- A characterful and competitive monoposto from the earliest days of Formula Junior
- Eligible for the world’s top historic motorsport events; invited to the Goodwood Revival three times
- Powered by a 1,089 cc Fiat 103 inline four-cylinder engine
- Campaigned extensively and with success throughout its life
In its earliest years, Formula Junior was a uniquely Italian proposition. Founded in 1958 by Count “Johnny” Lurani, the series was especially suited to the hand-crafted etceterini in which the country specialised, and its open-wheeled racers swept all comers before the British garagistas crashed the party in the early 1960s with their more modern rear-engined designs.
Popular the world over, these entry-level single seaters were also campaigned in the U.S.A., beginning with demonstration events in 1959 that preceded an NCCA National Championship the following year. Among the Formula Juniors brought to America by Biener Imported Cars Inc of Long Island, New York, was the Volpini with chassis 011, one of just a handful of monopostos built by Gian Paolo Volpini to contest the class. Simple yet effective, the single-seater comprised a ladder-type tubular-frame chassis clothed in aluminium, with double wishbone front suspension, a live rear axle, coil springs all-round, worm-and-peg steering, and four outboard drum brakes. Power came via a 1,089 cc Fiat 103 four-cylinder engine, tuned to produce 90 horsepower at a dizzying 7,000 rpm, with period adverts making a bold claim of a potential 139 mph top speed.
Shortly after being imported, chassis 011 was bought by Boyd Groberg, who displayed the car until 1972, when it was sold to Jack Reuter, a leading collector of etceterini and European sports and racing cars of the 1950s and 1960s. In 1977, the car passed briefly through the hands of a German owner before finding a long-term home with Hans-Jurgen Boeling in 1978, where it remained for the next two decades. Regularly raced while in his ownership, the Volpini’s competition career continued after it was sold to its next private owner in 1998, who kept it for six years. From 2004, the Volpini was campaigned by Michael Ashley-Brown, who raced with much success for the following decade, regularly contesting class honours in the FIA Lurani Championship. In 2015, the car passed into the care of the consigning owner, who drove the car at the 2016 Silverstone Classic the following year.
A proven racer and regular competitor throughout its life, this well-sorted Volpini offers its next owner the potential to contest some of the world’s leading historic race meetings.