Scuderia SSS Republica di Venezia Comte Volpi

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by 250gto, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. 250gto

    250gto Karting

    Nov 23, 2005
    50
    France Marly le Roy
    who is able to tell me the signification of this 3 letters : SSS ? I have a little idea but please confirm ! Thanks for Breadvan
     
  2. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
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    Scuderia Serenissima Sport?
     
  3. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
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    I believe "SSS" simply stood for SereniSSima.

    Was "Scuderia Serenissima" in 1960-61. Became "Scuderia SSS Repubblica di Venezia" circa 1962.
     
  4. CDM

    CDM Formula Junior

    Oct 10, 2004
    337
    #4 CDM, Nov 25, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I forwarded this thread to Count Volpi in Venice. Perhaps he will offer some information about the name of his race team circa 1960-65.
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  5. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

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    I found a little "blurb" in C&D, April 1963:

    "Count Giovanni Volpi, understandably upset by the death of his friend Ricardo Rodriguez, was quoted as saying he was through with racing. As Volpi is vice president of the new Serenissima F1 and GT projects, this announcement caused quite a stir. As the dust settled and the Serenissima president, Giorgio Billi, was clarifying the situation, our correspondent Pete Coltrin talked to Romolo Tavoni about it. What it boils down to is that Volpi was speaking as head of Scuderia SSS Repubblica di Venezia - the racing branch of ATS Serenissima - which will be disbanded as soon as the projects for Serenissima F1 and GT cars begin to materialize. The construction of the factory at Sasso Marconi near Bologna is going ahead as planned. The prototype F1 car is said to be ready for testing. Jack Fairman has been signed as test driver."

    So MAYBE the SSS could mean Scuderia Serenissima Sasso?

    The F1 car was raced (with dismal results) as the ATS, with driver Phil Hill.
     
  6. Marcel Massini

    Marcel Massini F1 Veteran
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    #6 Marcel Massini, Nov 25, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017

    It was SSR not SSS and SSR means Scuderia Serenissima Repubblica (di Venezia).

    At the beginning of the 1960s the Scuderia Serenissima, headed by Count Volpi, developed intense activities in international motor racing by entering Ferraris and Maseratis. Soon a co-operation was started with ATS, the company of Sasso Marconi, which produced cars from 1962 until 1965 and whose founder was Volpi. A contract said, that the Scuderia Serenissima would handle the racing activities of ATS, but for various reasons Count Volpi stopped the collaboration. In June 1965, together with Valerio Berghinz and some technicians, Count Volpi founded in Formigine (Province of Modena) the Serenissima Automobile company. Production started in August 1966 and concentrated on grand touring and competition cars. The first car manufactured was a sleek rear-engined Berlinetta called the "Jungla GT". It was fitted with a tubular chassis frame and an alloy body, and equipped with a 3.5 liter V8-engine. Responsible for this project was engineer Massimino, who was able to produce an output of 350 hp. This car actually based on various prototypes of the year 1963. The engine capacity originally had been of 3 liters and the block caracteristics were practically identical of the ATS engine. A few of the Jungla GTs were produced. In 1969 a new model, called the Agena GT, followed but only one prototype was built and this car was never really manufactured. A single-seater for Formula Libre races was also constructed with a chassis by Alf Francis and engine by Serenissima. There was also the McLaren-Serenissima Formula One car with a 3-liter Serenissima engine. It never achieved any race results. In 1970 the company stopped all activities.

    Below a photo of the Serenissima sticker on 0792 and another Serenissima sticker on a Serenissima car.
    Marcel Massini
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  8. CDM

    CDM Formula Junior

    Oct 10, 2004
    337
    Count Volpi gave his permission to share this response:

    25 11 05
    Gary,
    I hope the 'little idea' is not political. SSS are the three S in the word Serenissima which , in turn, comes from Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia known through the centuries as 'La Serenissima'. Due both to racing engagements and to my see-to-believe-it attitude in that instance, the change of name was a deal made with the newborn ATS which was supposed to change its name to Serenissima after one year. This never happend because no one got along at ATS and I sold out and hightailed after about 8 months with General Manager Girolamo Gardini, Romolo Tavoni, and others, but after Giotto Bizzarrini who could not vouch and accept the errors Carlo Chiti was making against his correct advice. As for myself, I could not get along with the other partners who could not tell the fornt end of a car from its rear end. The result is known to all. I never saw a finished ATS whether F-1 ot GT. Never drove one later.
    I hope this clears some misunderstandings about ATS et al.
    Giovanni
    ------------------------------------
    Count Volpi also commented in general about the previous posts saying there is much confusion and incorrect information regarding this matter.
    Gary
     
  9. CDM

    CDM Formula Junior

    Oct 10, 2004
    337
    Gary,
    please put this P.S. on line: I only had 20% of ATS as I came in last quite later than the others. When the atposphere became untenable I was offered to buy the partners or sell. They were convinced I could not resist having a car called Serenissima. To their dismay I sold to them. Maybe I was VP of ATS, can't remember. Later, I fully owned Automobili Serenissima. There was no president or VP. President of what? Five guys? Never had a partner of a sponsor. Just free Amoco gas at times and cheaper tires. The V8 engine came from a sheet of white paper and was designed by Alberto Massimino. Same for the gearbox. Any look at the engine or inside it shows it has no whatsoever resemblance with ATS. It was never meant to be a racing motor; it was 30% simpler than the Ferrari engine, and not because it had 4 cylinders less. Formigine was a later period when Alf Francis came in.
    Chiti made several mistakes at ATS with the F-1. It seems the GT was ok. Truth was they should not have gone into F-1. Too much to digest in too little time for a start-up but Chiti was still heady about the '61 season. Ferrari, instead, knew his own cars would be crawling in '62 and they did. The GT was supposed to replace the Lancia B-20, and be more affordable than a Ferrari besides being the first mid-engine production car, which the LM was not. It drowned n the F-1 program. The GT had one drawback: it was ugly. Awkward styling. If the plan had been properly conducted Lamborghini would have never existed. By the way, Bizzarrini designed Lamborghini's first V12. After I turned it down as I still didn't feel like constructing right after ATS.
    Chiti made all his mistakes at ATS, learned from them because after all he was brilliant but insecure and corridor power scheming. When he went back to Alfa Romeo after ATS, the Alfa 33 did well immediately. I strongly suspect it had an engine closely resembling the ATS's with the bugs removed. It did have the same designer!
    Best,
    Giovanni
     
  10. CDM

    CDM Formula Junior

    Oct 10, 2004
    337
    To Gary,
    PPSS
    I closed the team after Henri Oreiller died. He was a kind simple older mountaineer who had saved money to buy a GTO. A former ski champion who tried to make a living. His death struck me as senseless martyrdom. Ricardo Rodriguez died, like Behra and maybe Collins and Musso, trying to prove himself, on Walker's Lotus, to Ferrari who had left him on the bench, in Modena, for almost all of 1961 in F-1. For that Ferrari is guilty. He was a fantastic kid but only a kid. His last words, in tears, at Mexico City's track in Alf Francis' arms were "I don't want to die." I must say that I was always appalled by Rodriguez's parents. They were in the pits at the enduraance races telling separately to their sons that the other brother was faster, to make them go faster. Good work, they lost both! At the end of the day Ferrari team drivers risk a lot more outside of the cockpit than in it. Be it a warning to Valentino Rossi. I admire him for saying straight that rallyes are the real thing now, rather than F-1.
    So I closed the team because I realized that an amateur has no business being in racing giving drivers a chance to die. At Monza, in 1961, after (Count Wolfgang) von Trips' death, I retired 3 F-1s from the race. There is a limit to everything beyond which it could be sinful to go. The only person who approved that day was Trintignant's wife. Thank God, in five years I never had a fatal accident.
    G. (Count Giovanni Volpi)
     
  11. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Gary...

    i think it's awesome that you and the Count shoot the ****... The stories must be amazing...
     
  12. CDM

    CDM Formula Junior

    Oct 10, 2004
    337
    #11 CDM, Nov 25, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    from the sixties. Incidentally, he prepared all of the above posts, at my urging, to be posted on this site. I told him people were very interested in this era.

    I hope people will jump in with their comments. I think if Count Volpi sees there is an interest in his posts, he will be inclined to share more.

    No one likes to take the effort to present information, especially when it is your third language (after Italian and French) and see it ignored.

    So, I personally invite board members to post opinions or questions about the above or anything from the 1960-65 race era, in hopes that GV will respond. I mean, how many guys do we know that went face to face with Enzo and Fangio in the flesh. How many guys owned over a half dozen 250 SWB and half dozen 250 GTO, plus a few Formula One cars and not as concours cars but in competition with the greatest drivers of the times.

    BTW, if you ask GV: did he own VIN # ????, he won't remember because he doesn't recollect his old cars that way.

    Ask him how much he got for the Breadvan, those 250 SWB or 250 GTO when he sold them. He may just tell you. Enough fascinating stuff there for two books if we can encourage him to share it.
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  13. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Some of the best stories Gerald has ever told me came about from talking about something completely unrelated... i don't suppose the Count would be interested in registering here and just jumping in with stories from time to time...?

    i would love to know as much about 2819 GT as possible... Every single detail... (did the Count ever own 2819 GT...? :D) But i would be interested in just about anything he's got to say... Maybe we can start with why he's never written a book - and if he has, what's it called and where can i find it...?
     
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  15. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
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    I've really enjoyed seeing the Count's writings here. It would be fantastic if he were to start posting, or even forwarding more thoughts through you.
     
  16. eurperules

    eurperules Formula Junior

    Jan 25, 2005
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    the lifes and characters of the participants, and the personal stories of those people are what make me really interested in vintage cars.

    Sure, the cars are great, full of passion and wonderfull to look at and drive (i think..)
    But it's the people that made them interesting that day, and they still are today.
    Main reason why vintage cars catch such amazing prices these days, i think

    thanks for sharing a wonderfull insight to this era, i'd love to hear more
     
  17. Erik330

    Erik330 Formula Junior

    May 8, 2004
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    My late stepmother was previously married to a pretty good amateur Ferrari GT driver of the late 50s. She said that the Rodriguez brothers were absolutely hectored by their parents just as you have reported. She also said that they were incredibly nice and polite young men.

    Wonderful to read these stories here.
     
  18. Gramps

    Gramps Karting

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    #16 Gramps, Nov 26, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017


    1962 Le Mans Ferrari 246SP #28 SN0796
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  19. Erik330

    Erik330 Formula Junior

    May 8, 2004
    666
    Ohio
    Terrific pic, thanks.

    She was a stunningly beautiful woman married to a nice man who had the wherewithal to race what he wanted and thus she knew all of the drivers of the late 50s. Her then-husband ran a TdF at Sebring, LeMans, etc. and at most of the US tracks. A pic of the TdF at Elkhart Lake was in one of the magazines recently, they got his first name wrong though.

    She was a particular fan of von Trips and Joakim Bonnier, saying that they were true gentlemen and interesting far beyond cars, but she had a particular fondness for Richie Ginther because of his intelligence. I used to love to listen to her stories.
     
  20. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 23, 2002
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    Dear Count Giovanni Volpi

    Thank you for your stories and passion! They mean a lot to us.

    Best
     
  21. CDM

    CDM Formula Junior

    Oct 10, 2004
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    #19 CDM, Nov 27, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Any chance this is your late stepmother? (photo taken 1961 Gran Prix of Germany/Nurburgring) This is Jill Norinder, daughter of an American film producer who was married to Ulf Norinder of Sweden who raced many cars including F1 Porsche. I'm on the right, age 25 in my Skyblazer airshow uniform.

    Below is Joe Bonnier in 1962 and Count Wolfgang Berghe von Trips (Taffy) in a shark nose 1961 Ferrari. Taffy was killed at Monza in Sept '61 in a dice with Jimmy Clark's Lotus. I think he was leading Phil Hill 33 points to 31 points starting that race. Hill went on to win the Championship.

    Joe and Taffy both had flair that shames our current male movie stars.
    They wore Izod polo shirts before the masses got on to them. Joe wore a trench coat before the whole world wore them and Taffy had this stylish Brit "Robin Hood" cap. They were both elegant gentlemen.

    Taffy's personal Ferrari was a 1961 250 PF Cab, British Racing green with red interior, which I drove at his castle home in Horam (?). We also raced go-karts around his front circular gravel drive.

    All of these photos were taken by Count Volpi.
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  22. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Ditto, and
    So sad ...

    Pete
     
  23. Erik330

    Erik330 Formula Junior

    May 8, 2004
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    See your PM. Thanks for posting those. If I can find a pic of my late stepmother from her racing wife days, I'll scan and post it.
     
  24. BigTex

    BigTex Six Time F1 World Champ
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    I'll just chime in and repeat what Napolis has said.......

    There was an age when the character and personality of racers was far different from today's.

    This quality and integrity shines through in every statement the Count has shared with all of us here.

    Many thanks to him for sharing, and also to Gary for this.....we are truly fortunate to hear these personal remembrances.

    Alan
     
  25. Ed Niles

    Ed Niles Formula 3
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    THANK YOU, Count Volpi, for contributing some of the most fascinating comments that we've seen in a long time! I especially enjoyed the words about ATS, as I have had 2 of them (the original "Lusso" show car, with those ugly ridges removed from the front, and a light-weight GT model) and was taken through the "factory" by Alf Francis after they stopped production.

    Please, when you have time, tell us more about your cars and drivers. Thanks!
     
  26. J.P.Sarti

    J.P.Sarti Guest

    May 23, 2005
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    Tell the Count to keep those stories comming!

    Also tell him Thank You for sharing his thoughts and experiences.
     
  27. FerrariStuff.com

    FerrariStuff.com Formula 3

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    #25 FerrariStuff.com, Nov 28, 2005
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    Thank you Count Volpi for sharing your memories with us though Gary.

    I read some of your earlier comments on "not really owning" highly cherished cars and in this story, I was most struck by your comments on Ricardo' Rodriguez's untimely death trying to prove himself.

    I am too young to have been given the opportunity to really "live" that era of racing so I have to make do with collecting whatever "memorabilia" I can source from that era, all items that in light of your remark of "not really owning", I will never really own, which I realize very well but for me they are the only way to come as close to the sentiments of that era as I can.

    I can look for hours to Pedro's Rodriguez's bent steering wheel from his Enna F2 crash is 1967, gently touching it, trying to imagine how it must have been for him 38 years ago.

    I would like to close this little comment with an item that I found a couple of years ago which relates to your comment Ricardo Rodriguez.

    This is the card that Enzo Ferrari sent to the Rodriguez family after Ricardo died in Mexico. It measures a mere 6 x 4 cm and apparently that was all that The Drake sent to the family...

    Again, this is something that I will never "really own" but just by looking at it, I can almost feel "neglect" from Ferrari's side...

    Best regards,
    Jack Habits

    P.S.
    The card from Enzo Ferrari contained a typo and Enzo ordered his secretary to type another one. The one in the picture was never sent out to the family but was given away by the secretary.
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