La Bella Figura: The Fiat 1100 Stanguellini
Not many people grow up on a road famed for a road race that passes by. But as we learned from Petrolicious, Fabrizio Lorenzoni had that pleasure, living on the edges of the Parma-Poggio di Berceto road race, and he became entranced by the cars zooming by his house. Lorenzoni’s father had acquired a open cockpit Fiat 1100 Stanguellini in 1955. And in 1977, Fabrizio got the chance to follow in the tracks of the race drivers who had blazed past his childhood home, debuting the car at the same race he’d marveled at as a child, the Parma-Poggio di Berceto against such Formula 1 greats as Lauda and Fittipaldi.
Before it was acquired by Lorenzoni’s father, this beautiful car had competed in such events as the Grand Prix of Naples and the Grand Prix of Rome. The car has been given the nickname “Micia,” affectionately named after the then-owner’s wife because she had given him permission to race in the Mille Miglia, while the number 514 designates the start time for the car of its last race in the Mille. It began life as a “torpedo”-style car, with no wheel covers, but was modified to be eligible to compete in such events as the Mille Miglia by a local mechanic who added fenders.
After racing the Fiat 100 Stanguellini in 1977, Lorenzoni embarked on a quest to discover the history of the car. He discovered registration forms for the vehicle from previous Mille Miglia races, records of times it had posted, even at the Parma-Poggio di Berceto race. As he jovially notes, Lorenzoni has a somewhat tough time wriggling into the cramped cockpit of the Fiat 1100, but once Lorenzoni is at the wheel and cruising through the Italian countryside, it’s something at which to marvel.