Updated: Mar 9
This 1933 Monaco Grand Prix Bugatti poster celebrates Achille Varzi’s famous victory over his arch rival Tazio Nuvolari. This race, the third of the season, proved to be as dramatic as its early reputation promised.
From the outset, there was no love lost between the famous Italian drivers Achille Varzi and Tazio Nuvolari. It therefore came as no surprise when, throughout the race, the lead position switched constantly between these two arch rivals. Nuvolari led for sixty-six, and Varzi for thirty-four of the scheduled one hundred laps. The two men frequently drove side-by-side and often touching wheels.
Then, on the ninety-ninth (and penultimate) lap, Nuvolari’s Alfa Romeo ‘Monza’ dramatically burst into flames when a piston broke due to over-revving. He used outside assistance in attempting to push his car over the finish line, where he might have finished in second place, and was subsequently disqualified. This left Varzi in the Bugatti Type 51 as victor, with team-mate René Dreyfus, also in a Type 51, taking third position. The Alfa Romeo ‘Monza’, driven by Italian driver Baconin Borzacchini, took second place on the podium.
This Monaco event was the first Grand Prix where starting positions were decided by practice time rather than the previous method of balloting; Varzi taking pole and Nuvolari starting from fourth place on the grid.
This poster celebrates one of the rare victories for the Type 51 machine during its four-year career, and marks the beginning of the decline in Team Bugatti’s dominance of motor sports events.