Which of two Fleron cars actually won the 1967 Fléron race?
Among the clippings from old car magazines, I found the page, chosen who knows why and when, with the photograph of Ing. Carlo Chiti, Giovanni Manfredini and Giuliano Luppi observing a splendid 33.2 car.
The text, an interview with Giuliano Luppi, was filled with passionate praise to the 'firstborn' of the whole lineage of the 33, the "Periscopica" series. In it's debut, it won the 1967 Freron race, forever remembered as the first step of a great return to the world's racetracks for the Milanese brand.
Luppi confirmed that chassis AR750.33.001... the 'eldest daughter' of the Autodelta T-33 series family... won that very first victory and the laurel wreath at Fléron, a suburb of Liège in Belgium.
He wrote this resolute affirmation with firmness and with an abundance of details. His historical text recalls...however another opposite opinion pronounced with similar fervor from the pages of a recently published book...printed many decades later.
In that book two authors are boasting about their long visit to the archive of the Centro Documentazione Alfa Romeo where they proudly rewrote the history of the 33/2.
According to their research based on the invoices and written notes made by Autodelta people, long-sought chassis numbers finally emerged from the mists of uncertain data and confirmed the true story of the cars adorned with the green four-leaf clover on the sides.
But which car really won the race in the gray surroundings of the Liège hinterland on that cold morning of March 12, 1967?
Is it possible that the chassis expert Giuliano Luppi... who knew every Autodelta-built car better than anyone else... could be so grossly mistaken about the actual idenity of the winning car?
The name of the driver and dominator of the race, Teodoro "Dorino" Zeccoli, who replaced the indisposed Andrea de Adamich, was undoubtedly the true protagonist of that first victory on the long road to the World Championship won years later after hard battles in the circuits.
Is this the same car he triumphed with back on March 12, 1967...the subject of two conflicting opinions?
At AutodeltaGoldenYears.com it has been our duty to undertake research in an attempt to solve the mystery, while respecting good sense... with the hope of finding the right connection and put an “end” to this controversy forever.
Ed McDonough, a refined connoisseur of Alfa Romeo racing mysteries and noted Alfa Romeo authority, wrote in one of his texts:
“Explaining the evolution of Alfa Romeo racing models is, at best, challenging and most of the time exasperating. After about 25 years of working on it, I almost succeeded, but I never trust my memory without referring to the right experts. "
What better indication is there than seeking the answer at the source? With that thought in mind I consulted the architect Marco Cajani, an expert on the Alfa Romeo cars, as well as the owner and keeper of the AR750.33.001, the mythical car from our query.
In Seregno, among the many jewels from Cajani’s collection, lies a figure in plain sight... the “Periscopica”, the “Fléron type”... lying lazily with its impalpable and elusive, almost divine charm.
Marco is a friendly eternal man, an excellent driver and tireless conversationalist on Alfa Romeo issues, with an immense knowledge. When I explained to him the motive for my visit, he thought for a while then with a disarming smile told me:
"You are a painter. If one day some art critics, as good and well-known as you want, would attribute one of your works with a certificate to some other author, and the owner of that painting, prompted by some doubt of them, came to ask your opinion, which of the judgments expressed would be the right and accepted one?"
The author's paintings, when doubts are raised about their originality, are authenticated by the artist, if he/she is still alive ... the 001 has the signature of those who handled and used it.
Marco Cajani continued to tell the story of his acquisition of the Fleron car:
"I personally went through the Alfa Romeo labyrinth touching everything with my hand, and I learned everything in that world must be challended and proven."
"When I encountered a evidentuary document put forth by Lino Cogliandro (the man in charge of Communications at Alfa Romeo, S.p.A.), I learned that AR750.33.001 had been lying under a tarp in the courtyard in Settimo Milanese. As a reference, I was immediately told the car had been the winner of the Fleron race in Belgium, as well as being the very first 33/2 ever produced".
"It was intact and only the hood and rear tail section were missing. It took patience and a lot of diplomacy to buy it, but in the end it came. I received it dismembered – this modality of giving the cars was a habit of the Company at that time – and all the numbers and pieces were right, but the restoration took time."
"Upon the advice of Ing. Carlo Chiti, I decided to keep the original configuration with single ignition, and the restoration of the engine was entrusted to Carlo Facetti, while the body panels are the work by Giovanni Giordanengo, who had the authentic wooden forms made by Raineri."
"There are also other memories and documents, direct and indirect, which confirm that it is the AR750.33.001 that took to the track in Liège. On the chassis AR750.33.001 there are the signatures of Carlo Facetti, Nini Vaccarella, Nanni Galli and Arturo Merzario, all drivers who used it during its racing life and also afterwards. From the ample overview of photographic documents, it can be deduced without a doubt that the car photographed in Fléron is unique and clearly recognizable, different in several details from the AR750.33.004, which is called on as the possible car used for that race."
Without the intention of suggesting solutions, I leave it to everyone to draw conclusions.”
Well, I've already made mine. Indeed, long before that meeting with Mr. Cajani, and as further confirmation, I would like to add a clarification, and call again Ed McDonough's reliable testimony:
“…both Alfa Romeo and Autodelta kept very poor records of their competition cars and no comprehensive (official factory) written record exists which identifies which Tipo 33 chassis raced at which event… The chassis numbering system has always defied understanding”.
The technical data concerning the use of Alfa Romeo racing cars should have been combined with documentation produced by Autodelta concerning the test sessions on the racing circuit, a list of fixed checks to be carried out on each car before the races (the list is made up of 160 entries!), and the specifications of the tests carried out at Balocco track for each car reporting the chassis number and the engine number.
So, a whole dossier of documentation used to decide on the use of the car for the race exists. After the race, the car was retested with the report of the anomalies found. In the absence of this documentation (and the Autodelta documents were, alas, lost in the unfortunate move from Settimo Milanese to Senago in 1983), the only ones who could say which car was used in that specific race was the general manager engineer Carlo Chiti, track engineers, the test driver and the pilots.
It is well known and documented, the consolidated practice of using pre-filled in documents of a racing car for administrative purposes on several racing cars (not only for Italian customs!), and based on this it is clear that in the vast majority of cases the data were only and exclusively the results of administrative management acts between Autodelta and Direzione Generale Alfa Romeo S.p.A.
These forms were generated to satisfy the financial accounting between the two companies, regarding the work carried out by Autodelta to justify the expenses and obtain financing from Direzione Generale, based on the relative technical and sporting report about the activity undertaken by Autodelta.
Attempting today to rewrite the well-known history of the Alfa Romeo 'Golden Years' means that anyone with such intention would have had plenty of time to ask for clarification and a declaration useful for purpose to the direct actors: general manager, and test drivers. Only in this way would similar statements have had the validation of what they wanted to affirm.
The sterile controversies must be closed without further comments.
Policy of this Website in Regard to the Use of Images Whose Ownership is Not Known or is Otherwise Unidentifiable.
AutodeltaGoldenYears.com. and RobertLittle.US contributes collection images where the Website Content is described as having “no known copyright restriction.” The phrase “no known copyright restriction” means that AutodeltaGoldenYears.com and RobertLittle.US has determined, to the best of its ability based on available information and belief, that the Website Content is unlikely to be protected by copyright interests and, in all likelihood, is in the public domain.
However, copyright is often difficult to determine with certainty, so the phrase is intended to say that AutodeltaGoldenYears.com and RobertLittle.US is unaware of any copyright restriction, but such restrictions may still exist.
In addition, even if the Website Content is unrestricted from a copyright standpoint, there may be other considerations that would limit your use, such as “Right of Privacy” or “Right of Publicity” of the individuals featured in the images, or other contractual restrictions.
For these reasons, AutodeltaGoldenYears.com and RobertLittle.US makes its content available for personal and non-commercial educational uses consistent with the principles of “fair use”.
If you decide to use the Website Content for commercial or other purposes without undertaking to clear all rights, you will be responsible if someone else owns the rights and the owner objects to your use.
Of course, the use of images identified as being the copyright property of the named individuals or groups identified on each page or attached to each image… is prohibited and is subject to the penalty of law as provided by the United States Copyright law and The Bern Convention among other relevant laws and protections.
Richtlinie dieser Website in Bezug auf die Verwendung von Bildern, deren Rechteinhaber nicht bekannt oder anderweitig nicht identifizierbar ist:
AutodeltaGoldenYears.com. und RobertLittle.US stellen Abbildungen, insbesondere Fotos, zur Verfügung, die als "keine bekannte Copyright-Beschränkung" bezeichnet werden. Die Formulierung "keine bekannte Copyright-Beschränkung" bedeutet, dass AutodeltaGoldenYears.com und RobertLittle.US. nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen festgestellt haben, dass die Abbildungen/Fotos wahrscheinlich nicht urheberrechtlich geschützt sind und sich aller Wahrscheinlichkeit nach in der Public Domain befinden.
Allerdings ist es oft schwierig, das Urheberrecht mit Sicherheit zu bestimmen, so dass der Satz besagt, dass AutodeltaGoldenYears.com und RobertLittle.US keine Kenntnis von urheberrechtlichen Beschränkungen haben, aber solche Beschränkungen dennoch bestehen können.
Darüber hinaus kann es, selbst wenn der Inhalt der Website aus urheberrechtlicher Sicht uneingeschränkt ist, andere Erwägungen geben, die Ihre Nutzung einschränken können, wie z.B. das "Recht auf Privatsphäre" oder das "Recht auf Öffentlichkeit" der auf den Bildern abgebildeten Personen oder andere vertragliche Einschränkungen.
Aus diesen Gründen stellt AutodeltaGoldenYears.com und RobertLittle.US seine Inhalte für persönliche und nicht-kommerzielle Bildungszwecke in Übereinstimmung mit den Grundsätzen des "fair use" zur Verfügung.
Wenn Sie sich entscheiden, den Inhalt der Website für kommerzielle oder andere Zwecke zu nutzen, ohne sich zu verpflichten, alle Rechte zu klären, sind Sie dafür verantwortlich, wenn jemand anderes die Rechte besitzt und der Eigentümer Ihrer Nutzung widerspricht.
Natürlich ist die Verwendung von Bildern, die als urheberrechtliches Eigentum der auf jeder Seite genannten Einzelpersonen oder Gruppen gekennzeichnet sind oder die jedem Bild beigefügt sind, verboten und wird entsprechend dem Urheberrechtsgesetz der USA und der Berner Konvention neben anderen relevanten Gesetzen und Schutzmaßnahmen geahndet.
Politica di questo sito web riguardo l'uso di immagini la cui proprietà non è nota o è altrimenti non identificabile.
AutodeltaGoldenYears.com e RobertLittle.US forniscono immagini, in particolare fotografie, alle quali si fa riferimento come non aventi "nessuna restrizione di copyright nota". La definizione "nessuna restrizione di copyright nota" sta ad indicare che AutodeltaGoldenYears.com e RobertLittle.US hanno determinato, al meglio delle proprie capacità e sulla base delle informazioni e conoscenze disponibili, che è implausibile che le immagini siano protette da copyright, e che pertanto con ogni probabilità sono di dominio pubblico.
Tuttavia il copyright è spesso difficile da determinare con certezza, per cui con tale definizione si intende dire piuttosto che AutodeltaGoldenYears.com e RobertLittle.US non sono a conoscenza di alcuna restrizione sul copyright, sebbene tali restrizioni possano comunque esistere.
Inoltre, anche nei casi in cui il contenuto del sito web sia privo di limitazioni dal punto di vista del copyright, ciò non esclude che possano esserci altre considerazioni che ne limitino l'utilizzo, come il diritto alla privacy o il diritto all’immagine delle persone presenti nelle fotografie, o restrizioni di tipo contrattuale.
Per questi motivi, AutodeltaGoldenYears.com e RobertLittle.US rendono i propri contenuti disponibili per usi educativi personali e non commerciali, in conformità ai principi del "fair use".
Qualora decidessi di usare il contenuto del sito web per scopi commerciali o di altro tipo senza la previa acquisizione di tutti i diritti, sarai responsabile se qualcun altro detiene tali diritti e si oppone al tuo utilizzo.
Naturalmente, l'uso di immagini contrassegnate come protette da copyright di cui sono titolari individui o gruppi identificati in ciascuna pagina o allegati a ciascuna immagine, è proibito ed è soggetto alle sanzioni previste dalla legge sul copyright degli Stati Uniti e dalla Convenzione di Berna, oltre che dalle altre leggi e protezioni pertinenti.