One morning later that week, the new Nuvolari and his brother were breakfasting with Papa at the family home in Mexico City's smart Polanco neighborhood. The house is slab-sided and cubical in the Mexican style and partly faced with a thin red brick. A good, solid house, but no palace.
Papa at home
Papa chatted over tostadas (crisp wafers) and coffee. He said that Mama Rodriguez and her youngest, Alejandro, 6, who had been sunning at Acapulco, would be unable to return for a while because a severe storm had made the roads impassable.
When the boys left to go about their business of selling cars, Papa rather proudly remarked that he had been spending about 580,000 a year on his sons' racing, and he left no doubt as to his blazing faith in Ricardo's chances.
"If he has the fortune to be with the team with the best car," said Papa, squinting through his green-tinted glasses, "he can win the world championship in one year. He will be dangerous to the hopes of everyone he races against, and he will be the star of his team, wait and see."
Racing fans will not have long to wait. Of the 65 cars competing at Sebring this Saturday, probably only five other prototype sports cars are in the same league with the Rodriguez brothers' violent red Ferrari. Two of them are also Ferraris of Luigi Chinetti's North American team. The fastest of all should be a brand-new, rear-engined model powered by the first V-8 engine ever to be built by Ferrari and co-driven by the incomparable Moss and Innes Ireland, that inaptly named Scot who lives in Wales. France's Fernand Tavano and America's John Fulp are paired in the other powerful Ferrari prototype.
Sportsman Briggs Cunningham is sending from his stable a new V-12 Type 64 Maserati and a Maserati-engined British Cooper.
Finally, there is another new Maserati, from the Italian "Republic of Venice" stable. The drivers: Sweden's Joakim Bonnier and Britain's Graham Hill.
A change for Hill
With Phil Hill and Belgium's Olivier Gendebien in a Grand Touring Ferrari for a change—Hill has won Sebring in Ferrari prototypes three times, twice co-driving with Gendebien—and other strong GT entries, Ferrari should win the major GT prize from America's persistent but outmatched Chevrolet Corvettes. The U.S. will also be represented by two homebred prototype "Chaparrals" built by the Texan Jim Hall and a Ford Falcon powered by Ford's new lightweight V-8 engine, but these cars seem to have little chance of success in their special category—a new four-liter "world challenge cup" series beginning at Sebring.