Belgrade, September 3, 1939 – On the streets of Belgrade, in front of more than 100,000 enthusiastic spectators, the tenth and final European non-championship race for the Belgrade Grand Prix in the 1939 season took place (the official name of the event was “The first international automobile and motorcycles races Belgrade. «). Despite the tense international situation that led to the outbreak of World War II just two days before the race, the race in Kalemegdan was held under the sponsorship of the Yugoslav royal authorities.
Several top drivers did not participate in the race, but nevertheless, the Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union teams each sent two cars. Boško Milenković, on his outdated Bugatti T51, decided to race on his home turf.
The thrilling race saw an exceptional victory by Italian driver Tazio Nuvolari, who was at the wheel of an Auto Union car. Nuvolari, one of the greatest drivers of all time, achieved his last victory before the war erupted. Second place went to Manfred von Brauchitsch with a Mercedes, and third place was secured by Hermann Paul Müller in an Auto Union. The local hero Boško Milenković finished in fourth place, being the last classified driver.
Although this was the last race of the season, the outbreak of World War II interrupted the joy of further competitions. The Belgrade Grand Prix of 1939 will remain a historic moment, marking one of the last moments before the onset of the era that would shape the world.
Belgrade, September 3, 2023 – Upon the invitation of Motor Heritage Consulting, Herosconsulting and Go2Flow, the organizers of the Belgrade Grand Prix 2023, numerous participants responded positively to the invitation, representing Italy, Slovenia, and Serbia. It’s crucial to acknowledge that without the fundamental support of key entities such as AMSS (Auto Moto Savez Srbije), the Serbian Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructures, the City of Belgrade, the Embassy of Italy in Serbia, and the Italian Institute for Culture in Belgrade, this event would not have been possible.
Nataša G. Jerina, serving as a cultural ambassador for FIVA, played an important role in the event. The gathering aimed to rekindle the spirit of the 1939 races while underscoring the significance of international collaboration and the vintage vehicles’ role as historical storytellers. The event showcased an array of more than 20 vehicles from Italy, Serbia, and Slovenia, including the Balilla C508 Coppa d’Oro, graciously loaned by the Mille Miglia Museum, Bugatti Type 37 1926, Bianchi S9 1937, Fiat 1500 Turolla, Fiat Chiribiri Tipo Monza Spinto 1924 (2016), DKW SS Ladepumpe 1939, Nimbus 750 Sport, several Moto Guzzis, Ajs and so on.
The dedication of many local clubs and their members to attend the gathering on their own initiative made the event a resounding success—a delightful and enjoyable occasion that brought together friends and vintage vehicle enthusiasts!
In a dazzling display of community spirit and historical celebration, this event is leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those fortunate enough to witness it. Several hundred visitors flocked to the scene, and media coverage was nothing short of astounding, painting the town in a vivid tapestry of nostalgia and excitement.
Yet, amidst the glittering spectacle, it was the presence of young families that truly warmed the hearts of all who attended. Parents and children alike gathered together to share the rich history of what was once the most famous race in the country. Their enthusiasm, as they regaled their little ones with tales of glory and tradition, added an extra layer of magic to the day.
As we basked in the glow of this extraordinary event, one couldn’t help but wonder: could this become a cherished tradition for generations to come? The hope is that this remarkable day will find a permanent place on the city’s calendar, evolving into a beloved annual parade that unites the community in celebration, year after year. Only time will tell, but for now, let’s revel in the joyous memories of an event that captured the essence of our nation’s rich racing history.
Full text on link: https://fiva.org/en/from-1939-to-2023-reviving-the-belgrade-grand-prix-a-tale-of-vintage-racing-and-community-spirit/