Born in Milan on 13th July, 1918 Alberto Ascari was only
seven years old when his father Antonio was killed at the wheel of an Alfa
His own racing career began with motorcycles, he later raced Maserati Voiturettes and he drove Ferrari's first competition Car in the 1940 Mille Miglia, held that year over nine laps of a 103 mile closed road circuit. In early post-war years he drove Maseratis alongside his great friend Luigi Villoresi and both he and Villoresi joined Ferrari’s recently formed Grand Prix team for 1949.
During 1951 there was a tremendous battle between Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. Ascari won the German and Italian Grand Prix for Ferrari and he was second in the Drivers’ Championship.
During 1952 he won all six Championship races in which he competed, including the British Grand prix seen here, and went on to take his first Drivers’ Championship. The following year he won six out of the nine Championship races and again took the Drivers' title.
In 1954 both Ascari and Villoresi drove the new V8
Lancia Grand Prix car. In the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix Ascari was in the
in a Lancia, when his brakes failed and he plunged into Monte Carlo harbour.
Four days later he was killed whilst driving a sports Ferrari during unofficial practice at Monza.
Ferrari Tipo 500 Specification
Engine: 4-cylinder twin overhead camshaft 1980 cc (90 x 78mm) developing approximately 170 bhp at 7000 rpm. Gearbox: 4-speed. Chassis: Tubular with front suspension by wishbone and a transverse leaf spring and rear suspension by a de Dion axle and transverse leaf spring. Wheelbase: 7ft 2.5in. Front track: 4ft 3.5in. Rear track: 4ft 1in. Unladen weight: 11.96 cwt.