A man lives not in the memories he leaves, but in his actions.
Memories are an example for the future and this is why we want his story to be heard.


A driver’s car is unique: it reflects his knowledge, his style and his skill. For this reason, Clay’s cars have been kept in perfect condition, ready to be driven.


Every document, every photograph is a fragment of reality, a fact. We conserve Clay’s papers as testimony to the chapter in the history of motorsport of which he is a part, today as in the past.


An accident may change a life, but may also reveal a will to bring about change. Clay’s accident has helped us understand paraplegia and to commit ourselves to supporting scientific research.


We are committed to taking Clay’s story and experiences where they are most useful, to create opportunities to meet people and establish relationships and to raise funds to finance research and charitable initiatives in the field of paraplegia.


Clay (Gian Claudio) Regazzoni was born in Lugano on the 5th of September 1939; his father, Pio, was the mayor of Porza and the owner of an established coachworks in Mendrisio where Clay went to work after completing his schooling in Lugano.
By this time he was already passionate about motor racing. It was not until 1963, however, that he began to compete himself, participating in a number of rounds of the Swiss championship with an Austin-Healey Sprite. In 1964, he took part in the national championship at the wheel of a Morris Mini Cooper. In 1965, he acquired a De Tomaso Formula 3 car that he soon replaced with a Brabham.
The following year he was racing in F3 with the Brabham entered by the Martinelli & Sonvico team. In the meantime, between one race and the next, he found the time to marry the beautiful Mariapia. At the end of the season he signed a contract with Tecno to race in F3. The 5th of January 1967 saw the birth of his daughter Alessia. During 1967, he participated in the Temporada Argentina and the European F3 championship.
On the 28th of April 1968, his son Gian Maria was born and Clay secured his first win in F3. That year he raced in both F3 and F2 with Tecno. On the 31st of December 1968, Clay signed a contract with Ferrari to race in F2.
The poor results obtained with the Ferrari encouraged him to return to Tecno.
Clay won the European F2 Championship in 1970, a truly triumphant year in which he also debuted in F1 with Ferrari, finishing in 4th place. He alternated F2 and F1 races where, in his fourth race (the Italian Grand Prix at Monza) he obtained his first victory with the red No. 4 car from Maranello.
At the end of season (despite having only disputed seven Grands Prix), he was third in the overall World Championship standings.

That same year he participated in the Le Mans 24 Hours with a Ferrari 512 S Sports Prototype. Regazzoni was now a motorsport star and from 1971 he was to dedicate himself almost exclusively to F1.
In 1971, he won the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, while in the World Championship he had to settle for three thirds and one sixth place, while with the prototypes he won the Kyalami 9 Hours. He finished in 7th place in the World Championship. 1972 was another barren year but he did finish 6th in the F1 World Championship.
With the Sports Prototypes, Clay won the Monza 1000 Kilometres and the Kyalami 9 Hours. In 1973 he moved to BRM. Two sixth-place finishes were his best results and in 1974 he returned to Ferrari. This was to be the year in which he came so close to winning the World Championship title. There was just one win (the German GP), but a series of positive results meant that he was in the running for the title.
On the eve of the last race of the season Regazzoni and Fittipaldi were locked together on the same points with everything to be decided in the US Grand Prix.
Unfortunately Clay’s car was not at its best and this meant that Fittipaldi’s fourth place was sufficient for him to snatch the title from the Swiss driver.
Clay was still at Ferrari in 1975 and continued to enjoy excellent results, winning the Italian GP and finishing in 5th place in the championship standings. He repeated the feat the following year (1976), in which he won the US Grand Prix. It was here that the Regazzoni-Ferrari chapter came to an end.
In 1977, Clay moved to Ensign, a car with which he obtained two excellent 5th-place finishes. He also participated in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time with a McLaren; despite being forced to retire after 25 laps it was to be an unforgettable experience.

In 1978, he moved to Shadow, but once again he was never in a position to compete for victory, with his best result a fifth place finish in Brazil. Early in 1979, Regazzoni was offered another exceptional opportunity. He was signed by Frank Williams who saw in Clay a driver capable of bringing his car its first win.
And in fact Regazzoni triumphed in the British Grand Prix and secured a series of positive results that saw him finish in fifth place in the World Championship standings. The following year saw him return to Ensign, but sadly it was also to be the year of his definitive farewell to F1.
On the 30th of March at Long Beach, on the 51st lap after turning onto Shoreline Drive at 250 kph, Clay went to brake only for the pedal to drop to the floor.
The impact with the concrete wall put an end to his career and left him paraplegic. After 132 World Championship Grands Prix, in which he obtained five victories, 13 second places, 10 thirds and a host of points-scoring finishes, and recording the fastest lap no less than 15 times, Regazzoni had to take his leave of the sport he loved. He spent four years in and out of hospitals and was subjected to over 60 hours of surgery only to receive confirmation that he would never walk again.
Nonetheless, Clay began to develop hand control systems and continued to race. He took part in the Paris-Dakar on a number of occasions, raced in karts and classic cars and became a specialist in great rally-raids.
Clay passed away tragically on the 15th of December 2006 in a car accident on the A1 autostrada not far from Parma.
" It’s always a question of heart "
" It’s always a question of heart "

Who we are

La Honor Room di Clay Regazzoni è la stanza dei ricordi dedicata al pilota ticinese che ha trovato una nuova collocazione all’interno della prestigiosa collezione di automobili “Autobau Erlebniswelt” a Romanshorn sul lago di Costanza. Il suo scopo è quello di continuare a far rivivere le gesta del pilota e raccogliere fondi destinati alla ricerca a favore della paraplegia, ultima “mission” del grande pilota automobilistico.

Contact details

Autobau AG

Egnacherweg 7

CH - 8590 – Romanshorn


Tel: +41 71 4660066


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