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Peter Giddings Racing


Formula Junior was a racing class adopted in 1958 by the FIA. The class was intended to provide an entry level class where drivers could use inexpensive mechanical components from ordinary automobiles. The idea to form the new class came from Count Giovanni "Johnny" Lurani who saw the need of a class for single-seater racing cars where younger drivers could take their first steps toward professional racing in a relatively inexpensive venue. The rules required the cars to be powered by production-based engines and much of the running gear also had to be production-based. Overhead camshafts were not allowed. Limited-slip differentials were also prohibited. The thought was to provide single-seat race cars at an inexpensive price. The cars were limited to 1100 cc engines and 440 kg minimum weight.

Inasmuch as the formula originated in Italy, the popular Fiat 1100 engine was the obvious choice for the Italian constructors.Victorio Stanguellini had Alberto Massimino design the Formula Junior. Stanguellini then built a series of very successful Formula Junior cars in the tradition of the contemporary front-engined Grand Prix cars. Most of the car’s components were derived from the Fiat 1100. A simple tubular chassis was used, with the cockpit offset to the left and the gear box and propeller shaft running alongside the driver. The Stanguellinis were powered by the Fiat 1098 c.c. engine with two twin choke Weber DCOE carburetors. Power was originally transmitted through a Fiat 4 speed gearbox. Brakes were 9.8 inch Fiat drum brakes, which were inboard at the rear. Suspension was independent at the front with coil springs. At the rear the car had a live axle with coil springs located with parallel trailing arms. The wheels were the classic 12 inch Borrani wire wheels. The body was fabricated in lightweight aluminum by Carrozzeria Gransport of Modena.This very beautiful aluminum body is ideally proportioned and is somewhat reminiscent of the Vanwall Formula One car and the Maserati 250F.

The Formula Junior category under Formula One existed between 1958 and 1963. Many notable drivers got their starts in Stanguellinis. Drivers included Lorenzo Bandini, Wolfgang von Trips, Ritchie Ginther, and Walt Hansgen.

This 1959 Stanguellini Formula Junior has a build date of December 5, 1959. It was imported by Alfred Momo into the United States, arriving early in 1960. Inasmuch as the front-engined Formula Juniors were essentially obsolete with the introduction of the Cooper rear-engined Type 52 and others, the Stanguellini was sold and raced around the Northeast and Midwest through the 1960s and 1970s. At one time this particular Stanguellini sold for only $250.

Finally, Stanguellini CS00159 was rescued by noted vintage racer Peter Giddings in 1977. Peter has owned and raced a number of Stanguellini Formula Juniors. After restoration, the car was sold to Dennis Burkey of Virginia who ran CS00159 in the Mid-Atlantic area into the late 1980s. Pam Lyford brought CS00159 to the Northwest in the early 1990s. The car is currently owned and raced by Bill Weed of Pullman, Washington, who purchased the car in 2005.


Chassis: wheelbase 79 inches, track 48 inches front & rear
Weight: 880 lbs

Engine: Fiat 1100 OHV four-cylinder, 1089 cc displacement
Bore 68mm, stroke 75 mm
Carburetion: two 38DCOE Side-draft Webers
Compression ratio 9:1
85 bhp @7000 rpm

Stanguellini CS00159

Peter sits in Stanguellini CS00159 more than 35 years after he originally restored it.

Stanguellini engine

CS00159 engine.

Push start

John and Graham give Peter a push start prior to going out on the track. Spokane Raceway Park, June 2013.

Peter at Spokane

Peter heads onto the track for a practice session. Spokane Festival of Speed, Spokane Raceway Park, June 2013.

circa 1981

Peter in Stanguellini CS00159, about 1979.