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The son of an Italian émigré who was killed while serving in the French Army during the Great War, Charles Pozzi trained as an agricultural engineer before turning his hand to dealing cars in 1932. Initially this was for Ford, but he soon decided there was more money to be made at the luxury end of the market. He later became France’s Ferrari importer in 1968 and Automobiles Charles Pozzi was a regular entrant of the Italian cars at Le Mans.
He had raced a Delahaye 135S from 1946 and was placed in the following year’s Grands Prix in Italy (when seventh) and France (fifth). After a less successful 1948 with a newly acquired Lago-Talbot T26SS, Pozzi was in a Delahaye once more for the 1949 French GP.
Another club organised a rival race to the new Formula 1 rules but the Automobile Club de France insisted on sports car rules for its traditional event held that year at St Gaudens. The Lago-Talbot of Raymond Sommer and Harry Schell were the class of the field but when their engine blew, Pozzi’s Delahaye 175S was left to score a surprise victory.
He qualified a Lago-Talbot T26C in 16th position for the 1950 French GP and was classified sixth after handing over to Louis Rosier before half distance. That was Pozzi’s only start in a world championship GP but he continued to enjoy some success in endurance racing. That included victory in the 1952 Casablanca 12 Hours when sharing Lucien Vincent’s Lago-Talbot.
Successful entrant at Le Mans
However, his expanding business concern eventually forced Pozzi to stop racing in 1954 although he would return as an entrant in the Le Mans 24 Hours during the 1970s. Jean-Claude Andruet and Claude Ballot-Léna finished fifth overall with his Ferrari 365 GTB4 Daytona in 1972 and they repeated that result in 1981 now driving Pozzi’s 512BB.