The history of the Giannini Motor Company is fascinating.
Founded in 1920 as a garage by the Giannini brothers – Attilio and Domenico – the company began tuning the little Fiat 500 Topolino in the 1930s and secured 12 world speed records with one of its modified cars.
In the early 1960s the original company closed, the brothers going their separate ways to found new enterprises. This car was built by Fratelli Benedetti of Florence (see the book ‘Le Sport’, page 87) and bodied by Carrozzeria Lotti of Florence, a company still in existence.
Built by Pasquale “Pasquino” Ermini, (founder of Ermini), the original engine was a FIAT 1100 unit reduced to 750cc.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
This extremely rare racing barchetta was made by Fratelli Benedetti. An independent sports car manufacturer from Florence (See the book “La Sport” at page 87)
The body is based on a Fiat Topolino model A, bodied as a Sport by Carrozzeria Lotti of Florence, which is still existing today.
Elio Benedetti build two similar cars, one for Carlo Chiti (chassis #11250) and one for Angelo Benzoni.
Barchetta means “little boat” in Italian, it’s a reference to what the body looks like when it’s off the car upside down before fitting, and it’s a name used by many of the smaller racing cars of the era including many from Ferrari.
The first engine was Fiat 1100 cc reduced to 750 cc from Mr. Pasquino Ermini and later a Giannini G1. The Giannini G1 engine (743 cc) allowed for the entrance in the 750 cc Sports Class.
This specific example raced in the “Coppa della Toscana” (racing number 1020), the “Firenze-Fiesole” race (racing number 136) and in the 1952 Mille Miglia (racing number 005), driven by its owner Carlo Chiti, an impecunious Florentine enthusiast, who later became a famous Italian engineer for Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Auto Delta.
The car finished the 1952 Mille Miglia as 5th in the Sport 750 Class and 125th overall in a race won by the Ferrari 250 S Berlinetta of Bracco/Rolfo.
The race car appears in the book “Mille Miglia 1947 – 1956” by Carlo Dolcini, on the pages 382 – 383.
When we inspect the Italian title/registration, it is one of 60 last Firenze plated cars. The registration was then cancelled in the 80s and the car was bought by the next owner at the beginning of the 90s with a number plate of Siena.
The car was completely dismantled and restored, the owner at the time of the restoration gave many pictures of the car before and during the restoration.
Period photographs on file show the car at the Coppa della Toscana (competitor number ‘1020’), the Firenze-Fiesole hill climb (number ‘136’), and the 1952 Mille Miglia (‘005’).
Period pictures and documentation from the Mille Miglia Museum Archive in Brescia provide indications of its beautiful Mille Miglia competition career.
There is an enormous file with pictures of above mentioned races and rallies. We have added a selection but please contact us if you would like to see specific pictures of specific above mentioned races.
The car has successfully entered and finished the 2015, 2017 and 2019 Mille Miglia races with a 47th place overall as best result, on a total of more then 400 participants.
The car is in a very good technical condition and is ready to race the 2023 Mille Miglia as well as participate in other prestigious events.
THE FIRST OWNER. MR. CARLO CHITI,
(AN ENGINEERING GENIUS BEST KNOWN FOR HIS LONG ASSOCIATION WITH ALFA ROMEO’S RACING DEPARTMENT)
Ing. Carlo Chiti (19 December 1924 – 7 July 1994) was an Italian racing car and engine designer and is often considered the father of modern racing. His fame and technological accomplishments in Italian racing can be compared with Carol Shelby in the USA.
Ing. Carlo Chiti studied Chemistry and Aeronautical Engineering and flew J3 Cub planes in the early 1950’s (when he was still very thin…). After a contest he was hired by Alfa Romeo’s Aeronautical department in November 1952. Shortly after he transferred to their racing department and worked on the successful Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 series.
Upon the closing of Alfa Romeo’s competition department in 1957, Mr. Chiti was invited to Scuderia Ferrari where he was credited with the development of both the mid engined race car and the rear spoiler.
He worked closely with Enzo Ferrari and Giotto Bizzarini and was responsible for the design of the Ferrari 156 Sharknose, that won in 1961 the F1 World Championship with Phill Hill.
After a disagreement with Enzo Ferrari in 1962, Mr Chiti later joined Autodelta where he designed state of the art racing engines and cars until the 1980’s. In cooperation with Alfa Romeo, Chiti designed winning V 8 and V 12 engines for the Brabham Formula 1 team, driven by Niki Lauda.
At High Noon on the day of Carlo Chiti’s funeral in 1994 at the age of 98, Italian Alfa Romeo supporters joined together for three minutes in solitary observance.
In the former owner’s custody, the car has been fully and very professionally prepared in the Netherlands with a view to making the car as competitive and reliable as possible.
The body of the Giannini is in an extremely beautiful condition. After every event the car has been fully inspected, checked and detailed when needed.
The paint is wonderful and the nice details of the original race number is off-course amazing.
The number 005 has a meaning as the car started at 12:05 in the 1952 Mille Miglia. A detail which may never been taken off in our opinion.
The car is almost in a concours condition although it has done serious races recently.
The cockpit is very minimalistic, with a prominent wood-rimmed steering wheel, a gear lever, 3 pedals and two bucket seats.
The seats, dash, floor, and rear shelf upholstery are all in a beautiful condition. The interior has benefited from a superb brown refurbishment whereby the original characteristics has been kept on a new interior.
The tonneau cover has also been renewed and therefore the looks of the car are wonderful.
The car is complete with a trip master.
In 2018, the 743 CC 4 cylinder engine, has been fully rebuild by a well-known Dutch engine specialist, to increase the power slightly to be even more fast in the current editions of the Mille Miglia.
The engine bay and underside both have the look of a well sorted and fully developed 1950s racing car.
Maybe the driving capabilities of this Benedetti Giannini are even more spectacular.
The car is driving fabulous and is running immediately and easy. The handling is absolutely superb. A corner gives a huge smile on the face.
This car will be not one of the biggest cars in the Mille Miglia but it certainly is the car which will get lots of attention and supporters.
We certainly hope to see this car in the Mille Miglia 2024 at the start.
This incredibly fun-to-drive 750 Sport Barchetta offers unique oppurtunity to acquire a very special car that is eligible a whole host of events- including the Mille Miglia and is offered at a fraction of the cost of other models.
The Giannini has a very impressive history file.
Included in the history file are amongst other papers:
For more information or an appointment, please call Rutger Houtkamp+31625098150 or send an e-mail to Rutger@Houtkamp.nl. Please do not hesitate to contact us by phone during evenings or in the weekend.
The Houtkamp Collection is centrally located near Amsterdam and only 10 minutes from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.