Lancia Motor Club

General => LMC Legends => Topic started by: Sebastien on 30 May, 2011, 01:30:20 PM

Title: Gino Valenzano, dies on 28.05.2011
Post by: Sebastien on 30 May, 2011, 01:30:20 PM
Luigi « Gino » Valenzano was born at Asti on 24.08.1920, was schooled at Liceo d’Azeglio, in the same class as Gianni Agnelli, l’Avvocato, and made friends there with Gianni Lancia, son of Vincenzo Lancia. Already from early days his life was linked to the automobile.

During second World War he was deported to Mauthausen and Schwechat before being freed by the americans on may 5th, 1945.

He started his career as a driver on hillclimbs, using first a homemade special, then a Nardi designed single seater with BMW motorcycle engine. Very quickly he was spotted by Carlo Abarth, who took him on as a Works driver for the scorpion marque.

There he meets his old school friend, Gianni Lancia, who makes him the offer to drive his new sportscar : the Aurelia B20 ! He participates in the most prestigious races such as the 12 hours of Sebring, the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Sestriere rally, the 6 hours of Pescara, and the 24 hours of Le Mans.

Following the withdrawal of Lancia from racing, Gino drives a Maserati at Le Mans in 1955. The death of his Brother Piero during the Coppa delle Dolomite in 1955 is a severe blow, and Gino decides immediately to stop all racing activities.

He then engages in his other passion, the movies industry. He is involved in movies distribution and becomes a succesful director of numerous movie theaters in Turin and the Piedmont.

Luigi « Gino » Valenzano, official pilot for Abarth, Lancia and Maserati left us on Saturday 28.05.2011, 91 years old.

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