Count Aymo Maggi was a successful Italian racing driver who organised the first Mille Miglia.
Aymo Maggi, the Conte di Gradella, was born in Pandino outside Cremona about 30 km east of Milan. As his title suggests, he came from a wealthy family and from an early age he showed his competitive spirit firstly with horses and cycling before turning to motor cycles in 1921 and racing cars the following year.
His first victory came in 1924 in race from Gargnano to Tignale. He also won his class in the Circuit of Garda that year driving a Bugatti at an average speed of 78 Kph, and the Campionato Bresciano.
He continued racing a Bugatti 35A, winning the V Circuito del Garda in 1925 beating the works team. He became good friends with Ettore Bugatti and took on the Bugatti Agency for Milan.
He won the Circuito del Garda again in 1926 as well as the Rome Grand Prix and a number of other wins and podium finishes.
Brescia lost the role of hosting Italian Grand Prix in 1922 when the Automobile Club of Milan built the Autodromo Nazionale Monza and it was against this background that Maggi with help from his friend Franco Mazzotti and two others, managed to persuade the fascist government to allow a road race for sports cars over a 1000-mile course of closed public roads from Brescia to Rome and back again to be organised. Thus the first Mille Miglia took place in 1927, with Maggi finishing 6th driving an Isotta Fraschini 8A SS with Alfieri Maserati.
He survived a heart attack in 1959 but died from a second one in 1961.