Morning Qualifying – Targa Tuesday edition

Lorenzo Bandini, at the wheel of his Ferrari 275 P2, during the 1965 Targa Florio

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.
The Ford GT40 Spyder of John Whitmore and Bob Bondurant at the 1965 Targa Florio

The Porsche 904/8 Bergspyder of Colin Davis (winner of the '64 Targa Florio) and Gerhard Mitter.

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.
Nino Vaccarella's Ferrari 275 P2 prepares to overtake the Porsche 904/8 of Jo Bonnier.

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.

Vivo Nino! Vivo Bandini! Forza Ferrari!


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  1. Abe Avatar

    Nice article. Vimeo link is down.

    1. Jennings R. Scroggs, Jr. Avatar
      Jennings R. Scroggs, Jr.

      Here's the link:

      1. muthalovin Avatar

        In the queue for after-work vidja watching.
        Thanks Scroggs, I am super excited.

  2. $kaycog Avatar

    You got my attention this morning! I'm not a fan of green cars, but this Linden Green GT40 is absolutely gorgeous! This car is one-of-five 1965 Ford GT40 Roadsters and will be auctioned off in Italy on May 21.
    <img src=""width="500"/&gt;

    1. Jennings R. Scroggs, Jr. Avatar
      Jennings R. Scroggs, Jr.

      <img src="; width="492" height="500" alt="65 targa florio whitmore bondurant ford gt40">
      Another view of the Bondurant/Whitmore car in action.

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        Thank you! You always have the greatest pictures!

  3. OA5599 Avatar

    Targa Tuesday Edition?
    What ever happened to Two Wheel Tuesday?
    <img src=""&gt;

    1. dwegmull Avatar

      Cars have two wheels, then they have two more: double the pleasure!

  4. dwegmull Avatar

    I'm looking at the picture of the Ferrari passing the Porsche and all I can see is the Fiat 500 parked in the background…

    1. 2 sexxy cute Avatar
      2 sexxy cute

      It caught my eye too! I was thinking; what a neat car to just park in front of your place of business.