The Toughest Mountain Climb

Ferrari, Umberto Maglioli, klemcoll

This notable scenic image is from the July 17, 1955 Aosta-Gran San Bernardo hillclimb showing  winner Umberto Maglioli in a factory-entered 3 liter Ferrari 750 Monza. The Aosta to Gran San Bernardo route ran for just over 21 miles in the Italian alps from the town of Aosta in the Aosta valley up to the Col Gran San Bernardo at the Swiss border which had an elevation of about 8,000 feet following a vertical rise of some 2,000 feet. Maglioli did the climb in 22.36’40”. His car was a typical 750 Monza but one in which Scuderia Ferrari used engines of 2 liters, 3 liters and 3.5 liters, the latter in 1956. Maglioli was a regular in Ferrari sports cars in 1955, having finished third overall in that year’s Mille Miglia and had several other drives in this same Monza.

Maglioli’s Ferrari Monza continued to compete for Ferrari in 1956 at both Buenos Aires where it was second overall with the endurance duo of Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill followed by a retirement at Sebring, probably due to some over enthusiastic over-revving by then Ferrari rookie Alfonso de Portago. This ex-Maglioli Monza then was returned to Maranello after an unsuccessful attempt to find it a new home in America. This was followed by an as yet unexplained swap by Ferrari of its chassis number with that of another Monza, possibly to resell it as “new” under its revised identity.

The Monza then went “down under” for some races in Australia and New Zealand before once more finding its way back to Modena and on to new Swedish ownership for some more racing. Today it is probably now in North America with its continuing dual identity.

Photo from the JJF Archive ©The Klemantaski Collection –

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