A rare 'Gigi' car mascot after E. Julliani originally designed personally for Luigi Villoresi, Italian,
Lot 23
A rare 'Gigi' car mascot after E. Julliani originally designed personally for Luigi Villoresi, Italian,
£ 1,000 - 1,500
US$ 1,300 - 2,000

Lot Details
A rare 'Gigi' car mascot after E. Julliani originally designed personally for Luigi Villoresi, Italian,
signed, spelter figure with bronzed patina depicting Villoresi in the Swiss Guard uniform of the Papal bodyguards, 16cm high, spear tip missing, weathered and pitted in places, mounted on a disc base for display.

Footnotes

  • Luigi Villoresi (16 May 1909 – 24 August 1997). Born in Milan, and nicknamed "Gigi" by family and friends, he was the older brother of race car driver Emilio Villoresi who co-piloted with him in several races at the beginning of their careers. From a prosperous family, Villoresi could afford to buy a car and began competing in local rallies at the age of twenty-two with a Lancia Lambda and a few years later acquired a Fiat Balilla with which he and his brother Emilio competed in the Mille Miglia. In 1935, he raced in the Coppa Ciano, finishing third and went on to capture the Italian driving championship in the 1100 cc sports car class. The following year he and his brother purchased a Maserati which they drove individually in different races. Emilio was so successful that he was signed to drive an Alfa Romeo for Scuderia Ferrari in the 1937 season.

    In 1938, Luigi Villoresi became part of the Maserati team, driving the 8CTF model designed to compete with the dominant German Silver Arrows. In 1939, Maserati introduced the Maserati 4CL which Villoresi drove to victory at the 1939 South African Grand Prix. Unfortunately, his brother Emilio died while testing a 158/159 Alfetta factory racer at Monza, two weeks later 'Gigi' drove a Maserati to victory at the 1939 Adriatic Grand Prix, dedicating the win to Emilio. His racing career was interrupted by the onset of World War II. At war's end, he returned to race for Maserati until 1949 when he signed again with Ferrari debuting in Formula 1 on 21 May 1950.

    Villoresi retired from Grand Prix racing in 1957 after 31 Formula One championship starts, appearing on the podium 8 times while scoring a total of 49 championship points. Villoresi continued rally racing and won the Acropolis Rally in Greece in 1958 before moving to Modena to retire.

    See: David Burgess-Wise: Automobile Archaeology, page 142.
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