Lost and Found After 60 Years – A Truly Italian History
By Giuseppe De Angelis
Since the birth of the car at the end of the nineteenth century, cars have been a great passion in the De Angelis family. My grandfather and his brothers were founders of the local Automobil Club of Italy in our hometown of Ascoli Piceno. My father Francesco (born in 1923), and his brothers Vito (born in 1920) and Vincenzo (born in 1925) retained this interest in motoring and continued their pursuits in automobiles and racing cars.
In 1952 Francesco and Vincenzo began racing cars all around Italy, and entered that year’s Mille Miglia with a little Fiat 500 named Topolino. They finished in 228th place and 4th in class. The brothers also competed in the 1954 Mille Miglia (and other races) in the same Topolino.
The 1954 Mille Miglia saw the debut of a true racing car – the Giaur-Taraschi chassis BT004 and engine Giannini G1–085. This car was built by Taraschi in Teramo (close to Ascoli Piceno) during 1949 and 1950 before being sold new to Italo Arlini-Di Brigida from Pineto with licence plate TE 6004. He then ran the 1950 Mille Miglia with this car and then sold it in Grottammare (Ascoli Piceno) to Mario Gustavo Laureati in 1951. In the Giaur, Laureati ran the 1951 running of the Mille Miglia with Elio Celani from S. Benedetto del Tronto, and again in 1953 with Amedeo Francescangeli from Ascoli Piceno to finish 161st overall and 11th in class. It was then that my father Francesco finally bought the car.
My father soon raced the Giaur at Circuito di Macerata with race-number 24, finishing 3rd, then in the 1954 Mille Miglia, where he finished 156th overall and 12th in class. He actively campaigned the car, racing at Circuito di Salerno, Circuito di Terni, Vermicino-Rocca di Papa Hillclimb and other events. Then the car sat for much of 1955, as he drove a Fiat 1100 TV at the Mille Miglia. As usual, he drove with his brother Vincenzo, but a broken transmission prevented them from finishing.
Then, at the end of 1955 he traded the Giaur for an Alfa Romeo 1900 with Alfredo Tinazzo, a fine driver who later raced the Giaur in the 1956 and 1957 running of the Mille Miglia. In 1959, Tinazzo sadly died in a race at Monza. My family had always believed that Tinazzo was actually driving the Giaur at Monza, and therefore thought that it had been destroyed.