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Here and There in Motoring's Past: Friendly Rivals

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Juan Manuel Fangio, Jose Froilan Gonzalez, French Grand Prix

Here and There in Motoring's Past: Friendly Rivals

Peter Helck
Antique Automobile
March-April 1972


In 1951 the passionate rivalry between Alfa-Romeo and Ferrari in their quest for the Grand Prix Championship was plainly evident to all race followers.  Heading Alfa's team was the great Fangio.  Opposing him of the Ferrari trio was the fellow Argentinian, "The Pampas Bull," Froilan Gonzalez, generally considered a pupil of the master.  During practice sessions at Rheims the undisguised camaraderie shared by these fellow countrymen, their paring off in quiet conversation beyond the hearing of their teammates, out crews and personnel of the rival firms seemed, to this writer at least, a bit destructive to the esprit de corps of the opposing marques for whom they were driving.

In the race that followed, needless to say, the comrades became opponents and antagonists in the fullest sense.  Each gave his utmost, Fangio with the polished skill of the maestro, Gonzalez with the furious aggressiveness that earned him the designation, "The Bull of the Pampas."



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