0/0/1893 - 25/3/1975
Juan Antonio Gaudino was one of the stars of the gruelling cross-country Gran Premio Nacional marathon which was Argentinas glamour event of the 1920s and 1930s. Juan Gaudino died 46 years ago, he was 82
Of Italian birth but with dual nationality, Gaudino was born in Turin in 1893. He started his competition career on motorcycles, he then entered the 1926 Gran Premio at the wheel of a stripped Hupmobile, and surprised the old hands by bringing it home in third place, then won in 1927. The following year, now in a Chrysler, he built his lead up to 14 minutes before trouble struck, leaving him in 8th place at the end. In 1929 hiis car caught fire, but he managed to finish second, and then in 1930 he succeeded in taking his second Gran Premio after a tough 920-mile fight.
With these sort of successes behind him, Gaudino sought fame in the wider world. Surely the Indianapolis 500 would be an easy nut for someone of his experience to crack? At his first attempt though, in 1930, he couldn’t even qualify. He was back two years later with a new Chrysler, the Golden Seal Special, and qualified, but didn’t last the distance. He finally made the finish in 1933, when Raúl Riganti did most of the driving, and came home in 14th - and last place.
Gaudino had done little racing apart from in these two big events, but had picked up a number of placings in 1927, and in 1930 won a 500km race at Arrecifes. There were other placings in the Indianapolis Chrysler in 1932.
Gaudino then retired from racing after WW2 and lived near Buenos Aires. However his car, known locally as the Insignia d’Oro, would be a feature of racing in Argentina for many years to come.