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BANDINI MUSEUM COLLECTION
Italian circulation title
Chassis no. 211
Engine No. 753
- Ninth in category at the 1953 Mille Miglia
- Typical of Italian racing machines of that era
- Superb design, specific tubular frame and twin-shaft motor
- Rare survivor of her kind
Ilario Bandini's name became famous for his racing success in the 750cc class. It began to produce models of this displacement in 1952, which achieved great success in the United States, with SCCA Championship titles in category H for Ralph Dillard in 1955 and Melvin Sachs in 1957, Henry Rudkin finishing second in 1954, 1956 and 1957. The Bandini they used were born from the combination of the tubular frame designed and patented by Bandini (in special steel elliptical profile tubes) and the Crosley engine equipped with the double ACT cylinder head developed by the same Bandini (called "testa piatta" because of its flat shape). The Crosley engine was robust thanks to its crankshaft with five bearings, and the timing control was by shaft with bevel gear. In its standard form, it was used in the navy, aviation, firefighting and even as a starter for tanks. On the chassis, which weighed only around twenty kilos, Bandini had designed a light two-seater aluminum body, reduced to a strict minimum and equipped with cycle fenders. Its shape earned it the nickname Siluro ("torpedo"). Thanks to this search for lightness, the Bandini were fast and reliable.
The first season in Italy, in 1952, did not meet all hopes because the engine did not develop all the expected power (which would lead Bandini to modify its cylinder head later), which did not prevent Ilario Bandini to take third place in his category at the Circuito di Bari and a victory in the Bologna-Raticosa hill climb.
For 1953, a change in the regulations led the cars to be fitted with more enveloping wings, better integrated into the bodywork but easily removable. During the Mille Miglia of that same year, three cars were entered, but only one crossed the finish line. It is the one we are offering for sale, as Massimo Bondi recognized without hesitation a few years ago when Dino Bandini invited him to come and see it. In 1953, Massimo Bondi had finished ninth in the 750 class. During this same season, we note for the Bandini a third place at the Circuito delle Caldaie and a second place at Senegallia, a race that Bondi finished fourth in "our" Bandini . He also obtained a third class place in Brindisi and a second in the Bologna-Raticosa hill climb.
Meanwhile, Bandini has modified its first twin shaft cylinder head, to give it the "roof" shape that it will keep for a few years. Thanks to the horses won, the Bandini Siluro will be able to continue to sign successes in racing, such as the category victory in the Coppa della Consuma of Ilario Bandini, followed in 1954 by a victory in the hill climb of Predappio-Rocca della Caminate, and a third place overall in the Bologna-Raticosa race.
It must be remembered that at the time a competition car was expensive and that few amateur drivers had the means to afford one. Therefore, Bandini arrived at the races with three or four cars and rented them on the spot. Massimo Bondi was one of the drivers loyal to the small manufacturer and it was with this 211 chassis that he finished ninth in the 1953 Mille Miglia, winning the Coppa Trofeo Franco Mazzotti, the cup he presented to Dino Bandini the day he confirmed that it was indeed his car.
After its career in Italy, the car (chassis 211) was exported to the United States, presumably through Tony Pompeo, the local importer of sports and racing cars. A certain TB Davis, from Dallas, ordered parts in 1957 indicating that he already owned a Bandini, and we see him entered in 1957 during an event in Stillwater, Texas. We also have photos of the car in the hands of John Savarese in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
This Bandini was then bought by an enthusiast of this type of machine, as "chassis 211 ex. TB Davis". Dino Bandini acquired it in 1998 and restored it as it was in the 1953 Mille Miglia, that is to say in bare bodywork. This Bandini is one of the only two examples still fitted with the Crosley engine with a "testa piatta" cylinder head. Its structure and its original bodywork, with its retractable headlights by simple pivoting, still bear the scars of a rich past in competition, which is a rare situation. The engine was recently restored and the car has its FIVA and ASI passports. Dino Bandini has participated in the historic Mille Miglia three times with this machine, in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
This car, which testifies to the ingenuity of the manufacturer from the start of its activity, has distinguished itself by its success in its category, thanks to its design combining rigidity and lightness. With its basic bodywork and its stripped-down interior typical of the most radical competition cars, this car will not only provide a new user with exhilarating driving sensations, but in addition it will take him on a wonderful journey through time and will open up the gates of the most famous historical events.