One need not be a native of Italy to figure out that Tourismo is Italian for tourism or touring. Evidently, you don’t have to be an Italian car maker to use the word to name your vehicles, either, since only one of our three candidates this week hails from that Mediterranean peninsula. The other two are purely ‘Merican cars marketed with a bit of the ol’ gusto Italiano.
- The 1955–59 Fiat 1100 Turismo Veloce Trasformabile was a two-seat convertible roadster version of the 11oo compact sedan. The “veloce” indicated it was powered by an up-rated 54 HP, 12oocc engine. A total of 2,360 were built.
- The 1962–64 Studebaker Grand Turismo Hawk was the swan song of Studebaker’s Hawk line. Brooks Stevens’s extensive but economical reworking of Raymond Loewy’s original Golden Hawk was designed to bring the six-year-old body shape solidly into the ‘Sixties. It could be had with engines putting out anywhere from 210 to 335 supercharged horsepower. For our proposal today, let’s assume we’re talking about the mid-line R1, with 240 HP, a 4-speed manual gearbox, 4-wheel discs, and upgraded sport suspension.
- The 1982–87 Plymouth Turismo 2.2 was basically a renamed Horizon TC3. While Dodge L-bodies got some respectably hot turbo motors, Plymouth’s Turismo never came equipped with a huffer. The first-year version shown in our photo generated just 84 carbureted HP and 111 lb.-ft. of torque. And unfortunately, that’s the version you’re stuck with today.
Now, which of these three very different Turismos would you choose to:
- RACE – build into some sort of dedicated racing machine (not street legal) for your choice of competition — any legitimate, sanctioned form of motorsport: road course, rally, drag, LSR, Baja, etc.;
- DAILY – have as your sole street-registered car, for all your commuting and general transportation needs.
- RESTORE – do a museum-quality, factory-correct, frame-off restoration, then add to your collection, but not register to drive on the street.
Your choices should be accompanied by your persuasive justification, or at the very least which choice you felt most strongly about. As always, more caveats (there are always caveats) appear after the jump.
- Assume that you’re given these three vehicles outright, so there’s no acquisition cost, but the cost of race-prepping, maintaining, insuring and restoring them will be on you.
- Assume the cars are in “average condition” for their age; neither junk nor in flawless condition.
- These are your ONLY three cars. You cannot factor in any other cars you might actually own, e.g., “I’ll daily the MR2 because I have a van I can take the kids in…” Likewise, you can’t sell the restored car to buy another vehicle.
- You must assign one of the cars to each category. You can’t say, “I’ll race my street car,” or “I’ll drive that one for a season then restore it.”
- You can’t half-ass a car you don’t like, such as theoretically racing Lemons or doing a “20-footer” cosmetic restoration.