Here is the front of the starting grid for the Circuito di Parma which was typical of the Italian city street races, this one in Parma, during the immediate postwar years. In the front row are two significant cars, both Ferrari prototypes, getting an early taste of competition. In what was probably pole position on the right in the cycle-fender n. 80 is Tazio Nuvolari. His car is a 125C, possibly 01C the very first Ferrari, using the same engine as the other Ferrari next to it but running in an early spyder corsa form. Next to Nuvolari in the middle of the front row is n. 78, a 125S dressed in more normal sports bodywork, with driver Franco Cortese. This may be chassis 02C, the second Ferrari created. On the far side of the starting grid is a Fiat 1100 driven by Piero Torelli.
Here is another photo of these two Ferraris during the 30 laps of the approximate 1.9 mile circuit, Nuvolari leading with Cortese following closely. Note that spectator protection was essentially non-existent. At the finish Nuvolari won from Cortese at a margin of only 1.7 seconds. The only unlapped competitor was Guido Barbieri with a Maserati A6, but he was about two minutes behind the leading pair. These 1.5 liter Ferraris were fast for their day but Nuvolari’s winning average speed on this urban street circuit came to only about 61 mph.
Photos from the Archivio Corrado Millanta ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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