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For most of my life I've been a Ferrari nut and collected all sorts of Ferrari related paperwork, brochures, books, and a few cars as well. Now most of it is gone except for this group of telegrams, a check from Nuvolari to Alfa Romeo, and correspondence between Nuvolari and Ferrari.


1931 Check signed by Nuvolari. I have very little info on it. If anybody can help I'd be quite grateful.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Ferrari credit for anticipated winnings

April 25, 1933: This credit is towards his anticipated prize money in the 1933 Grand Prix of Tripoli. There was some speculation that Nuvolari and Varzi conspired with holders of the lottery tickets (prizes were paid according to finish position) to maximize the payout, but this was never proven and it seems more a case of sour grapes by Neubauer who ran the Mercedes team. Note Ferrari's signature in purple at the bottom. Ferrari almost exclusively used purple ink for his signature.
 

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1934 Coppa Ciano

July 7, 1934: Nuvolari enters the Coppa Ciano in a Maserati 8CM. He would finish 3rd behind the Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Tipo Bs of Varzi and Moll.
 

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1934 German GP

July 10, 1934: Nuvolari telegram informing the Hotel Eifelerhof of his arrival tomorrow. Nuvolari would enter the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in a Maserati 8CM finishing 4th behind Stuck in an Auto Union, Fagioli in the W25 Benz, and Chiron in the Scuderia Ferrari Alfa P3.
 

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1934 Spanish GP

September 11, 1934: This telegram states Nuvolari’s steadfast decision to race a Bugatti at the Spanish Grand Prix held on September 23, 1934. Nuvolari, driving a Bugatti Type 59, finished 3rd to the Mercedes W25 of Fagioli and Carraciola.
 

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Correspondence between Scuderia Ferrari and Nuvolari

March 14, 1935: A correspondence between Scuderia Ferrari and Nuvolari regarding Antony Noghes. Noghes was the president of the Monegasque Automobile Club and the father of the Monaco Grand Prix.
 

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Phil Hill on the cover of Sports Illustrated

Not prewar but there is an Alfa link. Phil Hill owned and raced a 8C 2900B MM.

In 1988 I had the good fortune to attend the Italian Grand Prix with Phil Hill and his lovely wife Alma. Here is one of the items I brought along to have him sign.
 

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For most of my life I've been a Ferrari nut and collected all sorts of Ferrari related paperwork, brochures, books, and a few cars as well. Now most of it is gone except for this group of telegrams, a check from Nuvolari to Alfa Romeo, and correspondence between Nuvolari and Ferrari.


1931 Check signed by Nuvolari. I have very little info on it. If anybody can help I'd be quite grateful.
Great documents. Thank you for sharing them with us. With respect to the check, AlfaBB limits pictures to 700 pixels wide, which limits readability in this case. In order to decipher the handwriting a bit better, would it be possible for you to post the picture of the front of the check rotated by 90 degrees (so that the height of the check becomes the width of the image)?
 

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Fascinating. It appears the check was written to Achille Moretti (who endorsed it on the back) before it was deposited into the account of Alfa Romeo. The issue date seems to be June 29 (which was after he won the Targa Florio in May). A note on the back that seems to read "accredito su effetti" and appears to be dated 05 August, 1932 (long enough to result in 455 Lira interest?). This narrow time frame may provide a good handle for finding information in a historical archive, if such information survived.

Unfortunately, I cannot decipher all of the writing in the front. The sections I'm able to read seem to say "Pagabile al mio ?????? ??? Soc. An. Alfa Romeo - Via M. U. Traiano 33 - Milano" (the address being the official address of Alfa Romeo at the time, as can be seen in the period ad here).

I hope someone more knowledgeable of Alfa Romeo history can chime in and shed some light on who Achille Moretti was, and what the connection between him, Nuvolari and Alfa Romeo might have been.
 

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I sent a copy of the check to CENTRO DOCUMENTAZIONE ALFA ROMEO (FGA) and received the following reply:

Dear Mister Malinchoc,
as far as I can understand, mister Moretti was not related to Alfa Romeo, but only the man whom Nuvolari (and Alfa Romeo) owed this money.

Anyway, if I will discover more, surely I will let you know.



Regards,
Marco Fazio

Automobilismo Storico Alfa Romeo
Centro Direzionale
Viale Alfa Romeo
20020 Arese (MI) Italy
 

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Very interesting documents. Brings history back to life. Thanks for sharing this with us!
 

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According to a comment near the top of p. 11 of this document describing the Garelli motorcycle company, it appears Achille Moretti was either a dealer or a sales agent: "Achille Moretti che era il concessionario Garelli per Mantova." So, if he sold motorcycles, he may have sold cars, too.
 

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Nuvolari & Achille Moretti

Achille Moretti owned and raced a 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C (0312875) through the time period in which this (lire 26.000) check was written. He also sold a Bugatti 35C to Nuvolari approximately one month earlier than the date of the check. The check was in an amount equivalent to roughly one-third the price of a new Alfa Romeo 6C at the time. It could be the price (or a portion of it?) for a well-used Bugatti at the time? So, the Bugatti could be related or unrelated to the check that was written by Nuvolari "in care of my address (at) Alfa Romeo" (presso il mio domicilio ...) ... not exactly a typical thing to find on such a check ... except perhaps among the priveledged elite. That said, it was a different time and it was not long ago that many of us could write a similar check ... that might take a bit longer than normal to clear ... providing all parties agreed to honor the conditions.

Additional references can be found for Achille Moretti as well. If we do enough checking, it is quite likely that we can determine more about the likely implications of what the check was written for.
 

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Maserati to Nuvolari.

In going through my papers I realized I neglected to post one final telegram. This one is from Maserati wishing Nuvolari a quick return to the battle. Don't have much background on this one either.

Peter
 

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More thoughts on the check of 27 June 1932

I have seen many references to this sort of "cambiale" check ("cambiali" = checks) in PRA records for instances when money was loaned either before or after a sale. It is very interesting to see an example of the actual check, whether or not this is one of those money-loan instances. It seems that it is probably a specific kind of (oftentimes post-dated) check issued at the time when a loan was made. It might have been a single check or it might have been one of a grouping of similar checks. It is possible that there will be an official record somewhere of a loan (or guarantee?) having been made by Achille Moretti to Nuvolari for an Alfa Romeo of some sort. There are some other possible explanations as well. It is also interesting to see the various tax markings and stamps. There is what appears to be a 1 lire tax (that we might call a "document fee"?) for the document itself and then an additional tax stamp that probably varied depending on the use and perhaps on the amounts involved?

"pagabile al mio domicilio preso ..." may translate legally to "payable to my account with ..."?

It appears that the check was not paid until late September, three months after the check was written. I don't know if this means it was treated as a post-dated check or if there was some other reason for the delay.

When reviewing PRA records, there can be minor confusions because it is often unclear whether dates written are actual transaction dates or if they reflect the dates that notations were made into the record. And, there are times when it seems that the clerk making the notation must have been at least a bit confused as well.
 

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Very interesting insights, John -- especially the information about Nuvolari buying a Bugatti 35C from Moretti at about that time. To me, this makes more sense than Nuvolari buying an Alfa from Moretti, as Nuvolari probably could have bought a car from Alfa directly. Then again, the transaction may not relate to cars at all.

Thanks for deciphering the "pagabile al mio domicilio preso..." -- I would have never guessed the last two words.

With respect to the dates, I think your notion that "the check was not paid until late September, three months after the check was written" implies the date written in pencil twice as "27/9" and "27 Settembre" (but without a year) refers to 1932, but the date of 17-Sep-1931 on the 1-Lira stamp leaves room for the possibility that it actually refers to 1931 -- meaning the check could have been written as a post-dated check 9 months before the check was payable. Given that the date of 27-Sep is written in pencil rather than ink, I'm guessing it was written for internal purposes only (same as the notes on the back). And it may be pure coincidence that the dates of 27-Jun and 27-Sep fall on the same day of a month 3 or 9 months apart from the check date.

What intrigues me about this check is the historical context of Alfa Romeo being in the middle of a financial crisis at that time (middle of the great depression) and the fact that this transaction happened shortly before Alfa Romeo had to be bailed out by the Italian government at the end of 1932. It may have been Alfa Romeo's financial situation and Nuvolari's prospects of possibly not getting paid or having no car to race that may have led Nuvolari to buy the Bugatti in the first place. But I admit, this is pure speculation.
 

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PRA = P.R.A. = Pubblico Registro Automobilistico

Sort of the equivalent of the various Departments of Motor Vehicles.

Each P.R.A. office works in conjunction with the Ufficio di Motorizzazione and other governmental agencies to issue license plates, track vehicle ownership and collect use taxes. The A.C.I. (Automobile Club d'Italia) is involved as an agent, rather akin to many AAA offices in the USA. In the 1930's, A.C.I. was known as "R.A.C.I" or "Reale Automobile Club Italiano".

It is possible to research most Italian plates by going to the P.R.A. office where the plate was issued (Mantova for a "MN" plate number), pay a fee that varies with the sort of research that is desired. It is also possible to research plates from other P.R.A. offices through most any P.R.A. office by paying an additional fee and waiting for the paperwork request to be mailed, the request processed and then the material mailed back. It takes time.

Here is a "page 3" from a PRA document for a 4th series Alfa Romeo 6C1750. It shows two different loans made for two owners of the car at different times. Lire 60.000 the first time and lire 16.500 the second. Lots of Italian legalese. Hard to read and interpret precisely but the general implications are not difficult to fathom. Money was loaned using the car as primary collateral. The loan needed to be repaid before the car could be sold and ownership transferred. Hence the notations in the PRA record.
 

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