1953 Giaur 750 ChampionSOLD
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Engine Type: 750cc 4 Cylinder Aerojet Engine
Color:Red / Red

Reference Number 46276

as of 7/1/2009

Overview
Car 1953 Giaur 750 Champion
VIN BT-030 
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Known History

 

1953 Giaur Champion 750

s/n BT-030

Red with Red Interior

 

Historical information courtesy of the owner.

 

Like many of the men involved in the Italian postwar industrial boom, Barardo Taraschi was a formidable innovator, builder, and race-car driver. His early work included a wide range of development that culminated in the development of Giaur as an independent manufacturer of race cars. While many of his cars have been lost to the rigors of racing, a few specimens do survive today. Among those, the Champion 750 series cars are considered the most successful and desirable.

 

On May 2nd 1953 BT-030 was completed with engine G1-109 and tested May 4th in Pescara, Italy (RM factory notebook registry by Taraschi). The Champion series cars were already well established as part of the evolution from the early motorcycle fender trimmed siluro style Giaurs of the early 1950’s. The early series Champions are mostly distinguished by a central 5 bar grille and no front fender vents. The later series cars feature a slightly larger central opening and smaller front fender grilles constructed in the traditional hand formed aluminum “egg crate” style. BT-030 was built with manual “pop-up” headlights and removable body panels. Nearly all Champions featured hood scoops, however some of the single carburetor cars were not fitted with hood scoops (BT-035 for example). These sleek cars featured swooping front and rear fenders that could be removed easily to allow entrance in a variety of race classes. Beginning with serial number BT-010 (Berardo Taraschi’s personal car), the series would run through BT-040 until the Taraschi Formula Jr. would replace the Champion series cars. Interestingly the numbers BT-020 through BT-029 were not used.

 

In total, roughly a dozen Champion series cars were built, nearly all being fitted with the single cam G1 series engine, built by Giannini. G1-109 (installed in BT-030) was a Fiat Topolino based engine specified by Taraschi, with an added 3rd main (central) bearing and a specially designed Giannini crankshaft. The standard Topolino motor had only a front and rear bearing, making it far less durable under racing conditions. The displacement increased from the 569cc (FIAT factory specifications) to 750cc. Perhaps for development purposes, BT-030 was fitted with twin 1bbl Weber 28 carburetors mounted on a Giannini intake manifold.

 

BT-030 was sold directly by the factory on April 2, 1954 to race-car enthusiast and driver R. Ciarelli. Ciarelli participated in a number of different road races placing 2nd overall at Circuito di Frosinone and 2nd again at Circuito di Castlefusano in May of 1954. Additionally, Renato Pirocchi is noted as driver for this car as #26 at Circuito Di Cosenza on December 9th, 1954 and as #36, finishing 2nd at the Gran Primo di Caserta with unknown driver (possibly Ciarelli). All race documentation includes photos and reference data from various racing archives.

 

In the July and August of 1958 issues of Quattroroute magazine, BT-030 was offered for sale. In April 1959, the car was purchased by Chalmers Hall of Phoenix, AZ and imported to the United States. The customs documentation and shipping authority show the sale date of April 30, 1959 and the last known Italian license plate of 33899-TV. M/Sgt L.I. Thomas is listed as the seller and the shipping documents note the chassis and engine numbers, confirming this exact car. Shipping weight of 550 kilos and value of 500,000 Lire are also noted on the documents.

 

Chalmers Hall had already established himself as both driver and builder of small displacement cars. By 1958, Hall had won the SCCA Hmod championship in his specially built race-car known as “Little Digger”. Hall took possession of BT-030 in Los Angeles and drove with the trailered Giaur to Mexico where he competed in a road race. This race would prove fateful as Hall subsequently ended up blowing the Giannini engine, throwing a rod after only a short period of time in the race (owner interview with Hall, 2002). Hall discarded the engine and transplanted the specially built 750cc Aerojet engine (a highly modified dohc Crosley 4 cylinder engine) that had formerly been in the Hmod class winner, Little Digger. The Aerojet engine was the post Crosley era continuation of the engines for use in marine and military applications. The Aerojet engine is the advanced version of the original Crosley block, featuring thicker wall castings among other improvements. The overhead cam (head and block a single casting) configured with a double barrel 39 DCOE Weber and tapered handmade aluminum intake, Vertex magneto, and Clay Smith special grind culminated in 77 hp at 10,000 rpm. Hall competed in a series of races throughout the west coast including the Tuscon-Pacific with #13 and is featured with a 2nd place on pg. 35 of the December 1959 SCCA issue racing against Little Digger. Hall owned the Giaur until the early 1960’s where he sold it to Walter Walton of Pleasanton, CA.

 

The earliest record of ownership associated with Walton is 1963 where he is recorded as competing in Pomona, CA with #230. Walton raced the car in multiple events throughout the 1960’s and in 1973 sold the car to the current owner, also in Northern California. The same fellow has owned the car since then, restoring it mechanically in 1981 and then entirely by Treasured Motorcar Service, completing it in 2000.

 

More to come.