Fun at Monza

Monza, Bob Crawford, klemcoll

The Race of Two Worlds was run at Monza in 1957 and again in 1958. This photo shows Indianapolis driver Ray Crawford in his Offenhauser-engined Mirror Glaze Special in the pits during practice. The lady sitting on Crawford’s racer for a publicity photo was know as Bionda (Blondie) by Crawford’s fellow Indy regulars. This Indy roadster was actually a Kurtis Kraft 500G chassis and was entered toy the well-know Mirror Glaze auto polish company Meguiars.

The race was run in three 63-lap heats with the overall placings to be determined by aggregate time. Although Crawford wa not as fast (or perhaps as brave) as Jim Rathman or Jimmy Bryan who would finish first and second overall, he ran steadily while some others retired to finish an excellent fourth on aggregate time. This second running of the Monza 500 as it was sometimes called attracted entries from both Ferrari and Maserati. Ferrari sent three cars, one being a powerful special which used one of the prior year’s four-camshaft sports car motors and was very fast but required the participation of three drivers to endure the pounding on the bumpy Monza flat out banked oval. Driving in turns with replacement during each heat were Luigi Musso, Phil Hill and Mike Hawthorn. They took the special to third place overall. A special similarly-engined Maserati was entered for Stirling Moss but retired in the third heat with steering failure.

Photo by Peter Coltrin ©The Klemantaski Collection –

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