It is the afternoon before the start of the 1956 Mille Miglia and the Ferrari team is gathering after scrutineering at the Marzotto brothers’ hotel in Manerbio along the Mille Miglia route between Cremona and Brescia. From the hotel’s roof the pattern of the stone yard is almost mesmerizing. Just returning to the hotel is Juan Manuel Fangio in his 290MM (n. 600) with its blue and yellow nose in the Argentinean racing colors. Approaching his World Champion driver wearing a long overcoat and fedora hat is Commendatore Enzo Ferrari. Fangio, who never used a navigator after a friend riding with him was killed in an accident years before in an Argentinean open road marathon, would finish fourth overall as part of a Ferrari sweep of the top five places in very dangerous wet conditions.
Partially visible at the bottom of this image is car n. 551, the 860 Monza of Peter Collins and Louis Klemantaski which will finish second overall. The white 250GT n. 453 will be driven by Camillio Luglio and Elfo Frignani but will be a DNF. N. 448 is a 250 Tour de France of Giuliano Giovanardi and Giorgio Meier who will finish 24th overall (8th in GT) and n. 505 is another 250 Tour de France which will be handled by the superb open road team of Olivier Gendebien and his cousin Jacques Washer to an amazing fifth overall and first in GT. Just visible at the top left is a fourth 250 Tour de France (n. 456) which was entered for Vittorio Colocci but did not take the start. Just pulling out of the garage is the 500TR (n. 522) of Siro Sbraci which would be another dnf.
This creative approach to an otherwise unimportant scene was a hallmark of Klemantaski’s photography.
Photo by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection