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About Scuderia Buell

Siempre en busca de inspiración

the fascinating journey of Scuderia Temple Buell during the 1958 Formula One season. Founded by Temple Hoyne Buell Jr., the team made a notable entry into the world of Formula One, utilizing Maserati's T3 chassis. Buell's connections with Maserati allowed the team to participate in the final year of the 250F's competition.

Scuderia Buell's debut race occurred at the Grand Prix of Portugal in 1958, where Carroll Shelby drove their Maserati. Despite facing tough competition, Shelby showcased impressive driving skills, starting from the fourth row and climbing to seventh before brake issues forced an unfortunate retirement.

Undeterred, Scuderia Temple Buell continued to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. With Masten Gregory now behind the wheel, the team faced challenges but displayed resilience. Gregory's strong performance was marred by a controversial driver substitution, leading to disqualification despite an initially promising 4th-place finish.

The team's final race in the 1958 season took place at the Moroccan Grand Prix, where Gregory piloted the Maserati once again. In a challenging race, Gregory finished sixth, highlighting the team's ability to recover from setbacks.

Despite the brief stint in Formula One, Scuderia Temple Buell made a lasting impression, consistently competing at a high level. The team's legacy is marked by its determination and adaptability, showcasing Temple Buell's foray into the world of motorsports during a dynamic period in Formula One history.

Juan Manuel Fangio, one of the most famous formula one drivers got kidnapped by Fidel Castro's revolutionaries forces in 1958 Cuba

Scuderia Buell's Maserati 450 S, the car that Fangio could not race with

By 1957, The Maserati 450 S was one of the most powerful sports cars at the moment, with 400-hp and a V8 engine 

 able to surpass Ferrari as Fangio demonstrated by winning the "12 hours of Sebring" with a 450 S in '57.

Despite being an excellent car, a chain of unfortunate events caused this car to be left

out of formula 1.

The first one was on its debut in the "1000 km of Buenos Aires" with Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss at the wheel and despite this fearsome duo, the car failed to finish the race due to mechanical problems.

The second one, was when the Cuban Grand Prix took place a year later in 1958.  At that time, The Cuban

government was facing a difficult time. People were unhappy, and the revolutionaries forces (led by Fidel Castro) gained more strength and relevance with each passing day, and abroad, the image of the Cuban government increasingly deteriorated. 

Fulgencio Batista, Cuban president at that time, The dictator, saw the Formula One races as a good showcase to wash his regime's face. The photo on the podium with the world champion, Juan Manuel Fangio —one of the legends of this sport, considered by many to be the best driver of all time and who won 5 world titles— was Batista's main goal to whitewash the repression. The attention of the whole world was on Cuba, expecting the race where Fangio did the pole position with Scuderia Buell's car.  But he would never race.

That night, July 26, Manuel Uziel, a member of the revolutionary movement, pressed a pistol against Fangio's back in the hall of the Lincoln Hotel in Havana and forced him to leave the building with him.

In an unknown location, Fangio was taking it all in his stride and was being treated to a slap-up meal of steak and potatoes before "sleeping like a blessed one" in a well-furnished apartment. Convinced he was not in danger, he later said he sympathised with his captors' actions.

The day of the race arrived, and Fulgencio Batista insisted that the Grand Prix was to go ahead anyway. The 1958 Cuban Grand Prix edition was a total failure for Batista. As if Fangio's kidnapping wasn't enough, The local driver Armando Garcia Cifuentes lost control of his yellow and black Ferrari and went head on into a bunch of spectators lining the circuit and left six spectators dead and a total of 40 injured.

Fidel Castro's plan had worked out perfectly, not only was the race cancelled, but also the causes of his movement echoed around the world. The time had come to free him, which turned out to be more complex than kidnapping him. They could not hand him over to the Cuban authorities, since in case something happened to him they would blame the rebels. Fangio came up with the ideal plan: the pilot would be delivered to the Argentine embassy headed by Raúl Lynch Guevara, cousin of Che Guevara. After 30 hours of a comfortable kidnapping, Juan Manuel Fangio was back safe and sound.

Fangio prensa.jpeg

In this photo, released by news agencies at the time, Fangio gives statements after the kidnapping. (Photo: Fangio Museum of Buenos Aires)

"They never blindfolded me. They apologized a hundred times. I found them to be very friendly. I told the rebels that if they had kidnapped me for a good cause, I agreed. Their treatment was familiar and their intentions cordial," 

were the first Fangio's words to the press after the release.

Fangio never held a grudge against his kidnappers: they ended up on very good terms and even became great friends.

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