Bologna-based engineer Aldo Faccioli started out in 1947 when his OSFA workshop (Officina Specializza Faccioli Aldo) designed, developed, and built 750-cc specials based on the Fiat 500 chassis fitted with the Lancia Ardea engine.

The subsequently named OFSA/Lancia spider achieved numerous top-five finishes throughout the 1950s. In 1960, racing driver Massimo Bondi commissioned Faccioli to build a car to compete in the increasingly popular Formula Junior series. The result was one of the first mid-engined Formula Juniors to come from Italy, its pleasing lines echoing those of a Maserati 250F. The Faccioli was powered by a tuned Fiat 1100/103 engine and used a modified Fiat 600 four-speed gearbox.

Records show that the Faccioli Tipo BF (Bondi/Faccioli) was competitive and results sheets indicate that the car was driven in many Italian races by “Cesare.” The only one of its kind ever made, this Faccioli was also driven by Anzio Zucchi, a well-known team driver for Alfa Romeo and Abarth. As of the late 1970s, the Faccioli was exhibited at the Monza Museum for some nine years and while there was incorrectly described as the only rear-engined Bandini. The car became active again in the hands of Ken Booth in 1985.

Since 1985, known owners include Chris Alford and the car last ran at Goodwood in 1998. Immediately after Goodwood, the engine underwent a documented rebuild by Cyril Linstone. The car has not been run since. This unique and extremely pretty car is eligible in all relevant Formula Junior events, which of course include the Silverstone Classic, Goodwood Revival and the Lurani Trophy Series.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1960 Faccioli Tipo BF Formula Racer
Years Produced:1960
Number Produced:1
Original List Price:unknown
SCM Valuation:$45,000-$55,000
Tune Up Cost:$350
Chassis Number Location:Only one car produced
Engine Number Location:Only one car produced
Club Info:Monoposto Register
Alternatives:Lotus 18, Elva Formula Junior, Stanguellini Formula Junior

This car, Lot 303, sold for $46,632 at the Bonhams Goodwood Revival auction on September 17, 2010

In the history of motor racing, there are few—if any—racing formulas that began life as simply, then skyrocketed, then expired effectively from its own success in less time than Formula Junior, and therein lies a tale.

Count Giovanni Lurani was an Italian nobleman with a very democratic concern. Although motor racing seemed to be every Italian’s passion, it was too expensive for any but the most privileged to actually do. To help resolve this, Lurani conceived of a purpose-built, open-wheel racing car formula that would be cheap enough to be accessible and slow enough to be relatively safe—yet also able to give the experience and develop the driving talents required in serious international racing.

The rules were simple; there was a maximum displacement (1,000 cc or 1,100 cc) with a corresponding minimum weight (792 pounds or 880 pounds respectively); all of the major components (engine block and head, transmission case, brakes) had to be production-based and not exotic (no overhead cams, etc.); and roll bars were required (the first formula to do this).

That was pretty much it; the rest was left to individual constructors to figure out. It seemed like a great idea and was adopted as an international formula in the fall of 1958, with racing to begin in 1959.

Formula Junior was an immediate success, with constructors small and large trying their hand at creating cars for the new series, and drivers were anxious to participate. The early years, 1959-60, saw an explosion of different ideas about what would work best. The cars were mostly front-engined, as were the serious racers of the day, and used a dizzying variety of engines. The Fiat 1100 was popular, as was the BMC A-Series (Sprite) engine, but 2 strokes were represented by Saab and DKW. The Soviet Moskvitch was even used.

Disc brakes were almost unknown on production cars until 1960, so drum brakes prevailed, along with the 15-inch diameter wheels required to house them. By the end of 1960, there were over 100 Formula Junior manufacturers worldwide, each with their own particular take on success. Sources say that there were almost 500 builders by the end of the formula, but I find that difficult to believe.

It was a wild, diverse, and exciting series in the beginning, with the sort of innocent joyfulness that comes from broad and easy access to a desirable calling. But the seeds were in place that would change its basic character from entry-level amateur to effectively professional and, within a few more years, kill it off. The seeds were technological and political.

Technological change came along in many ways, but most obviously in the mid-engined revolution and the new Ford Anglia (105E) engine. The advantages of mid-engined design had become apparent (Cooper won its first Grand Prix in 1959, which signaled the twilight of front-engine design), but it took a while for it to make it to Formula Junior. Once it did, all of the prior designs were immediately obsolete, to the degree that in today’s world front- and mid-engined juniors are frequently gridded in separate races.

The introduction of the Ford 105E engine had huge impact. The early junior engines were expected to make 75-80 horsepower in race trim. The first 105Es made 90 horsepower, and by the 1963 season, the leaders made 120 horsepower. Another great advantage was that the 105E used an external oil pump, which made conversion to dry sump with its attendant advantages extremely simple.

The other engines didn’t have a chance. The political change was that for 1961, Formula One was reduced to 1.5-liter displacement and Formula Two was eliminated. This left Formula Junior as the only international formula series other than Formula One, and the English constructors all leapt at the opportunity. By 1962, the front ranks of Formula Junior were effectively fully professional, factory-sponsored teams.

By the end of 1963, the original concept had been completely lost, and Formula Junior was abandoned in favor of a professionally oriented Formula Two and an amateur-oriented Formula Three.

Formula Junior did continue on for a few years in the U.S. before dying out.

So, where does the subject car, a Faccioli Tipo BF, fit into this narrative? Unfortunately it is pretty much lost in the middle. As an early mid-engined design, it was ahead of its time, but that fact consigns it to the later—and immensely faster—group of rear-engined racers, where its Fiat engine and transmission, production-based suspension and drum brakes inside tall skinny wheels make it hopelessly uncompetitive.

By rights, it should run with the front-engined cars, but it’s not likely to have the chance. On the other hand, race promoters are always looking for diversity in their grids to put on a good show, and the world’s only Faccioli will always find a place in the sea of Lotus, Lola, Cooper, and Brabham cars.

The new owner will be lucky to run in the middle of the pack, but will always be welcome, effectively having a guaranteed entry in the world’s most prestigious events, such as Monaco and Goodwood.

The other compensating factor, of course, is price.

Just like in 1963, if you want to run at the front of a vintage Formula Junior race, you’ll need lots of talent and money. The best juniors are well over $100,000 these days, and they require engine rebuilds at least every season, along with extensive race maintenance.

The Faccioli sold for less than half that much, and could probably be maintained by a competent amateur mechanic. There is an old line that if you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes, but if a buyer’s intent is to participate rather than win, to enjoy the party and skitter around playing with a mess of friends rather than proving something, the lesser-known, mid-pack Formula Juniors are a great and cost-effective way to do that.

It’s sort of like the original concept that Giovanni Lurani dreamed up. I’d say this car is both fairly bought and a giggle to own.

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