Luigi Musso

Luigi Musso

28/7/1924 - 6/7/1958

Winner of the Italian two-liter sportscar championship in 1953 and the Targa Florio in 1957. He also raced in F1 on occasion and won the Italian Championship in 1955. he was killed in the French Grand Prix in 1958.

Luigi Musso was born in Rome, Italy, the youngest of three racing brothers, whose father was a wealthy Italian diplomat.

 Luigi loved shooting, fencing and horse riding but his real passion was cars. He wanted to race his brothers' cars but they wouldn't let him, so he went out and bought a small 750cc Giannini car and in 1950 entered the Tour of Italy. Unfortunatley he crashed into a monument to Garibaldi.

However in 1952 he finally persuaded one of his brothers to lend him a Stranguellini and he began to show true potential.

In 1953 Maserati decided to offer three young drivers the chance to drive sportscars and Musso was chosen along with Sergio Mantovani and Emilio Giletti.

Musso ended up winning Italian two-liter sportscar championship and had his first runs in a Maserati Grand Prix car at the end of the year.

In 1954 he raced in international sportscars and F1 on occasion, notably winning the Coppa Acerbo, a F1 non-championship race and in Spain where he finished second. He continued with Maserati in 1955 and became the Italian Champion.

In 1956 he decided to switch to Ferrari and shared victory in Argentina with Juan-Manuel Fangio. He was second in the Sebring 12 Hours and third on the Mille Miglia however his season was cut short after a crash in a sports car race at Nürburgring. He recovered by the autumn and at Monza refused to hand over his car to Fangio at the Italian GP. He was on course for victory when his car failed just three laps from the finish.

He stayed with Ferrari in 1957 winning the Buenos Aires 1000 sportscar race and competing in several Grands Prix. He won the Grand Prix de la Marne and although the Marne was a F1 race, it was also not part of the Drivers' Championships. Musso nevertheless finished third in the overall standings for the season.

The death of Eugenio Castellotti that year left him as the only top line Italian driver. He won the Targa Florio that year and became a regular member of the Ferrari F1 team again. He picked up two second place finishes in his first three races but at the French Grand Prix he was chasing after his team mate Mike Hawthorn when he went off into a ditch and was thrown from the car. He was seriously injured and died later that day in hospital in Reims.

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