1928  » Italian Grand Prix

Emilio Materassi, 34-year-old, started from the center of the first row, at the wheel of a red Talbot 700 #18. It was an advanced car, built in 1926 at the Talbot's Suresnes factory in Paris, and designed by former Fiat engineers Vincenzo Bertarione and Walter Becchia. The car which was fitted with a supercharged dohc 1.5-liter straight 8 engine, had a noticeably low and the unusual steeply slopping radiator which gave the car a streamlined look. The driver was sitting low in the car, thanks to the offset position of the engine and transmission. On the seventeenth lap of the race, Materassi tried to overtake Giulio Foresti’s Bugatti 35C on the main straight but touched one of the rear tyres of his opponent’s car. Materassi lost control of his vehicle at top speed; it swerved to the left, in the direction of the grandstand, ran on the grass, jumped over a three-meter deep and a four-meter wide protection ditch and a fence, plunging into the crowd.

According to evidence by engineer Pasquale Borracci who was at Monza just in the place of the accident, working as reporter for magazine Auto Italia, published by magazine Autosprint, issue 11 September 1979, Materassi didn't touch the wheel of Foresti's car nor suffered any mechanical failure, but simply he lost control of his Talbot because he passed on the green beside the track, trying to overtake Foresti.

The accident happened around 11h30. Besides Materassi, who died shortly afterwards, twenty spectators were killed almost instantly and twenty-six other were injured, twelve of them seriously, being taken to the Ospedale Umberto I in Monza and to Milan hospitals. One of them succumbed to his injuries the next day, and another one nine days after the accident.
Open Wheelers
[Non-Championship - Grand Prix (Pre-War)]
Talbot 700
Permanent Circuit
Italian Grand Prix
Mario Valentino Beltrami (Spectator)
Ercole Biroli/Birolo (Spectator)
Mauro Broletti (Spectator)
Giovanni Brusati (Spectator)
Ida Cavoli (Spectator)
Teresina Elrich/Erlich (Spectator)
Enrico Filotti (Spectator)
Francesco Villani/Ferrari (Spectator)
Mario Galbiati/Galbioli (Spectator)
Giovanni Lenti (Spectator)
? Michelini (Spectator)
Giuseppe Mona (Spectator)
Felice Nava/Nara (Spectator)
Luigi Nessi (Spectator)
Mario Nessi (Spectator)
Mario Nobile (Spectator)
Antonio Ormanoglou (Spectator)
Luigi Perego (Spectator)
Aldo Pestalozzi (Spectator)
Mario Emilio Sioli/Scioli (Spectator)
Giovanni Vaccari (Spectator)
Luigi Zanoni (Spectator)

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