one of 1907 is one of the most important and beautiful races
of the first prewar period. On 27th April forty three racing
cars drawn up; the most important constructor firms took part
in the race with engineers, mechanicians, sporting departments.
The best pilots of old took part: Nazzaro, Lancia, Opel. The
pneumatic constructor firms were inferior to nobody: special
mixtures were arranged: they were able to hold out to wear and
tear, caused from the Sicilian route, at least for one lap. It
was a memorable event: Overtakings and double laps followed one
other. The Italian constructor firms made themselves know so
much that, a little later, in Paris a branch office is opened
form the Fiat, made strong thanks to the double win in this race
of the Targa, which was going to show itself as a race able to
exalt and test the technical and sporting abilities of cars and
The w, in 8h17’36”4”’; the average is
raised of more than 10 Kilometers per hour, in comparison with
the previous year: 54,086; the fastest lap is made by Lancia
in 2h43’08”, the average per hour was 55 Kilometers.
He came in second with a distance of 12 minutes from Nazzaro;
who gave battle to him during the whole race. Another
Italian constructor firm came in third: The “Itala” by
1908 is the year of crisis in the European motor world, Ford creates a model “the
ford T”, on large scale: the car is not a luxury good any more ; everybody
could have one “… on condition that it was Ford and black…”.
Many minor motor constructor firms collapse, the big ones undertake not much
to develop races. The priorities are others. In 1909 the Targa consisted of
just one lap, in 1910 of two ones. From 1908 to 1911 the Targa has a lower
tone, for this reason Vincenzo Florio tries to raise again its fate, by changing
its formula and organizing the “ Giro di Sicilia” in 1912. 1000
kilometers to be run along in one lap; an exhausting race, whose first one
finishes after 25 hours from the starting-time. The leader of the race was
the English pilot Snipe who, tired out after a race of 16 never-ending hours,
stopped near Agrigento and fell asleep near the route. He stayed there for
almost two hours. Then he was woken up by his partner. He came in first with
a start of about 30 minutes the second one!! In 1913 and 1914 the races were
divided in two stops.
In 1919, after the first war pause, the Targa resumes. The route
changes again. It is the medium Circuit, made up by 108 Kilometers:
4 laps with the exception of Castellana, Petralia and Castelbuono,
but in addition there was Polizzi. The medium Circuit is the
seat of every race, until 1930. From 1924 to 1930 the unique
difference is that the laps become 5, in total 540 Kilometers.
The Targa of 1919 was the first one which took place in November.
In fact the bad weather was the protagonist; 432 Kilometers were
run along in 8hours, with an average of little superior than
the one of the first Targa: 55,026 km/h.
The early 1920s the protagonist is the earl Giulio Masetti,
the “lion of Madonie Mountains”. Memorable are his
battles, engaged along the streets of Madonie Mountains, with
Ascari, Goux; his records are historical. In 1926, exactly along
the circuit of the Targa, sudden after the crossroads for Sclafani
Bagni, at 25th Kilometer , the earl’s car ,“Delage”,
turned over, so killing him, who was considered as a hero. Along
that bend, there is a plate that reminds this man’s mythical
exploits. Along the same bend- 45 years later, in 1971- Fulvio
Tandoj died, on board of an Alpine Renault. A plate that reminds
him, wanted by his wife, today is near the one of the “lion
of Madonie Mountains”.