Aldo Marazza - MaseratiFrancesco Severi - MaseratiVittorio Belmondo - Maserati

(Voiturette 1500cc)

Circuito della Superba - Genova (I), 30 May 1937
40 laps x 3.036 km (1.89 mi) = 121.44 km (75.46 mi)


Class up to 1100 cc
2Agostino ProsperiScuderia ImperoMaserati4CM1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
4Attilio BattilanaA. BattilanaMaserati4CM1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
6Enrico NardiScuderia SubaudaNardi-Monaco-Jap
8Gianbattista AzziG. AzziMaserati4CM1.1S-4
10Luigi NespoliL. NespoliAmilcarC61.1S-6
12Giovanni LuraniScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CM1.1S-4
14Pino BaruffiGruppo VoltaMaserati4CM1.1S-4
Class over 1100 cc
16Pasquale ContiniGruppo FiorentinoMaserati4CM1.5S-4
18Roberto MalagutiScuderia ImperoMaserati4CM1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
20Francesco SeveriScuderia MaremmanaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
32Pasquale ErminiGruppo FiorentinoMaserati6CM1.5S-6DNS - no car
24Aldo MarazzaA. MarazzaMaserati4CS1.5S-4
26Emanuele QuartaraScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CM1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
28Ferdinando BarbieriScuderia MaremmanaMaserati4CM1.5S-4
30Vittorio BelmondoV. BelmondoMaserati6CM1.5S-6
32Ettore BiancoOfficine A MaseratiMaserati4CM1.5S-4DNS - no car
34Mario MoradeiGruppo FiorentinoMaserati4CS1.5S-4
36Sergio CarnevalliGruppo VoltaMB-Maserati1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
38Gino RovereG. RovereMaserati6CM1.5S-6DNA - did not appear

Newcomer Aldo Marazza wins surprisingly.

by Leif Snellman
Italian drivers, mostly in Maseratis, took on the new track at Genoa. Local driver Barbieri took the lead but was passed by Belmondo, who soon found himself under attack from newcomer Aldo Marazza driving his first race in an old Maserati 4CS. The fight went on for 25 laps until Belmondo had to see himself dropped down to third, leaving Marazza to be the surprise winner.
The event included a voiturette race and a Grand Prix race. See the Grand Prix race account for details about the circuit and the event itself.
The Circuito della Superba clashed with the Avus Rennen in Berlin so the foreign teams and drivers selected the latter making Circuito della Superba an wholly Italian event.
      There were 19 entries for the voiturette race including 17 Maseratis but with two races the same weekend there seem to have been problems getting the cars prepared for the race. Among the drivers who did not have a ready car was Ettore Bianco, who was to be considered the favorite.
      Count "Johnny" Lurani , Pino Baruffi from Coma and Gianbattista Azzi from Alessandria were to race 1.1 litre Maseratis. There were two non-Maseratis in the 1100 cc field, a Monaco-Jap to be raced by Enrico Nardi and an Amilcar to be raced by Luigi Nespoli, both rather unknown drivers.
      Among the 1.5 litre entries Francesco Severi raced a 6 cylinder car and local driver Ferdinando Barbieri a 4 cylinder car, both under the Scuderia Maremmana banner. Gruppo Fiorentino was a small team that raced Fiats and two old Maseratis in voiturette races. "Pasquino" Ermini prepared the cars. They entered a 4CM for Pasquale Contini and a 4CS for Mario Moradei. Vittorio Belmondo raced a late type 4CM (#1534) with closed in front suspension.
      Aldo Marazza whose racing experience seems to have been restricted to some local events in a Fiat Balilla had bought an ex-Lurani 2-seater Maserati 4CS (#1519) from Giuseppe Gilera just three days before the event.
Practice took place under sunny and hot May weather.
      Fastest during Friday practice was Bianco, who without an own car instead used Contini's 4CM and made a time of 1m58.6s. Second was Ermini, obviously also without an own car, doing 1m59.2s and third Contini with 1m59.6s.
      Barbieri first tried out Azzi's 1100cc car, getting a time of 2m15s, and then went down to a time of 2m07.4 with his own car. Other drivers who set a time were Lurani 2m07.7s, Azzi 2m09.4s and Baruffi 2m12s.
      During Saturday practice Belmondo and Marazza were fastest with an equal time of 1m59.4s, the latter putting in nine laps. Severi made 2m00.8s, Contini 2m01.3s, Barbieri, who had problems with the steering, 2m01.6s and Lurani 2m04.8s.
      With the two fastest drivers, Bianco and Ermini, without cars for the race it meant that Belmondo got the pole position with Marazza and Contini sharing the first row with him.
In sunny weather some twenty thousand spectators gathered at the stands and on the roads to see the races. As usual the event was also attended by all major city authorities as well as the president of R.A.C.I. sports commission, Giuseppe Furmanik.
      At 14:45 doctor Giorgio Molfino dropped the flag to send away the 11 voiturettes.
Pole Position






F. Barbieri




Rest of grid unknown.

Contini took the start but was almost immediately passed by Barbieri, who, as a local driver, probably knew the circuit as good as anyone of the participants. On the third lap Belmondo passed Barbieri for first position and tried to pull away from Barbieri, Severi, and Marazza, who were following him. On the next lap Marazza took over second position and kept on following Belmondo, while Barbieri and Severi were unable to keep up the speed of the duo and started to fall back. After 10 laps the gap between Belmondo and Marazza was 4 seconds and whatever Belmondo tried the gap still remained the same after 25 laps. Behind them Severi got the upper hand in the battle for third as Barbieri for most of the race suffered with carburettor problems.
      Belmondo was pushing harder and harder trying to leave Marazza, but the latter was racing more smoothly and held the gap, just waiting for a chance. On the 27th lap that chance came as Belmondo overdid it in a turn and spun 180? around with the engine stalling. He almost immediately was on his way again but Marazza had taken over the lead. Pushing to close the gap to the new leader Belmondo did another mistake and did a 720? spin in front of the main stand, ending up in the straw bales. Having now lost second position to Severi, Belmondo was away once again and took up the chase closing the gap, but trying to find a way by he got short of laps. So Marazza took a sensational victory in the inferior 4CS in his first race with Severi second just holding off Belmondo.
      Count Lurani was the winner of the 1100cc class.



1.24Aldo MarazzaA. MarazzaMaserati4CS1.5S-4401h21m00.0s
2.20Francesco SeveriScuderia MaremmanaMaserati6CM1.5S-6401h21m18.6s+ 18.6s
3.30Vittorio BelmondoV. BelmondoMaserati4CM1.5S-4401h21m19.0s?+ 19.0s
4.28Ferdinando BarbieriScuderia MaremmanaMaserati4CM1.5S-4391h21m04.2s
5.12Giovanni LuraniScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CM1.1S-4381h21m17.0s
6.8Gianbattista AzziG. AzziMaserati4CM1.1S-4321h26m22.6s
7.10Luigi NespoliL. NespoliAmilcarC61.1S-6291h22m29.0s
DNF16Pasquale ContiniGruppo FiorentinoMaserati4CM1.5S-4?
DNF34Mario MoradeiGruppo FiorentinoMaserati4CS1.5S-4?
DNF6Enrico NardiScuderia SubaudaNardi-Monaco-Jap?
DNF14Pino BaruffiGruppo VoltaMaserati4CM1.5S-4?
Fastest lap: Aldo Marazza (Maserati) on laps 22 & 24 in 1m56.6s = 93.7 km/h (58.2 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 90.0 km/h (55.9 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 91.5 km/h (56.9 mph)
Weather: warm and sunny.

Carlo Felice Trossi - Alfa RomeoMario Tadini - Alfa RomeoEmilio Villoresi - Alfa Romeo


Circuito della Superba - Genova (I), 30 May 1937
50 laps x 3.036 km (1.89 mi) = 151.8 km (94.3 mi)


40Andrea BrezziScuderia SubaudaBugattiT51?2.3S-8
42"Ventidue"Scuderia SubaudaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
44Giovanni MinozziG. MinozziAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8
46Pietro GhersiScuderia MaremmanaAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
48Mario TadiniScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12
50Emilio VilloresiScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo2900A2.9S-8
52Lorenzo DelpinoL. DelpinoAlfa Romeo8C-23002.3S-8
54Clemente BiondettiScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8
56Emilio VicentiniE. VicentiniBugattiT512.0?S-8
58Luigi VillaL. VillaBugattiT512.0?S-8
60Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12
62Emilio RomanoE. RomanoBugattiT512.6?S-8

Scuderia Ferrari wins against minimal opposition.

by Leif Snellman
The first Circuito della Superba was raced at the same time as the Avusrennen where the Scuderia Ferrari entries had been scratched to save the team from total humiliation. Here against minimal opposition the Ferrari team took a triple victory, with Trossi winning from Tadini, both in 12C-36. Trossi took an early lead followed by Tadini, Biondetti, Emilio Villoresi and Minozzi. Minozzi was a early retirement and pole position man Biondetti retired about halfway through the race.
There had been plans for a street race in Genoa for several years. The first competition was to be held in October 1935 only to be cancelled in the last moment for economical reasons. But the project was kept alive and in the end the first "Circuito della Superba" took place in 1937 with motor cycle racing on 27th May, followed by a car racing three days later.
      A 4,384 m long track was initially planned but in the end the Genova section of R.A.C.I. headed by di Belforte settled for a of 3,036 m circuit following the coast line some 2 km east of the city center. The main grandstand and start were located on Corso Italia between Via Tommaso Campanella and Via Don Giovanni Minzoni, where also a pit with 20 boxes was built. From there the course went anticlockwise on the following streets: Corso Italia, Boccadasse, Via Oreste De Gaspari, Via Tommaso Campanella down to a hairpin behind the grandstand leading back via Via Don Giovanni Minzoni. Then it continued along Via Piero Gobetti, Via Roselli Nello e Carlo, Via Piave and finally along Corso Italia back to the start/finish.
      The circuit included a hairpin and several 90 degree corners. On the map the circuit looks decent both regarding the surroundings and the circuit itself. However, Il Littoriale claimed it to be too short and tight for the cars to be able to show their true speed.
      Five stands for a total of 1200 spectators were put up. Three large scoreboards were to show the positions and times every five laps. Plenty of straw bales and sand bags were used for protection.
The Circuito della Superba clashed with the Avus Rennen in Berlin so the foreign teams and drivers selected the latter making Circuito della Superba an wholly Italian event.
      The Scuderia Ferrari top drivers Nuvolari, Farina and Brivio had been reserved for Avus and could thus not attend. The team instead chose Mario Tadini and Carlo Felice Trossi to race two of their 12 cylinder cars and Clemente Biondetti to race an 8 cylinder car. They also entered Emilio Villoresi in a 2900A sports car.
      Alessandro Wild, racing under the pseudonym "Ventidue", entered a 2.3L Monza (# 2111038).
      There were also Alfa Romeos entered by Giovanni Minozzi (Tipo B), Pietro Ghersi (Monza). Lorenzo Delpino raced his 8C-2300 with a Touring Spider body and a tall radiator.
Practice took place under sunny and hot May weather.
      The times from Friday practice were: Biondetti 1m48.4s, Trossi 1m52.2s (doing 8 laps), E. Villoresi 1m56.0s, Delpino 1m58.4s, Tadini 1m58.8s, "Ventidue" 2m02.2s, Ghersi 2m02.8s. Tadini made only three laps before having to stop with gearbox problems.
      Times from Saturday practice were: Biondetti 1m50s, Trossi 1m49.2s, Tadini 1m51.6s, E. Villoresi 1m52.8s?, Minozzi 2m02s.
      The only decent time set by a Bugatti driver was Romano's 2m04.8s.
      That meant that as expected the Scuderia Ferrari Alfas of Biondetti, Trossi and Tadini shared the first row of he grid.
The start was initially planned for 16:30 but after some delays Umberto Albini, prefect of Genoa, sent away the 12 cars on their 50 lap journey at 16:55.
Pole Position

Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo

E Villoresi

Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo

Rest of grid unknown.

Biondetti with the 8 cylinder Alfa initially held the lead but on the third lap he was passed by Trossi with the 12 cylinder car. Tadini with the other 12 cylinder car soon took over second position with Biondetti falling back to third. Emilio Villoresi was fourth followed by Minozzi, who however soon retired leaving Delpino and "Ventidue" to fight for 5th and 6th position. They were followed by the four Bugattis, while Ghersi was unable to get his Alfa up to speed and decided to call it a day. The order remained unchanged until Biondetti on the 27th lap destroyed his differential when braking hard to avoid a car that spun in front of him and had to retire.
      That put Villoresi up to third but of course he had no chance against Trossi and Tadini, who dominated the race lapping Villoresi twice and the rest of the field at least four times while cruising. So the Scuderia Ferrari cars finished in the top three positions. Then came the two private Alfas and last the four Bugattis. Trossi's medium speed of the race was 98.5 km/h but it's claimed he easily could have pushed it over a hundred if needed to.



1.60Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12501h32m27.4s
2.48Mario TadiniScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12501h33m43.6s+ 1m16.2s
3.50Emilio VilloresiScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo2900A2.9S-8481h33m56.6s
4.52Lorenzo DelpinoL. DelpinoAlfa Romeo8C-23002.3S-8461h33m42.8s
5.42"Ventidue""Ventidue"Alfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8451h33m35.8s
6.62Emilio RomanoE. RomanoBugattiT512.3S-8441h33m01.8s
7.40Andrea BrezziScuderia SubaudaBugattiT512.3S-8431h33m50.0s
8.58Luigi VillaL. VillaBugattiT512.3S-8411h33m29.6s
9.56Emilio VicentiniE. VicentiniBugattiT512.3S-8301h32m52.2s
DNF54Clemente BiondettiScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-827rear axle
DNF46Pietro GhersiScuderia MaremmanaAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-86too slow
DNF44Giovanni MinozziG. MinozziAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-83
Fastest lap: Carlo Felice Trossi (Alfa Romeo) on lap 16 in 1m48s = 101.2 km/h (62.9 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 98.5 km/h (61.2 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 100.8 km/h (62.7 mph)
Weather: warm and sunny.
In retrospect:
Apart from a motorcycle race in 1940 this was the only pre-war Circuito della Superba. After the war there were races in Genoa 1946-1961 with a changed circuit configuration. I have here followed the entry numbers and teams from Il Littoriale with car types according to Sheldon's A Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing Volume IV (1st ed).

Primary sources researched for this article:
IL Littoriale, Roma
La Stampa, Torino
Special thanks to:
Michael Müller
Alessandro Silva

Star 30 May 1937: Wilbur Shaw (Shaw-Offenhauser) with Jigger Johnson as riding mechanic wins the "Indianapolis 500" race with a speed of 113.58 mph. Johnson would be the final winning riding mechanic in Indy history.
Star 30 May 1937: Hans Rüesch (Alfa Romeo 8C-35 3.8L) wins the "Bucuresti GP" in Romania. The race is run 35 laps on a 3650m long cicuit for a total of 127.75 km.
1.Hans RüeschAlfa Romeo 8C-351h15m20.5s (101.7 km/h)
2.Jean(Ioan) CalcianuDuesenberg
3.Luca Niculescu BMW 328
(Info supplied by Valentin Raducan).

B Bira - DelageRaymond Mays - ERAPatrick Fairfield - ERA

(Voiturette 1500cc)

Douglas - Isle of Man (GBM), 3 June 1937 (Thursday)
50 laps x 6.28 km = (3.901 mi) = 313.9 km (195.05 mi)


2Philip JuckerP. JuckerAlta1.5DNS - fatal accident
2"B Bira""B Bira"Delage15S81.5S-8DNS - alternative car
3Charlie DodsonF W DixonDixon-RileySpecialDNS - supercharger
4Arthur DobsonA. C. DobsonERAB1.5S-6
5"B Bira""B Bira"ERAB1.5S-6
6Ian ConnellI. ConnellERAB1.5S-6
7Raymond MaysH W CookERAC1.5S-6
8Earl HoweH W CookERA1.5S-6DNA - driver injured
9Patrick FairfieldH W CookERAC1.5S-6
10Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-6
11Peter WhiteheadP. WhiteheadERAB1.5S-6
12Charles MartinC. MartinMartin-JapDNA - raced at AVUS
14Robin HansonMrs Hall-SmithMaserati6CM1.5S-6
15John Du PuyJ. Du PuyMaserati6CM1.5S-6
16Emmanuel de GraffenriedJ. Du PuyMaserati4CM1.5S-4
17Peter AitkenEcurie AitkenMaserati1.5DNA - did not appear
18Austin DobsonEcurie AitkenMaserati6CM1.5S-6
19Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
20Reg ParnellR. ParnellMGK3 Magnette1.1S-6
21Bill HughesB. HughesMGK3 Magnette1.1S-6
22Percy MaclureP. MaclureRiley1500/61.1?
23Antony Powys-LybbeA. Powys-LybbeTalbotS-8DNA - did not appear

Bira beats the works cars in rain

by Leif Snellman
It was rain during the whole race. Mays took the lead in his works ERA but was passed by Bira, who started to pull away as Mays was falling back with brake problems. For 20 laps Fairfield (works ERA) and Luigi Villoresi (Maserati) fought for second place before the latter retired with broken fuel line. The works ERAs took over the lead when Bira made a pitstop for fuel but the Siamese showed his driving skills, fighting back in the heavy rain, to retake the lead on lap 36 and take the victory from the worlk cars. ERAs took the top five positions, 6th being the young Swiss driver Emanuel de Graffenried with a Maserati.
Bira R2B in light blue "Romulus", Ian Connell dark blue R6B, Artur Dobson white R7B, Whitehead and Walker as to share R10B Tongue R11B, Mays and Fairfield in black works R4C and R12C. Ear Howe was entered but of course did not appear and Martin had entered aMartin-Jap but raced instaed at AVUS with his new ERA.
Bira tried both his Delage and his ERA, finding the latter superior. During the practice Philip Jucker (Alta) crashed with fatal results.
      Works ERA drums changed after practice

      Thursday proved to be rainy and cold which of course affected on the spectator numbers.
Pole Position
"B Bira"








L Villoresi


A C Dobson




de Graffenried




Au Dobson






Du Puy






As the flag was dropped and the 15 cars went away in a cloud off spray Mays took advantage of his pole position to take the lead, followed by Bira and Villoresi Fairfield and Tongue. On the broadway on the way down to the bay Fairfield passed Villoresi for third position and somewhere Bira also found the way past Mays to held the lead after the first lap. Du Puy parked his Maserati because of a a faulty oil pressure pump and Walker came into the pit with his ERA to change a spark plug, dropping from 9th to 12th. Hughes with his MG also made a pit stop. Bira did his second lap in 3m21s and started to pull away on the rainy track as Mays was once again suffering from brake problems. Fairfield, Tongue, Connell and Villoresi follwed. On lap three Villoresi took fifth position from Connell. On the fourth lap Fairfield passed his team mate and soon afterwards Tongue also passed Mays for third position. On lap five mays was down to fifth he was passed by Villoresis red Maserati. Walker made a 3m19s lap and on the next one Bira went one second faster. Parnell made the first of several pit stops. On the eight lap Villoresi had caught Tongue and passed for third position. Tongue did lap 9 in 3m15s.
      10 laps:
1.Bira (ERA)33m22s
2.Fairfield (ERA)34m01s
3.Villoresi (Maserati)34m03s
4.Tongue (ERA)34m05s
5.Mays (ERA)34m49s

Villoresi passed Fairfield on the Promenade on lap 11 only to be re-passed on the next lap. This spectaculare duel came to an end on lap 15 as Villoresi's Maserati slowed down with a chomed fuel pipe line abnd the supercharger filled with oil and came to a halt after having failed to climb the hill at Port Jack S-bend. The driver started walking rain unable to speak English, did his best to try to find the way back to the pits. Walker was doing great and after ten laps he had retaken fifth position after his early stop. On lap 16 Walker went by Mays temporary but was soon re-passed.
      20 laps:
1.Bira (ERA)1h06m10s **
2.Fairfield (ERA)1h06m57s
3.Tongue (ERA)1h07m14s
4.Mays (ERA)1h07m48s
5.Walker (ERA)1h07m51s

They were followed by Connell, de Graffenried, Arthur Dobson, Austin Dobson, Hanson and Maclure. On the 23rd lap Chula gave order to Bira to run faster to have a sufficent gap to the works cars Mays had now come to the grip with his brake problem by braking with the gearbox. He passed Tongue and sat a new lap record of 3m12s. On lap 28 he went still two seconds faster to set the fastest lap of the day. Hughes had made several pitstops because of plug and fuel feed problems before finally retiering the MG with a blown head gasket on lap 26. on the same lap de Graffenried had made a one minute stop for fuel and Connell a 55s stop.
      30 laps:
1.Bira (ERA)1h39m01s
2.Fairfield (ERA)1h39m56s
3.Mays (ERA)1h40m07s
4.Tongue (ERA)1h40m39s
5.Walker (ERA)1h40m45s

After 30 laps Walker came in for refueling, giving over the ERA to Whitehead who was now suffering from brake problems just as his team mate. On lap 31 Bira who was leading by 56 seconds made his pit stop, taking on 20 gallons in 55s. he came out in third positions but almost immediately passed Fairfield for second and then it took him just a further three laps to catch mays and retake the lead. On lap 33 Tongue made a very fast 23s stop to fill up the tank. Connell had lost much of the speed on his ERA as the suffered serious plug trouble due to a faulty magneto. On lap 37 Mays made a short stop for fuel while Fairfield continued at a slow pace trying to make the whole distance without refueling. That meant that Bira now held a 40s lead and only a bad mistake or some mechanical problem could hinder the Siamese from taking the victory.
      40 laps:
1.Bira (ERA)2h12m33s
2.Fairfield (ERA)2h13m13s
3.Mays (ERA)2h13m25s
4.Tongue (ERA)2h14m36s
5.Whitehead (ERA)2h16m39s

Mays soon passed Fairfield for second position . Bira took the flag after an impressing race in the rain, clearly beating the works cars in "Romulus". Mays and Fairfield, Tongue and Whitelhead fulfilled the ERA domination. After Bira took the flag the rest had five minutes to make the whole distance. After that they were flagged in. Emmanuel 'Toulo' de Graffenried who recently had turned 23 finished sixth and was followed by Arthur Dobson, Austin Dobson, Robin Hanson, Maclure and the struggling Ian Connell. .Reg Parnell, who had been in and out of the pit countless times was last 15 laps behind Bira.
      Fastest laps: Mays 3m10s, Bira 3m11s, Fairfield & Villoresi 3m13s, Tongue 3m15s.



1.5"B Bira""B Bira"ERAB1.5S-6502h45m34s
2.7Raymond MaysH W CookERAC1.5S-6502h46m16s+ 42s
3.9Patrick FairfieldH W CookERAC1.5S-6502h46m53s+ 1m19s
4.10Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-6502h48m05s+ 2m31s
5.11P. Whitehead/P. WalkerP. WhiteheadERAB1.5S-6502h50m13s+ 4m56s
6.16Emmanuel de GraffenriedJ. Du PuyMaserati6CM1.5S-649
7.4Arthur DobsonA. C. DobsonERAB1.5S-648
8.18Austin DobsonEcurie AitkenMaserati6CM1.5S-648
9.14Robin HansonMrs Hall-SmithMaserati6CM1.5S-648
10.22Percy MaclureP. MaclureRiley1500/61.5S-648
11.6Ian ConnellI. ConnellERAB1.5S-645
12.20Reg ParnellR. ParnellMGK3 Magnette1.1S-635
DNF21Bill HughesB. HughesMGK3 Magnette1.1S-620head gasket
DNF19Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-615fuel feed
DNF15John Du PuyJ. Du PuyMaserati6CM1.5S-61oil pressure
Fastest lap: Raymond Mays (ERA) on lap 28 in 3m10s = 119.0 km/h (73.9 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 113.8 km/h (70.7 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 126.3 km/h (78.5 mph)
Weather: rainy and cold.

Carlo Pintacuda - Alfa RomeoHans Stuck - Auto unionAntônio Brívio - Alfa Romeo


Gavea - Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 6 June 1937
25 laps x 11.16 km (6.935 mi) = 279.0 km (173.4 mi)


2Carlo GazzabiniC. GazzabiniAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
4Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
6Chico LandiScuderia ExcelsiorFiatGP1.5
8Cicero Marques PortoEscuderia BrasilBugattiT35A2.0S-8
10Carlos ArzaniC. ArzaniAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8
12"Marcedady"G. HardyBugattiT512.2S-8
14Arthur Nascimento JúniorA. Nascimento JrAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
16Joaquim Sant'AnnaJ. Sant'annaFiatDNS - did not start
18Ricardo CarúR. CarúAlfa Romeo8C 2900 A2.9S-8
20Querino LandiScuderia ExcelsiorBugattiT35A2.0S-8
22Rubem AbrunhosaR. AbrunhosaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
24Armando SartorelliR. SartorelliHispano-SuizaDNQ- too slow
26Raul RigantiR. RigantiBugattiHudson3.5
28Domingos LopesD. LopesBugattiT35A2.0S-8
30Júlio de MoraesJ. de MoraesWandererSpecial2.6
32A. Moraes SarmentoEscuderia BrasilFordSpecial3.6V-8DNS - did not start
34Antônio BrívioScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12
36Norberto JungN. JungFordSpecial3.6V-8
38Vasco SameiroV. SameiroAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
40Carlo PintacudaScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8
42Benedicto LopesEscuderia BrasilAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
44José dos Santos SoeiroJ. Santos SoeiroFordSpecial3.6V-8
46José SantiagoJ. SantiagoFordSpecial3.6V-8
48Jean-Gilbert FouryJ-G. FouryBugattiT512.3S-8
50José de Almeida AraújoJ. de Almeida AraújoAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
52Manuel de TefféM de TefféAlfa RomeoTipo B/P33.2S-8DNS - banned from racing
54Vittorio CoppoliV. CoppoliBugattiT35B?2.3S-8
56Joăo Santos MauroJ. Santos MauroAlfa Romeo17501.8S-6DNS - alternative entry
56Luis Tavres de MoraisEscuderia BrasilBugattiT35A2.0S-8

Scuderia Ferrari surprises Auto Union.

by Leif Snellman
The race had gained full Grand Prix satus and among the several European entries were Stuck with an Auto Union and Pintacuda and Brivio driving for Scuderia Ferrari. 24 cars took part in the race that started in rainy weather. Pintacuda led the first part of the race until the rain stopped and Stuck was able to pass and tried to open a gap before his pit stop. After the pit stop however Stuck was unable to catch Pintacuda, who was running nonstop. The Ferrari driver took the victory with Stuck second and Brivio, despite several stops to change plugs third. There were several incidents during the race, the worst being a spectator being fatally run over by Benedicto Lopes' ex-Hellé-Nice Monza. Ricardo Carú was injured when he crashed his 1936 Sao Paulo winning Alfa Romeo.
After the resounding success of the 1936 race, the Automóvel Clube do Brasil intended to give the event a full international Grand Prix status. Therefore on the recommendations of A.I.A.C.R. The full length of the course was asphalted. There was expectatins of lap times of far less than eight minutes.
      Automóvel Clube do Brasil then set out in search of bringing to the event the top teams from Europe. After long negotiations where the huge travel expenses got covered Auto Union promised to send one car and Scuderia Ferrari two cars to the race.
      The news that Hans Stuck who had raced in Brazil earlier was going to the race representing Auto Union triggered great enthusiasm in all sports circles in the Brazilian capital. There were also rumours that Nuvolari might race. For the Brazilian driver to have a chance to compete against the Europeans, a contest was organized by the club in partnership with and the newspaper O Globo, to choose the most popular Brazilian driver, who would receive a modern Alfa Romeo Grand Prix car as a prize. Manuel de Teffé ended up winning the popularity contest. Further, four Brazil drivers were invited to race under the Automóvel Clube's own team "Escuderia Brasil".
      The prizes offered were high with the winner receiving 120 million reis, followed by 40, 25, 10 and 5 million for the other top five finishers. Local sponsors also offered huge prizes for the top Brazil performers.
First there were rumours that Stuck should go to Brazil on "Graf Zeppelin" (Note 1) but after the "Hindenburg" catastrophe on 6 May, plans obviously had to be changed. So Stuck travelled to Rio on board the "Cap Arcona" (Note 2), accompanied by the car, Stuck's chef mechanic Fritz Matthey, mechanics Arthur Frenzel and Rudolf Friedrich, truck driver Walter Kratel with the transporter, 100 litres of oil, and a tyre specialist from Continental with 30 tyres. After the "Cap Arcona" docked on 1? June Stuck and his racing staff were welcomed by the German embassy and the Brazilian Automobile Club. Hans Stuck trained with his car the day after his arrival, immediately improving the existing lap record by around 40 seconds.
      The Scuderia Ferrari team arrived 26? May onboard "Conte Grande". Carlo Pintacuda was to race a 8C-35 (#50011) and Antonio Brivio a 12C-36 (#50103) They were followed by Carlo Gazzabini with his private Alfa Romeo Monza.
      French drivers "Marcedady" and Jean-Gilbert Foury with his mechanic Jean Rigail and with two Bugattis arrived 22 May on "Highland Princess".
      Portugeise drivers Vasco do Sameiro and José de Almeida Araújo arrived 27 May on the German ship "General Artigas" with two Alfa Romeo Monza. At least one of the red cars had a white frame.
      Argentine drivers Carlos Arzani and Ricardo Carú had together bought an Alfa Romeo 8C-35 (#50014) from the factory. Arzani raced the new car while Carú was to race the 1936 Sao Paulo race winning Alfa Romeo 8C 2900A "Botticella" sports car owned by Arzani. The cars got stuck at the Brazil customs for a long time and there were worries they would not find time for practicing.
      Argentine driver Vittorio Coppoli entered a Bugatti and his countryman Raul Riganti entered a Hudson engined Bugatti.
      After Manuel de Teffé ended up winning the popularity contest Automóvel Clube do Brasil finally started to look for the promised Alfa Romeo. Either the club had underestimated the cost of a top class car or they had overestimated their own budget, ending up with 129 million reis. So they had to refuse an offer by Scuderia Ferrari for a 8C-35 in god shape. (255 million reis?) That car was instead sold to Argentinian Carlos Arzani. Arzani's 8C 2900A "Botticella" sports car also proved to be too costly (190 million reis) for the club to buy. Instead they settled, despite Enzo Ferrari's warnings, for an ex-Scuderia Maremmana 3.2 litre 1934 model Alfa Romeo Tipo B/P3, offered by Garage Romani in Milan for 77 million reis. The car arrived to Brazil with broken or worn parts, no replacement parts, worn tires, and only with two spare wheels. DeTeffé was furious and had to work day and night, later assisted by mechanics from the club, to get the car in shape. It is not known if de Teffé used the car or his old Monza for the practice.
      Arthur Nascimento Junior had better luck with the 2.9 litre Alfa Romeo Tipo B/3 he had bought from Enzo Ferrari himself. It was of the old narrow 1933 type but obviously in decent shape. It was repainted in Brazil race colors yellow and green.
      Rubem Abrunhosa raced an Alfa Romeo Monza and Benedicto Lopes raced the Alfa Romeo Monza that "Hellé-Nice" had crashed at the 1936 Sau Paulo Grand Prix, repaired locally and entered under the Escuderia Brasil name.
      Escuderia Brasil also entered A. Moraes Sarmento (Ford), Cicero Marques Porto with a Bugatti that arrived om "Conte Grande" and Luis Tavres de Morais (Bugatti). The last driver had not his race licence in order so on several entry lists and practice results Joăo Santos Mauro with an Alfa Romeo appeared instead. In the end it was however Tavres de Morais who took part in the race.
      Brothers Querino Landi and Francisco "Chico" Landi raced a Fiat and a Bugatti under the Scuderia Excelsior name. Domingos Lopes also entered a Bugatti.
      The rest of the field consited of Brazilian drivers with rebuilt specials. Norberto Jung, José dos Santos Soeiro and José Santiago entered Fords, Joaquim Sant'Anna race a Fiat, Armando Sartorelli a Hispano-Suiza and Júlio de Moraes a Wanderer.

A note regarding the Bugattis. Sources list a multitude of T37A voiturettes. Michael Müller has informed me that the majority of Bugattis exported to South America were type T35A "tecla", twelve against four T37A and four of other types. While the car numbers are known their history in South America is unknown. Therefore I have listed all the Bugattis as T35A except Coppoli's supercharged car (T35B?) and the French cars. T51 for the latter is also highly doutful.
The qualifying session was run on Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stuck proved fastest with a lap time of 7m29s (89.5 km/h). Armando Sartorelli failed to do a lap under the required 10 minute limit. Moraes Sarmento had to abandon his lap while Coppoli, Marques Porto, Riganti and Chico Landi did not take part in thw qualifying.
      After practice de Teffé gave his thoughts about how the Automóvel Clube do Brasil had handled the situation with the promised car in a written statement to the newspapers. The club answered by suspending the driver from racing for a unlimited time and sent police to confiscate the Alfa Romeo.
There had not been raining for along time but on race day there was almost a tropical rain. Delaying the 1934 race due to rain had led to tumult. Therefore the organizers now decided to go ahead with the race despite the conditions. Tickets for the stands around the circuit had quickly been sold out and inhabitants of nearby building took the opportunity to hire their balconies. Over 300,000 spectators, distributed along the entire course, had arrived to see the race. The main grandstand was filled with authorities including the President of the Republic and the diplomatic corps.
      Apart from de Teffe two drivers did not start: A. Moraes Sarmento due to a gearbox trouble and Joaquim Sant'Anna with a broken wheel (suspension?).
      The cars lined up on the grid at 9 a.m. Some papers showed a grid with a gap left for de Teffe, who with a qualifying time of 8m25.8s whould have had a position between Gazzabini and Abrunhosa, but a picture shows Marcededy's Bugatti lined up behind Pintacuda. It is however not known if the gap left by Sant'Anna also was filled up:
Pole Position

Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo


Auto Union

B Lopes

Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo

Nascimento Jr

Alfa Romeo

Santos Soeiro





Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo






Alfa Romeo





de Moraes


Q Landi


D Lopes




Marques Porto




de Moraes




F Landi


There was some delays but at 9.57 a.m. Dr. Romeu de Miranda lowered the flag and the 24 cars skidded away with Stuck taking the lead followed by Pintacuda, Arzani, Nachimento, Brivio, Caru. B. Lopes Sameiro and Abrunhosa.
      In the twisty mountain section Pintacuda passed Stuck to take the lead of the race. The order after the first lap looked like this:
1.Pintacuda (Alfa Romeo)8m22s
2.Stuck (Auto Union)8m24s
3.Brivio (Alfa Romeo)
4.Arzani (Alfa Romeo)
5.Naschimento (Alfa Romeo)
6.B. Lopes (Alfa Romeo)
7.Sameiro (Alfa Romeo)
8.Carú (Alfa Romeo)
9.Abrunhosa (Alfa Romeo)
10.Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)
11.C. Landi (Fiat)
12.Fourny (Bugatti)
13.Santiago (Ford)
14.Santos Soeiro (Ford)
15.Jung (Ford)
16.D Lopes (Bugatti)
17.Coppoli (Bugatti)
18.Riganti (Hudson)
19.Tavres de Morais (Bugatti)
20.Marcedady (Bugatti)
21.Araújo (Alfa Romeo)
22.de Moraes (Wanderer)

Chico Landi, who due to lack of practice time had started in the last row, had made a spectacular lap and was already in 11th position. Querino Landi arrived slowly and entered the pit to retire with an engine failure. Marques Porto made a pit stop as well but continued the race in last position.
      The cars continued sorting themselves out during the second lap. B. Lopes passed Naschimento for fifth position, Chico Landi continued his advance passing Gazzabini and Abrunhosa for 9th. Jung passed Santos Soeiro for 14th place. At the end of the lap Stuck followed just one second behind Pintacuda while third positioned Brivio stopped to change plugs returning in 8th position behind Caru.
      On the third lap Sameiro passed Naschimento for fifth while Gazzabini and Abrunhosa swapped positions. Pintacuda already caught the slowest cars putting Marques Porto and de Moraes a lap down. Up in the mountains Luis Tavres de Morais' Bugatti caught fire, the driver escaping with minor burns on his feet while a nearby spectator who assisted him also got burns.
      Chico Landi stopped in the pit for a fuel leak repair. Soon thereafter Riganti retired due to a broken cylinder on his Bugatti-Hudson.
      On the fourth lap Pintacuda increased his lead from two to five seconds and put Araujo, Malcedady and Soeiro a lap down. Brivio had advanced to fifth. Further back D. Lopes passed Santiago for 13th position. Chico Landi retired his Fiat due to a broken fuel tank attachment leaving Scuderia Excelsior without representatives in the race, as his brother had already retired.
      During the fifth lap Pintacuda lapped three more competitors, Coppoli, Santiago and D. Lopes, and increased his lead over Stuck to 13 seconds. Fourny in 11th position made pit stop to repair a fuel feed problem. This was the situation after 5 laps:
1.Pintacuda (Alfa Romeo)
2.Stuck (Auto Union)
3.Brivio (Alfa Romeo)
4.Arzani (Alfa Romeo)
5.Sameiro (Alfa Romeo)
6.B Lopes (Alfa Romeo)
7.Naschimento (Alfa Romeo)
8.Carú (Alfa Romeo)
9.Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)
10.Abrunhosa (Alfa Romeo)
11.Fourny (Bugatti)
12.Jung (Ford)- 1 lap
13.D Lopes (Bugatti)- 1 lap
14.Coppoli (Bugatti)- 1 lap
15.Santiago (Ford)- 1 lap
16.Santos Soeiro (Ford)- 1 lap
17.Marcedady (Bugatti)- 1 lap
18.Araújo (Alfa Romeo)- 1 lap
19.de Moraes (Wanderer)- 1 lap

During the sixth lap Pintacuda put Jung, Fourny and Ambruhosa a lap down and increased the lead further to 20 seconds. There were now only nine cars left on the leading lap. Jung as well as B. Lopes and Arzani made pit stops, Arzani dropping from fourth to eight position. Caru managed to pass Naschimento for fifth place.
      Pintacuda keeping a 19 second lead fater seven laps. Gazzabini in 9th position got lapped. Cicero Marques Porto, already several laps behind, had picked up F. Landi in the mountains as a passenger and delivered him to the his pit before continuing the race. He would however soon give up himself.
      During the 8th lap Stuck closed the gap to 12 seconds.Fourny and Domingos Lopes in 12th and 13th positions made pit stops with Foury retiring and Santiago retiring as well. Lopes fell further back when his Bugatti started to burn in the pit. The fire was however soon controlled.
      The situation remained the same during the ninth lap with Pintacuda keeping a 14s lead. At the enf of the lap Brivio made a new pit stop returning fourth behind Sameiro.
      The rain had stopped and with the better conditions Stuck was during the 10th lap able to close the gap to Pintacuda to 6 seconds. Arzani passed Naschimento for 9th position. The order after 10 laps was thus:
1.Pintacuda (Alfa Romeo)
2.Stuck (Auto Union)
3.Sameiro (Alfa Romeo)
4.Brivio (Alfa Romeo)
5.B. Lopes (Alfa Romeo)
6.Carú (Alfa Romeo)
7.Arzani (Alfa Romeo)
8.Naschimento (Alfa Romeo)
9.Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)- 1 lap
10.Abrunhosa (Alfa Romeo)- 1 lap
11.Jung (Ford)- 1 lap
12.Santos Soeiro (Ford)- 1 lap

During the next laps the distance between Pintacuda and Stuck remained between 6 and 8 seconds. On the 12th lap Abrunhosa passed Gazzabini for 9th position. On the next lap both of them were lapped for a second time by Pintacuda. Ricardo Carú, who was in 8th position, passing Laoinha skidded and overturned his sports Alfa Romeo. Rumours about the crash spread through the stands, causing general consternation. In the end the crash proved less serious than feared with Carú not seriously injured. Gazzabini also had too retire.
      On the 12th lap Stuck took over the lead of the race, and tried to open a gap to get a margin for his planned pit stop. Pintacuda on the other hand was planning to go the distance nonstop. At the end of the 15th lap Stuck made his pitstop as did Ambrunhosa who was two laps behind. Arzani passed Nachimento for fifth position while Domingos Lopes' Bugatti stopped in the mountain section. This was the order after 15 laps:
1.Stuck (Auto Union)
2.Pintacuda (Alfa Romeo)
3.Brivio (Alfa Romeo)
4.Sameiro (Alfa Romeo)
5.B. Lopes (Alfa Romeo)
6.Arzani (Alfa Romeo)- 1 lap
7.Naschimento (Alfa Romeo)- 1 lap

Due to Stuck's pit stop Pintacuda held a 44 seconds lead after 16 laps. On the extremely twisty circuit the Alfa Romeo cars proved equal in lap times the fast and powerful Auto Union. Benedicto Lopes in fifth position was lapped by Pintacuda. After 17 laps the distance remained 43s with Stuck closing in by just 2 seconds during the 18th lap. Brivio made a pit stop without loosing his 3rd position. On the 19th lap Sameiro in fourth position was lapped leaving only Pintacuda, Stuck and Brivio on the lead lap. Arzani passed Benedicto Lopes for fifth position. Soeiro, several laps behind, made a pit stop. This was the situation after 20 laps with Pintacuda leading by 43 seconds:
1.Pintacuda (Alfa Romeo)
2.Stuck (Auto Union)
3.Brivio (Alfa Romeo)
4.Sameiro (Alfa Romeo)- 1 lap
5.Arzani (Alfa Romeo)- 1 lap
6.B. Lopes (Alfa Romeo)- 1 lap
7.Naschimento (Alfa Romeo)- 1 lap

On the 21th lap at Rua Marquez de Săo Vicente a young man named Almeirinho Ribeiro crossed the street in front of Benedicto Lopes' Monza. Lopes tried in vain to avoid the disaster. Being run over dragged by the car the crash proved fatal for the spectator. Lopes made a pitstop to check the condition of the car (ironically the same Monza that had involved in the 1936 Sao Paulo catastrophe). He then continued the with a bloodied car that had two holes in the hood. He had however lost a lap. That left only three cars on the leading laps and 4th Sarmeino and 5th Arzani one lap behind. After 23 laps Pintacuda's lead was still 37s. Sameiro made a pit stop without loosing his 4th position. On the two last laps Pintacuda, saving fuel slowed down a bit and Stuck was able to close in to 7 seconds before the end of the race.

It was a huge victory for the Scuderia Ferari team that could return to Europe with 120 million reis from Pintacuda's victory and 25 for Brivio's third postion. Among the Brazil drivers Benedicto Lopes received 30, Naschimento Jr. 25, Abrumhosa 20 and Jung 15 million reis.
      The initial plan had been for Stuck to go to the Vanderbilt cup. However after setting a 1 km (standing start) Class B speed record at Petropolis on 9 June Stuck returned to Europe with "Cap Arcona". The C type Auto Union however went to the Vanderbilt cup to be a spare car.



1.40Carlo PintacudaScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8253h22m06.5s
2.4Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16253h22m13.8s+ 7.3s
3.34Antônio BrívioScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12253h29m08.1s+ 7m01.6s
4.38Vasco SameiroV. SameiroAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8253h35m00.8s+ 12m54.3s
5.10Carlos ArzaniC. ArzaniAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8253h35m43.2s+ 13m36.7s
6.42Benedicto LopesEscuderia BrasilAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8253h39m10.2s+ 17m03.7s
7.14Arthur Nascimento JúniorA. Nascimento JrAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8253h42m02.8s+ 19m46.3s
8.22Rubem AbrunhosaR. AbrunhosaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8253h54m11.9s+ 32m05.4s
9.36Norberto JungN. JungFordSpecial3.6V-824
10.50José de Almeida AraújoJ. de Almeida AraújoAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-823
DNF44José dos Santos SoeiroJ. Santos SoeiroFordSpecial3.6V-822/19
DNF12"Marcedady"G. HardyBugattiT512.2S-818
DNF28Domingos LopesD. LopesBugattiT35A2.0S-818/15
DNF2Carlo GazzabiniC. GazzabiniAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-815/13
DNF18Ricardo CarúR. CarúAlfa Romeo8C 2900 A2.9S-813crash
DNF30Júlio de MoraesJ. de MoraesWandererSpecial2.611
DNF8Cicero Marques PortoEscuderia BrasilBugattiT35A2.0S-89
DNF46José SantiagoJ. SantiagoFordSpecial3.6V-87
DNF48Jean-Gilbert FouryJ-G. FouryBugattiT512.3S-81/7
DNF54Vittorio CoppoliV. CoppoliBugattiT35B?2.3S-88/5
DNF6Chico LandiScuderia ExcelsiorFiatGP1.56/4fuel tank
DNF26Raul RigantiR. RigantiBugattiHudson3.55/3cylinder
DNF56Luis Tavres de MoraisEscuderia BrasilBugattiT35A2.0S-85/2fire
DNF20Querino LandiScuderia ExcelsiorBugattiT35A2.0S-81engine
Fastest lap: Hans Stuck (Auto Union) on lap 25 in 7m39.5s = 87,4 km/h (54.3 mph)
Winning speed: 82,8 km/h (51.4 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 89.5 km/h (55.6 mph)
Weather: rain until lap 9.
Fastest laps:
Stuck (Auto Union)7m39.5slap 25
Pintacuda (Alfa Romeo)7m40.5slap 19
Brivio (Alfa Romeo)7m48.5slap 24
Arzani (Alfa Romeo)7m53.7s lap 22
Sameiro (Alfa Romeo)8m08.2slap 19
B. Lopes (Alfa Romeo)8m09.1slap 24
Nascimento (Alfa Romeo)8m17.7slap 21
Abrunhosa (Alfa Romeo)8m36.0slap 22
In retrospect:
There were about as many variants of the events during the race, car orders, or laps done when retired as there were newspapers. I have used the car orders from Jornal do Brasil where the reporter listed the cars as they passed by, while mentioning if they had lost a lap, and seems hardly have missed any cars.

1. "Graf Zeppelin" had made 13 and "Hindenburg" seven flights to Rio de Janeiro in 1936.

2. Regarding the ships:
Hamburg-South America Line's turbine steamer "Cap Arcona" (27560 GRT, 205.9m, 20 knots, built 1927) was sunk by British planes on 3 May 1945, the disaster claiming at least 5,000 lives.

Italia Flotta Riunite's turbine steamer "Conte Grande" (25661 GRT, 199.6m 20 knots, built 1928) survived until 1961.

Hamburg America Line's turbine steamer "General Artigas" (ex- Westphalia, 11254 GRT, 150.9m 13.5 knots, built 1923) was sunk 23 July 1943 in Hamburg by British planes.

Nelson Line's motorship "Highland Princess" (14128 GRT, 165-8m, 15 knots, built 1930) was torpedoed by German U 38 on 1 october 1940.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Correio da Manhă, Rio de Janeiro
Jornal do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro
Jornal dos Sports
A Noite, Rio de Janeiro
RACI, Roma
Simon Moore: The Magnificent Monopostos
Special thanks to:
Hugo Boecker
Marcelo Ferreira
Napoleăo Ribeiro
Vladislav Shaikhnurov
Michael Müller

Star 2-4 June 1937: Auto Union made extra tests at Nürburgring, starting off with Hasse on 2 June. On 3rd June Rosemeyer arrived, landing his Bücker Jungmann airplane at Quiddelbacher Höhe on an clearing where an air strip for gliders was planned. The plane was damaged in the landing but was pushed to the pits for repairs. Rosemeyer did some laps with the Auto Union, putting in a best time of a 9m54s, and the next day he started off with his plane from start/finish area (aviation authorities were repeatedly calling, asking what was going on).
Tests continued with Hasse, Müller and von Delius driving until von Delius was hit by sparrow in the face and crashed at Bergwerk. The driver walked away with a bruised thigh but the test was interrupted and the car sent back to Zwickau for repairs.
Star 6 June 1937: The "Grand Prix de Marseille" 3 hour sports car race is run in 3 heats on the Miramas track in France. Results:
1.Raymond SommerTalbot T150C3h03m00s
2.Gianfranco ComottiTalbot T150C3h04m26s
3.Albert DivoTalbot T150C- 1 lap
4.René CarričreDelahaye 135CS - 3 laps
5.André MorelTalbot T150C- 5 laps
6.Joseph PaulDelahaye 135CS- 5 laps?
Star 12 June 1937: "Pat" Fairfield (ERA) wins the "Nuffield Trophy" handicap race at Donington Park, England, from Arthur C.Dobson (ERA) and Raymond Mays (ERA), all three starting from scratch.

René Dreyfus - MaseratiCarlo Felice Trossi - MaseratiEttore Bianco - Maserati

(Voiturette 1500cc)

Firenze (I), 13 June 1937
70 laps x 3.307 km (2.055 mi) = 231.49 km (143.84 mi)


2Aldo BenedettiA. BenedettiTalbot750S-4DNS - did not start
6Aldo MarazzaA. MarazzaMaserati4CS1.5S-4
8"B Bira""B Bira"ERAB1.5S-6
10Franco CorteseScuderia MaremmanaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
12Ferdinando BarbieriScuderia MaremmanaMaserati4CM1.5S-4
14Francesco SeveriScuderia MaremmanaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
16John WakefieldJ. WakefieldMaserati6CM1.5S-6
18Ettore BiancoOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6
20Giuseppe MussoG. MussoMaserati4CM1.5S-4
24Vittorio BelmondoV. BelmondoMaserati6CM1.5S-6
26Carlo Felice TrossiOfficine A MaseratiMaserati4CM1.5S-4
28René DreyfusOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6
30Malachia FumagalliM. FumagalliMaserati4CM1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
32Peter WhiteheadP. WhiteheadERAB1.5S-6
34Mario ColiniScuderia ImperoMaserati4CM1.5S-4
36Piero DusioScuderia TorinoMaserati6CM1.5S-6
38Giovanni RoccoG. RoccoMaserati6CM1.5S-6
40Mario MoradeiEcurie HelvetiaMaserati4CS1.5S-4
42Emilio VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CM1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
44Nicholas EmbiricosN. EmbiricosERAA1.5S-6DNS - practice crash
46Fritz GollinSüddeutsche RenngemeinschaftMaserati6CM1.5S-6DNA - did not appear
48Ferdinando RighettiF. RighettiMaserati4CM1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
50Luigi PlatéL PlatéTalbot7001.5S-8DNA - did not appear
52Luigi CastelbarcoL PlatéTalbot7001.5S-8DNA - did not appear
54Guido BarbieriG. BarbieriB.M.1.5S-4
56Pasquale ContiniP. ContiniMaserati4CM1.5S-4
58Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-6

Maseratis superior on the streets of Florence.

by Leif Snellman
During practice Embiricos (ERA) crashed and decided to quit racing. Trossi was on pole in his new works car but was beaten at the start by Bira. Bira was soon in trouble with the brakes, leaving the Maseratis to take a triple lead. At 1/3 race distance Trossi, suffering from the heat, had to handle the car over to Rovere for some laps. Dreyfus took over the lead and held it to finish. In the end Trossi returned to the race and managed to finish second while Bianco in the third works Maserati was third.
It was called the "1500 race of the decade" and "gran premio delle millecinque". Regarding the prizes offered this was the biggest Italian voiturette event of the year with 100,000 lire prize (some $5300 or Ł1080) to be given to the winner and the interest was high, most Italian voiturette drivers with a car available were trying to take part.
      For the first Florence race a course was lined up between the Fortezza di Basso fortress and Piazza Cavour (now: Piazza della Liberta) a little bit north of the city centre. It was 3.307 km long and had the feeling of a park circuit without actually being in a park. The pits were positioned in a garden on the east side of the fortress and start and finish on the north side. From there the course circled the fortress counter clockwise, first with a fast right curve followed by a slow right angle turn. Following Viale Filippo Strozzi on the south side of the fort it then continued to a S-turn that lead to the wide Viale Regina Margherita (now: Viale Spartaco Lavagnini), which was divided into two lines with wooden cones. Here the drivers had the experience of meeting the opponents coming in opposite direction. The cars followed the right line, circled Piazza Cavour with its victory column before returning along the left line of Viale Regina Margherita. A right hand curve led the cars back to the pit area and then a left hand curve led to the finish line.
      On this track the 6 cylinder Maseratis with their better road holding had the edge in the corners over the ERAs. The only way for the ERA drivers to compensate was to out-brake their opponents. But ERA had a triumph card as they possibly might do the distance non-stop while the Maseratis had to stop for refuelling.
The works ERAs were racing that weekend at the "Nuffield Trophy" handicap race at Donington Park but four private ERAs turned up in Florence to face 16 Maseratis. Peter Whitehead was in his black R10B and Reggie Tongue in his dark green R11B. Greek driver Nicholas Embiricos' grey R2A was prepared by Giulio Ramponi and newly equipped with Tecnauto independent front wheel suspension.
      Prince Bira was to race R2B "Romulus". The car came more or less straight as it had raced at Isle of Man. The idea had been to alternate between "Romulus" and "Remus" during the season but as the troublesome Delage project took much of the "White Mouse Stable" mechanics' time, "Remus" was not in race condition in 1937 and was used for spare parts.
      Among the Maserati entries was a blue 6CM (#1546) newly acquired by the British driver Johnny Wakefield who formerly had raced Altas. Apart from the ERAs that was the only non-red car in the field.
      Carlo Felice Trossi was to race the new works Maserati that equipped with an aerodynamic body Giuseppe Furmanik had used to break the class F speed record on 3rd June. The car combined the six cylinder chassis with its superior road performance with an up rated four cylinder engine, which had better torque than the six cylinder one. The car featured quarter elliptic springs on the rear suspension. Two other works Maseratis were entered for René Dreyfus and Ettore Bianco.
      Scuderia Maremmania entered one four cylinder and two six cylinder cars for Franco Cortese, Ferdinando Barbieri and Francesco Severi. Scuderia Torino entered a 6CM for Piero Dusio and Mario Colini raced a 4CM under the Scuderia Impero name.
      Apart from Giovanni Rocco's 6CM (#1540) the rest of the competitors were privateers in 4 cylinder cars, Aldo Marazza racing his 4CS (#1519) that had won at Genoa. Guido Barbieri raced his Maserati engined Bugatti.
      An oddity among all the 1.5 litre cars was the 750cc 4 cylinder Talbot entered by Aldo Benedetti.
The weather was extremely hot during the event. Prince Chula, Prince Bira's cousin and team manager for the "White Mouse Stable", claims it was the hottest event the team had taken part in, before or since.
      Practice took place on Friday and Saturday between 15.15 and 17.15. Trossi was in his own class with a time of 1m39.4s. Bira did 1m42.4s, Wakefield and Whitehead 1m42.8s and Dreyfus 1m43.3s. Prince Chula and René Dreyfus were not satisfied with the work of the time keepers and reported it to the organizers. In his book Prince Chula claimed the correct times rather to be Trossi 1m44s, Bira 1m45s and Dreyfus 1m46s.
      During Saturday practice Trossi was fastest again from Bira. Embiricos crashed his ERA. Entering Piazza Cavour from Viale Regina Margherita Embiricos ERA touched a straw bale that the officials without warning had moved to another position. Embiricos lost control and crashed. He hurt his arm and leg and was hospitalized but suffered no serious injuries. The car was in a rather bad shape with a destroyed wheel and split fuel tank.
      Saturday practice times were: Trossi 1m42s, Bira 1m44s, Bianco 1m44s, Cortese 1m45s. Note that these times much more seem to fit with Chula's times from Friday than the official Friday ones.
The hot weather continued and even with a race start at 4 p.m. the conditions were challenging for the competitors.
      Aldo Benedetti's Talbot was listed in the grid but for some reason never turned up for the race.
      After Umberto, Prince of Piedmont (Note 1) had made a tour around the course in a white military uniform to the cheers of the crowd it was time for the race start. The Prince himself took the flag and sent away the 19 cars.
Pole Position


"B Bira"






















F Barbieri


G Barbieri













* 2 Benedetti (Talbot) DNS

Bira took the lead to be chased by the Maseratis of Bianco, Trossi and Dreyfus and the others. Cortese, however, stalled, losing some 20 seconds before taking up the chase on the rest of the field.
      After the first lap Bira was leading with Bianco some 20 meters behind, followed by Trossi, Dreyfus, Tongue, Whitehead, Wakefield, Marazza, Rocco, Dusio, Barbieri, Collini and the others.
      Musso was the first driver to call it a day after just one lap and he was soon to be joined by Moradei.
      During the second lap Trossi passed Bianco and took up the chase on Bira while Dreyfus was following Bianco closely in fourth position. On the third lap Trossi caught Bira while Bianco and Dreyfus started to fall back. On the fourth lap Trossi took over the lead, and by doing 1m45 and 1m44s laps he started to pull away from the ERA with one to two seconds a lap.
      Dusio had advanced to challenge Whitehead and Belmondo was also doing well, while Cortese, after his poor start, was working his way through the field, passing car after car.
      Bira tried his best to keep up the pace, doing 1m45s laps, but then his speed started to drop, as the brakes that already had suffered over 300 km racing at the Isle of Man started to fail. At 10 laps the gap to Trossi was up to 12 seconds and Bianco was closing in. After 15 laps the gap to the leader had grown to 18 seconds and Bianco found a way past the struggling Siamese Prince. On the next laps Dreyfus also passed Bira for third position. Behind them Dusio, who by now had found a way past Tongue and Whitehead, was already 55s behind and he was chased by the two British drivers.
      Belmondo had retired as had Contini and Wakefield had problems with his new car and had dropped to 12th after a pit stop.
      To the joy of the crowd there were now three works Maseratis in the top and it seemed as the race was decided. After 20 laps Trossi was leading with Bianco 20s, Dreyfus 20s and Bira 30s behind.
      The race continued to take its tolls. Rocco, Barbieri and Collini had been forced to give up and the competitors were now down to twelve.
      After 24 laps Trossi had opened up the gap further. Bianco was 24s behind, Dreyfus 28s, Bira 47s and Dusio, 1m05s. Behind Dusio followed Tongue, Whitehead, Marazza and Severi.
      Then there was a sensation. No one knew that Trossi, suffering badly from the intense heat, was almost in a state of collapse. On the 25th lap he missed the curve following Viale Regina Margherita and Bianco and Dreyfus overtook him. Trossi rejoined the race and did two more laps in third position before he realized the danger of the situation and stopped in the pit. Gino Rovene quickly took over the car and rejoined the race in fifth position behind Dusio. Prince Chula, noticing Bira back in third position, gave a signal to speed up but Bira's brakes were now in bad shape and he missed a corner as well and then came into the pit for brake adjustments loosing third position to Dusio. Two laps later he was back for further adjustments, dropping to eighth.
      Meanwhile Dreyfus had passed Bianco for the lead and the latter had made a short pit stop. After 30 laps the order was Dreyfus, Dusio, Bianco, Rovere, Cortese, Whitehead, Tongue, Bira, Severi and Marazza.
      Cortese soon passed the slow Rovene for fourth position and after 34 laps Bira, having dropped to 11th after yet another stop, gave up, retiring from the race as did Barbieri one lap later.
      Halfway through the race the situation was this:
1.Dreyfus (Maserati)
2.Dusio (Maserati)+ 1m05s
3.Bianco (Maserati)+ 2m18s
4.Cortese (Maserati)+ 2m22s
5.Rovene (Maserati)+ 2m35s
6.Whitehead (ERA)+ 3m05s
7.Tongue (ERA)+ 3m13s
8.Severi (Maserati)+ 3m15s
9.Marazza (Maserati)+ 3m17s
10.Wakefield (Maserati)

Now a series of pit stops began that made the race a bit confusing. At least it was confusing for the time keepers, as they seem to have lost track at this point. (Note 2) First in was Dusio dropping from second to ninth. After having rested 20 minutes in the pits watching Rovene's slow performance Trossi made it clear he was fit for fight again and Rovene was called in around lap 40 for a new driver change. The order was now: Dreyfus, Bianco, Cortese, Severi and Trossi.
      Then it was Cortese's time to make his stop for refueling. That gave Severi third position but Trossi was fast approaching and on lap 44 Trossi passed Severi. Dreyfus was now leading Bianco by a minute with Trossi a further 1m30 behind.
      Trossi was closing in fast on Bianco, the latter suffering from burned feet, and after 53 laps Trossi took over second position as Bianco gave up and pitted handling over the car to Rocco, who had retired his own car.
      Dreyfus was leading Trossi by 2m20s, Rocco with 3m35s, Cortese with 4m30s and Severi with 5m10s. Behind them followed Tongue, Dusio, Marazza, Whitehead and Wakefield.
      On the last laps Trossi got closer to Dreyfus on the track and in the end the cars took the flag just 3 seconds apart. Of course Trossi was a lap down on his team mate. Or was he? After the race there was confusion and discussions about laps and positions but eventually it was agreed on the following results:



1.28René DreyfusOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6702h03m00.48s
2.26C. Trossi / G. RovereOfficine A MaseratiMaserati4CM1.5S-4692h03m03.76s
3.18E. Bianco / G. RoccoOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6692h04m29.21s
4.10Franco CorteseScuderia MaremmanaMaserati6CM1.5S-6692h05m26.28s
5.58Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-6672h03m22.20s
6.36Piero DusioScuderia TorinoMaserati6CM1.5S-6672h03m39.67s
7.14Francesco SeveriScuderia MaremmanaMaserati6CM1.5S-6672h04m25.96s
8.32Peter WhiteheadP. WhiteheadERAB1.5S-6662h04m34.30s
9.6Aldo MarazzaA. MarazzaMaserati4CS1.5S-4662h05m26.82s
10.16John WakefieldJ. WakefieldMaserati6CM1.5S-6642h04m06.35s
DNF12Ferdinando BarbieriScuderia MaremmanaMaserati4CM1.5S-435
DNF8"B Bira""B Bira"ERAB1.5S-634brakes
DNF34Mario ColiniScuderia ImperoMaserati4CM1.5S-423
DNF54Guido BarbieriG. BarbieriB.M.1.5S-420
DNF38Giovanni RoccoG. RoccoMaserati6CM1.5S-620
DNF56Pasquale ContiniP. ContiniMaserati4CM1.5S-411
DNF24Vittorio BelmondoV. BelmondoMaserati6CM1.5S-68
DNF40Mario MoradeiEcurie HelvetiaMaserati4CM1.5S-42
DNF20Giuseppe MussoG. MussoMaserati4CM1.5S-41
Fastest lap: Carlo Felice Trossi (Maserati) on lap 69 in 1m40.02s = 119.0 km/h (74.0 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 112.9 km/h (70.2 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 120.3 m /h (74.7 mph)
Weather: sunny, very hot.
In retrospect:
Recovered from his injuries Embiricos appeared at Le Mans a week later to share a Talbot with "Raph" in the 24 hours race. On the eighth lap "Raph" was involved in a multiple crash and was seriously injured, remaining paralyzed in the legs for half a year. That was enough for Embiricos, who immediately quit racing.

1. Prince of Piedmont was a title granted to the heir apparent, similar to the Prince of Wales in Britian.

2. A factor might have been that a new electric timing system was used and it often got jammed or the photoelectric cell missed passing cars.

Primary sources researched for this article:
IL Littoriale, Roma
La Stampa, Torino
Motor Sport, London
The Autocar, London
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
"Road Star Hat Trick " by Prince Chula Chakrabongse.
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva


© 2022 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt, Felix Muelas - Last updated: 10.10.2022