Born 1906 in Rome, Piero Taruffi is known by aficionados as the Silver Fox. The nickname is due only in part to his racing prowess; fans at the time had observed that Taruffi's hair was going prematurely grey. The graduate engineer's first venture into racing was as a motorcyclist; indeed, he set a new speed record of 274.181 km/h in 1937. His initial experience on four-wheels was acquired in sports car racing. In 1930, Taruffi made his debut in the legendary Mille Miglia, a race he was to eventually win with Ferrari at the end of his career in 1957.
Between those two dates, Taruffi competed in 19 races in the premier class of motorsport. Driving first for Alfa Romeo and Ferrari, Taruffi ultimately found his way to Mercedes-Benz. Although he only contested two races in the legendary Mercedes-Benz W 196, he still earns a place in the Mercedes-Benz annals for his fourth-place finish in the 1955 British Grand Prix and for claiming the runner-up spot in the Italian Grand Prix a few weeks later. In his retirement, the Silver Fox went on to make a name for himself as an author writing about the world of motor racing.