Five times world champion

Regional, National and South American

Chevrolet Cupé 39


Chevrolet 39


Year of manufacture: 1939

Body type: Coupe

Chassis type: rigid U-shaped steel stringers and crossbars

Wheelbase: 2840 mm

Trail: front and rear 1480 mm

Number of cylinders: 6 in line

Displacement: 3432 cc

Power: 90 to 3300 RPM

Valves: two per cylinder

Carburetor: Rochester GM

Clutch: dry monodisco

Suspension: rigid axle, elastic and double front shock absorber; Elastic and double rear shock absorber

Cooling system: by water

Fuel tank: 230 liters behind the seats - Reserve 60 liters

Weight in distance races: 1700 Kg

Maximum speed: 160 Km / h



It was run by Fangio in 1939, in Gran Premio Argentino de Carreteras; Grand Prize Extraordinary; One Thousand Argentine Miles.



Thanks to a collection organized by his friends from Balcarce, Juan Manuel Fangio buys this black coupe at the General Motors dealership of Balcarce, with which he starts as a driver in Turismo Carretera.



Fangio is a pilot in the Argentine Grand Prix, which the Automobile Club has programmed according to a route of 7193 km. by routes of 14 provinces. Héctor Tieri is his companion.

A crowd accompanies the start of 133 participants.

The start is made from Avenida Centenario (Figueroa Alcorta) and Monroe de Núñez at 0:00 am on October 19 after two postponements due to persistent rain.

Everything goes normally for Fangio when at the height of Pergamino the pressure of the engine oil drops suddenly and a connecting rod bearing is fused.

In the middle of the night, they change the connecting rod that completely delays them. In the neutralization of Rosario, Tadeo Taddía occupied the first position on the route with his Chevrolet, very close came Victorio Orsi with Ford and Osvaldo Permigiani also with Ford. The landscape desolated by the persistent rain that accompanies the race is repeated in Córdoba, but in this control, the victory is José Herrada -of the short campaign- with Ford. The time, 8h. 38 '16. "Emilio Bertolini (Chevrolet) and Arturo Kruuse (Plymouth) follow.

Upon arrival to neutralization for the crossing of Paraná in Santa Fe on a raft, Fangio arrives in position 108 in the general and 111 en route, three hours from the pointer José Herrada.

It rains copiously and the conditions of March become more and more complicated by mud. Huge lagoons are formed on the road and many pilots are stuck without being able to continue from Paraná to Concordia. Oscar Gálvez is the first to arrive in Concordia at an average of 33.8 Km / h that says it all.

Only 41 flyers overcome Concordia obstacles, among which is Fangio, which in the last section has exceeded ninety machines, many of them abandoned by their pilots and companions. In that city, the ACA suspends the Argentine Grand Prix.



The Automobile Club resolves that the cars are transported to Córdoba by train and from that city, the "Extraordinary" is launched to give continuity to the Grand Prize.

Fangio with this car achieved in 1939, his first victory in a Stage of the Road Tourism Category and also for the first time manages to lead the General Classification.


"A boy, Héctor Tieri, who was a Ford mechanic who was chosen as a companion, came to work with us, he did not like the Chevrolet at all and since we had started preparing the car, the only thing he heard was:" this crap! ", ..." if we had a Ford! "... One day I got tired and said: -Well, old man, we are going on a Chevrolet and we are runners against Ford, so here we do not talk It's one thing to win with Ford and it's another thing to win with Chevrolet, we're going to win with a Chevrolet. "

When Fangio gave this sermon they had already gone through Pergamino's fidelity test, when they fused a connecting rod bearing.

The "Extraordinary Grand Prize" takes place a week later, from the city of Córdoba to Santiago del Estero, a city from which the planned itinerary would continue. Fangio was one of the first to lower his railroad wagon machine and rushed out to the General Motors dealership to repair.

-I worked well until people came from the team. When the official cars entered the workshop, they took out my tools and the people who had been helping me to get the engine removed. It was not the worst. One of General Motors, who followed the race from the plane, insisted that my crankshaft, which was scratched, that had no arrangement and had to change it for a new one ... But they did not provide it to me, but I had to buy it. We ended up arguing because he told me that if I kept running in those conditions, it would be bad propaganda for the brand...

After a while, we were in Stabio's workshop with him block engine and with the crankshaft. He rectified the rear part of the crankshaft, which had a groove against it so it would not let the oil out. But that was not enough when the engine was required because the gases poured the oil and the water also entered. We made ourselves a half bronze bearing, which fit on the same bearing, and in the thickness that was left we put a piece of hat brim as felt. In addition, with the stone, we ate half of the head of the crankshaft bolts to touch in the modification of the bearing. ... Later, while adjusting the last details of Ramaciotti's workshop, the mother of this man wrote on my door: 'The mother who fathered him mate wishes her happiness'.

In the resumption of the Grand Prix from Córdoba, and the stage to Santiago del Estero would mark a good path. Despite the engine a little bit hard, it is eighth and best Chevrolet. The Fords kept showing the way ...

-I remember that it was Corner (pseudonym of Manuel Sojit) transmitting from the stage of the radio the arrival of that stage. Then I feel that the names "Fangio". I got close two or three times and did not give me a ball. Then I got up and said: -I'm Fangio ...

- Oh, you are, kid! Come, come closer, I was looking for you to talk on the radio.

-In the next stage, from Santiago del Estero to Jujuy, I improved the performance. I remember that in the afternoon, after having bathed and eaten, a boy from Mar del Plata comes up to me and says:

- Juan, you're third!

-You are crazy- I answered him.

-I tell you-you're third! ... It's there, in the newspaper's blackboard!

-Well, let's see it ... If I'm a third party I pay the "Old George" for everyone! - I do not know why it occurred to me to say that. We went to see the blackboard, I was third and I had to pay the return for ten. I felt more than happy. Only two Ford in front of me. Toned with the glass, I returned to the hotel. There I met the manager of the brand that was on the plane, with which he wanted to make me leave in Córdoba ... He did not remember the discussion. While he was gesturing with his hand to stop me for a moment, he asked me:

-How is it going? Do you have everything?

-I do not need anything, just that I'm not good at gums ...

-Do not worry. You, from now on, pay nothing. A signature, nothing more. How many tires do you need?

-Two tires... It took me so much of surprise that I did not dare to ask for the four, so in the next stage I came out with two new tires on the rear.

Tadeo Taddia, Pedro Yarza, Julio Pérez, Eleuterio Donzino, the official Chevrolet pilots, do not reach the top positions. Fangio's thoughts mingle with his joy. Everything is changing. They are already beginning to know him, and they pay him the expenses so that he continues in the race. From Jujuy to Catamarca it is strengthened even more. Second in the stage, one minute behind Musso and second in the general. From that situation, it occurred to him to ask himself: "And now, that I come with all payment, why not go out and win the next stage?"

Musso long in front of him. From Catamarca to La Rioja they do not take a tenth of a second and tie for next time. By Nonogasta, Fangio has already broken it, it takes four minutes. By Guandacol, after crossing the scythes, ten minutes! Fangio surpasses the rivals. In San Juan final of the fourth stage of the Extraordinary Grand Prize of 1939 is first in the General Classification.



-Look what smile I have in this photo of El Gráfico, is for the first money I received for winning a Stage two hundred pesos!

It was upon arriving in San Juan, He looks very young to Fangio, with his 28 years, well-combed blonde hair, white romper.

-We used Mamluk for everything; to work and to walk. It was the only clothes we brought to the races.

-Look what roads! This was before reaching San Juan, between Huaco and Guandacol. The high layer of loose soil was like talcum powder. The cars fitted in dry and were occupying all the footprint. In one part I got out of the way and started to cut cross-country, between piquillines. After a while, I started to get scared because I could not see the route, but I crossed paths again! We had been walking for two hours at first ... The heat was unbearable. Going down the Cuesta de Miranda, when we got to the river, we stopped the coupe in the middle of the ford, Tieri and I left each one by his door, and we got into the water.

-The next day we left San Juan and I was at the top. When I arrived in Mendoza, I went first in the 5th Stage and continued to lead in the General Classification, until we ran into the curve (in "that") of Palmira and could not face it well, hit the car, losing all my chance. The support of the rear elastics broke, the car fell, the gunship was twisted a bit and a wheel broke.

Then, the Palmira accident and his arrival in San Luis in 44th place - there were only 47 cars left of the 123 games from Córdoba. His fall is the rise of Oscar Gálvez, who will finally win the Extraordinary Grand Prize.

Fangio will be seventh in the stage to Bahía Blanca and fourth in the final section, to La Plata. His fifth place in the General Classification is worth two thousand pesos for his performance throughout the competition.

-In Balcarce they welcomed me as if I had been the winner. They felt more than paid with that triumph of the fourth stage and the fifth place in the general. That calmed me down.

A fantastic fight between men and machines was dawning. The country would be divided: Fangio-Gálvez or Gálvez-Fangio; Chevrolet-Ford or Ford-Chevrolet.

Sports career

No. 4 Argentine Highway Grand Prize19-10-193922º

N ° 5 Extraordinary Grand Prize - Argentina29-10-19395º

No. 6 Thousand Argentine Miles19-12-193913º


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