Juan M. Fangío arrives.  From Milan, runner Juan Manuel Fangio, accompanied by his wife, will arrive at Ezeiza today at 5:00 p.m.  Fans, family, friends, authorities of the Automobile Club and motor sport will offer a warm welcome to the five-time world champion.  (Clarín, October 10, 1958)

In the 1950s, the decade of greatest glory for Juan Manuel Fangio, newspaper reports frequently mentioned that on his trips to Europe he was accompanied by “his wife.”

On February 15, 1966, Clarion titled an interview with the five-time Formula 1 champion in Mar del Plata on the occasion of the international Formula 3 season “Fangio to the son: ‘My advice is to take care of yourself.’

However, El Chueco never took out the red notebook or registered a son in the Civil Registry, although two decades after his death the Justice determined that he had three.

Even though he never recognized him, Fangio started a family. Met Andrea “Beba” Berruet in the mid-’30s, when he was a mechanic with pilot dreams and she was in her 20s and separated from her husband, Luis Alcides Espinosa, in a country where divorce was not guaranteed.

Loreto Fangio and Herminia Deramo, Chueco’s parents, “didn’t have a good feeling” with Beba, according to the book Some of the old fire (Tusquets), which the journalist Miguel Prenz wrote about the story of the three sons of the greatest idol of Argentine motorsports. “My old man had had a girlfriend who was from a family more or less well from Balcarce and he had left her for my old woman, that because of him he had separated from Espinosa“, explained there Cacho, the couple’s son, who was born on April 6, 1938 but was noted as Oscar Alcides Espinosa: neither Berruet nor Fangio.

Beba was not an unknown character for the motor world in which El Chueco moved. After a decade of the ’40s in which Fangio took his first steps in national and regional motorsports -for which he spent long periods away from Balcarce and, therefore, from his partner and his son-, she decided an ocean would not separate them and accompanied him when he began his international career.

Juan M. Fangío arrives. From Milan, runner Juan Manuel Fangio, accompanied by his wife, will arrive at Ezeiza today at 5:00 p.m. Fans, family, friends, authorities of the Automobile Club and motor sport will offer a warm welcome to the five-time world champion. (Clarín, October 10, 1958)

When Chueco and Beba left for Europe in 1949, Oscar remained in the care of Espinosa’s relatives in Balcarce until at age 12 he moved to his maternal grandmother’s house in Mar del Plata to continue his secondary studies.

“My old woman accompanied my old man throughout his campaign in Europe. She cooked for the drivers on the road courses, appears in all the films of the races“Cacho explained about a filmic material that is easily traceable, since it even appears in the documentary” The man who tamed the machines “that can be seen on the Netflix platform.

It is also easy to check in the newspapers of the time. On June 6, 1954, Clarion published: “He left for Europe yesterday by air, in the company of his wife, midfielder Juan Manuel Fangio, who, hired by the Daimler house of Germany, will be part of the official team in the next competitions with points for the world championship. Fangio will perform at the Reims Grand Prix on July 4th. “

J. Fangio left.  He left for Europe yesterday by air, in the company of his wife, the midfielder Juan Manuel Fangio, who, hired by the Daimler house of Germany, will be part of the official team in the next competitions with points for the world championship.  Fangio will perform at the Reims Grand Prix on July 4.  (Clarín, June 6, 1954)

J. Fangio left. He left for Europe yesterday by air, in the company of his wife, the midfielder Juan Manuel Fangio, who, hired by the Daimler house of Germany, will be part of the official team in the next competitions with points for the world championship. Fangio will perform at the Reims Grand Prix on July 4. (Clarín, June 6, 1954)

“Once again the five-time world racing champion Juan Manuel Fangio left for Italy, eager to participate in the Monza 500, who is accompanied on this occasion by his wife. The famous Argentine midfielder, in an Alitalia plane, left yesterday at 9.30 a.m. with the stated purpose, even though his participation is conditional on the Italian leaders putting at his disposal a machine with which he can compete in that classic race, with good chances of success “, can be read in another report of June 22, 1958.

Once again, Juan Manuel Fangio, who was accompanied on this occasion by his wife, left for Italy, eager to participate in the Monza 500 Miles.  The famous Argentine midfielder, in an Alitalia plane, left yesterday at 9.30 a.m. with the stated purpose, even though his participation is conditional on the Italian leaders putting at his disposal a machine with which he can compete in that classic race, with good chances of success.  (Clarín, June 22, 1958)

Once again, Juan Manuel Fangio, who was accompanied on this occasion by his wife, left for Italy, eager to participate in the Monza 500 Miles. The famous Argentine midfielder, in an Alitalia plane, left yesterday at 9.30 a.m. with the stated purpose, even though his participation is conditional on the Italian leaders putting at his disposal a machine with which he can compete in that classic race, with good chances of success. (Clarín, June 22, 1958)

In a series of biographical articles published at the time of her retirement, Fangio recognized her without naming her. “We have been married for 25 years”he said, although he had not actually married and would not marry Andrea Berruet.

Much later, when a journalist asked him about questions of love, a Chueco who was already around 80 years old replied: “When you have a career on the track, you can’t go around making love. I was left with the fact that I got married and started a family. . At one time I knew a woman who loved me and I loved her too. Why am I going to tell it. There was a girl, yes … But one makes mistakes in life. That was a misunderstanding, stupid. “

For Beba it was not. In addition to cooking and accompanying his partner on the racetracks, he did not hesitate to stay with him for four months when he crashed at the 1952 Italian Grand Prix at Monza while his son was being raised by his mother.

“The one who didn’t move from the side of the bed it was my old. She spent all the time taking care of him. As if it were made of glass, “added Cacho, who in those years of sporting glory and recognition for his father awaited those summer vacations to spend them in Mar del Plata with them or listen to the stories that Froilán González or Stirling Moss told him in the previous of the Argentine Grand Prix in Buenos Aires.

However, every time he presented his ID, Oscar was still Espinosa. And although Fangio started the process to request the adoption of his own son, he abandoned it shortly after. “My mother never got into the last name,” acknowledged Cacho, who did ask his father to take it back in 1966 to be able to get his passport to continue the Formula 3 season in Europe as it was already publicly: Fangio’s son.

Fangio to the son: “My advice is to take care of yourself”

The interview with Juan Manuel and Oscar Fangio published on February 15, 1966 in Clarín.

The interview with Juan Manuel and Oscar Fangio published on February 15, 1966 in Clarín.

MAR DEL PLATA, 14 (Special Envoy) Juan Manuel Fangio is in the pits. Still leaning on a metal crutch, with an elbow, due to an infection in his right foot that forces him to remain in a cast for a long period of time. He talks to everyone, but his ear is attentive to the passing of each car: “Listen how good that engine sounds” … “They beat us in making the changes … they do not drop the engine” … And so on throughout the rehearsals. Over there, someone approaches him and comments with him: “You have to see your kid … How well he doubles for Alem!”

-Seem to you? Is it not an optical illusion?

– Really; you would have seen it …

—Better for him ….

And the “Chueco” tries to downplay the matter. It does not interfere in Cacho’s life. He lets it do it (“From time to time I advise you to take care of yourself and if I can give you any indication I will give it to you …”), but it is not above. Perhaps you want to avoid making the last name too heavy for you. He didn’t even intervene to get a machine awarded to him (“Some friends collected pesos and borrowed a car for him … I have nothing to do with the matter … I don’t like to get involved because later they talk about how I try to protect him. .. “).

When asked if he likes the way the kid is doing or if he sees a certain future in him, he limits himself to answering: “It has to be done: .. This is not easy and it cannot be played … I don’t know if he will have a future in motor racing. . That will have to be said by the people who gave him the car and who are the ones who follow him closely. I only see him go by … Or I’m content to listen to how his engine works … He is big and knows what he’s doing. … Of course, I think he is a serious and very focused boy. Everything he manages to be will have it by his own means. I don’t want to get involved in anything … When he asks me for an opinion, I do not deny it, and I always I say take care of yourself, there is time for everything. “

Boxes. Beyond is Cacho Fangio. He has gotten out of the car, and after taking off his goggles and helmet, he exchanges a few words with his mechanics (from the Charles Lucas team) and goes to where his father is.

– AND.. . how did you walk?

—Well… With the rings these improved things… The compression doesn’t send me to the crankcase anymore… The brakes are too hard… I have to stop to stop… But I can’t complain.

And there the dialogue ends. Cacho goes to meet his mechanics, whom he does not abandon for a second. With whom he collaborates at all times, helping them, attending them, not missing anything (neither soft drinks nor food). In the silent and serious, not very talkative, it resembles the Fangio of the beginnings. He admires and respects his father, but he never intended to imitate him (or try to imitate him). He does everything for his own. (“I never took him as an example. He hasn’t influenced me either. On the contrary, if it were up to him I wouldn’t have to run. The only thing he can tell me is to take care of myself, to be careful, not to lock it up. And I just realized that he was right in 1964, when I raced with a BMW in Carlos Paz. I was making a mistake and in the end I was left hanging on a cliff. Since then I have followed his advice … “.

Then he tells us that he runs because he likes it. That you have to learn a lot. He tells us about the difference between traveling in a Gordini 1093 and donning a Brabham. That the last name does not weigh on him. That runs for him alone. (“I am not trying to use the name Fangio, although without wanting to have some advantages. My joining the team of Charles Lucas was because I am the son of Fangio”). And when we finally question him, if he plans to get, one day, to what Juan Manuel arrived at, he answers definitively: “I don’t even dream of it … The old man is like Gardel … One is born every hundred years.”

These dialogues, which we pointed out during one of the rehearsals in Mar del Plata, come to mind now, after Cacho’s sensational performance. The comments are not correct. The boy, evidently, tries to make his way stripped of all parental influence (although by reflex it reaches him anyway). His seriousness and contraction earn him the admiration of all who know and treat him. His on the last day has been consecrating.

As for Juan Manuel, the emotion that he conveyed, despite the apparent calm exterior, was much more eloquent than any dialogue.

Note published in Clarín on February 15, 1966

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