Andre Guelfi

No picture available of Andre Guelfi.

Can you help?


06 May 1919
Mazagan, Morocco (now El-Jadida)


28 Jun 2016
Gustavia, Saint Barthelemy, West Indies



Grands Prix:

1 (1958)

Worked for Elf Aquitaine and was involved in a scandal which involved politicians Dumas, Kohl and Mitterand. This earned Guelfi a 3 year suspended jail sentence and cost him a 1 million Euro fine. After other controversial dealings, he decided to retire. He wrote a book on his life in the late 90's, called Original, which as well as the above, recalled his army and real estate days, his money laundering and his friendship with IOC chief Juan Antonio Samaranch. After spending many years in retirement in Madliena, Malta after a long spell in Switzerland, Andre died in Saint Barthelemy, where he lived towards the end of his life. Andre had Spanish ancestry and could speak Spanish, French and Arabic. Guelfi became a debt collector at the age of just sixteen, then a chauffeur, before establishing a fishing company. Prior to that in World War Two, he served in Italy and became a driver in General de Gaulle's intelligence operations. He also served in Saigon, where he was part of a parachute unit, and also saw action in Laos. He pioneered ways of freezing sardines but his business was badly hit by an earthquake in Agadir, Morocco, where he lived, in 1960. Guelfi then moved to France , in 1971, after marrying the niece of French President Georges Pompidou and got involved with real estate, Le Coq Sportif (the French sporting company) and Elf. He had a long-time liaison with Russia and he was seen as influential towards Moscow getting the 1980 Olympic Games. As a racer, he competed mainly in Africa, becoming Moroccan champion in 1955, but also raced at Pau, Montlhery and Le Mans.

Biography last updated 19 May 2024