio

 

Thank you all for your contributions. Please don't go to any more trouble. During the course of the afternoon I too thought it must be an error and contacted the original source - which is what I should have done in the first place. I heard overnight that it was the same fellow, Raffaele 'Lello' Cecchini, in both races, and there was no Giorgio in the 1933 race.

 

That gives me a nice, neat line about Lello acquiring his own Magnette after Whitney refused to sell him his, and beating Dick Seaman who was in the ex-Whitney Magnette the following year.  

 

Regarding his link to the Gianninis, Karl-Joachim Wiessmann, in his updated 'Hawke History of MMM Competition Cars', writes that while the Magnette (K3019) went to Cecchini, it was 'possibly owned by D. Giannini, Cecchini's mechanic.' Cecchini followed his second at Pescara with three 1,100cc category wins in the car, and won the 1934 Italian Voiturette Championship. 

K3019 was last raced by Luciano Musso in the 1937 junior Coppa Acerbo, but heaven forfend I should cause any scope creep about Italian drivers in a thread I should never have started!

Thank you again, gentlemen, and apologies for taking up your time unnecessarily.

Paul

 



#7 helioseism2

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Posted 07 July 2022 - 16:12

Just in case, there is a 7-page chapter on "Raffaele Cecchini, e la sua MG Magnette" in the Giannini book. If anyone wants further info, let me know.



#8 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 July 2022 - 17:15

Just in case, there is a 7-page chapter on "Raffaele Cecchini, e la sua MG Magnette" in the Giannini book. If anyone wants further info, let me know.

My interest is mainly in Moscerino - are there any technical details about it? Particularly its engine. Press reports don't name the make - which suggests it probably wasn't Italian - and the official AIACR documents only describe it as a single cylinder, with an officially measured capacity of 348.39cc. The Norton Cammy was sold as 348cc ...



#9 helioseism2

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Posted 07 July 2022 - 20:20

I do not speak much Italian, so rather than quite probably misinterpret the information, I am willing to scan the chapter, apply Adobe Acrobat OCR and Google translate, and see what we get. What follows is my possibly wrong preliminary reading.

It looks like the text discusses a Fiat 500 engine with special cylinder heads (with a drawing of one example) and then discusses a record car that set records in 1938 at Monza. However, I cannot deduce if that engine was ever in the car.

It contains the picture that is on facebook of Cecchini standing next to the extremely low Moscerino of 1939 and, in addition, a photo of the 1938 version that is completely different in appearance but has the same registration number (50992) as the 1939 version.

By the way, the text states that Cecchini was a pharmacist.

I will not be able to get to the scanner until later -- we are having carpet replaced and the cat is locked in the office where the scanner is located.



#10 helioseism2

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Posted 07 July 2022 - 20:21

And now that I've looked further at Facebook I see they also have several images of the1938 version.



#11 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 July 2022 - 21:12

The 1938 car was the modified Fiat 500, with the original 569cc engine reduced in capacity to under 500cc (AIACR Class I) and seems to have only been used for long distance record attempts at Monza. From what you say about the registrations that presumably means Moscerino was actually the same chassis with new bodywork; it was built to attack the 350cc (AIACR Class J) flying start records then held by Brian Gush in Vitesse. Those new records were set on the Firenze-Mare autostrada on May 25th 1939.

 

No rush, let sleeping cats lie!



#12 helioseism2

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Posted 09 July 2022 - 19:10

OK, I have the scan PDF and translation in  MS Word done.

 

Unfortunately, the chapter has actually nothing at all about the 1939 car except one of the photos now on Facebook.