CLAUDIO MAGLIOLI, affirmed driver and test driver of the LANCIA Races Department, is born on 9th June 1940 in Bioglio, small village near Biella. Great impassioned of engines, already at the age of sixteen years he starts to compete with small motorbikes self-tuned s the DUCATI 65 and 75, the CUCCIOLO and the RUMI 125 JUNIOR.
In 1964 he leaves the karts to arrive to the cars. With a GIULIA TI SUPER 1.6 he also gets some result such as the Four hours of Monza, in couple with the friend GIANCARLO BAGHETTI. In 1965 he becomes collaborator of the LANCIA Races Department and since then a long list of successes and prestigious competitions. With the LANCIA FLAVIA 1800 ZAGATO in 1965 and 1966 MAGLIOLI wins the Speed Tourism Italian Championship class 2000 and in the following year, with the LANCIA FULVIA HF 1300 the Challenge European Tourism. In 1968 and 1969 with a FULVIA ZAGATO he participates to great historical and prestigious competitions, as the TARGA FLORIO, the 24 hours of the NURBURGRING in couple with the great STIRLING MOSS, the 12 hours of SEBRING and the 24 hours of DAYTONA, victory entered in the history because obtained on a difficult ground, the United States of America, and against adversaries endowed with more powerful cars. At the beginnings of 1969 MAGLIOLI opens a shop in BIELLA CHIAVAZZA, where he begins his tuning work. In the same year he prepares a car that we today could define a masterpiece of mechanics and technique: the LANCIA FULVIA F&M SPECIAL "BARCHETTA" a prototype conceived, wanted and made to race in the Gran Tourism competitions.
The idea to realize such a new car came to the astute man from Biella after the competitions raced in America. Often, inside the car cockpit there were elevated temperatures and the suffering in quite a lot times was intollerable. From here the necessity to be able to use an open car, also maintaining the same levels of power and aerodynamic reliability of a close one. FIORIO, big head of the official races department, loved the idea and placed a FULVIA HF 1600 further to a budget of a million liras at disposal of the driver-tuner for the carrying out of this experiment. The result in a short time was exceptional indeed. The F&M, so called in honor of FIORIO & MAGLIOLI, revealed immediately winning already in the debut competition, the OCCHIEPPO-GRAGLIA, where it arrived on the highest step of the podium with extreme facility.
An innovative car, a sort of prototype opportunely modified in the rear side to make it shorter and more manageable, in the central frame with the elimination of the top and in the frontal side, with the lightening of bonnet and grille. Of this model two samples plus one were built and were used by MAGLIOLI, PINTO, MUNARI and AALTONEN during the 1969 season. In the following year, on the wave of the successes gotten in important competitions as the TARGA FLORIO and in the whole Championship, a second version of the prototype F&M SPECIAL was carried our. This version, in comparison to the first one, maintained chassis and engine of the FULVIA HF while the chassis was redrawn by an aerodynamic point of view and lightened thanks to the adoption of the aluminum instead of the steel plate. The F&M 2 revealed faster than the F&M 1 even if unfortunately it had a short life, as it was too different from the common commercial canons.
In 1971 MAGLIOLI definitely abandons the driver career to mostly devote himself to the technical development of all the cars of the LANCIA Races Department. In his studio in BIELLA-CHIAVAZZA came into the world cars as the BETA HF, the BETA MONTECARLO TURBO gr.5, the LANCIA ENDURANCE PROTOTIPO gr.C, the LANCIA RALLY 037 and the LANCIA STRATOS. With this last car beginning from 1975, the tuner gets 100 victories, of which 10 international races, two european championships and three french ones with DARNICHE, two italian ones with "TONY" and VUDAFIERI, two Spanish ones with DeBRAGATION, two Greek ones with "SCIROCCO" and, finally, a national one with BETTI .... In 1982 after the retirement of the pluri-decorated LANCIASTRATOS, MAGLIOLI try a new challenge: the LANCIA 037. In his shop three cars are tuned, one for GERMANO NATALONI, experienced in climb races, one for FABRIZIO TABATON, placed at the third place in the 1984 italian championship with the colors of the team GRIFONE in Genoa and one for the transalpine JEAN CLAUDE ANDRUET, winner of many competitions of the French Championship.
MAGLIOLI in years of activity was not engaged only with the cars of the house of CHIVASSO. FIAT TOPOLINO, ABARTH 600-750-850, TRIUMPH DOLOMITE, SIMCA RALLYE 2 are some of the car gone out of the shop of BIELLA that, surely, won some small competition.
CLAUDIO MAGLIOLI, a life devoted to the engines, surely dictated by the passion for this sport, lived to 360° first as driver and then as tuner of that FIAT Races Department, that in the years '60 - '70 - '80 practically won everything and that still today, in the era of the WRC cars doesn't have equals. A life devoted to the search of innovative technical solutions that only a "master" is able to think and to realize in a world, the one of road races, and in a period, the years '60 - '70, made of sacrifices and sufferings but where victories, had, in comparison with today, an other value. A small anecdote must still be told, to demonstrate that the rallies, in comparison with today where the multimillion engagements, the sponsors, the media and the technology lorded them, were faced and won with the heart.
Autumn 1969. The fourteenth edition of the RALLYE TOUR de CORSE is at the door and the team LANCIA decides to participate lining up six cars, four FULVIA HF COUPE and two F&Ms SPECIAL prototype, entrusted to the crews MAKINEN-EASTER and MUNARI-DAVENPORT. In the days before the competition, the ones reserved to the tests of the special stages, the weather was not good. Wind, rain and cold preannounced a terrible autumn, indeed not ideal to race a rally, even at night, with some open cars named "barchetta" for their structure with the form of an hull. Three days before the competition it is decided to do something about it. From Turin two special overalls are sent: one in normal rubber, that however in speed has the tendency to flutter, and the other thicker, used for the underwater fishing that however has the defect not to let the skin to transpire. They opt for this second solution, while in shop the cars are modified. In comparison to the F&M SPECIAL used in race-track some particulars are changed. From single-seater they are turned into double-seater, with a showy roll-bar cage and the frontal grille returns the one of the Rally HF, with the necessary additional lights to face the nighttime special stages. Also the windscreen, only 30 cms high, is modified. Initially an individual one is installed, only from the driver side but in a second time, to also offer shelter to the co-driver, is used the one of the FULVIA opportunely suited to the chassis with the addition of two side car-windows realized in plexiglass. The car of MAKINEN, besides, at the last minute is covered with a rudimentary metallic hard-top, ugly and little performing from an aerodynamic point of view. SANDRO MUNARI, refuses instead this solution. The F&M barchetta so loses all those characteristics that make it competitive, that are the lightness and the speed, becoming a FULVIA HF cabriolet with short wheelbase. The competition as preannounced is not good for the two crews. MAKINEN ends at the eleventh place end and MUNARI at the fourteenth in a competition that had to be triumphal for the Italian colors but that revealed a disaster because of the bad weather. The race is won by the crew LAROUSSE-GELIN on board of a more comforting Porsche 911R. Of this history not much perhaps counts the final result. We want to underline the courage and the desire to win, quality that made the FIAT RACES DEPARTMENT invincible in the following years. Certainly, the victory in that race didn't arrive but it wasn't surely easy to race during the night on an open car to +4°C with a wetsuit. Victory has been that to be able to reach the finishing line, tightening the teeth and never releasing up to the end... Try to think what could happen if today McRAE, MAKINEN, SAINZ & Co. introduce themselves to a rally with a cabriolet car and a wetsuit! Justification could be that "they were other times". It is true: they were really other times!