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Piero Taruffi

Piero Taruffi Biography

Piero Taruffi was born in Rome, Italy on October 10th, 1906. Like many of his peers Taruffi started his racing career on two wheels but unlike others he continued to race motorcycles after gaining success on four wheels. He won his first race on two wheels in 1925, when he was 19 years old. In forty-one races he scored twenty-two wins. In addition to his racing activities he broke thirty-eight Worlds records including those of the Flying Kilometer at 274 Km.h., the Standing Kilometer.

The Standing Mile and the One Hour record also fell to him on Gilera in 1937 and 1939. On four wheels his record is even more impressive and in 136 races he scored forty-four wins, of which fourteen were in class, and thirty in general classification. His first victory was in 1923 and his principal successes include the G.P. of Berne in 1948, the 1951 Carrera Panamericana Mexico, and in 1952 he won the Grand Prix of Switzerland and the Ulster Trophy. In 1954 he won the Targa Florio and the Tour of Sicily, which he also won the following year. In 1956 with Moss, Behra, and Schell he shared the winning wheel in the 1000 Kilometer Race in Nurburg and in 1957 set the seal upon his brilliant career by winning the Mille Miglia.

Beyond his driving he had a Doctorate of Industrial Engineering and his technical appointments in the motor industry are no less formidable than his successes in the sporting side. He was racing manager and on the engineering staff of the C.N.A. Rondine concern from 1935-1937, and technical and racing manager for Gilera in 1937-1940. In 1946 and 1947 he was racing director, technical consultant, and Chief Tester to Cisitalia and in 1950 rejoined Gilera as racing manager and technical consultant until 1956.

From this vast wealth of experience Piero Taruffi crowned his career with the authorship of his famous book, The Technique of Motor Racing, which ranks as a standard work of reference and his lasting gift to the sport of motor racing. Piero Taruffi passed away at the age of 81 in 1988.

His daughter, Prisca would grow up to have a successful career driving sports and rally cars.