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1959 Stanguellini to compete in Race Car Class at 2016 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance

1959_StangWith its rich history, a 1959 Stanguellini is sure to attract race car enthusiasts at the 2016 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance as it competes in the Race Car Class, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, in Veterans Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront.

The car competed all over Europe during the 1959 and 1960 Formula Jr. racing period, and then was brought to Cuba for the 1960 Grand Prix when the driver and owner, Peter Carpenter, finished second. Its last known race was at Sebring in April 1960. By that time rear-engine cars became dominant, obsoleting the front-engine cars, just like in Formula One.

The racing history includes:

  • 5th place – June 1959 at Autodromo Monza , Italy
  • 2nd place – July 1959 at Ciruito Di Salerno , Italy
  • 2nd place – February 1960 at Gran Premio Habana, Cuba

The car had been displayed for many years in a private Italian Car Museum in Miami, Fla. Tim LaGanke, Novelty, Ohio, purchased it from the museum in 1994.

What prompted the purchase? “When I was 22 years old, I pit crewed for an owner in Ohio who raced a Stanguellini Formula Jr.,” LaGanke said. The seed was planted. He knew some day he would own one of these special cars.

He found a classified ad for the car in Hemmings Motor News. “I had been watching for years,” he said.

LaGanke has shown the car in two or three shows annually for the past 15 years. He has won many awards including second in class at Amelia Island, in Florida; first in class at Glenmoor, in Ohio; and first in class at Stan Hywet Classic, also in Ohio.

About Stanguellini

Automobili Stanguellini was an Italian maker of small sports cars, based in Modena and founded by Vittorio Stanguellini. It was most active between 1946 and 1960. They continued to produce competition cars until 1981, when Vittorio Stanguellini died.

1959_Stang_2Vittorio Stanguellini used his experience tuning Fiats in the pre-war days, and he based his small racers on Fiat components. Focusing on the 750 and 1100 cc classes, Stanguellini sports cars were beautifully engineered cars with light-alloy cylinder blocks, twin overhead camshafts (bialbero) and dual side-draught Weber carburetors. This would add up to a claimed 60 bhp (40 kW) at 7500 rpm from the 741 cc sports engine and 90 bhp (70 kW) at 7000 rpm from the larger engine, providing top speeds of around 180 km/h (110 mph) and 190 km/h (120 mph) respectively.

Peter Cunningham, championship driver of RealTime Racing, Acura’s factory team in the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge Championships, will serve as lead judge in the Race Car Class. “Who better to judge racecars than the winningest American sports car driver of all time,” noted Chief Judge Colin Comer. “I am thrilled that Peter has agreed to join us.”

The Masterpiece Ltd., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, hosts the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance and associated events.

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.