8/3/1909 - 29/4/1990
Record updated 08-Mar-23
Daniel Musso was an Argentine racing driver with a reputation of reliability. He became well know as one of the 'pilotos llegadores' which literally means 'arriving pilots' or I suppose more accurately, 'one who always finishes'. Despite not winning that many races outright his style permitted him to finish on the podium many times.
Daniel Musso was born in Luján, Argentina. He worked as a mechanic and a bus driver before opening a garage and workshop in his local area.
Daniel Musso raced in the Turismo Carretera and, at the age of 26, made his debut in the Gran Carrera of 1936. In February he entered Gran Premio Internacional Automovilístico a Chile Virginio F. Grego. Raced over 6,865-kilometers (4,267-miles) of public roads between Argentina and Chile, it was split into nine-stages, part of which was through the Andes. He was doing well and lying second on the fourth stage. But tragically he was involved in a fatal accident when a four year old boy, Ramón Luis Salgado, ignored his parents and tried to cross the road right in front of him near the village of Villa Alegre, in central Chile.
In 1939 he won the third stage of the Gran Premio Argentino from San Salvador de Jujuy to San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca a distance of 573 km, though he ultimately finished in 16th. In the Gran Premio Extraordinario that year, a race over 4428Km of gravel roads starting on the 29th of November and ending on the 5th of December, he finished second behind the Galvez brothers.
In 1940 he arrived at the Mile Milas on 190.74 points in the Argentine Championship behind Fangio with 286.11. With 96.56 points at stake, Musso could overtake Fangio in the standings. Unfortunately Musso went out having led the first stage.
Longtime member of Escuderias Avion, he had a reputation of reliability, pretty useful in those long distance races on dirt roads! he became well know as one of the 'pilotos llegadores' which literally means 'arriving pilots' or I suppose more accurately, 'one who always finishes'.
In 1941 he finished second behind Fangio in the Gran Premio Internacional del Norte, the longest race held up to that time. Starting in Buenos Aires (Argentina) the route took the competitors through La Paz (Bolivia) and on to Lima (Peru). Then on the 28th of April 1947: Daniel Musso with Domingo Sanguinetti did the trip from Buenos Aires to Chile, a distance of 2,874 kilometres in 33 hours and 6 minutes, beating all the records for crossing the mountains that Emilio Karstulovic had set in 1943 of 5 hours 57 minutes, Musso trimmed 24 minutes off his time.
In mid 1940, with racing severely reduced during World War II, Luis Elias Sojit, a well known journalist, set about organizing a cross country expedition between Buenos Aires and New York along the Pan-American highway, with the objective of showing support and unity between the two countries. Finaly on July 19, 1945 three cars left from the Plaza del Congreso en route to the United States. The cars all had names. The 'José de San Martín' was driven by by Daniel Musso and Diego Marti, the 'George Washington' by Alberto Torrientes and Manuel Sojit and the 'Simón Bolívar', driven by Luis Elías Sojit and Juan José Plini.
It took 49 days (11 less than anticipated) and, after travelling through 16 countries, they presented a floral tribute to former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York's Hyde Park. A few days later, two of the cars, together with their crew, returned to Buenos Aires by sea, however Sojit and Musso decided to drive back, arriving in Buenos Aires on the 30th April 1946.
A second fatal accident marred Daniel Musso's career in 1948. During the opening stage of the Vuelta a la América del Sur, also known as Gran Premio de la América del Sur, just a short 9,580-kilometer (5,950-mile) three-week jaunt from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Caracas, Venezuela, Musso ran over and killed unnamed pedestrian who, presumably drunk, stepped out into the road right in front of him. After the accident, Musso restarted, but the following day, upset for the tragedy he decided to withdraw.
Despite not winning many races outright his style permitted him to finish on the podium many times.
In the 1950 Gran Premio Argentino 'Danielito' as the journalists and his colleagues called him, won the last stage of the race, fighting with Oscar Galvez and beating "El Aguilucho" by just 1m 23s.
Musso continued to race until the mid 1960, however even after that he still drove in exhibitions behind the wheel of his old coupe. Until Sunday, April 29, 1990, when he suffered a stroke permanently bringing an end to his driving exploits.