TAZIO NUVOLARI d1953. Legendary Italian racing driver who first raced motorcycles before concentrating on sports cars and single seaters. Resident in Mantua he was known as 'Il Mantovano Volante' (The Flying Mantuan) and nicknamed 'Nivola'. His victories (72 major races / 150 in all) included 24 Grand Prix / 5 Coppa Cianos / 2 Mille Miglias / 2 Targa Florios / 2 RAC Tourist Trophies / Le Mans 24 hour race and a European Championship in GP. Ferdinand Porsche called him "the greatest driver of the past, the present, and the future ..." He started racing motorcycles in 1920 at the age of 27, winning the 1925 350cc European Championship. Having raced cars as well as motorcycles from 1925 until 1930, he then concentrated on cars and won the 1932 European Championship with the Alfa Romeo factory team Alfa Corse. After Alfa Romeo officially withdrew from Grand Prix racing, he drove for Enzo Ferrari's team Scuderia Ferrari who ran the Alfa Romeo cars semi-officially. In 1933, he won Le Mans in an Alfa Romeo as a member of Ferrari's team and a month later won the Belgian Grand Prix in a works Maserati, having switched teams a week before the race. Mussolini helped persuade Ferrari to take Nuvolari back for 1935 and in that year he won the German Grand Prix in Ferrari's outdated Alfa Romeo, defeating more powerful rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. It was the only time a non-German car won a European Championship race from 1935 to 1939. His relationship with Ferrari deteriorated during 1937 and he raced an Auto Union in that year's Swiss Grand Prix. He rejoined the Auto Union team for the 1938 season and stayed with them through 1939 until Grand Prix racing was put on hiatus by World War II. The only major European race he never won was the Czech Grand Prix. When he resumed racing after the war he was 54 and in poor health. In his final appearance in competition (driving a Cisitalia-Abarth Tipo 204A) at Palermo hillclimb on 10th April 1950, he won his class and placed fifth overall. He died from a stroke aged 60 on August 11th 1953.
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