Clay Regazzoni’s Alfa Romeo 1900 TI at the start of the Mille Miglia

Steering wheel controls, lever brake and automatic clutch. L’Alfa Romeo 1900 TI amaranth that we saw at the tapes in the departure of the Mille Miglia 2020 has a particular history: it was Clay Regazzoni’s return to the track after the tragic 1980 accident at the Long Beach circuit. This vintage car has now been restored and takes to the track driven by the young Mattia Cattapan, the first disabled driver in Italy to compete against able-bodied sportsmen in the Italian autocross championship in the Kart Cross category.

L’Regazzoni’s historic car it was restored and brought to the Mille Miglia by the Scuderia del Portello with the support of Waze who sponsored the team. Together they carried out the project “Disability and Motorsport”Which wants to promote barrier-free mobility at the service of all, encouraging support and research for disability, bringing the issue of road safety to the attention of the public.

With Waze, 1000 Miglia is keen to underline its commitment to raising awareness of an often forgotten theme, namely the mobility without barriers, and offer continuity, together with the Scuderia del Portello, to the legacy of Clay Regazzoni, an exceptional testimonial for the new generations ”. These are the words of Alberto Piantoni, managing director of 1000 Miglia, who underlines the social importance of the project.

Mattia Cattapan at the Mille Miglia 2020

Clay Regazzoni’s Alfa Romeo 1900 TI

L’Alfa Romeo 1900 was the first mass-produced car at the historic Portello plant in Milan. It was nicknamed “the family car that wins races”: very popular in the 1950s among Italian motorists, it was one of the protagonists of the car races of the time. 1953 was the year of the consecration of the 1900 TI with the class victory in the Tour de France Automobile, the Stella Alpina and the triumph in the Mille Miglia with the conquest of the first 4 places. In 1954 the car managed to confirm itself by winning the first 5 seats in its class at the Carrera Panamericana.

The Scuderia del Portello brought the Alfa Romeo 1900 TI back to the track on several occasions at the Pan American Race and in 2002 in Mexico at the wheel of this car there was Clay Regazzoni. The participation of the Swiss driver, former teammate of Nicky Lauda at Ferrari in Formula One, marked a turning point. Regazzoni, a paraplegic following the Palm Beach accident when he crashed at 270 km / h against Zunino’s Brabham, opened the doors of historic motor sport to disabled people.

Clay Regazzoni and the Alfa Romeo 1900 TI

Clay Regazzoni at the Carrera Panamericana 2002

Today the message launched almost 20 years ago by Clay Regazzoni was picked up on the occasion of the Mille Miglia da Mattia Cattapan, disabled driver born in 1990. The car is the same as the Swiss driver, restored by the historic Alfa Romeo team and equipped with Guidosimplex driving system for the disabled which comprises:

  • Mechanical type ring accelerator: allows you to accelerate with both hands in any position the steering wheel is in.
  • Lever service brake: by pushing the lever forward, the desired braking is obtained.
  • Automatic clutch: allows you to change gear without having to act on the original clutch pedal, simply obscure the photocell on the gear lever knob with your hand and the pedal automatically lowers allowing you to change gears, a system of sensors ensures that under the threshold of 20 Km per hour the clutch pedal is lowered bringing the car into neutral.
The interior of Clay Regazzoni's Alfa Romeo 1900 TI

The interior of the Alfa Romeo 1900 TI with Guidosimplex driving system for the disabled

The Mille Miglia 2020

From 22 to 25 October 2020, the Mille Miglia starts from Brescia, then passes through Bergamo, Parma, from Tuscany, to get to Rome and go up to the Lombard city passing through the Marche and Emilia Romagna. Waze, mobility partner of the competition, follows the race by reporting road deviations along the way thanks to the strength of its community.

Source: Virgilio Motori by

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