Giovanni Lurani

Lurani with "Nibbio 1" in 1935

Giovanni “Johnny” Lurani Cernuschi, VIII Count of Calvenzano (December 19, 1905 – January 1995) was an Italian automobile engineer, racing car driver and journalist.

He studied engineering at the Politecnico di Milano and raced cars such as Salmson, Derby, Alfa Romeo and Maserati, participating eleven times in the Mille Miglia. Lurani took class wins in the event three times: 1933 in an MG K3, 1948 in a Healey and 1952 in a Porsche.[1]

After partaking in the second Italo-Abyssinian War from 1935 to 1936,[2] Lurani founded the racing team Scuderia Ambrosiana in 1937[3] along with Luigi Villoresi and Franco Cortese (1937). Sustaining a bad hip injury in a Maserati 4CM at Crystal Palace, Lurani ended his single-seater career in 1938 but continued racing sportscars until 1953.[4]

After World War II Lurani became more involved in administration and politics, working with the FIA, where he initiated GT in 1949 and Formula Junior in 1959.[5][6]

He also designed record breaking cars based on Moto Guzzi engines. In 1935 the Nibbio 1 was the first 500cc car to exceed 100mph.[7] The 350cc Moto Guzzi powered Nibbio 2 broke long distance records at Monza in 1956.[8][9][10] He was president of the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) Sporting Commission for several years.[11]

Moto Guzzi Nibbio 2 in the Museo Nazionale Dell'Automobile, Turin[12]

In 1971 he won the prestigious Premio Bancarella Sport literary prize for his book Storia delle Macchine da Corsa (History of Race Cars) [13]


  • Auto Italiana, which he founded and edited
  • Nuvolari (Cassell & Company Ltd., 1959). With Luigi Marinatto.
  • La storia delle macchine da corsa (1970). Translation History of the racing car: Man and machine (1972)
  • La storia della Mille Miglia 1927-57 (1979).
  • Alfa Romeo: Catalogo ragionato (1982). With Paolo Altieri.
  • Racing around the world 1920-35.
  • NUVOLARI. Legendary Champion of International Auto Racing. (1959) Sports Car Press

Racing recordEdit

Complete European Championship resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 EDC Pts
1931 F. Pirola Alfa Romeo 6C-1500 Alfa Romeo 1.5 L6 ITA
FRA BEL 13th 20

24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1951   Scuderia Ambrosiana   Giovanni Bracco Lancia Aurelia B20 GT S
235 12th 1st
1953   Ets Fiat Dagrada   Norbert Jean Mahé Fiat 8V S


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2013-07-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-07. Retrieved 2014-03-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Motor Sport June 1977. Denis Jenkinson
  7. ^ The Encyclopedia of Motor Sport page 250 G.N. Georgano. 1971 ISBN 0-670-29405-5
  8. ^ Autocar 11 May 1956
  9. ^ The Encyclopedia of Motor Sport. G.N. Georgano. 1971 ISBN 0-670-29405-5
  10. ^ Moto Guzzi. Styles. 2001 ISBN 0-7603-1004-1
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "THE GOLDEN ERA – OF GRAND PRIX RACING". Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  15. ^ "All Results of Giovanni Lurani". Retrieved October 22, 2017.