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Jano’s Monoposto Mystery

U.S. Vintage GRand Prix at Watkins Glen - September 9-12, 2010  Walter Pietrowicz
U.S. Vintage GRand Prix at Watkins Glen - September 9-12, 2010

Monoposto! The racing record of the Alfa Romeo Type B is the stuff of legends. The name evokes the images of astounding victories over the mighty German teams of Mercedes and Auto Union and is forever intertwined with the names of Tazio Nuvolari, arguably the greatest Grand Prix driver of all time, Achille Varzi, Louis Chiron, Guy Moll, and Guiseppe Campari.

Tazio Nuvolari at the wheel of the Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3.

Alfa’s Type B Monoposto was designed by Vittorio Jano in 1932. His design was elegant and functional and marked the high point for the classic school of leaf-sprung racing cars that evolved following WWI. The monsters of the first decade of the 20thCentury were being replaced by much more sophisticated designs at the outbreak of WWI. The progress continued, following the war, with the refinement of the live axle/leaf spring suspension grand prix cars in the 1920’s and early ‘30’s. This refinement continued until the introduction of cars designed with independent suspension, marking the onset of the next stage of racing car design in the closing years of the 1930’s (until peace-time pursuits were interrupted by the outbreak of WWII).

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