Today in Transportation History – 1913: The Birth of Aguilucho

Oscar Alfredo Gálvez, who established himself as one of Argentina’s most celebrated racing car drivers, was born in the Buenos Aires suburb of Caballito. In 1934, Gálvez’s interest in automobiles led him to buy a Model T Ford with money that he earned while working in his father’s engineering workshop.

El Grafico del 05 de Noviembre de 1948. Edicion 1530

Another and arguably even bigger turning point in Gálvez’s life took place three years later when he saw a newspaper advertisement for a race covering the distance between Buenos Aires and – nearly 300 miles to the north – the city of Santa Fe. This competition marked the start of Turismo Carretera, a car race series that has become hugely popular in Argentina and holds the record as the oldest event of its kind still in existence. After learning about the inaugural Turismo Carretera, Gálvez built his own Ford-engined automobile to compete in the race.

Over the next several years, Gálvez continued to take part in these races. He became not only a regular entrant but a crowd favorite, earning the nickname “Aguilucho” (The Small Eagle). Gálvez ended up winning Turismo Carretera championships in 1948, 1948, 1953, 1954, and 1961. His brother Juan Gálvez likewise became an accomplished racing car driver in their native country; sadly, however, he was killed in 1963 during a race in Olavarría.

Oscar Gálvez’s longtime racing career lasted until his retirement in 1964. By that time, he had participated in a total of 177 competitions and won 49 of them. Following his retirement, Gálvez served as a technical advisor for Ford Motor Argentina. Just a few months before Gálvez died in 1989, the government of Buenos Aires formally announced that it would rename the city’s large motor racing circuit after both him and his brother Juan.

For more information on Oscar Alfredo Gálvez, please check out http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/drv-galosc.html

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