Jean Calcianu - He was born in 1893, in the region of Dobrogea. He came to Bucharest in 1909 to study mechanics. In 1914 he decided to go to France, taking with him just what he had learned. He becomes employed in the Renault company and continues to study automobiles secrets. In 1916 the war makes him come back to Romania where he works as an airplane mechanic within the French Mission. After the war, he goes back to France where he fixes cars in Maitre Corniots workshop. Calcianu was obsessed with a certain car which he had seed in passing and which was manufactured in a small plant in Molsheim, Alsace. It was a Bugatti, the car that included many ingenious mechanical solutions. He succeeds to maintain two such cars owned by Dubonnet and is rewarded by being offered a 37 1.5 liter type in order to compete on the Miramas auto-field. Calcianu used to work hard, during night hours, to improve the car performances. He gave a special attention to air sliding, replacing the coachwork screws with buried ones and polishing the paint. The day of the race: Ettore Bugatti was taking part with his three famous drivers Constantini, Jules Groux and Friedrich. Calcianu puts his cap on with its peak backwards and sets a new record of 173.6 km/h. Ettore Bugatti, who was a model of haughtiness, comes close full of envy but also curious, notes the modifications brought to the car and expresses his admiration with a slap in Calcianus back. They say they celebrated for a week at Corniot with old wine bottles coming from the South of France. Bugatti employed Calcianu at the testing bank of his plant. For six years he remained loyal to this mark while completing his studies at Ecole Superieure Technique. But at Bugatti he was not allowed to race. Nevertheless he succeeds to run in 2-3 local races on a Talbot, ranking first in the Laffrey coast and coming first on the circuit at Miramas. Homesickness hurries his leaving. After paying a 5,000 Francs guarantee he becomes Bugatti representative for Romania and comes back. Another life starts now for Calcianu, sometimes marked with satisfactions.
Back to Romania, he opens a small repair workshop in Maltopol Street. Together with Gh. Nadu, an enthusiast of car racing who had financial resources, he goes to France and bring back three Bugatti cars. Prepared by Calcianu, Bugatti comes on the first place in 1931 in the 2-liter event of the Grand Prix of Lemberg. In the same year, Calcianu sets the record Bucharest-Paris, making the distance within 50 hours on a Buick. He loses the Bugatti license, as well as the guarantee. He works just for passion, asking no money, but has to take a paid job in the airplane plant of IAR Brasov, where he makes friends with Petre Carp.
In 1934, along with IAR he organizes the first closed circuit race in the country: the Grand Prix of Brasov. Calcianu divides his work between the airplane engine test stand and the manufacture of a Romanian racing car, Ford Carp, a very unsuccessful mono-coque.
Calcianu sets another record on Feleac beating the expert of the coast Hans Stuck. Calcianus most beautiful victory comes in 1939, in the Grand Prix of Belgrade City where he comes before all the elite of German and French drivers contesting on an Alpha Romeo which had been driven by Tazio Nuvolari. Until the war broke out, Calcianu ran in every national race, winning most of them, with just one equal rival: Petre Cristea.
After the war, he collects the damaged racing cars and, with the help of the Romanian Automobil and Motorcycling Federation, he succeeds to repair them. He retires to Brasov for three years, due to health problems. He comes back to Bucharest bringing with him Maseratti, Mercedes and one BMW cars. His health condition worsens and he is taken to hospital. He dies but continues to be present in the hearts of all automobile impassionates. Starting with 1973, the Jean Calcianu Cup is offered to the winner of the Grand Prix of Bucharest
Today, the Duesenberg Straight Eight automobile especially manufactured for the Indianapolis race can be seen at the Technical Museum of Bucharest.