Automobili Stanguellini

Automobili Stanguellini is an Italian maker of small sports cars, based in Modena and founded by Vittorio Stanguellini; it was most active between 1946 and 1960.[1] They continued to produce competition cars until 1981, when Vittorio Stanguellini died; thenceforth, the company devoted to vintage cars.

Automobili Stanguellini
HeadquartersModena, Italy
Key people
Francesco Stanguellini
ProductsRacing cars
Stanguellini Zweisitzer
Stanguellini 2 seater.


The Stanguellini family had a long involvement with the motor car. Vittorio's grandfather founded an engineering company in 1879, and his father was the first one in Modena to register a car (in 1910, registration "MO 1"). "By the time Vittorio took over, in 1929, the family business included a FIAT agency.[2]

Vittorio Stanguellini began tuning and modifying Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Fiat cars for racing. He was a friendly rival of Enzo Ferrari in Modena beginning in the late 1920s.[3] Vittorio then formed Squadra Corse Stanguellini in 1938 and quickly found success when he modified a Maserati 6CM which took the overall victory at the 1938 Targa Florio.[4]


Stanguellini engine
A Stanguellini racing engine.

Stanguellini's cars competed in countless sports car racing events, minor and major (such as the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans) alike. Vittorio Stanguellini used his experience tuning Fiats in the pre-war days, and having raced them under the Squadra Stanguellini flag,[2] he based his small racers on Fiat components. Focusing on the 750 & 1100 cc classes (winning numerous National victories), Stanguellini sports cars were beautifully engineered cars with light-alloy cylinder blocks, twin overhead camshafts (bialbero) and dual side-draught Weber carburettors. This would add up to a claimed 60 bhp (40 kW) at 7500 rpm from the 741 cc sports engine and 90 bhp (70 kW) at 7000 rpm from the larger engine, providing top speeds of around 180 km/h (110 mph) and 190 km/h (120 mph) respectively.

Unlike many other of the so-called "Etceterinis", Stanguellini were loath to use foreign parts, instead relying on Fiat as much as possible. Bodywork was usually by local Carrozzeria Reggiano.[1]

Vittorio Stanguellini tried very hard to gain a win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, with his limited resources, he never was able to achieve this. His best finish was a fourth in class.[3]

Stanguellini cylinder head
Stanguellini 750cc cylinder head - note the dual hairpin valve springs

The Stanguellini 750cc Racing Engine

Vittorio Stanguellini had been making special aluminum twin-cam cylinder heads for the Fiat 1100 block since 1947.[4] However, in 1950 he finished his most ambitious project: a complete 750cc racing engine - designed from a clean sheet of paper by Oberdan Golfieri, an engineer from Romagna, Italy. This was a light weight 9000 rpm engine based on a specially cast aluminum block and heads.[3] Stanguellini racing cars achieved extraordinary success worldwide with this engine in the 1950s, including numerous national championships in Italy and France.[4] Briggs Cunningham purchased a 750cc twin-cam car which he raced in the United States, along with a Stanguellini Formula Junior (See below).[3]

Major race wins

Stanguellini 1100 Berlinetta
1953 Stanguellini Berlinetta.

A Stanguellini won the Vanderbilt Cup in 1960 at the Roosevelt Raceway, New York. The Vanderbilt Cup was run as a Formula Junior race in 1960.[3]

Road cars

In 1947, a Bertone bodied four-seat berlinetta was offered, using familiar Fiat 1100 parts in a tubular chassis. This was also offered with a 1,500 cc engine. A Fiat 750-based two-seater was offered up the following year.[2]

World speed records

Stanguellini-Colibri streamliner
The Stanguellini Colibrì record car.

In 1963, Stanguellini completed a single-seat streamliner called the "Colibrì" (Italian for hummingbird), powered by a 250 cc Moto Guzzi motorcycle racing engine. This car set six international speed records at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in 1963.[3]

Formula Junior

Formel Junior Stanguellini
Stanguellini Formula Junior in Oldtimer Grand Prix 2006.

Stanguellini single-seaters, "scaled-down lookalikes of the famous Maserati 250F"[1] powered by Fiat 1100 engines, were competitive in Formula Junior, a category under Formula One that existed between 1958 and 1963. Stanguellini won the first season of the Italian Formula Junior championship, and "famous drivers like Bandini and von Trips won their first races in Stanguellinis."[1] Walt Hansgen won the FJ race at the inaugural United States Grand Prix meeting at Sebring, Florida, on December 12, 1959, driving a Stanguellini.[5]

Stanguellini Delfino 3
The mid-engined Stanguellini Delfino (1961-1962)

More than 100 Formula Juniors were built by Stanguellini, and they were very successful until 1960 and the arrival of British mid-engined racers like the Cooper and Lotus.[6] As the days of the Fiat 1100-based, front-engined racers were over, Stanguellini did develop a mid-engined car called the Delfino for the 1962 season. The Fiat 1100 engine, although now tuned to 95 CV (70 kW) at 7500 rpm, was considered the car's weakest link.[6] The Delfino debuted at Daytona 1962 in the hands of the Cunningham team's Walt Hansgen and started on pole. It retired with technical problems and the design was never fully competitive again.[7] After 1966, the Stanguellini family concentrated their efforts on tuning equipment and subcontract design,[2] while also running their Modena Fiat dealership.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Oude Weernink, Wim (1996), Norris, Ian (ed.), "Italy's Craftsmen/Constructors: The Forgotten Few", Automobile Year, Lausanne, Switzerland: Editions JR, J.-R. Piccard, vol. 44 (1996-97): 58, ISBN 2-88324-043-4
  2. ^ a b c d Mike Lawrence (1991). A to Z of Sports Cars. Bideford, Devon: Bay View Books. p. 38. ISBN 1-870979-81-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Luigi Orsini & Franco Zagari (2003). Stanguellini - Big Little Racing Cars. Milan, Italy: Giorgio Nada Editore. ISBN 88-7911-306-2.
  4. ^ a b c "Stanguellini Cars Model Range Types". Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  5. ^ Competition Press, December 31, 1959, Page 8.
  6. ^ a b Johansson, Lars-Erik (February–March 1962). "Stanguellinis "Delfin"" [Stanguellini's "Dolphin"]. Illustrerad Motor Sport (in Swedish). No. 1–2. Lerum, Sweden. p. 14.
  7. ^ Marchesini, Lorenzo (2003-02-26). "The Stanguellini Tradition". Veloce Today. Archived from the original on 2014-02-24.

External links

1955 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 23rd 24 Hours of Le Mans, and took place on 11 and 12 June 1955 on Circuit de la Sarthe. It was also the fourth round of the F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship. A huge crowd had gathered for Europe's classic sports car race, around the 8.38-mile course. In the golden age of sports car racing, the top-quality entry list meant this race promised to be the most eagerly anticipated of the decade. Instead this is remembered for the disaster that killed 84 people, plus some 120 injured in the most catastrophic accident in motor racing history.

1955 RAC Tourist Trophy

The 1955 RAC Tourist Trophy took place on 18 September, on the roads around Dundrod, (County Antrim, Northern Ireland). It was also the fifth round of the F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship, however it was the first championship race following the horrendous tragedy at Le Mans. It was also the Golden Jubilee year for the Tourist Trophy. Going into the race, Ferrari were leading the Manufacturers Championship by four points from Jaguar. Victory for the Italian marque would put them in a strong position to win a third successive title.

1956 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans was a race for Sports Cars, and took place on 28 and 29 July 1956 on the Circuit de la Sarthe. The race was won by Ron Flockhart and Ninian Sanderson driving a Jaguar D-Type for the new Ecurie Ecosse team. This race also marked the golden jubilee of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) founded in 1906, however because of the previous year's terrible accident, celebrations were deferred to 1957 to go along with the imminent 25th anniversary of the race.

Following the events of 1955, the front stretch and pit lane were redesigned in order to enhance driver and spectator safety. This involved a change to the layout of the Dunlop curve, shortening the overall length of the track by 31 meters.

This race saw the death of French driver Louis Héry when his Monopole was involved in an accident early in the race.

1957 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 25th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 22 and 23 June 1957, on the Circuit de la Sarthe. It was also the fifth round of the F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship. Some 250,000 spectators had gathered for Europe's classic sports car race, around an 8.38-mile course. The prospect of an exciting duel between Ferrari, Maserati, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Porsche was enough to draw large crowds to the 24 Hours race, now back at its usual date and reintegrated into the World Championship.

Never before had a single nation swept the board so completely as Britain did in 1957. The great success of the Jaguars in taking the first four and sixth places became all the more significant when it is considered that all of the cars were privately entered (albeit with some factory support), and matched against the works entries of some of the greatest sport car manufacturers.

1958 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 26th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 21 and 22 June 1958, on the Circuit de la Sarthe. It was also the fifth round of the 1958 World Sports Car Championship, which was running to new regulations introduced at the beginning of the season. Some 150,000 spectators had gathered for Europe's classic sports car race, around the 8.38-mile course. The prospect of an exciting duel between Ferrari, Jaguar, Aston Martin and giantkiller Porsche was enough to draw large crowds to the 24 Hours race.

The race was dominated by fifteen hours of rain, three of which were torrential, marking a bad summer solstice. There were thirteen accidents, one killing gentleman-driver Jean-Marie Brussin. It marked the first ever overall win for an American and a Belgian driver and was the third win for the Scuderia Ferrari. The works Testarossas took over the lead in the third hour when, this year, it was the British challenge that ran out of steam. After their 1957 rout, the Italians took their revenge as Osca also won the Index of Performance.

1959 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 27th 24 Hours of Le Mans, Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 20 and 21 June 1959, on Circuit de la Sarthe. It was also the fourth round of the F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship. The prospect of an exciting duel between Ferrari, Aston Martin and giantkillers Porsche was enough to draw large crowds and some 150,000 spectators gathered for France’s classic sports car race, around the 8.38-mile course.

Aston Martin finally achieved the coveted outright win, doing it with a 1-2 finish. The marque had first entered the Le Mans race in 1928, running every race since 1931 and had finished second three times and third twice before this victory.

1960 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 28th 24 Hours of Le Mans Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 25 and 26 June 1960, on Circuit de la Sarthe. It was the fifth and final round of the F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship as well as being the fifth round of the inaugural FIA GT Cup. It was held just a week after the tragic Belgian F1 GP in which four drivers, including Stirling Moss were either killed or seriously injured. The prospect of a duel between the 3-litre (180 cu in) Ferrari versus the 2-litre (120 cu in) Porsche championship-leaders was enough to draw large crowds to the 24 Hours race and some 200,000 spectators had gathered for Europe's classic sports car race, around the 13.5 km (8.4 mi) course.

Faced with a must-win result to take the World Championship, Ferrari came well-prepared and with 13 entries, from the works and privateer teams. Their main competition would come from Maserati and the British teams, although American Corvettes also made an appearance in the GT-category. The race was barely three hours old when torrential rain hit the circuit causing a number of accidents and issues as water got into the engines. More and more rivals fell away through the night leaving Ferrari to dominate the race. In the end its Sports and GT cars taking 7 of the top 8 places, with only the Aston Martin of the Scottish Border Reivers team in 3rd breaking the sequence. Belgian Olivier Gendebien got his second victory, this time with his countryman, sports journalist/racing-driver, Paul Frère in the works car. Through fast, but reliable, driving they were never seriously threatened, finishing four laps and over 50km ahead of the second-placed Ferrari.

Enzo Ferrari

Enzo Anselmo Giuseppe Maria Ferrari, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (Italian: [ˈɛntso anˈsɛlmo ferˈraːri]; 20 February 1898 – 14 August 1988) was an Italian motor racing driver and entrepreneur, the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team, and subsequently of the Ferrari automobile marque. He was widely known as "il Commendatore" or "il Drake". In his final years he was often referred to as "l'Ingegnere" (the Engineer) or "il Grande Vecchio (the Great Old Man)".

Formula Junior

Formula Junior is an open wheel formula racing class first adopted in October 1958 by the CSI (International Sporting Commission, the part of the FIA that then regulated motorsports). The class was intended to provide an entry level class where drivers could use inexpensive mechanical components from ordinary automobiles. The idea to form the new class came from Count Giovanni "Johnny" Lurani who saw the need of a class for single-seater racing cars where younger drivers could take their first steps. It is often speculated that this class was founded as a reaction to Italy's lack of success in the 500cc Formula Three, and although Italian marques dominated the first year of the formula, they were soon overtaken by British constructors.

Index of Italy-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to Italy.

List of Italian brands

This is a list of Italian brands, which encompasses brand-name products and services produced by companies in Italy.

Active manufacturers
Defunct manufacturers
Design, engineering,
and coachbuilding
Related topics


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.