The Bite of the Countryside: The Targa Florio, 1967
The Targa Florio was never kind to cars, especially big fast cars. There was just too much scenery too close to the road. This is a Ferrari 330P4 which was being driven by Targa specialist and Palermo school teacher Nino Vaccarella with co-driver fellow Ferrari Italian sports car expert Ludovico Scarfiotti on May 14, 1967. However, poor Scarfiotti never got to drive in the race because Vaccarella had a rare accident in the village of Collesano on his second lap, hitting an errant curb that got in the way and blowing two tires.
Vaccarella was a strong local favorite who cemented his reputation in practice when he did a stunning lap some two minutes faster than any other competitor. Once the race started, Vaccarella was well in the lead, as expected but then it all fell apart as can be seen above.
The Targa in 1967 was enlivened by the entry of the Chaparral 2F with its huge rear wing which would be driven by Phil Hill and Chaparral Cars owner Jim Hall's close friend Hap Sharp. Hill had fun in the paddock scaring the locals by flipping the wing up and down. Amazingly, they would last into the next to final lap before being sidelined by a punctured tire, a typical car injury at the Targa. Another interesting celebrity entry was that of ski racer Jean-Claude Killy who was partnered by famous photojournalist Bernard Cahier in a factory Porsche 911S. They would finish seventh overall and win the two liter GT class. Not bad at all.
Before the race, above is co-driver Scarfiotti trying on the 330P4 for size and seeming very
happy indeed with his prospects for the coming race and then stands to observe the soon to be departure of Vaccarella from the start. Even the Viva Nino! painted on the road along the way could not give them a win.
Photos by Yves Debraine ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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