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During 1950, driver Ugo Puma from Torino asked the would-be famous engineer Giovanni Savonuzzi to design and build an F3 racer. Savonuzzi was free-lancing after his experience at Fiat and Cisitalia and before going on to Ghia and Chrysler. This car was built in Vincenzo Leone's Officine Elettromeccaniche in Turin, a well known mechanical shop in the post WWII period. Savonuzzi was helped in the construction by another would-be famous technician, the tuner Virgilio Conrero. Like most of Savonuzzi's creations, the Falcone was beautiful, a completely traditional miniature GP car with all the complication inherent to this kind of design.

The Falcone featured a tubular chassis with independent front suspension by double wishbones, cylindrical helix and telescopic shock absorbers and a De Dion axle at the rear. The propeller shaft was lower than the differential to achieve a lower seating position and a cascade of gears connected it with the final drive. Big drum brakes occupied most of four Rudge wire-wheels. The power unit was a twin Moto Guzzi L-head Grand Prix engine, a glorious machine developing in the neighbourhood of 40/45 bhp.

This car appeared during practice at the Monza race in May 1951. It never achieved its development potential and was - unfortunately - seldom raced. Like many Italian F3 cars, it was unnecessarily complicated and too costly to operate for the private entrant. Very few could afford the costs of the development and of the maintenance of a multi-cylinder Grand Prix bike engine. Ugo Puma was an amateur, though he was consistently present in small capacity classes from 1946 to 1955, with some success with small capacity sports cars.

Our thanks to Alessandro Silva for the text and photo.

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