The 2015 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance held March 13-15 featured a unique gathering of 26 cars that where all raced by Sir Stirling Moss. The Italian contingent included the a select group of Moss's racing cars including Ferrari's, a 250 GTO, a 250 GT Speciale ‘Sperimantale’, a 250 TRi/61 and 290 MM and the trident badged Maserati's including a 250F, a 300S, a 450S and a Tipo 61 Birdcage.
Auriana is a well-known and respected collector of classic cars and motorcycles and the owner of a successful historic racing team, Fratelli Auriana Racing. His collection celebrates the superior design of the Italian Automotive Industry. His cars have won a list awards around the world that is so prestigious and long that listing them could take up this entire article. Perhaps one of the most recent and important awards is the Lee Iacocca Award he won at 2014 Amelia Concours d'Elegance. The Lee Iacocca Award was established to recognize outstanding classic car enthusiasts and is given for "Dedication To Excellence In Perpetuating An American Automotive Tradition". The award celebrates auto enthusiasts on multiple levels, including character, community involvement, integrity and a level of excellent presentation of their vehicle. Larry Auriana certainly embodies all of that.
According to Auriana,
"My collection is a tribute to the contribution of Italy to the automotive industry. It's much more than the red cars from Marenello. It's the red cars from Modena, the red cars from Milano, Torino. It's Abarth, Moretti, Stanguillini... My cars are a tribute to a group of Italians that made an important contribution to the automotive industry in the 20th century. The Great designers, engineers, and sportsmen who raced these cars and we hope to share those cars with all of you"
Needless to say, Larry Auriana's words capture the essence of the upcoming Marques of Italy celebration at the 2015 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix and the very essence of the spirit in which was the Cortile Italian Car show's inception. Drool with us now as you read some of the unique bio's of a small part of the Aurianna Collection below that was on display at Amelia Island
1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza Spider Corsa
The Alfa Monza, owned by Auriana , is believed to be the model raced by Tazio Nuvolari in his winning bid in the 1932 Monaco Grand Prix. It later was entered in the 1933 Monaco Grand Prix and French Grand Prix and, in 1934, placed second in the British Empire Trophy Race, when it was driven by Charles Brackenbury.
It was sold and shipped to England and continued racing throughout the mid 30’s. In 1937 it was sold to American Sam Bird, who kept the car in England until the end WWII. After arriving in the U.S., Bird ‘s nephew George Huntoon returned the Monza to competition, entering and winning the inaugural 1949 road race at Bridgehampton, Long Island. It also ran in the 1949 race at Watkins Glen, leading from the start but eventually suffering damage and retiring. Huntoon sold the car in 1953 to Art Roberts who in turn sold it in June 1955 to Norman Andrews, a Sunman, Indiana egg farmer, for $2,100 complete with 13 wheels and tires, the original distributor, a magneto, Monza exhaust header. 2211125 lay unused until 1968 when Andrews sold it to Arthur Jacobs in Mineola, Long Island.
A decade later in 1978, it was acquired by Paul Grist, who began a comprehensive restoration that emerged mechanically fresh, but with a gently aged patina. It was sold in 1991 to the late Terry Cohn, a consistent competitor and participant in historic events around the world.
Auriana bought the car in 2002 and it participated in the 2007 Mille Miglia with co-drivers Italian Navy Admiral Giovanni Vitaloni and Joseph Colasacco.
From 1931 through 1937, Alfa Romeo Monza sports cars dominated road racing. The 8c 2300 featured a 2300 cc in-line eight-cylinder engine and was designed by Vittorio Jano and was crowned a supreme feat of engineering by the foremost drivers of the day — Nuvolari, Borzacchini, Varzi, Campari, Brivio and Trossi — all of whom raced the Monza. The Alfa Romeo 8c 2300 acquired the "Monza" designation after Nuvolari drove the car to his 1932 Italian Grand Prix win in a race in Monza, Italy.
Only a handful of the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 sports cars are known to have survived the gruelling demands of road racing in the mid-20th century. They are among the most highly sought after cars in the world.
1953 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM
In the spring of 1955 the Alfa Romeo factory received a somewhat special order. It came from the Argentine presidential palace, the President would like to have a special version of Alfa’s 6C 3000. Well, a stock of 6C cars at the factory wasn’t exactly available, so you had to find a donor car???. One of the factory’s engineers, Giuseppe Busso, got the job. On Alfa’s stock he found a donor car with chassis no. AR * 1361.00126. This was a Berlinetta, with a body of Colli. The car had driven 24 hours of Le Mans in 1953, in fact the last time Alfa Romeo officially participated in the race. The driver at the time was none other than Juan Manuel Fangio, another Argentine connection to the car. Allegedly, Fangio had later damaged the car violently. Busso had to remove the body and begin a major restoration work on the chassis. Then it was transferred to Mario Boano, whom would create a new body on his carozzaria Boano.
At least four of those racecars were subsequently re-bodied by famous coachbuilders. Boano re-bodied this car in 1954 and one year later, in 1955, Alfa Romeo presented the new sport car to General Juan Peron, president of Argentina.
In August 1970, noted Alfa Romeo collector H.W. Wessells brought the 6C 3000 CM back to life was when he bought it from Ed Bond of the Vintage Car Store in Nyack, NY. The second revival started after Wessells totaled the Boano Berlinetta racing it in the 1984 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. He decided to restore the CM in Italy with Salvatore Diomante of Autocostruzioni S.D. at Nichelino who returned to its original Colli Coupe body design.
This car was called “Tipo 6C 3000 CM” where CM does not stand for Campionato del Mondo, nor for Competizione Maggiorata, nor Corte Maggiore but stands for “Cilindrata Maggiorata” because of its increased (maggiorata) displacement (cilindrata).
Mr. Wessells sold this car to current owner, an Italian car collector for whom both the late Phil Hill, son Derek Hill and Joe Colasacco have driven at Monaco, Le Mans, Goodwood and Monterey.
1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 Stradale
The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale is arguably one of the most beautiful cars ever made and one of the rarest too, since the Italian carmaker only built 18 road-going versions of the Tipo 33 racer. Of these, fewer than 10 are known to exist today. The car takes 5.5 seconds to reach 60 mph (96.6 km/h) from a standing start and has a top speed of 260 km/h (160 mph). In 1968 it was the fastest commercially available car in the standing kilometer with time of 24.0 seconds measured by German Auto, Motor und Sport magazine. Similar performance cars on that time were all using twice the Stradale`s cylinder capacity, the Lamborghini Miura, Ferrari Daytona and Maserati Ghibli.
Fangio had demonstrated that the Lancia-Ferrari D50 was the car to beat at the 1956 German Grand Prix, where Stirling Moss had qualified in fourth place behind the Italian cars in a Maserati 250F, going onto finish in second place in the race behind the great Argentinian. For the Italian Grand Prix, in much the same way that modern Formula 1 teams revise and update cars between races, Maserati produced a car that had been revised considerably. Stirling recalled that Maserati “would have to pull something pretty dramatic out of the bag for Monza” and they did. Two new 250F chassis were built, one for Stirling and one for Jean Behra, with off-set prop-shafts, which allowed the driving position, and therefore the centre of gravity, to be considerably lowered, thus improving the handling.
With 5 laps to go Stirling ran out of fuel. Stirling recalls “I spotted (Luigi) Piotti, the Italian Maserati privateer, coming up behind and gestured frantically for him to use his car to push me to the pits”. Luckily for Stirling he understood and the Maserati’s proceeded to the pits nose to tail, with Stirling’s 250F receiving what would be in modern terms, a splash and dash. Coming out of the pits he went on to record the a fastest lap of the race in a time of 2m 45.4s at a speed of 135.5mph in an effort to catch Musso's Lancia-Ferrari. Stirling's mechanics then had to signal to him to slow down as they could see patches of canvas appearing on his tyres.
With 3 laps to go, fate intervened yet again and the Lancia-Ferrari driver suffered a broken steering arm as the car came off the final banking, coming to a stop sideways and out of control by the pits. Stirling was ahead yet again, on tyres that were down to the canvas casings, depsite this, he went onto win the race by six seconds from a fast closing Fangio in a time of 2 hours 23 minutes 41.3 seconds, at an average speed 129.73mph. Fangio’s second place, gave Stirling's former team mate yet another World Drivers’ Championship.
For Stirling, winning at Monza in an Italian car made up for loosing the 1954 race in the Mercedes streamliner, it also meant a great deal to the “tifosi”, the passionate Italian fans, who rightly viewed this victory as one of Stirling’s finest to date.
This is a compilation of articles from a variety of sources and contributors. Attrition and sources are always provided at the top and/or the bottom of the posting.