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Bandini Chassis

H Modified

Check out the excellent [ Bandini page ] on the Cliff Reuter's [ ].


"The Bandini 750 was actually the best car in the class in those early days. They had a very nice twin-cam engine but most American racers preferred the Crosley. It weighed about 800 lbs.

Mel Sachs, who drove a Bandini to a 1957 National title, recalls, 'with no floor behind the seats, you could look back at the differential and see the road going by. There was no door on one side and no upholstery. It didnít handle as predictably as the Siata, but it was faster.'

The unofficial head of 'The H Modified Club', Sandy MacArthur, had a Bandini-Crosley with dual twin-choke Del Orto carburetors and a narrow-band camshaft that only worked above 4000 and up to 7200 rpm. 'Above 4000,' MacArthur remembers, 'The roar of the engine changed to beautiful music. Signore Bandini is a Stradivarius of the twin pipes.'

Other Bandini drivers of note included:

  • Henry Rudkin (second nationally in 1954, 1956, 1957, and 1961)
  • Dr. Dolph Vilardi (1955 national champion)
  • Gordon Wright
  • George Tipsword
  • Jack Connolly
  • Jim Eichenlaub
  • George Parsons
  • By the 1959 season, Bandini was no longer competitive and the class had been taken over by the 750 OSCA and Saab-engined home built specials."1

    [ Bandini Cars ]
    [ Michele Orsi Bandini ]
    [ Etceterini Bandinis ]
    [ Jack Reuter's Bandinis ]
    [ Autoweek Article ]

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    bandini.jpg (12235 bytes)
    "Lawrenceville, IL 1955
    - MacArthur &

    George Tipsword
    April 8, 1957 National
    Virginia Intl Raceway4

    Driver, race, and date
    unknown. "Probably
    Virginia Intl Raceway"5



    Current Cars

    Jerry Greaves is the current owner of a Bandini-Crosley (not nessesarily the car on the right).

    Photos on the right, and immediately below, are from the 2005 Pittsburg Vintage Grand Prix.2

    1947 Bandini Sports Racer
    Front engine of 1500 cc2


    Saponetta Body

    Tetsuya Shimoda of Fukuoka, Japan, owns and races chassis number #160. This is a Bandini 750 Sport, which was produced on the April 20, 1953, as a spyder twin-cam and was owned by Ilario Bandini and later registered as FO-26139.

    This car participated in VI Coppa Sant' Ambroeus Monza 3.5.59 6th / Sport750 by Silvano Stefani.

    Around 1957 this car seems to have went back to the factory to be fitted with Saponetta bodywork, and he [Bandini] had also started with experimenting with independent rear suspension.

    In 1959, this car was raced with Saponetta bodywork by Silvano Stefani in the Coppa San't Ambroeus at Monza.

    Later, it was exported to the USA, where several owners raced it.

    The car returned to Italy, into the hands of new owner Fausto Manara from Bresia. Mr. Manara had the car ground-up restored by a professional workshop in Italy which had already had experience with restoring Bandinis. The engine of the car was rebuilt to the best specifications by Gianni Torelli, one of the best engine builders in Italy.

    Mr. Fausto and Andrea Manara drove the car in the 1997 and 1998 Historic Mille Miglia, before selling it to Mr. Roberto Cerbi in Placenza.

    The car went to Japan, in 2002, where it now resides in 2006.

    The car has a 750cc engine. Tetsuya says that it features a Bandini twincam head.


    The Italian Car Registry by John deBoer lists the car with a SAAB engine and with a FIAT engine.




    Mille Miglia

    According to researchi by Janos Wimpffen, and his publication "Times and Two Seats", handling 50 years of long distance racing, this Bandini (car number 038) was driven in the 1955 Mille Miglia by Saverio Rusconi and Giovanni Sintoni.


    A Bandini at the start
    of the 1955 Mille Miglia

    Bandini History2

    Ilario Bandini was born in 1911, the son of a farmer living in Forli, Italy. Even though he was best remembered as a car builder, he also had a flare for engineering and mechanics. His skills and knowledge led him to create and patent inventions. He is characterized as a short man who had a passion for life that matched his enthusiasm and his excitement.


    Tony Pompeo (left),
    Vick Lukens (center),
    and Ilario Bandini (right)
    in 19603

    Article on
    Tony Pompeo

    By the age of 27, having experience working and studying as a mechanic, Bandini began his own company. The era was 1938 and the world was still suffering from the after-shocks of World War II. Many of the manufacturers that had existed before the war were gone or their factories had been destroyed or converted into creating machinery for military purposes. Bandini began making small vehicles; most were intended for sports and racing. Some where weekend drivers while others were built specifically for the racing circuit. Bandini favored spiders and coupes. He used Fiat and American Crossley engines which he would modify to increase the overall output and performance. Most were 760 cc through 1300 cc. The engines were originally placed in the front of the vehicles but this changed when mid-engine design started to become popular. Quickly realizing the benefits of mid-engine placement, he was one of the first manufactures to build vehicles in this form.

    Many of the vehicles built with the intention of being raced were created for the 750 cc. class. The vehicles were important vitalizing the junior league of Italian racing.

    As was the case with much of the European vehicles, they were all hand made. During the height of the Bandini empire, he employed fifteen mechanics, each capable of building one car per month. Throughout his entire car-building career, 75 vehicles were created that carried the Bandini badge.

    The Bandini badge design came from the symbol of his home town. It featured a bantam rooster crowing.

    In 1992 he was 81. Having lived a long life, he passed away. At many vintage sporting events, the Bandini built automobiles can still be found. A museum in Forli houses seven examples of the Bandini sports cars.


    1Carl Goodwin, Vintage Motorsport (May/June 1991), The H-Modified Etceterinis p67-69. This article was transcribed for the Sports Racer Network by Curt Anderson.


    3Carl Goodwin, (January 5, 2005) Tony Pompeo: Etceterini Man.

    4Racing Sports

    5Cold, Berkeley - Racing.

    Revised: November 29, 2006.

    Sports Racer Network