MOTORSPORT AUTOGRAPHS- CHASING THE 104
Since its inception in 1950 there have been 735 driver entries in formula one races, with 104 (14.1%) different racers winning a race. When Pastor Maldonando won the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix he became the 104th different driver to win a race, which meant that I had to get his autograph.
I have collected formula one and vintage Indy car racing memorabilia for about 20 years, with the usual assortment of items, including a few racing suites, some visors and gloves, several models, and autographs. My collection was pretty much all over the place with no real theme, although I have more items of drivers I find particularly interesting, including Clark, Andretti, Moss and Gurney.
Several years ago I realized that I had at least one autograph of about half of all the drivers who had won a formula one race. At that point I decided to chase down the F1 race winners that were missing from my collection. My collection consisted of signed photos, letters, album sheets, prints (Fearnley, Watts, ect.) and fortunately several signed racing programs. I say fortunately because multiple signed racing programs are a great way to acquire autographs of several drivers at one time, at a significant cost savings. I’ve always been interested in signed racing programs because I like the fact that with a program you know the date and location when it was signed. One of my favorites is a 1961 German GP program which came from Markus Brandes. This program is signed on the cover by race winner Stirling Moss and is autographed inside by Clark, Ginther, Von Trips, Bandini, among others, including a very rare signature of Ricardo Rodriguez. This program includes five years winners, and is a great start for anyone trying to put together the 104 race winners.
Another favorite is a 1962 British GP Program that is signed by Clark (who won the race), McLaren, Bonnier, Ginther, Graham Hill, Phil Hill, Brabham, Surtees, and others. With this one collectable I have eight F1 winners. Particularly interesting is that it was acquired with four photos of drivers signing, or getting ready to sign, the program.
This a photo of the original owner holding the program waiting for Bruce McLaren to unload his Cooper T60 from the car trailer.
One of the most difficult F1 winners to find is Luigi Musso, who won the 1956 Argentine Grand Prix. Musso was killed at the 1958 French Grand Prix at Reims when his Ferrari struck a ditch and somersaulted. I recently acquired a typed note signed by Musso from Mr. Brandes.
Another hard to find winner is Ludovico Scarifiotti who won the 1966 Italian GP. Scarifiotti was killed in 1968 at a hill climbing event near Berchtesgaden, Germany. Mr. Brandes and I recently worked out a trade to acquire an excellent signed letter signed by Scarifiotti.
At the moment I need Peter Collins, Jo Siffert, Giancarlo Baghetti, and Luigi Fagioli to complete the 104 list. When I get those four I will be on to something else. Indy 500 winners maybe???