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Juan Manuel Fangio

Remains Legend In Own Right

Fangio spent his remaining years as an ambassador for the sport. He also coached young drivers. He died of kidney failure on July 17, 1995, at a Buenos Aires hospital. Fangio is so vividly remembered because he did what no driver had ever done before—he elevated motor racing to an art form. Much as a painter caresses a paintbrush, Fangio caressed his cars—and the outcome was beautiful.

The mystique surrounding Fangio continues today. What make him all the more legendary is the fact that he can't be compared to today's drivers because the equipment and tracks are so incomparable. All that is left is to dream about what the calm, collected Fangio could have done with today's machines.

Awards and Accomplishments

1940 Placed first at the Gran Premio Internacional del Norte
1940-41 Earned Argentine National Champion title
1941 Won both races he entered, including the Argentine One Thousand Miles
1942 Won four of five races completed
1947 Won three of ten races he completed
1948 Won three of seven races completed
1949 Won nine of fourteen races completed
1950 Won the French, Belgian, and Monaco grand prix, along with the Argentine 500 Miles
1951 Won the French, Swiss, and Spanish grand prix
1951, Won World Championship
1952 Won six of seven races completed before season cut short in crash at Monza, Italy
1953 Won the Italian grand prix
1954 Won the Argentinean, Belgian, German, Italian, French, and Swiss grand prix
1955 Won the Argentinean, Belgian, Italian, and Dutch grand prix
1956 Won the Argentinean, German, and British grand prix, along with the Sebring 12 Hours Race
1957 Won the Argentinean, French, German, and Monaco grand prix, along with the Sebring 12 Hours Race
1958 Won one race in five starts before quitting
1980s Had a race car museum and racetrack in his hometown named for him


In 1971, more than ten years after he retired from motor racing—and when he was into his 60s—Fangio got behind the wheel again to shootsegments for a feature length film biography titled simply, Fangio.

The film contains original footage of Fangio's racing career, givingthose who never saw the master race a firsthand view of his innate and un-matched driving ability. Clips for some of Fangio's races, however, couldnot be located. To fill in the blanks, re-enactments were filmed with Fangiodriving his original cars at such circuits as Monaco; Italy's Monza; France's Reims; and England's Silverstone.

Fangio, himself, narrates the film, which is directed by Hugh Hudson, who is best known for his 2000 feature film I Dreamed of Africa, starring Kim Basinger.

Still shots from the movie were made into a book, also titled Fangio and published in 1973. In the book, Fangio's narration accompanies the pic-tures, giving the reader a true glimpse of the man behind the wheel as hetells his story in his own words.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsAuto RacingJuan Manuel Fangio Biography - Developed Childhood Interest In Cars, Pieced Together Own Race Car, Excelled In Long-distance Races - SELECTED WRITINGS BY FANGIO: