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July 7, 1924 – Alfa Romeo & Ferrari designer Carlo Chiti is born

Italian car designer Carlo Chiti, who shares a birthday with the inventor of sliced bread, was born on this day in 1924 in Tuscany. On his fourth birthday, in the far away land of Missouri, USA, the first loaf of presliced bread would be sold. Presumably, he and his family continued to break bread the old fashioned way as he grew up and worked his way through engineering school at the University of Pisa. By the time he graduated in 1953, he had already landed a job with Alfa Romeo. Among his first tasks as an auto engineer was designing the Alfa Romeo 3000CM. After Alfa’s competition wing shut down, Chiti took a job at Ferrari.

Above: Alfa Romeo engineers. From left, Orazio Satta Puliga, Giuseppe Busso, Giuseppe Luraghi and Carlo Chiti.

At Scuderia Ferrari he helped design the car that won the 1958 Formula One championship, the 246 F1. He also played a role in developing the Ferrari 156 Sharknose. Phil Hill drove this car to victory in the 1961 F1 championship. After a spat with Enzo Ferrari, Chiti left the company, eventually rejoining Alfa’s new competitive house, Autodelta.

Above: Ferrari 156 Sharknose. By Y.Leclercq – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Top: 1953 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM

As a lead engineer there he developed a V8 and flat V12 for Alfa race cars, both proved successful. They landed under the hood of winning vehicles in the 1975 World Championship for Makes and the 1977 World Championship for Sports Cars. As people took notice of his ability to design fantastic engines he left Alfa and set up Motori Moderni. There he would focus on building Formula One engines. In 1994, Chiti passed away in Milan.

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