Dennis and Susan Garrity of Green Bay, Wis., are the proud and enthusiastic owners of a 1952 Lazzarino Sports Prototipo. They’ve owned the car with a storied race history since 2014. Attendees of the 2016 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance on August 28, 2016 can see this race car.
A Race Car with a Fascinating History
“We found it in the Monterey, Calif., area and were immediately attracted to it because of its uniqueness and fascinating history and also because we think the car is extremely beautiful, embodying the style and grace of classic European-inspired racing cars of the early 1950s,” said Dennis. “It is not every day that you have a chance to acquire a one-off race car, built by a renowned Argentinian automobile fabricating company, the founders of which emigrated from a region of Italy which was the hotbed of racing and sporting vehicles at the time. Not only was the car rich in history and tradition but it qualifies for the most significant historic rallies and races throughout the world, including the Italian and California Mille Miglia and the Colorado Grand. And the car had proved its roadworthiness by participating in many rigorous historic racing and other events, including a 4,000 mile plus rally in recent years. It was also driven by actor James Franco in promotions for Gucci and it has FIA papers, making it eligible for the most significant historic races, such as the Italian Mille Miglia.
1952 Lazzarino Sports Prototipo Racing History
In the early 1950s the chairman of Ford of Argentina turned to Lazzarino for the creation of a high-performance race car, styled like a superleggera Vignale, but powered by a flathead Argentinian Ford V-8 power plant, to take on the dominant foreign cars in the Argentinian national races. The car then competed in numerous races, including the Gran Jornada Automovilistica ‘Presidente Peron,’ (the President Peron Auto Race) in August 1954. It continued to campaign throughout the 1950’s against the best period race cars on the Argentinian circuits, often on dirt tracks, such as the 500 Millas de Rafaela. Frequently under the enthusiastic eyes of Presidente Juan Peron, the Lazzarino battled legendary drivers, such as Juan Manuel Fangio, an eventual five-time F1 World Champion.
The race car continued to be raced vigorously by a string of race teams throughout Argentina into the 1970s, but eventually fell into disuse and was acquired by Paul Gant, a noted Belgian rare car collector. From there it found its way to the United States, where it was restored to its original configuration, after thorough research.
As part of this, Dennis noted the original motor was replaced with the same style engine because the original engine was seized and beyond repair. Powered by a 239-flathead V8 cylinder engine, the car has participated in other concours including Amelia Island Concour 2012 and Quail Motorsports Concours 2012.
“My wife Susan and I intend to enter the car in all of the significant races and rallies. It is a work of automotive art that can be enjoyed not only for its grace and beauty but also for the grand experience of driving it and its full functionality, as it was intended to be used 60 some years ago. Owning and operating a car like this is like entering a portal in time for us, back to an era of adventurous and swashbuckling racing at its best. Driving this car is truly a unique experience in that there is not another one like it anywhere else in the world,” Dennis concluded.
The Lazzarino will compete in the Race Car Class at the 2016 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, Aug. 28, in Veterans Park. Other class participants include All American Racer Eagle Formula cars, a Stanguellini Formula Jr Monto, a Kurtis Midget X, Surtees TS-6 low wing 5000 and a Porsche 901.
About the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance
The 2016 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance is a celebration of the art and beauty of automobiles as well as classic motorboats. Approximately 200 cars and vintage boats will be on display and will be competing for top honors on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, in Veterans Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Gates are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Saturday, Aug. 27, a casual car show, open to anyone who wishes to show a car, motorcycle or truck, will kick off the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance weekend in Veterans Park. This is a casual car show and will not include the vehicles that will be shown and judged on Sunday. Saturday’s Style & Speed Social, a casual evening of camaraderie, food and beverage, will take place at The Milwaukee Club in downtown Milwaukee.
The main event of the weekend is the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, Aug. 28. Vehicles shown on this day are invited to this competition by the Concours Committee and are judged for specific attributes. The vehicles are arranged in classes so that like vehicles are competing against other like vehicles. The judges will not only select the best in each class but also will award premiere awards for specific categories such as Best Open Early, Best Open Late, Most Sporting, etc. In addition, Best of Show, Chief Judge’s award and other honors will recognize the best of the day’s competition.
Among the classic and vintage vehicles that will be assembled on the show field on Aug. 28 will be a collection of rare Ferraris. This collection will serve as a tribute to Wayne Obry, former owner of Motion Products, Inc., Neenah. Mr. Obry passed away earlier this year.
Proceeds from the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance weekend of events benefit Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Meta House. Since its inception 12 years ago, this event has raised more than $200,000 for charity.
Joining Chief Judge Colin Comer on Sunday will be six honorary judges. They include:
- Peter Cunningham, Championship driver and team owner of RealTime Racing
- Donald Osborne, an automotive consultant, historian, Accredited Senior Appraiser and a member of the American Society of Appraisers. Noted enthusiast, collector and concours judge
- Roger Morrison, 31 year veteran of judging at Pebble Beach and will serve as Assistant Chief Judge at the 2016 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance.
- Jonathan Klinger, vice president of public relations for Hagerty, the world’s leader in classic car insurance and valuations expertise.
- Kim Wolfkill, editor-in-chief of Road & Track magazine; was most recently senior business and partner manager for Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios.
- Tom Jones, president of the CCCA (Classic Car Club of America) and chair of the Keeneland Concours in Lexington, Ky.
The Masterpiece Ltd., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, hosts the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance and associated events.
Tickets are available at the gate both days or can be purchased in advance online.
Learn more at MilwaukeeConcours.com.