The Ex-Giuseppe Campari, Count ‘Johnny’ Lurani, Ippolito Berrone,1933 2-litre Maserati 4 Cilindri  Monoposto 2000 Grand Prix Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. ‘2011’

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Lot 233
The Ex-Giuseppe Campari, Count ‘Johnny’ Lurani, Ippolito Berrone, 1933 2-litre Maserati 4 Cilindri Monoposto 2000 Grand Prix Racing Single-Seater
Chassis no. ‘2011’

£ 240,000 - 280,000
US$ 300,000 - 350,000
The Ex-Giuseppe Campari, Count ‘Johnny’ Lurani, Ippolito Berrone
1933 2-litre Maserati 4 Cilindri Monoposto 2000 Grand Prix Racing Single-Seater
Chassis no. ‘2011’

Footnotes

  • Few racing cars are more evocative than Europe’s pioneering centrally-disposed single-seater Monoposto designs of the early1930s, while few racing car manufacturers have a more charismatic image than that of Il Tridente – Maserati. A number of historic and significant ‘one-off’ Maseratis have been built during the marque’s long career, and Bonhams is immensely proud to be able to offer ‘2011’ here as one of the first of these entirely unique machines.

    In addition to being the only 2-litre of its type built by the then Bologna-based factory, this one-off works team Maserati Monoposto finished 3rd driven by the legendary, opera-singing Giuseppe Campari in the 1933 Coppa Ciano public road and street race around the demanding Montenero circuit, Livorno (‘Leghorn’) on the western coast of Italy.

    One report of that event records how, completing the opening lap at Montenero the race order was “Nuvolari, Borzacchini, Battaglia, Campari…after lap 4: Borzacchini stopped at his pits to hand over his car to Tadini, who retired after doing only one lap.”
    [No further mention in the text about Battaglia’s plight.]

    “Campari was for 'quite some time' in second place with a Maserati 2000 Monoposto, but near the end he was passed by Brivio (Alfa) and fell back to place three. Campari lost his good early placing because of a 1-minute stop at his pits.

    “Campari and Brivio dueled for second place but Brivio maintained his position.” Result: Nuvolari, Brivio, Campari, Borzacchini, Battaglia, etc.

    Maserati ‘2011’ offered here was later campaigned by the well-known and hugely popular Italian motor sporting personality Count Giovanni ‘Johnny’ Lurani Cernuschi in Europe’s highest-altitude mountain climb – the Passo del Stelvio event - before sale to private owner/driver Ippolito Berrone. This unique torque-rich 2-litre has great potential for modern stop-go ‘Historic’ race circuits – and it is offered with a wonderful provenance since it starred for many years in the Monza motor museum at the historic Milanese race circuit in the Royal Park – spiritual home of European-style Grand Prix racing, before becoming a prized exhibit in Britain’s famed National Motor Museum, at Beaulieu from June 1972.

    Maserati authority Richard Crump recalls the car well at that Monza auction: “It looked as though it had just come from the race tracks of pre-war times, and had lovely little shaped pieces of wood to fair-in the front axle, in an early appreciation of aerodynamics…”.

    Some of its enduring originality became obscured during its time on busy public display at Beaulieu before it was again offered for sale in October 1983 at Earl’s Court, London, whereupon it passed into Sherman Wolf Collection in Massachusetts, being restored by David Cottingham’s specialist DK Engineering company in the UK.

    This first step in enlarging the 4-cylinder 1500cc Maserati power unit with a few to major mountain climb and perhaps Grand Prix class competition saw bore and stroke dimensions of 80mm x 96mm adopted, to displace 1970.4cc. Power output from the supercharged engine was quoted by the Maserati brothers as being 165bhp at 5,500rpm, and the 580kg car was cited as having a maximum speed of no less than 215km/h.

    In his wonderful racing autobiography ‘Racing Round the World’ Count Lurani recalled: “On July 2nd the 13th Ciano Cup took place on the classic Montenero circuit and I went to watch the race. Tazio Nuvolari was competing with the 3-litre modified Maserati and he won again beating all records. Tonino Brivio was second and Giuseppe Campari third with a 4-cylinder 2-litre engine giving 150 h.p. and with just over 55kg total weight. This was a car which would be most suitable for he hill-climb on the Stelvio, and after seeing the Coppa Internazionale delle Alpi in Turin, and after a motor boating interval in Venice, I made arrangements with the Maserati brothers and entered for the ‘highest’ race in Europe with the new ‘monoposto’.

    “I went to Trafoi, the starting point for the Stelvio a few days beforehand and there the slim, elegant ‘monoposto’ followed me by lorry from Bologna together with the mechanic Bortolini.

    “The second International race on the Stelvio again brought together the best European specialists…in my class the most dangerous rivals were Minozzi winner of the 1932 race, and the Swiss Maag, both with 8-cylinder Bugattis.

    “I soon noticed that the gear ratio and high wheels of the Maserati were not suitable and it was difficult to take full advantage of the powerful engine on the narrow, sandy road, where it was necessary to have a choice of gear ratios and tyres. However, during practising I realised that I could hope for a class victory and possibly break the 2-litre record which stood at 16mins 18secs. Instead” – he continued – “…a most silly contretemps reversed the results!

    “I had with me a large English chronometer…mounted on the Maserati, and I asked the starter to give me a signal one minute before the time fixed so that I could regulate my start.

    “There was 3 minutes between competitors, and when my turn came the timekeeper gave me a signal…I therefore remained a full minute on the line and then at a fresh signal started off. As I passed the finish line…my time (on the chronometer) was 17mins 01sec so I had taken 16:01 and beaten the record by 7 seconds. Imagine my surprise when my official time was 17:01 and everyone asked why I had gone so slowly…

    “The timekeeper at the start had got mixed up…and had given me the signal at the official starting time, instead of a minute in advance…so I had remained there for a full minute when I should have been pressing on!”

    For 1934 Lurani’s wealthy friend and fellow amateur gentleman-driver Ippolito Berrone bought ‘2011’ from the Maserati factory, and he used the car very sparingly that season. Most notably he ran it in the unpronounceable ElaintarharnajoDjugaardsloppet race – the Finnish Grand Prix in the capital city of Helsinki. Sadly he was forced out after only six laps when a fuel line parted.

    On June 29, 1934, Giovanni Rocco won the Targa del Vesuvio ‘volcano climb’ in a 2-litre Maserati, but Berrone used ‘2011’ quite rarely and it is believed that he or his family subsequently donated it postwar to the Monza museum, in its very original and unmolested form.

    Since its re-emergence from its long years of preservation, the car became a familiar sight within American ‘Vintage’ racing before being sold again by Bonhams & Butterfields at Quail Lodge, Carmel, California. The car has since been run successful as recently this July in the 2006 Festival of Speed right here at Goodwood, and it is now being offered for an enthusiastic new ownership to make the most of its remarkably useable qualities. With the extra torque of the 2-litre engine it is particularly well suited to modern race circuits with their tighter corners and ‘stop-go’ characteristics and in the right hands this attractive and historic survivor from the heyday of Italian single-seater racing and mountain-climbing during the 1930s could surely once more become a front-runner within its specific class.
The Ex-Giuseppe Campari, Count ‘Johnny’ Lurani, Ippolito Berrone,1933 2-litre Maserati 4 Cilindri  Monoposto 2000 Grand Prix Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. ‘2011’
The Ex-Giuseppe Campari, Count ‘Johnny’ Lurani, Ippolito Berrone,1933 2-litre Maserati 4 Cilindri  Monoposto 2000 Grand Prix Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. ‘2011’
The Ex-Giuseppe Campari, Count ‘Johnny’ Lurani, Ippolito Berrone,1933 2-litre Maserati 4 Cilindri  Monoposto 2000 Grand Prix Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. ‘2011’
The Ex-Giuseppe Campari, Count ‘Johnny’ Lurani, Ippolito Berrone,1933 2-litre Maserati 4 Cilindri  Monoposto 2000 Grand Prix Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. ‘2011’
The Ex-Giuseppe Campari, Count ‘Johnny’ Lurani, Ippolito Berrone,1933 2-litre Maserati 4 Cilindri  Monoposto 2000 Grand Prix Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. ‘2011’
The Ex-Giuseppe Campari, Count ‘Johnny’ Lurani, Ippolito Berrone,1933 2-litre Maserati 4 Cilindri  Monoposto 2000 Grand Prix Racing Single-Seater  Chassis no. ‘2011’
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