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Rarely photographed, this is Giuseppe Cesare Perdisa, here sitting on the pit counter during practice for the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix. This would be the young Perdisa’s first championship level Grand Prix, driving a private Maserati 250F but with factory support. Perdisa, born in Bologna, came from a wealthy Romagna publishing family whose best known large circulation magazine was Quattroruote which still exists. At Monaco Perdisa would share third place with Maserati factory driver Jean Behra when Behra stopped at the pits and took over the Perdisa’s similar Maserati, Perdisa then getting into the car started by Behra. Given the retirements, at the finish Perdisa found himself in third place one lap down while Behra had a spin and only finished seventh.
Perdisa had achieved success in 1954 and also in 1955 with a Maserati 200S sports car before getting into a full Grand Prix car for Monaco. Cesare continued with sports car successes in 1956 while also appearing in two more F1 events, again being on the podium at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps after sharing his 250F with Stirling Moss.
He then drove for Ferrari in the Argentinean Grand Prix at Buenos Aires in January 1957. He also was entered in reserve in the winning Ferrari 290MM for the Buenos Aires 1000 km race the same month but did not get to drive it in the race. Perdisa retired from racing later in 1957, probably from a combination of family pressure and the death of his close friend and teammate Eugenio Castellotti in a testing accident at Modena. He then joined the family’s publishing empire and resided in the family’s 16th century villa, Palazonna di Magio in the hills above Bologna. He died in 1998.
Photo by Ami Guichard ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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