Marquis de Portago

Forword by Sir Stirling Moss

"I remember when Fon Portago came on the scene in racing in the early 1950s. It was a very different time then"

There have been very few sportsmen in any area of endeavour who embodied the charisma and panache of Marquis Alfonso de Portago. For the fans and participants of motor sport, he arrived virtually overnight, and was suddenly on the world stage of racing. As soon as his racing exploits started to grab the attention of the press and public, his achievements in equestrianism became part of the growing legend. Then, with very little warning, he decided to enter a Spanish national team in the bobsled events at the 1956 Winter Olympics, and the Spanish novices nearly won. Portago was now a world class bobsledder. In the mid-1950s, he was a sporting superstar. He attracted beautiful women, and his romantic interludes also became part of the legend.

Portago became a member of the elite Scuderia Ferrari after very few races. He was acknowledged as one of the best of the sports car racers of the time. Grand Prix success didn’t seem very far beyond him either and several of his contemporaries said he was certainly World Champion material. In May 1957, at the age of 28, he started the world’s toughest road race, the Italian Mille Miglia. The race ended in a terrible crash which took the life of Portago, his co-driver and many spectators. This crash helped to end road racing altogether. In the following years, the legend grew, and became mythical. Countless stories were written about the sporting and sexual prowess of this handsome nobleman. The list of his alleged achievements grew as well, overshadowing the reality of the man.

Ed McDonough has probed deeply into the life and times of the Marquis de Portago, met with his widow and other family and colleagues. This is the first fully researched biography of Alfonso de Portago.

This is the first time the subject has been researched in such depth.

Size as follows:

  • 205 pages including approx 300 photographs (B/W & Colour) of which many have never been seen before.
  • 270mm x 230mm hardcased and jacketed. (ISBN 1-903088-27-5)
  • Foreword by Sir Stirling Moss
  • Retail price is £39.95
  • Trade discount applies

Price: £39.95