Argentina’s Blue and Yellow

Ferrari, Geneva, klemcoll

The Grand Prix des Nations was a famous non-Championship F1 Grand Prix race held on a shortish street circuit in Geneva Switzerland in the years after the War. For the 1950 edition on July 30 there was also a support race for two liter voiturette cars which was called the Prix de Genève. This small Ferrari is a 166F2 which probably started life as one of the 1949 swing axle Grand Prix cars and was then converted for F2 use with a two-liter single cam per head Colombo-type motor for sale to the Argentinean Automobile Club. Juan Manuel Fangio had driven one of these cars for the Equipo Archille Varzi (the team name used by the Automobile Club) earlier in the year as had Froilán González. The cars were painted blue with a yellow engine cover, the Argentinean racing colors.

The driver above in Geneva was Roberto Mieres from Argentina who had been sent to Europe as a representative of Argentina by the Automobile Club to drive alongside Fangio and González. Mieres was a capable driver but certainly not at the level of his two famous countrymen. At Geneva he would finish fourth, having qualified some ten seconds slower on a two-minute lap than Luigi Villoresi who drove a newer factory-entered 166F2 with de Dion rear suspension. Villoresi led for much of the race until his de Dion tube broke, forcing his retirement. His teammate Dorino Serafini finished third in another 166F2 behind a pair of Simca-Gordinis which were well-suited to the tight Geneva course.

Behind the Mieres car above can be seen the spectator protection, or non-protection if you will, of the early postwar period, a wooden fence at the edge of the road with the crowd right behind. In the subsequent Grand Prix des Nations Villoresi would lose control of a much more powerful Ferrari 275F1 and crash through such a fence killing three spectators and suffering serious injuries himself.

Photo by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com

To see more photos from our archive go to: http://www.klemcoll.com/TheGallery.aspx

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One comment

  1. Jim sitz · · Reply

    Have often thought about Fangio coming over to Europe as ” New Boy”
    at age 37, with backing from Dictator Peron of Argentina in 1948.

    But also thinking of 2nd driver who came with him named Benedicto Campos who I am sure
    not many people remember.

    Fangio would go on to win 5 world titles in 4 different Marques–Alfa-Romeo Mercedes, Ferrari
    and Maserati and what did become of Campos? I would welcome response from more
    knowledgeable enthusiast.

    Jim Sitz

    Like

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