Piero Taruffi bigraphy, stories - Italian racing driver

Piero Taruffi : biography

October 12, 1906 - January 12, 1988

Piero Taruffi (born in Rome, 12 October 1906 – died 12 January 1988), was a racing driver from Italy, and also the father of lady racer Prisca Taruffi.


The Piero Taruffi museum is in Bagnoregio, a small town between Viterbo and Orvieto in Central Italy. It has vintage cars and motorbikes of his era.

Sports car career

Taruffi began his motorsport career racing motorcycles. He won the 1932 500cc European Championship on a Norton and in 1937 set the motorcycle land speed record at 279.503 km/h (173.68 mph). He won the 1957 Mille Miglia, the last competitive edition of the famous Italian race. Following this tragic race he pledged to his wife, Isabella, that he would never race again. He was 50 years of age.Raruffi Not to Race Again, New York Times, May 18, 1957, Page 13. 14 people were killed in the thousand mile auto race of 12 May. Alfonso de Portago crashed into a crowd of spectators at Guidizzolo near Mantua. Portago died along with co-driver, Edmund Nelson, an amateur driver, and 11 race fans.14 Killed at Race in Italy; Marquis' Car Hits Crowd, New York Times, May 13, 1957, Page 1.

Taruffi drove a newly introduced 2-litre, 4-cylinder Ferrari, which placed third in the 360 kilometre race Grand Prix de Bari at Bari, Italy, in September 1951. He finished behind Juan Manuel Fangio and Froilán González with a time of 2 hours 58 minutes 40 3/5 seconds.Bari Auto Race To Fangio, New York Times, September 3, 1951, Page 17. Taruffi and Alberto Ascari participated in the Carrera Panamericana in the mountains of Mexico in November 1951. They placed first and third respectively over the course from Mexico City to León, Guanajuato, a leg. Taruffi led second-placed Troy Ruttman by more than four minutes. Taruffi trimmed 15 minutes on the Mexico City-Leon leg and another 21 minutes between Leon and Durango. In the process he climbed from 12th to third overall."Taruffi Takes Lead From Ruttman After 1,266 Miles Of Auto Grind", New York Times, November 23, 1951, Page 37. Taruffi won the race on 25 November, with a time of 21:57:52, over mountains and plains of the southeastern tip of Mexico. He had an average speed of 87.6 mph (140.97 km/h)."Italian Autoists First and Second In 1,933-Mile Pan-American Race", New York Times, November 26, 1951, Page 40.

Taruffi set a world record for in an auto of 22 cubic centimetre (1.3 in3) displacement in January 1952. He attempted a record but his motor burned out after ."Italian Driver Claims Mark", New York Times, January 16, 1952, Page 29. Taruffi was in a two-litre Ferrari for the running of the third Grand Prix de France, in Paris in May 1952. He captured first place with a time of three hours over a distance of . His average speed was .Taruffi Wins Auto Race, New York Times, May 26, 1952, Page 27. Taruffi placed second to Fangio in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana, with a time of 18:18:51 in a Lancia. His time was better than the previous year when he was victorious."Fangio and Stevenson Set Marks As 1,912-Mile Auto Contest Ends", New York Times, November 24, 1953, Page 37. In March 1954, Taruffi lost the Florida International Grand Prix with an hour to go, after having led the first three hours, when his Lancia stopped. He pushed it to the pits and team mechanics began working on it with diligence. Taruffi was still out of the car when the O.S.C.A. shared by Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd crossed the finish line. Taruffi had averaged per hour (130.5 km/h) before he retired."Osca First In 12-Hour Contest; Rubirosa's Lancia Home Second", New York Times, March 8, 1954, Page 33. Taruffi won the Tour of Sicily in April 1954. His time of 10 hours 24 minutes 37 seconds established a record for an event which opened Italy's sports car racing season. It was 14 years old at the time. He averaged in a Lancia 3300."Taruffi Wins in Record Time With Lancia As Serious Accidents Mar Race In Sicily", New York Times, April 5, 1954, Page 28.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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