On October 28, 1951, Juan Manuel Fangio inscribed his name in motorsport history when he was crowned Formula 1 champion for the first time. That title would be followed by four more for a total of five with four different brands, a milestone that They couldn’t take him away – although they beat him in championships – Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton.
But before that European adventure that began as a one-season goal and lasted for almost a decade, it was preceded by a career in Argentina, where on October 19, 1939, he made his debut as a road tourism pilot. He did it with a black 1939 Chevrolet coupe that he had bought after a collection among the inhabitants of Balcarce.
This Wednesday, a red Chevrolet TC Coupe 39 will hit the streets for the Fangio Tribute. It will be one of the four vehicles that the Fangio Museum made available to carry out the caravan to transport the remains of El Chueco from the Balcarce Cemetery to the Mausoleum located inside the building on 18th street in front of Plaza Libertad.
Magnetic. Fangio’s red Chevrolet TC Coupe 39. Photo Courtesy of the Fangio Museum
In addition to that six-cylinder in-line car, with a power of 90 horsepower and 160 kilometers per hour of maximum speed, with which Fangio competed at the national and regional level -in the Grand Prix of South America-, there will be the one with The one that debuted in motorsport in 1938. It is the Ford V8 ’36, with a V8 engine, 80 horsepower and a maximum speed of 170 kilometers per hour, with which it competed in three races between 1938 and early 1939: Necochea, Tres Arroyos and El Bosque.
Tribute to Fangio. The debut car, the ’36 Ford V8. Photo Courtesy of the Fangio Museum
Surely the vehicle that will catch the eye of those who come to Balcarce and also of those who follow them by streaming through YouTube will be the blue Maserati 450 S with a white stripe and the number 2 with which the Balcarceño competed in the 1000 km of Buenos Aires with Stirling Moss, the 12 hours of Sebring that he won with Jean Behra and the 1000 km of Nürburgring also with Moss.
The Modena factory only built 10 coupe-type cars of the most powerful car driven by Fangio -400 horsepower and a speed above 300 km / h- which was presented in Buenos Aires in 1957 and which is one of the treasures of the Fangio Museum that will leave the exhibition floor for a little while to walk through the streets of Balcarce.
The other car that the museum made available for the realization of this caravan is one that did not drive the Chueco but in which it was key: one of the Torino 380 W of the Argentine Mission in the 84 hours of the Nürburgring. There, the Balcarceño was sports director and Oreste Berta, invited to the Tribute, technical director.
Oreste Berta, the father of the Torinos of the 84 hours of the Nürburgring.
The caravan will begin at 10.30, it will be open to the public and will allow you to accompany the remains of Fangio from the cemetery to the mausoleum, previously passing through emblematic sites. Later, these cars and others from the country’s historic clubs can be seen in an armed exhibition at the Autodromo de Balcarce. “All this exhibition will be more than nourished by the accompaniment of the clubs and their own historic cars, which will give a striking color frame to the tribute”, highlighted Rubén Bartolomé, CEO of Start Group, the company that organizes the event.