Tag Archives: Classic Cars

Auto Racing Nostalgia: “Targa Florio” Endurance Race In Sicily (1906 – 1977)

1951 Targa Florio PosterThe Targa Florio was an open road endurance automobile race held in the mountains of Sicily near the island’s capital of Palermo. Founded in 1906, it was the oldest sports car racing event, part of the World Sportscar Championship between 1955 and 1973. While the first races consisted of a whole tour of the island, the track length in the race’s last decades was limited to the 72 kilometres (45 mi) of the Circuito Piccolo delle Madonie, which was lapped 11 times.

After 1973, it was a national sports car event until it was discontinued in 1977 due to safety concerns. It has since been run as a rallying event, and is part of the Italian Rally Championship.

1967 Targa Florio PosterThe race was created in 1906 by the wealthy pioneer race driver and automobile enthusiast, Vincenzo Florio, who had started the Coppa Florio race in BresciaLombardy in 1900. The Targa also claimed to be a worldly event not to be missed. Renowned artists, such as Alexandre Charpentier and Leonardo Bistolfi, were commissioned to design medals. A magazine was initiated, Rapiditas, which aimed to enhance, with graphic and photographic reproductions of the race, the myth of the car and the typical character of modern life, speed.[1]

1973 Targa Florio PosterOne of the toughest competitions in Europe, the first Targa Florio covered 3 laps equalling 277 miles (446 km) through multiple hairpin curves on treacherous mountain roads, at heights where severe changes in climate frequently occurred. Alessandro Cagno won the inaugural 1906 race in nine hours, averaging 30 miles per hour (50 km/h).

By the mid-1920s, the Targa Florio had become one of Europe’s most important races, as neither the 24 Hours of Le Mans nor the Mille Miglia had been established yet. Grand Prix races were still isolated events, not a series like today’s F1.

After winning the race several times, Porsche named the hardtop convertible version of the 911 after the Targa. The name targa means plaque or plate, see targa top.

From Wikipedia

Classics: “1950 Oldsmobile 88 Holiday Coupe”

1950 Oldsmobile 88 Holiday Coupe Interior Classic DriverThe Oldsmobile 88 (marketed from 1989 on as the Eighty Eight) is a full-size car that was sold and produced by Oldsmobile from 1949 until 1999. From 1950 to 1974 the 88 was the division’s top-selling line, particularly the entry-level models such as the 88 and Dynamic 88. The 88 series was also an image leader for Oldsmobile, particularly in the early years (1949–51) when it was one of the best performing automobiles thanks to its relatively small size, light weight and advanced overhead-valve high-compression V8 engine. This engine, originally designed for the larger C-bodied and more luxurious 98 series, also replaced the straight-8 on the smaller B-bodied 78. With the large, high performance V8, the Oldsmobile 88 is widely considered to be the first muscle car, although this title is disputed.

In 1950, Oldsmobile offered a modified Cadillac manual gearbox for V8 models. The 88 now outsold the six-cylinder 76 lineup, which was dropped entirely after the 1950 model year. It had a 40 ft. turning circle. The 1950 model won the 1950 Carrera

Classic Driver logoA large number of variations in nomenclature were seen over this long model run — Futuramic, Super, Golden Rocket, Dynamic, Jetstar, Delta, Delmont, Starfire, Holiday, L/S, LSS, Celebrity, and Royale were used at various times with the 88 badge, and Fiesta appeared on some station wagons in the 1950s and 1960s. The name was more commonly shown as numbers in the earlier years (“Delta 88”, for example) and was changed to spell out “Eighty Eight” starting in 1989.

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Italian Cars: “1966 Alfa Romeo GTA 1600 Stradale”

1966 Alfa Romeo GTA 1600 Stradale Front Classic DriverThe Alfa Romeo GTA is a coupé automobile manufactured by the Italian manufacturer  Alfa Romeo from 1965 to 1971. It was made for racing (Corsa) and road use (Stradale).

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In 1962, the successor for the very popular Giulietta series was introduced. This car was the Alfa Romeo Giulia, internally called the “Series 105”. The coupé of the 105 series, used the shortened floorpan from the Giulia Berlina and was designed by Bertone. The name of the car evolved from Giulia Sprint GT to Giulia Sprint and to GTJ (Junior) and GTV (Veloce) in the late 1960s.

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Classic Italian Cars : “1967 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada”

1967 Bizzarrini 5300 GT interior Classic DriverThe Bizzarrini Strada (also 5300 GT Strada and 5300 GT), was a gran turismo automobile produced by Bizzarrini from 1964 to 1968. Sold as an exceptionally low slung 2-seat coupe, roadster, and track-tuned “Corsa” racer, it proved their most successful model.

Designed by ex-Ferrari chief engineer Giotto Bizzarrini in 1963, the Strada was launched by his company in 1964. It was similar in concept to the Iso Grifo, also designed by Bizzarrini, and even used the Grifo name while in the planning stage, as well as the welded unibody platform of the Iso Rivolta 300.

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The Strada – which adopted an FMR layout – was powered by a Chevrolet sall-block 327 Corvette engine displacing 5358 cc and producing 365 hp (272 kW) to 385 hp (287 kW) in street form and 400 hp (298 kW) in the Corsa. The car could accelerate 0–100 km/h in less than 7 seconds, and attained a top speed of 280 km/h. In later models, the 5358 cc engine was replaced by a larger 7000 cc one, fitted with a Holley carburetor.

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Classic Cars: “2020 Amelia Island” Auction Digital Catalog (RM Sotheby’s)

RM Sotheby’s is proud to present the digital auction catalogue for our 22nd annual Amelia Island auction. This year’s offering features more than 150 motor cars, ranging from Edwardian and Brass Era through modern supercars with nearly every facet of collecting in between.

RM Sotheby's Amelia Island March 6 - 7 2020 Catalog 1957 Corvette and 1960 Austin Healey

RM Sotheby's Amelia Island March 6 - 7 2020 Catalog 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet

RM Sotheby's Amelia Island March 6 - 7 2020 Catalog Cover

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American Cars: “1953 Buick Skylark Convertible”

1953 Buick Skylark Convertible Interior RM Sotheby's AuctionsThe Buick Skylark is a passenger car produced by Buick. The model was made in six production runs, during 46 years, over which the car’s design varied dramatically due to changing technology, tastes and new standards implemented over the years.

Created to mark Buick’s 50th anniversary, the Roadmaster Skylark joined the Oldsmobile 98 Fiesta and Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado as top-of-the-line, limited-production specialty convertibles introduced in 1953 by General Motors to promote its design leadership. Of the three, the Skylark’s run of 1,690 units proved the most successful, and an amazing sales feat considering the car’s 1953 list price of slightly in excess of US$5,000 was over 50% more than the well-equipped US$3,200 Roadmaster convertible on which it was based. Nevertheless, many languished in dealer showrooms and were eventually sold at discount.

Photos from RM Sotheby’s

Production ran for two years. Based on the model 76R two-door Roadmaster convertible, the 1953 Skylark (designated model 76X) had identical dimensions (except height), almost identical appearance, shared its drive train, and had all its standard equipment, plus its few remaining options, including power windows, power brakes, full carpeting, and a “Selectronic” AM radio. Only A/C was not offered, unnecessary in either convertible.

From Wikipedia

Classic Cars: The “1970 Iso Grifo” – Italian Styling And Chevrolet Engine

1970 Iso Grifo Interior Classic DriverThe Iso Grifo is a limited production grand tourer automobile manufactured by Italian Iso Autoveicoli S.p.A. between 1965 and 1974. Intended to compete with Ferrari and Maserati GTs, it utilized a series of American power trains and components supplied by Chevrolet and Ford to ensure performance and maximize reliability. Styling was done by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone, while the mechanicals were the work of Giotto Bizzarrini.

The first production GL models appeared in 1965 and were powered by American Chevrolet Corvette small-block 327 (5.4-litre) V8s fitted to American supplied Borg-Warner 4-speed manual transmissions. The 5.4-litre engine developed 300 hp (220 kW) in its standard form and could reach 110 km/h (68 mph) in first gear.

Classic Driver logoIn 1970, a styling change was made to the nose section of the car for the Grifo Series II, It got a sleeker look and hide-away headlights. In the IR-9 “Can Am” version the engine was switched from the 427 engines to the newer even more powerful Chevrolet 454 7.4 litre engine.

From Wikipedia