Targa Florio

Le auto

I piloti

Il circuito


1907 - 1925

1926 - 1950

1951 - 1972


1974 - 1977







All of races from 1951 to 1973, last year of the Targa Florio, took place in the Little Circuit of Madonie Mountains. In 1955 the Targa was admitted in the international calendar as test for the Sporting World-Wide Championship, which started in 1950. The first World-Wide Championship was organized on 13th May 1950 on Silverstone circuit, in Great Britain.

The stands in Cerda were filled of mechanicians by the Official Firms, which took part in the World Wide Championship. Ferrari, Maserati and Mercedes reached Sicily, with the best pilots: Fangio, Moss, Collins, Fitch. Castellotti, Manzon. The cars were inferior to nobody: Mercedes 300 SLR, Ferrari 750 Monza e 857 S. For Maserati, the 200S appeared in the Targa florio with two different models: the model number 2401, official car driven by Bracco and Bordoni, and the model 150S, equipped with a 2 liter engine.

In 1958 Ferrari won for the first time on the circuit of the Targa Florio, since the race was included in the World Wide Constructors’ Championship: the firm of Maranello went to Sicily and it showed four Testarossa, equipped with a 3 liter engine. The winner was the Ferrari, driven by Musso and Gendebien.

1960s symbolized the apex of the Targa Florio and the strengthening of the duel between Ferrari and Porsche, broken by Ford dominion and by the appearance of Alfa Romeo among the motor firms in never-ending competition. In this period the protagonist was a man from Palermo- Vaccarella- “the flying principal”. He drove a Maserati birdcage, equipped with a 2,9 liter engine. He gave a performance along the bends of the circuit, by becoming part of the challenge between Ferrari and Porsche. Unfortunately he was forced to retire, because the petrol tank punctured, just two laps before the race end. In 1961 the 45th Targa represented the moment of the challenge between the Ferrari246 SP and Porsche RS 61. This duel was fought from the first lap to the last one. It succeeded in keeping the spectators out of breathe until the last Kilometer (among the 720 Km in total) which marked the win of Von Trips’ Ferrari. Ferrari also won the World-Wide Sporting Championship of the year, against Porsche, that was considered as favorite of the race thanks to its practicalness. In 1912 the race was considered as test of World Wide Challenge of Speed and Endurance. Ferrari won all of the four trials of the calendar. On 5th May 1963 the 47th Targa Florio was marked by the constant challenge between Porsche and Ferrari: the challenge between the Ferrari Dino and the Berlinetta RS 61 Porsche was exciting. The Porsche came in first, taking no further notice of the Ferrari spider , after a strong storm. In 1964 the American colossus Ford returned. A new period of challenges between the red Ferrari from Maranello and Porsche was born.It would have gone on in following years. In 1965 Nino Vaccarella won for the first time, by driving the Ferrari 275 P2 on the Sicilian route. Meanwhile the challenge between the American colossus and Maranello firm went on. 1966 is the year of the Ford dominion, with GT 40 and MK II cars. The 50th Targa began with the hard challenge between Porsche and Ferrari: The Porsche won, thanks to a skid of Lorenzo Bandini’s car-Dino-, after a second overtaking with no way out Ferrari lost the International Sporting Prototypes’ Trophy, which was awarded by Ford. In 1968 the top of the challenge changed: Porsche and Alfa Romeo competed for the record on the circuit of Madonie Mountains. Porsche excelled among all of racing cars. Porsche remained invincible on the Sicilian route, from 1966 to 1970.

1970 is the year of the swan-song of Targa Florio; the Giornale di Sicilia entitled the edition “Florio Kolossal”, an edition that marked the apex of this long-lived sporting race. On 3rd May 1970 a group of pilots, appreciated in the best sporting races, were ready on the starting grid. The favorite car was Porsche, thanks to the previous exploits. The prognostics weren’t disappointed: Siffert breasted the tape by driving the little Porsche 908/3. It was an acrobatic race, like almost all of the previous ones: Laine, by driving his Porsche 908/2 ( the previous model to the one that won this sporting race), run along the last lap with just three wheels: the front wheel on the right got lost on the way, but it wasn’t an obstacle for the pilot, since his average per lap was good. Another race took place in 1971. The absence of Ferrari was the only blemish for over 500.000 sportsmen, arrived from everywhere in order to be present at the race. Not bad: the principal duel was fought between Alfa Romeo and Porsche. This was the race of Vaccarella’s second won; all of Porsches in competition went out: In addition, on the podium there were another Alfa Romeo and one Lola, which came in third, driven by Bonnier, who had already won two races.

The 56th race, in 1972, is mentioned as the fastest one: the average per hour (122km) remained invincible. Maranello firm presented the model 312P, Alfa Romeo, on the other hand, presented the model 33tt3, Lola equipped with 8 cylinders Ford Cosworth engine. Vaccarella, the idol of Madonie, vanished from the scene all at once. his team partner, Stommelen, brought the car into the garage with just two cylinders. The challenge was between Alfa Romeo, driven by Marko, and Ferrari, driven by Merzario: a duel that kept the spectators out of breathe until the last lap. Ferrari came in first, after 11 laps of constant struggle, by leaving Marko’s Alfa behind, at a distance of just 17 seconds.