Tuesday, February 5, 2013

142nd ain't so bad!

How's this for a fab little race result: driven by Elio Celani, this Giaur 750 (pictured below) finished the 1956 Mille Miglia in 142nd place! That was enough to seal the deal for me. I wanted one! Lots of collectors love to get the car that came 'first' here, 'won' that – and I don't mind doing that either sometimes – but I love the way diecast model car makers occasionally make a model of an interesting, glorious place-getter.

I first spotted this Giaur at my home forum, www.scale143.com where a Swedish collector, Johan, had found one. I almost wanted it straight off because of its era, the fact it was just 750cc, and its looks, but that 142nd placing sealed the deal for me.

The model itself is 1:43 scale, made by Metro, and is very
cheap to buy on eBay. I got mine for under 10 Euros.

Not sure how accurate those wheels are, but the rest of the
car looks pretty close to the photos I have seen online.
This photo of one at a modern car show gives you a good idea
of how tiny these Giaurs were.
Knowing how small these cars are makes this other shot
from another Mille Miglia all the more incredible. Imagine
having to race for 1000km cramped together like that!
Giaur themselves were an interesting company. Here's a
photo of their factory, with several cars in different stages
 of manufacture.
And if you are interested in reading a bit more about this obscure little breed of Italian race car of the 1950s, there's a great website stacked with interesting photos.


Discovering this Giaur is one of the things I really enjoy about collecting little diecast model cars: I love the way this hobby keeps on educating me about motoring history. I'm a history buff anyway, loved studying all kinds of history at both school and uni, and I still read all kinds of history books just for relaxing fun now. However, when I read car history I usually do it online, and it's almost always kicked off by seeing an interesting model car at some collector's forum somewhere, just like I did with this Giaur.



  1. Hola Ozmac, se ve que eres como yo: me gustan los autos de competición en general, pero más aun los que terminaron últimos, los que perdieron, los intentos fallidos por correr, todos esos autos que abandonaron o no funcionaron pero que ayudaron en la historia del automovilismo. Y este Giaur es hermoso! Chiquito, y terminó en el puesto 142, ¡precioso!
    Por otro lado, soy profesor de Ciencias Sociales (Historia y Geografía) en escuelas secundarias, así que también me gusta mucho leer sobre historia. Mis temas preferidos son la Segunda Guerra Mundial, Guerra Civil Española, Revolucion Rusa y los años de la Guerra Fría; leo bastante y miro films sobre esos temas.

    Hello Ozmac, you see that you are like me: I like racing cars in general, but that ended even more recent, which lost, failed attempts by run, all those cars that dropped out or didn't work but who helped in the history of motor racing. And this Giaur is beautiful! Small, and ended up ranked 142, beautiful!
    On the other hand, I am Professor of social sciences (History and Geography) in secondary schools, so also I like reading about history. My favorite subjects are the Second World War, Spanish Civil War, Russian Revolution and the years of the cold war; read enough and watch films on these subjects.

  2. Juan H
    Thanks for your comments. Like you I am a lover of history and geography. I too like anything about Russia and 20th cenutry military history but I will in fact read any history on any topic if I find it interesting enough. I do love the history of science and discovery, of explorers of any age, but any history at all is a chance to get me interested. Somehow I also find to read a lot of crime fiction, too!