Alfonso Antonio Vicente Eduardo Angel Blas Francisco de Borja Cabeza de Vaca y Leighton, Marquis of Portago, better known as Alfonso de Portago, was a Ferrari race car driver, Olympic bobsledder and stunt pilot from Spain, who was born on this day in 1928. One of his first transportation feats wasn’t by land but by air, when the millionaire heir flew his plane beneath a bridge at age 17, winning a $500 bet.
After meeting a Ferrari importer in 1953 Alfonso de Portago began a successful racing career. He took first at many prestigious events. Notable wins include the Tour de France automobile race, the Grand Prix of Oporto and the Nassau Governor’s Cup. Sadly, Alfonso and his co-driver, Edmund Nelson, were killed in a crash on May 12, 1957, during the Mille Miglia. The wreck was caused by a tire blowout, which caused sent him careening into the crowd, killing nine spectators.