BF Auction: 1959 Stanguellini Formula Junior

Sold for $60,000View Result

  • Seller: Tedd Z amjahn
  • Location: Hales Corners, Wisconsin
  • Mileage: N/A Shown
  • Chassis #: 00146
  • Title Status: Clean
  • Engine: Fiat 1100cc 4-cylinder
  • Transmission: Fiat 4-Speed

UPDATE – The seller has added more photos and found documents laying out the Stanguellini’s ownership history!

Vintage racing machinery was once an ignored segment of the classic car world. However, a dedicated group of enthusiasts now focus on preserving these vehicles to provide insight into our racing heritage. This 1959 Stanguellini Formula Junior is a perfect example of the breed. It last saw racing action in the early 1960s and spent over five decades as a display piece. The current owner refurbished it so it runs and drives, and it would take little to return it to the historic racing circuit. The owner feels the time is right for it to find a new home, listing this Italian thoroughbred with us at Barn Finds Auctions.

Automobili Stanguellini was founded by Vittorio Stanguellini in Modena, Italy. The family operated a successful Fiat dealership but diversified into racing activities during the 1950s. The styling of its 1959 Formula Junior machine was compared favorably to the legendary Maserati 250F, and these cars tasted racing success until the advent of rear-engined cars from companies like Cooper lifted competition to a higher level. Our feature car is a genuine survivor that last saw action at Road America and other Midwest tracks during the early 1960s. Its retirement years were spent as a display vehicle, stripped back to its bare aluminum. The current owner performed a refresh, applying the existing beautiful PPG Concept Deep Red over epoxy primer. The car presents superbly, with the chosen color accentuating its sweeping lines. The panels are flawless, and there are no issues with tubular steel chassis. The car sits on a set of period-correct wire knock-off wheels, and the lack of signage and stickers will allow the winning bidder to tailor the vehicle’s appearance to their taste.

Given the family’s automotive history, it is unsurprising that Vittorio Stanguellini sourced the mechanical components for the company’s racing machinery from Fiat. The Formula Junior features its number’s matching front-mounted 1,100cc four that feeds its power to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. The engine inhales deeply through a pair of rare Weber sand-cast 33/38 DCO 3 carburetors, producing approximately 110hp. Considering the Junior tips the scales at around 881 lbs, performance is impressive for a car of this type. It is also remarkably agile, with four-wheel independent suspension and large drum brakes. The current owner revived this classic after decades as a display vehicle. He replaced the valves and valve springs and refurbished the brakes. The Stanguellini runs and drives for demonstration use, although it requires updates to become eligible for historic competition.

This Stanguellini shares a typical trait with almost any racing vehicle because its interior is focused purely on performance. The vinyl-clad bucket seat wraps around the driver for lateral support, while the dash houses gauges to monitor the car’s mechanical health. The original wood-rimmed wheel is larger than is typically seen in modern racing machinery, but it is ideal for maneuvering this gem on the track. The winning bidder will need to inquire whether the seat complies with historic racing rules, and the relevant authorities will probably insist on the installation of a harness seatbelt. Otherwise, slipping behind the wheel will be like rewinding the clock to the glory days when drivers like Fangio dominated the racing scene.

It is a sad reality that many race cars end their days as scrap when their owners feel they are no longer competitive. Although company records are incomplete, it is believed that Automobili Stanguellini produced approximately one hundred of its beautiful Formula Junior race cars before progress overtook it in 1960. It is unclear how many survive, but they are a rare slice of motorsport history. This one is a stunning classic that is destined to find a new home. If you have long harbored the desire to own an Italian thoroughbred, this 1959 Stanguellini Formula Junior is an ideal candidate that might only be a single bid away.

* Ownership History – The seller purchased it from the estate of Don Ludewig of Clarkston, MI. He purchased it from Homer Tsakis of Katonah, NY on 6/26/1976. Other names in the folder include Bob Guest of Red Oak, TX and Bob Major of Illinois.

Bid On This Auction

Sold for: $60,000
Register To Bid
Ended: Jul 16, 2024 1:00pm MDT
Winner: Healeybob (Offer Accepted)
  • Healeybob
    bid $54,000.00  2024-07-16 12:49:11

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. RayTMember

    I have always thought these were the most beautiful racing cars imaginable.

    Like 4
    • jwaltb

      To each one’s own! I used to watch Formula Jr. races and always thought these were the ugliest cars on the track.

      Like 0
  2. Derek

    That’s awfy nice. Probably limited to parade laps though, as there’s probably not enough chassis – thin tubes – to attach a roll hoop and harness mounts to.

    You’ll get vintage racing track days, maybe.

    Like 2
    • Nathan S

      This car would be welcome at any vintage race or festival.

      Like 0
  3. gbvette62

    The seat would likely be acceptable for vintage racing but a 5 point harness, fire system, rain light, kill switch, fuel cell and a roll bar 2″ above the drivers head would need to be added. None of these are impossible as there are plenty of similar cars racing in SVRA Group 2, and in similar classes with other vintage organizations. In the interest of preserving originality, some groups like the VSCCA would likely let this car race without a roll bar.

    Besides knowing that it was last raced in the mid 60’s in the midwest, is there any other history known about the car? Former driver(s), owner(s) how long and where else it was raced, etc. would be nice to know. Unfortunately the SCCA didn’t start issuing log books till around 72, so that valuable piece of history of the car wouldn’t exist.

    Good luck with the sale, it looks to be an interesting and well preserved piece of racing history.

    Like 3
  4. Howard A. HoAMember

    Well, I don’t know much about the car, but don’t get me started on Hales Corners. This car and that track have very little to do with each other. Hales Corners was a 1/4 mile dirt oval, expanded to 1/3 mile in 1974 for stock car racing. This is for road courses like Road America or Blackhawk Farms, so living near one is paramount, it must be shlepped, but once there, must be a blast to drive. Sure, it’s horribly out of date for any kind of competition, but don’t let that little motor fool you. I read, this car could go 0-60 in under 5 seconds and a top speed just under 100. Plenty of folks would love this, I just don’t know how many are here.

    Like 5
  5. bobhess bobhessMember

    In the ’80s we saved a ’60 Porsche Roadster race car from the crusher. One of the fun parts of the restoration, vs. the huge amount of chassis work, was managing to find and retrieve almost all the engines and small parts that were used to race it. It raced from 1966 to the early ’80s. It’s now being vintage raced. Having wrecked a race car in ’16, the vintage car we are now building has all the safety equipment it takes to survive a crash. You could make this car into a safe, legal vintage race car but it might be smart to use it as a display vs. all the modifications it would take. No sense cutting it all up at this stage in it’s life.

    Like 6
  6. Bill Weed

    Very nice original car. There are a few Stanguellinis racing here in the U.S. As was pointed out, it can be made vintage legal. I must say that 110hp is very optimistic. I expect stock 1960’s would produce in the 80’s at best. Again, very nice, but $50k-$75k away from not being lapped. (I have owned and raced #159 since 2005)

    Like 2
  7. Randy

    Boy, does this bring back memories! I almost bought one back in 1964, a beautiful light blue as I recall.

    These were a great looking classic car in my estimation, but totally outclassed by the Lotus FJ at the time (but it was a whole lot less $$$’s).

    Like 1
  8. Joe

    I got a tour through the small but elegant Stanguellini museum…which is part of a Lancia dealership in 2005. Pretty sure it was in or near Modena. It was a follow-the-leader group thing. I believe there were about 8 or 10 cars there, along with engines on stands, glass display cabinets for parts and memorabilia and posters on the walls. Everything was impeccable. It’s a very special place. I have some photos somewhere.

    Like 1
  9. Tedd W ZamjahnSeller

    n going through a folder on the Stanguellini I came across some additional information.The estate I purchased the car from is : Don Ludewig of Clarkston, MI. He purchased it from Homer Tsakis of Katonah, NY on 6/26/1976.Other names inthe folder Bob Guest of Red Oak, TX. He was selling Wolfgang von Trips car in Hemmings. Bob Major of Illinois and informationthat the car before being stripped to bare metal said :  “Squadra Stanguellini” on the side.

    Like 1
    • ojrMember

      When I saw this was in WI, my first thought was “Is this Don’s car?”.
      I knew Don as living in a condo in Elkhart Lake. He had quite a few motorcycles and 2 or 3 sidecar racers that were built by the same racer. I last heard from Don a bit over 4 years ago. He didn’t return calls or email, s9o I called his neighbor. Jeff told me that Don had passed suddenly.
      Was there an auction? He had tons of books, literature and magazines.
      .What about his Aston Martin? I never saw it and the last email said he had just gotten back….I didn’t get to see it.

      Like 0
      • Tedd W ZamjahnSeller

        When the auction ends if you would like to call me I can explain where Don’s things went.

        Like 0
  10. RallyeMember

    Thank you, I’ll call.
    I still have the Racing and Sports Car Chassis Design book he gave me when I was looking for seemingly unkown info on Jacob’s Ladders.

    Like 0
    • RallyeMember

      This car 7/22/18 @ Road America. The truck is a Thames. I didn’t wait for the Unkown women to move.

      Like 0
      • RallyeMember

        This is the unusual Jacobs Ladder that has 3 holes for each joint.
        No one has been able to tell me what could be expected from any changes. Testing has been suggested. Historic racing sedan (B/S) with an early V8 Halibrand quikchange.

        I do pass inside and outside in corners but wonder about the adjustments.

        Like 0
  11. Tedd W ZamjahnSeller

    Thank you for all the positive comments. Barn Finds came through again working out a deal between seller & buyer.
    Thank You ! Barn Finds

    Like 1
  12. Paolo

    Reminds me of a Vanwall.

    Like 0
  13. t-bone bob


    Like 0

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