THE MONACO GRAND PRIX LIBRARY BY ROY HULSBERGEN
Count Vittorio Marzotto
 

 

Born: 1928, Italy

1950

1st in Mille Miglia (Ferrari)

1952

1st Monaco GP (Ferrari sports cars)

1953

1st Mille Miglia, 5th Le Mans 24 Hours Race (Ferrari)

A large crowd surrounds an elegant young man wearing an impeccable lounge suit and neck tie and listens to his story. The location is Viale Rebuffone, the start and finish area of the Mille Miglia. The year is 1950 and nearby people admire a dirty but unscratched Ferrari 195 berlinetta from which the elegant young man has just disembarked with a friend Marco Crosara. They look so fresh and relaxed that you would never think they have just won the Mille Miglia, 1000 miles - yes 1600km from Brescia to Rome and back, crossing the Appenine twice, at an average speed of over 123km/h in partially abominable weather and at a time when the word “Autostrada” was unknown south of Brescia.
The young man is Vittorio Marzotto. He is 22 and a high school student. He has taken part in two previous Mille Miglia and in two Targa Florios driving a modest Lancia Aprilia, but only a few enthusiasts have heard of him, though most Italians know the name of Marzotto, probably the biggest name in the Italian wool and textile industry.

Vittorio is one of four brothers, all motor racing enthusiasts and all have taken part in this Mille Miglia, all driving Ferraris, all their own cars. They are real gentlemen drivers in the purest sense of the word, yet Vittorio has just beaten all the best works drivers of the period. Villoresi, Bracco, Biondetti (four times winner), Serafini, Sanesi, Musso were all in the race with competitive cars, and even Fangio, driving a works Alfa Romeo 2.5 litre could do no better than 3rd, 23 minutes behind the young man in lounge suit who had never raced anything more potent than a Lancia Aprilla, except a few weeks before when he had driven another Ferrari in the Targa Florio. Obviously, he is an exceptional talent.

Real road races were Vittorio’s speciality and in 1950 he won the Mille Miglia again, this time driving a 4.1 litre Ferrari which Enzo Ferrari had himself put at his disposal. And again he left Fangio, driving a new 3.5 litre Alfa Romeo, behind him, though it must be said that the Alfa suffered steering problems in the last stages of the race.

Being a road racing specialist, Vittorio Marzotto’s participation in the Monaco Grand Prix of 1952, the only time it has been reserved for sports cars, was an exception. That he won the event on what must have been one of his first - maybe his very first - race on a circuit is another proof of his immense talent. Another occasion was the Le Mans 24 Hours Race of 1953 for which Ferrari had entrusted one of their 4.1 litre berlinettas to Vittorio and his equally talented brother Paolo. Theirs was the only Ferrari to finish, in 5th place.

Vittorio Marzotto always concentrated on sports cars and mainly on long distance racing. He never drove in Formula One. Had he become a professional, he would probably have been a match for the greats of his time, Ascari, Villoresi, Fangio and Moss. But after 1953, the four brothers rounded up the racing organisation they had created and decided that time had come to look after the industry they had inherited and the Jolly Hotels which they also control.

F1 Tickets


At 1951 Mille Miglia

1952 at Imola

1952 Victory in Monaco with Prince Rainier III and Antony Noghès

1953 Mille Miglia