Juan ‘Maestro’ Fangio
It’s not everyday something related to the four wheeled persuasion graces these pages…but after finding an image amongst the intertubes, I had to delve deeper into the story of the subject.That story being of racing legend, Mr. Juan ‘Maestro’ Fangio. A man who’s skill behind the wheel was belittled only by the balls courage he possessed. Born in Argentina to Italian immigrants, Fangio showed an eager interest towards cars, picking up a job at an auto repair shop at the age of 13. Becoming a fully fledged mechanic was the next step, which lead to him repairing and rebuilding cars….and eventually starting his racing career in 1934, piloting a 1929 ‘Ford A’ which he had rebuilt. During his time racing in Argentina he managed the title of ‘Argentine National Champion’ in both 1940 and 1941. Finally he made the journey to Europe in 1948 to partake in the ‘Grand Prix.’
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In his time racing Formula One, Fangio partook in 51 races…24 of which he came first, 11 he took second and 1 he placed third. He managed to podium 70% of the time and won five Formula One World Drivers Championships – a record that stood for 46 years until Michael Schumacher surpassed it. He raced for many now big names, such as, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes and Maserati during his time, often switching teams if he saw that another possessed superior machinery. Fangio went from last place starts to taking podium finishes, commandeering team mates cars if his own failed and even broke his neck along the way.
In 1958 he abruptly retired, with nothing left to prove, he stated ‘it is finished’ and went back to work in his garage. He is still called one of the best drivers in the sport’s history and his 47% winning percentage still stands to this day. He really is a racing legend, from a time where the engines were big ‘n’ noisy and a leather helmet ‘n’ goggles was the safety standard.