In Mays gone by, a young Sicilian boy’s fancy would once again turn to thoughts of…..the Targa Florio. The 45 miles of public roads that made up the Circuito Piccolo Madonie would once again be filled with roaring, shrieking flashes of red, silver, blue and green. Would Nino Vaccarella, the school head master from Palermo, get a victory for Sicily and Ferrari? Or, would victory go the Americans and their Fords? Perhaps it would again be Porsche’s year, as it had increasingly been in the past 5 years. 10 laps around these dangerous, thrilling Sicilian roads would decide the matter.
In 1965, things would come around right for Nino Vaccarella, Lorenzo Bandini and Ferrari, as they held off a fierce charge from the works Porsche team to win by 4 1/2 minutes over Davis and Mitter in 7 hrs, 1 minute, 12.2 seconds at an average speed just under 64 miles per hour. 64 miles an hour doesn’t sound particularly fast, given the capabilities of the cars involved. However, given the quality of Sicilian roads, and the proximity of Sicilian fans to them, an average lap speed of 64 miles an hour is busting some serious ass.
To illustrate this point, we’ve dusted off the Castrol Oil produced documentary on the 1965 Targa Florio, “Mountain Legend, the Story of the 49th Targa Florio”. Some of you will, no doubt, remember my initial introduction of this film to the Saucy Minx at Jalopnik a few years ago. For you, this will be a welcome visit by an old friend. If you’ve never seen the film before, settle back and enjoy the wit and insight of our narrator, Mr. Raymond Baxter, and his co-host, interviewing some of the key contestants, former sports and touring car racer, Tommy Wisdom, and rally legend Timo Makinen, who provides a spirited pre-race tour of the Circuito Piccolo Madonie in his works-prepped Austin Healey 3000. Enjoy!
As the embedded link doesn’t wish to cooperate, please try this alternative route to the same video.
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