1938 Ogna Fiat 750 Giannini
Why am I an Automotive Masterpiece?
The one-off 1938 Ogna Fiat 750 Giannini (Domenico Ogna), chassis no. 035785, a car with multiple lives. The diversity and ingenuity of the post war “Etceterinis” is a fascinating subject. Mostly based on affordable Fiat technology, dozens of sports cars were constructed by Italians with a passion for motorsport. This barchetta, constructed around 1946 and raced by Domenico Ogna, is a perfect example of such an Etceterini. The basis is a 1938 Fiat Topolino A chassis of which the engine was prepared by Giannini to compete in the 750 class. The streamlined aluminium siluro body is supported by a tubular subframe. Initially fitted with cycle wings, it was later on in the early fifties (around 1951-1952), replaced by fixed wings attached to the body, due to new racing rules. The wings were now connected and flow from the lines of the central body in a single shape, however they were still physically separated from, and have been riveted to the central body, with a technique derived from aeronautics. Finally in 1954 a complete new barchetta style body was constructed, with truly integrated mudguards. The new (and last) line closely resembles that of the, even then, iconic Ferrari 166 millemiglia designed by Touring. Same proportions on a smaller scale, same lines, including the groove between grille and headlights. Curious is the massive “American” chrome grille which was typically an aesthetic accessory mounted on the Topolino of the time.Domenico Ogna raced his sports-competition car in a record number of five Mille Miglias. The car raced the 1948 edition with 1038 entry number, ranking 61st overall and 8th in class; the 1949 edition with 237 entry number, ranking 165th overall and 14th in class; in the 1950 edition with 325 entry number, the car did not finish; the 1952 edition with 2345 entry number, ranking 220th overall and 9thin class; in the 1954 edition with same 2345 entry number, the car did not finish. At the wheel, always the owner-builder Domenico Ogna. Co-driver in 1948 and 1952 was Cesare Ogna; in 1949, Guido Zerneri; in 1950, Gianfranco Calini; in 1954, Enrico Ogna. Domenico Ogna also faced the 1949 Circuito del Garda, ranking 11th overall and the 1950 Corsa sulle Torricelle, ranking 9th overall.
In recent times the car was found located in a derelict but still original condition. The last owner had initiated a restoration which stranded when car was dismantled. Only the Giannini prepared Fiat 750 engine was completely overhauled. The car is now being subjected to a thorough restoration, respecting the last body shape brought to the race and in which it remained.