Always on the look out for female racing drivers, past or present, I discovered a lady who seems to have missed my radar. Baroness Maria Antonietta Avanzo (1889 – 1977) was the first Italian female racetrack driver and “the most famous Italian woman racing driver of the inter-war period”.  She competed in numerous events throughout her career, including racing the Mille Miglia five times. In 1921, she famously drove a twelve-cylinder Packard 299 on the beach of the island of Fanø, in Denmark.  But what was she doing on the exhibition wall of the Design Museum’s current exhibition Ferrari: Under the skin? According to Ferrari, as she emerged, Antonio Ascari overheard her remark that she’d be happy to swap it for a Fiat. On her return home she found a bright red Fiat awaiting her. In 1921, driving an Ansaldo 4CS she was Tazio Nuvolari’s teammate and came in 7th (3rd in class) at the Circuito di Garda.

Meanwhile below are some more photos from the exhibition about the design etiquette of Enzo Ferrari.  The exhibition contains clay and wooden Models from the studio, drawings, designs, photos and videos engulf your mind throughout the exhibition. Finishing with a timeline of racing machines, helmets, race suits and voices from the past and present.

Nick Mason standing beside his own Ferrari F40 loaned to the exhibition.

Ferrari: Under the skin, is on at the Design Museum until 15th April 2018.

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