Two of the finest, most successful drivers in the world, they each had broken away from their established works teams. The Monagesque Chiron was forced out of Bugatti because of personal conflict. The German Caracciola was abandoned first by Mercedes, then Alfa Romeo, because of the economic doldrums that had swept the United States, then Europe. Supporting a Grand Prix team was simply too expensive. “You know,” Chiron said to his good friend Caracciola at the end of the previous season. “Why should we always win the prizes for other people? It would be much smarter to start our own firm.” Thus, “Scuderia CC” after their two initials, was born.
It was a time of fragmentation in motor sport. Teams often shuffled ranks or broke apart altogether. Top drivers–Caracciola, Chiron, Tazio Nuvolari, Achille Varzi, and Rene Dreyfus—did not know who they would be driving for next. Marque firms like Mercedes, who were synonymous with Grand Prix victory, ended their participation. Innovative racecar designs stalled, and officials couldn’t even settle on a definitive formula.
For the 1933 season, Scuderia CC had purchased a pair of 2.3-liter Alfa Romeo Monzas. A two-seater with a long tub-like hood and powered by a straight-8 supercharged engine, the racecars had earned their name with victory at the Italian Grand Prix victory two years before.
When Caracciola and Chiron showed up for practice at the Monaco Grand Prix, the signature red of their Alfa Romeos was gone. In a nod to their French-German partnership, Caracciola had his Monza painted white with a blue stripe running down its side. Chiron sported a blue Monza with a white stripe. Both cars carried the symbol of a pair of backward-facing Cs.
High hopes abounded for the newly formed team that Thursday, April 20. In a Grand Prix first, the starting grid on the day of the race would be determined by the best time achieved during the three days of practice. On the first day, Caracciola and Chiron focused more on testing out their Alfa Romeos than anything else. Chiron had never driven the make before, but under a sky pocked with black clouds, the two drivers managed to clock the fastest laps that morning: two minutes, three seconds. Nuvolari and his Italian archrival Varzi were one second slower. Frenchman René Dreyfus was off the pace by three seconds.
By their last run of the morning, the sky was clear, but a curtain of mist hung over the bay. Caracciola continued to lead down the corkscrew turns to the seafront, with Chiron on his tail. He was amazed at how quickly his teammate Chiron had gotten a feel for the Italian racecar. The two shot through the tunnel. Back in the sunlight, Caracciola zipped through the chicane, then accelerated down the straight toward the left-hand turn at Tabac Corner. A glance in his mirror showed Chiron nowhere in sight.