Alfa Romeo Forums banner

21 - 38 of 38 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,379 Posts
You guys are GOOD! I am enjoying this thread. Gee! I might learn something new! Keep going.
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
Bugatti 35C

I am not willing to say that the Bugatti was necessarily connected to the check images shared. I have not done the research on this car myself and can only say that it is a possibilty. Looking again at the limited data that I have, I think that the implications are that Achille Moretti continued to own the Bugatti through at least one plate change, at which point it seems that it became acknowledged that his ownership was on behalf of Scuderia Nuvolari. We can guess as to a few reasons why there was a "Scuderia Nuvolari" and what advantages there might have been for one or more of the parties involved. I don't think we need go too far into the guessing aspects when there are studies that can be done.

We should keep in mind that Nuvolari was a truly professional racer by the 1930's. He was paid to drive in races by manufacturers, by race organizers and by teams and car owners who sought his talents. He was paid for promotional appearances. He was paid for the use of his name in association with events, cars and more. A document shared above might seem to indicate that Nuvolari was paid ahead of time for prize monies anticipated for Tripoli 1932 but the monies paid were more likely start monies that had been negotiated ahead of time even if they had probably not yet been paid. Ferrari seemingly split the anticipated start money ahead of time with Nuvolari. This might have been a way of encouraging Nuvolari to refuse to defect for a better offer?

As a bit of supporting evidence, the actual Tripoli prize monies were not guaranteed, no matter how clever any lottery manipulations might have seemed, whether or not you believe in some or none of the stories that have been told. There is no way to guarantee that certain cars and drivers would even finish the race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
Thank you Ruedi

I've looked again more carefully at the check images and agree that the 1 lire tax stamp was applied and validated 1931 ... and was probably paid for at the time. Although I am not 100% certain that this was the procedure, it does seem likely. The check may have been purchased by Alfa Romeo on behalf of Nuvolari?

17 September 1931: The delayed payment check was purchased by Alfa Romeo or Nuvolari, seemingly in Milano. Does this mean that the check was used (written) at the same time? Probably not, particularly since the check was seemingly written in Mantova. Maybe we could think of it as a kind of traveller's check with different rules as to how it was used? More generically, we might call it a third-party promissary note?

Looking again at the wording, I wonder if the "Pagabile al mi domicilio preso Soc. An. Alfa Romeo - via M.U. Traiano 33 - Milano" might actually mean "payable at my account in care of Alfa Romeo". If so, it might well be that the payment really was to Achille Moretti with the funds to be collected from Alfa Romeo on behalf of Nuvolari?

27 June 1932: The check was either written on this date or it was written earlier and post-dated to this date. Until we find the actual reference that gives context, I don't think we can know. But, it seems clear that the check was not actually paid on that date but was held for a time period of more than 5 weeks.

5 August 1932: The check ("cambiale") was cleared for payment?

27 September: This is an uncertain notation that appears to be an internal memo of some sort, perhaps dating from 1931 or 1932.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
The comment from Alfa stated that "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."

Perhaps the payment was made through Alfa for tax purposes?

I wonder if the bank survives or was taken over and whether any records survive? I will pursue this on Monday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
Context is everythng?

I have read and re-read the limited material we have and admit easily that we simply do not know enough to come to any firm conclusions. The language of what was written by Nuvolari could be interpreted as "payable to" or "payable at". The remainder of the information seems to suggest that the first interpretation is less likely than the second. That's as far as I can go with the data we have.

I have found many times that many modern-day Italians are not in agreement as to how things were done in the days of old. The context of the acts in question would have been clear to those who were involved. As outsiders looking in without that essential context, we can be forgiven for a bit of confusion.

I should do some homework before offering this reminder to those who might otherwise assume that Italian is a "pure" language. I've not bothered to try to identify the precise "when" of this, but I have been told more than once that the Italian language in common usage today was made a standard unifying language much less than 200 years ago. I was told by more than one Italian that the language decree was made not long before the turn of the last century. This means that, unless you happened to be from the region where the chosen dialect was already in use prior to that time, there were new lessons to be learned throughout the remainder of Italy that were not likely natural to them, even to the local teachers. For those others, "Italian" (as we know it) was not likely to be second-nature for many even by the 1930's?

Perhaps it is changing today, but even during my earliest trips to Italy in the 1980's, it was obvious that there were many dialects still in use that were largely unrecognizable to a casual Italian speaker and even to some Italians who lived a short distance away from another geographically distinct area.

I can certainly say from personal observation and experience is that, even today, Italian is not used in a consistent manner by all Italians even in the limited areas that I've been fortunate to spend time in. And, we all know that Italian does not have an exclusive on varied and inconsistent usage!

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,287 Posts
Some additional observations:

It appears that different, darker ink was used in the upper part of the check (where date, amount, payee, etc. and also what might be the ledger or booking number inside the blue Alfa Romeo stamp are stated) than in the lower part with the "Pagabile.." writing and Nuvolari's signature. But I do get the impression that the "Pagabile.." is written by the same hand that filled out the upper part of the check, but this hand writing seems to be distinct from both Nuvolari's signature and the writings in pencil on front and back. The pencil writings seem, based on the angle of the characters, to have been written by different persons. So, I'm guessing we see the writing of 4 different persons, of which one may have written on the check either with two different pens and/or on two separate occasions.

Looking at the printed part at the left side of the check, which seems to be named "Vale per cambiale con scadenza" (Google translates this as "applies to bills maturing" while Babylon translates it as "Applies to bill with expiry"), the first thing that stands out is that the cost of the check was 25.10 Lira (including taxes) but the stamp "Passa di Bollo per Cambiale" issues by what seems to be "Regno d'Italia (Italian Kingdom) is for 1 Lira, down-stamped from the originally printed amount of 1.65 Lira ("Una Lira e 60 Cmi").

On the left side, we also see a table with 3 columns that seem to read "Sino a 4 mesi" (up to 4 months), "Oltre 4 sino a 6 mesi PAGABILE" (from 4 to 6 months PAYABLE) and "Oltre 6 mesi od in bianco" (over 6 months or blank), each with 2 sub-columns refering to "Nello stato" (within the state) and "All'estero" (abroad). Only the "Sino a 4 mesi" column has printed numbers in them (and these are very hard to read, I'm guessing the "Nello Stato" field reads "Da oltre 24.000 a 25.000 Lira" (from 24,000 to 25,000 Lira) and the "All'estero" field reads "... a 50.000 Lira", the other sub-columns contain lines instead of amounts. So, the purpose of these columns and sub-columns is a bit of a mystery to me.

What surprises me is that, other than the handwritten number inside the blue Alfa Romeo stamp and the number in the red Banca Lombarda stamp, there are no numbers on this check that would make this check unique for registration or referencing in an official or private record book. Therefore, I assume this check is only a standardized form for formal compliance of an "I owe you." This may or may not have been necessary under the financial restructuring that took place at the time (see this page and scroll down to Great Depression). And maybe, given the turmoil at the time, the only purpose of the standardized form was to standardize the size and appearance which would make large numbers of these papers much more manageable.

Whether or not we can make sense of this paper and/or link it to a specific transaction or event is almost beside the point: The document does give us some insight into how things were handled at the time, and that is already more than I knew a few days ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Update

I have sent copies of the check to a couple of Italian banks as it is a bit unclear to me who may have acquired Banca Lombarda over the past 80 years. I have not heard back from either of them, nor do I expect to. Any information I find I will immediately post here.

Thank you Ruedi and John very much for your help and insight.

Sincerely
Peter Malinchoc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I am a newcomer to this forum, and as a Nuvolari/Alfa Romeo admirer I would like to thank you for posting those amazing documents. History indeed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
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.
I'm late to this party - sorry, but here's my 5 cents worth. Achille Moretti were at Corso Vittorio Emanuele 26, Mantova.
I can't be sure what this cheque was for, but I have seen Ing. Nicola Romeo invoices to Moretti for the supply of Alfa Romeo parts. So, my guess would be that it was payment for parts which Moretti counter-signed and forwarded to Alfa Romeo. Afterall, a Nuvolari cheque was hardly likely to 'bounce'.
Nathan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
Literally vs. contextually

Yes. The literal meaning is "payable to my home" (domicile), but look at the context of the "home" that follows the overly simplistic wording. Hence, the alliteration that I suggested as a possibility. Again, the meaning was almost certainly quite clear to those who were involved. Today, we have some guessing to do until we can find additional context that might make the intended meaning clear.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,287 Posts
""Pagabile al mio domicilio ..."
Thanks for clarifying that word. It makes sense in context and partially answers my question in my post #11 above. I still can't figure out what the next word means.

BTW, I think that in this case "domicile" probably should be interpreted as "address" rather than "home" -- possibly in the sense of "my address at Alfa Romeo" or "care of Alfa Romeo" and that such wording my have been used for business or income and/or sales tax reasons, as the cheque was cashed by Alfa Romeo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Domicilio does translate into domicile. A domicile can be any given address, even a PO box, where the person, company, entity officially receives its mail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
Achille Moretti

Looking through a 1932 RACI membership listing, I see that there were two persons named "Achille Moretti" who obtained RACI racing licenses during 1932.

Achille Moretti of Milano (father's name, "Paolo") was listed at Via De Amicis 62

Achille Moretti of Mantova (deceased father's name, "Vittorio") was at Corso Vittorio Emanuele 62

The Achille Moretti of Mantova had an Alfa Romeo dealership and sold the 6C1750, chassis 6C0212772 to a certain Mr. Tazio Nuvolari early in 1930. Nuvolari kept the 4-seater sedan for only 3 months.

The Mantova-based Achille Moretti entered an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750SS (chassis 6C0312875) at the Klausen Hill Climb in August of 1932. He is not shown in the results and may not have raced for some reason? Even so, this entry would seem to make it quite probable that he was also the same Achille Moretti who had (perhaps the same?) Alfa Romeo at the Bolzano - Mendola and Gaisbergrennen hill-climb races in June and July (respectively) earlier in the year?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,707 Posts
And now there is an historical document trace of Achille Moretti (father's name "Vittorio") purchasing a used Alfa Romeo 6C on 8 May 1930. Oddly enough, the chassis number is consecutive with the car he was reported to have entered in at least one racing hill climb during 1932. Makes me wonder if there was a recording error or an incorrectly read record? Moretti's address was shown as "Corso Vitt. Emanuele 26". I am adding the reference here so that you may see how difficult it can be to read these documents. While we do come across handwriting that is delightful, sometimes it can be very difficult to decipher. And, sometimes, the imaging is not helpful. Note that "Moretti" might be read as "Monetti" if we did not have evidence to argue otherwise.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Uh, I missed this discussion years ago...

The wordings/expression discussed here have nothing to do with italian dialect whatsoever, but with old fashioned banking rules/habits.

The nature of the document is a "promisory note", that is a check payable at a certain, future date. The text reads that the amount will be paid 3 months after the date of the document, that is 27 june + 3 months = 27 september 1932. The "check" itself had a pre-stamped cost of 25,10 Liras. On the top of that , one lira was the administrative fee materialized with the 1£ stamp dated 1931. The date ther could well be several months before the transaction because it was a "prepaid" (in the sense of the 25.10 +1 £) check at Nuvolari's disposal. Or that the agreement was indeed on a longer payment delay, which needed to postdate the check itself because its rules of use (the stamped matter on the left) stated maximum time and amounts according to the place of use (Italy or abroad). This is where indeed contextual information would help, and we are not in position to decide on the date of the actual transaction resulting in this check - this is obviously important to us if it relates to the purchase of a (racing) car.
My understanding of the writing at the back is that Moretti had the check credited on August 5th (I would interpretate that the £26,000 compensate a £15,225 debt), that is almost 2 months ahead of the payment date. I guess that the interest calculated refer to that anticipation.
The mention "pagabile al mio domicilio presso Alfa Romeo" refers to an old way of arranging delayed payment, as explained in old commercial handbooks like this one. Basically, if it was more convenient for the creditor that at a later date it would be actually exigible in another place than the place where the transaction happened or the address of the debtor, it could be decided it was payable at a different address. This implied that the debtor expected the third party to pay on his behalf, because he has some credit there. It is self evident that Nuvolari was, at that time, in important and regular transactions enough with Alfa Romeo so that Alfa would pay the 26,000 £ to Moretti from Nuvolari's balance with Alfa. And such an arrangement was probably convenient enough for both parties.
This old-fashioned privilege is also commonly found on registration documents when prominent Italian of foreign persons indicated an ACI office as his fictional residence, where paperwork would be handled.
 
21 - 38 of 38 Posts
Top