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Peter Giddings Racing

History of 1932 Alfa Romeo Monza
Engine/Chassis Number 2311218

Few, if any, Grand Prix cars have ever remained competitive for 15 years. More impressive yet, is that this Monza was still winning races in the 1980s/ 1990s, and in the hands of Peter Giddings, averaged almost 100 mph to win its class in the La Carrera Mexican Road Race, believed to be the highest recorded race average ever for an Alfa Romeo Monza.

According to Peter’s friend, acclaimed author Simon Moore (to whom Peter first introduced the legendary Alfa Romeo 2.3 8c some 40+ years ago) 2311218 was first registered for the road in August 1933 by Cesare Sanguinetti. Sanguinetti was a member of an informal group of wealthy Italian racers who owned amongst themselves a number of Alfa Romeos and Maseratis. Other members of the group were Beccaria, Battilana, and Baratelli. All of these drivers raced 2311218 extensively in several Mille Miglia events, plus races in Rome, Algeria, Alexandra, Germany, San Remo, Bari, and others.

In September 1947, Baratelli sold 2311218 to the great Balestrero. Scuderia Balestrero consisted of the following team drivers: Giovanni Balestrero, Renato Balestrero, and perhaps the greatest Mille Miglia driver of all, Clemente Balestrero. Scuderia Balestrero  raced 2311218 extensively, the last recorded event being at Senigallia in 1947. Placing in this race culminated in the great Balestrero winning the 1947 Italian Championship with 2311218 in what was a 15 year old car.

After Balestrero, 2311218 was campaigned by Giovanni Ughetti who subsequently, in 1950, shipped 2311218 from Naples to Giovanni Borsato in Venezuela.

2311218 enjoyed two more twilight years of racing in Venezuela before being purchased by Robert Ford, an American businessman based in Caracas. Robert Ford kept 2311218 in Caracas until 1954 at which time he shipped the car to California and retained it until 1982, subsequent to which the car was carefully, authentically, and sympathetically restored by Peter Giddings.

In 1985, at the Monterey Historic Races, Juan Manuel Fangio commented that only the  Giddings’ Monza (2311218) and Tipo B “P3” (50001) Alfa Romeos were as he remembered them, in so far as color and finish were concerned, and as a result, chose to be photographed with these two cars.

2311218 was campaigned by Tom Hollfelder until its sale in 2010.


Peter at Portland International Raceway, July 1991- photo by Mike Sims


Peter cornering hard in Alfa Romeo Monza 2311218

Happy, Simpler, and Low Budget Days: Laguna Seca, August 1989: photograph by Mike Sims

La Carrera Mexicana

"Hammer and Tongs!" Peter sets what is believed to be the highest average race speed in an Alfa Monza (a shade
under 100 mph). The exciting (but very dangerous, on public roads!) La Carrera Mexicana. Westport photo.

Drifting at PIR

Peter says: "There are few cars that can be drifted as controllably as a Monza (Alfa Monza #2311218) and proves it in this photo! Portland International Raceway. Bob Dunsmore photo.

Monza before restoration

Alfa Monza #2311218 Before Restoration

Racing at PIR

Peter slides Monza #2311218 through Turn 11 at Portland. Bob Dunsmore photo.

Fending Off Attacks

Howling moderns and specials hound Peter in Alfa #2311218. Bob Dunsmore photo.

Before Restoration

Monza before restoration by Peter.

Reno 1985

Cutting the straw bales fine -- Peter competes in his Monza at the first Reno GP. December 1985. Bob Dunsmore photo.

Monterey 19909

Bending the Monza's tires. Monterey Historics 1990. Bob Dunsmore photo.

Monterey 1985

Peter stays ahead of ace driver Chris Mann in his Alfa Monza. Peter's gas cap had been left open, resulting in loss of fuel pressure, so on every straight, Peter's car would fade and slow down. Still it made a memorable tussle which people still talk about. This was the first time Alfa Romeo was the featured marque at the Monterey Historics. 1985, photo by Bob Dunsmore.

Sears Point 1990

Peter drifts the Monza through Turn Two at the top of the hill at Sears Point. 1990. Bob Dunsmore photo.

Wine Country 1995

Another great artistic photograph by Bob Dunsmore. Peter in the Monza at the Wine Country Classic at Sears Point on a beautiful Spring day in 1995.

Portland 1992

Peter applies body english to the Monza as he edges the curb in Portland International Raceway's Turn 12 to set up for a blast down the main straightaway. PIR 1992, photo by Bob Dunsmore.

Christchurch, NZ

Peter in the Monza at Christchurch, New Zealand. Note the cardboard in front of the radiator to maintain temperature in the very cold and wet conditions. Photo by Euan Cameron.


Peter in the Monza at the Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide. Photo by Paul Cross.