C’est ci n’est pas une pipe
When you’re born in Brescia it only makes sense that you’ll become a racing driver. I’d say that this pipe may have been Felice Bonetto’s lucky charm, but it’s worth noting that he was disqualified from the 1952 German GP at the Nurburgring—where the above photo was snapped. Maybe he already knew he was disqualified and thought, “The Hell with it, I may as well enjoy a lovely drive around the Eifel Mountains. Now where is my pipe?”.
It would be only a year later that Felice’s drive would be anything but leisurely while leading the 1953 Carrera Panamericana for Lancia. It sounds a bit apocryphal, but Benetto reportedly marked dangerous corners along the route with blue signs. It was at one of these locations—despite this care in marking these corners—that Felice would take a 60mph corner at 125. Bonetto swerved his Lancia D24 into a building and was killed at the scene.
Teammate Fangio went on to win.
More on the Carrera Panamericana Blog.