No one has escaped disappointment this year. It has been tough in so many ways, but one of the things I think a lot of us have found hardest is being robbed of some our simplest and most treasured pleasures. The things that define our personality and enrich our free time. The things that keep us going through darker days and hours of boredom. Knowledge that the one thing that keeps the fire burning in us is attainable and will soon rejuvenate us.
Motorsport is one of those things for so many people. And for some not only an enduring hobby but also a livelihood, that this year was threatened.
With the large majority of motorsport events unable to take place during the season due to the dreaded C word, many people found themselves at a loss. However, in the space of just six weeks Motor Racing Legends came to the rescue, pulling together the Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy Meeting, sponsored by DK Engineering. Stoking the flames of our weakening fires this event gave us all hope again. One gorgeous, petrol scented day with engine roars filling your ears. Track action was here again and we were going to relish every moment.
The day came and the sun shone on Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. The turn out for the event was incredible. The pits of the International Paddock were filled with a heart stopping array of classic cars – MGs, Ford Falcons and Mustangs, AC Cobras, Jaguar E-Types and Lotus Elans… Mechanics busied themselves around the race machines with a determined look. Drivers paced, eagerly awaiting their time to head out on track.
Three races provided the thrill we all so desperately needed. Two supporting races of the Stirling Moss and Woodcote Trophy for pre-’61 sports racing cars and a Historic Touring Car grid each saw 30 cars out on track while the headline race, the inaugural three hour Royal Automobile Club Historic Tourist Trophy battle, had attracted a capacity 60 cars to the grid. In a year of sadness, anger and disappointment where all hope of getting to enjoy any form of historic racing was lost, the spectacle of 60 pre ’66 sports cars, GT’s and Touring Cars battling their way around the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in the drama of a rainy Autumn dusk was more than any of us could of hoped for.
Have you ever imagined the existence of an atelier that keeps cars in a maniacal way and at the same time enhances them?!
I will amaze you, that place exists and is located in Reggio Emilia and not surprisingly its name is: Ruote da Sogno.
This summer we had the immense honor of being able to visit and know almost all the staff, who despite the covid, welcomed us with great warmth. Professionals from all sectors involved in a single mission that is not the sale of a car or motorcycle that is, but well you realize a dream.
Passion is the key word to work in this magnificent reality, and Paolo certainly does not miss it. He has been working for a few years at Ruote da Sogno, his motorsport culture is very high starting from the Alfa Romeo Montreal and with the end to a Vespa 50 special, there is no model and history that can escape him.
Shortly before our meeting i spoke often with Paolo, and with great pleasure we realized that our aim is only one: to enhance our passion to the best of our possibilities. And we had to tell you the story of this wonderful Porsche 930 turbo.
Champagne color, restored in detail and above all completely original. When I first saw her at Ruote da Sogno, it was love at first sight. In its simplicity this car expresses a wickedness that makes you understand that you should not joke and especially underestimate it.
With Paolo we decide to get to know her a little more and thanks to Ruote da Sogno we have the opportunity to take her out, even if for a few km’s, to enjoy her essence through the lenses of my camera.
Once set in motion and heated properly Paolo, as gentlemen, grafts the first stroking the gearbox. A little bumpy for the graft and in release from the rear comes an awesome sound, that give us a smile that has never been seen even in the best commercials of famous toothpastes.
We have very few km’s available and being a car for sale, Paolo treats it with the utmost respect. But the sound, the line, in those Emilian streets uphill with the sun that touches a far border, leaving behind us a fantastic orange stripe stuns us for a few seconds: “Are we dreaming or are we in a movie?”
Once back in the atelier, is inevitable to talk about the feelings (albeit for a few km’s) that gave us the car. Because in order to understand a car and improve it, you would probably need to squeeze it to the limit and above all have some feelings of driving that few people besides the testers have.
But to live a car you can just look at it, taste its lines, caress maybe, sit on the driver’s seat (even when the car is off) close your eyes and dream of driving it in a sunset in Sicily (in my case).
All of us have dreams and must be valued because they serve as motivation for anything in our life and if once made have 4 or 2 wheels and as a heart a pulsating engine you will definitely be at: Ruote da Sogno.
Not everyone knows it but in the small town where I live called Teramo located in the Abruzzo region which is located in central Italy has many stories to tell from the world of motorsport with drivers, bodywork, teams and much more, even at an international level, up to the DTM, WRC, WTCC, Formula 1 and etc. But my city seems to have forgotten all this glorious past so I will slowly try to bring you all the stories of the place where I live.
The most famous story comes from the 40s and 50s written by Bernardo Taraschi who challenge anyone to achieve his dreams by creating and driving his own cars around the world, breaking speed records and even racing in formula 1, as well as having an excellent fame in formula 3 and in junior formula.
It all started with his grandfather’s motorcycles that created in him the passion and the desire to create something of his own, so in the 34’ he opened a motorcycle workshop, also starting to race thanks is personal workshop and in 1939 to produce his own motorcycles: the “Moto Taraschi 500 “ that had good success in racing and sales.
But the real turning point took place after World War II when he began to concentrate all his effort in the creation of cars because he considered the motorbikes of the time too dangerous so he began to design and then build his first car: the “Urania” name taken from one of the hills of the Teramo city.
With is first car on 11 May 1947 in the Piacenza Circuit he conquered the third place in his class and also making the fastest lap, the same race that went down in history for the debut of another Italian brand, Ferrari, which however, on the occasion, he had less luck failing to finish the race for mechanical problem.
After various successes with he decided to change his project because the base of the Fiat Topolino on which up to that moment he had built the Urania and his sisters had become limiting in every aspect so he began to create dedicated tubular frames for their cars starting to enter the back then 750cc category thanks also to an partnership with the Giannini brothers for the creation of new dedicated engines the G1 and G2, thus the new Giaur 750 were born,(giaur = giannini + urania), which won many races and up to 50 examples were produced and some of them were exported even in the United States the one that you see in photo is a special version called Giaur Record 750 with this special aerodynamic car body that is capable of a top speed over 225 km / h.
Thanks also to the agreement with Giannini in 54, they created numerous cars for the Formula junior championship on a Fiat 1100/103 base to sell and export that they toke home numerous victories. (The Formula junior is the black once).
Bernardo, in the same year of 54, went all out by buying a Ferrari 166 from 1951 to be able to race in formula 1 obviously making many technical changes to make it more powerful and agile by participating in more than 14 grands prix from 54 to 57 certainly seem few if you he starts to think of a high-level team like ferrari or maserati at the time (PS few know this but the maserati team was created and helped economically thanks to another teraman) but I consider it the greatest victory for those coming from a small town like mine.
It is from the first moment that I started collaborating with Zama Classic that I wanted to bring this beautiful story to all of you but it has always been difficult to find these cars and Taraschi’s son to be able to talk and take notes, because despite the fact that the brand has been reborn in a fantastic presentation at the Turin show with a new car in Teramo no one knew anything and the citizens seem to have forgotten everything only some old people know about this glorious past, in fact I discovered by chance this mini exhibition in the city center through a friend who sends me a message saying : “Hey what is there in the center” so I took my camera, my favorite lens and I immediately ran into the city overtaking anyone with my little Fiat Cinquecento just to be able to see these pieces of history and take pictures, all done of course in a hurry because I had other appointment in fact I took the telling-off from my girlfriend for being late, I was out of breath because i’ve rushed the shooting but I was to happy to have done them.
Soon I will try, covid permitting, to bring you other stories from taraschi’s friends and other Teramans from the motorsport world.
Some months when I almost gave up searching for a media to shoot for at AvD Oldtimer Grandprix, a friend of mine offered me his press entrance as he couldn’t make it to the event. The media I’d have shot for would take care of my registration. I was so excited to attend because this would probably be the only motorsport event I could attend to this year.
Anyway, the evening before I would leave to the wonderful track of Nurburgring, I called the media center to ask if everything is alright with my registration. Turns out, due miscommunication, my name wasn’t even on the list. I didn’t even bother going as it was a 4 hour drive an I most likely wouldn’t have gotten in.
Seeing stories of people who were there, made me very very sad. certainly when I saw that Jacky Ickx, René Arnoux and a few other well-known names were driving the most iconic @Ferrari F1’s. I really wanted to be there! That’s when I posted my previous post, explaining that I won’t be at the AvD Oldtimer Grandprix.
Fortunate, a nice fellow photographer (@travellerbyproxy), who was there, saw my post and invited me to go in on sunday. Thank you once again for that, I had a great time hanging around!
Describing an experience like this is never easy, all the sensations, all the people you know, all the screams, the gestures of “pulling the hand brake ” mimed with the hands, all the cars and all the drivers who have written the history of Rally.
It is something unique that you will not be able to find anywhere else and it all starts at the exact moment you arrive in the morning and you queue up to get the ticket and you start hearing all the roar of the engines coming from the various pits from the cars that will race or enter and they come out of the paddock and you already go crazy and you want to get over everyone to go in as soon as possible.
Once you enter you start to see everything from the legendary Group B such as the Deltas, the Audi Quattro, the 037 and then see the 70s with the stratos, the alpine and so on; also making a leap forward with the Group A up to the present day with the WRC + car and finding some special guests like a Lada, in short, the land of toys and you are there to take pictures even if it is pouring rain, capturing every single detail and discussing with friends about the history of cars and how epic they are.
After all this comes the afternoon where you start looking for a nice spot for the special stage to see the cars and be able to take pictures.
After half an hour of walking you find the most beautiful tight hairpin ever, with a steward who did not tell you nothing so you could see everything like the golden years of the rally all 1 meter away between people who scream, jump, go crazy to see every single car not to mention when they take the curves sideways or pull immense flames leaving smells of burnt rubber and gasoline that make you switch off your brain by getting drunk on everything.
As was for example that of the Audi Sport Four when night was slowly falling and there was still one missing ten cars in the end, at one point the screeching of the tires on the asphalt it was getting closer and closer, the whine of the turbine getting louder dominated by the screams of the other spectators and suddenly she appears; all of sideways, with the exhaust that spewed flames to say the least immense, with 6 headlights additional accesses and that unforgettable 5-cylinder that screamed with all thehis strength, Me and those 10-15 people who were there present in that little one hairpin we literally freaked out, screaming and gesturing without sense and praying that that moment would never end.
At home, working on the photos, it felt like a child again when I played rally games on the ps2 seeing all those cars on the screen.
Describing the Rally legend is something epic, with everything you do and see, 2 days or an article would not be enough for you, they will all be memories and sensations that you will carry close to your heart.
Describing the Rally legend is something epic, because for the amount of things that you do and see would not be enough for 2 days of telling or an entire article, all of these memories and sensations will carry close to your heart forever.
I’m not here today to tell you the pros and cons of these two different worlds; we almost all know what it’s like to shoot digitally, the convenience of SD cards, the creativity of the shot; and yet, all the time we spend on post production, that sometimes seems never to end but that encourages us to express at best what we want to communicate.
But when all this didn’t exist? When the only possibility of creativity was directly on the field? The famous “carpe diem”; how did you do it? How did it work?
So I’m here today to offer you a kind of leap into the past but seen from the present.
To better explain this leap in the past, I take as an example an event we followed in 2019: Monza Historic organized by Peter Auto.
On that occasion the opportunity to express their creativity was at the top of the engine of my imagination.
I had with me both my digital adventure partner, a mediocre Nikon D3300 with a 35 mm F/1.8 and two precious analogue companions: a Nikon F3 with a 50 mm F/1.8 and a Yashica FX3 Super 2000 with a 50 mm F/2. So I chose two different films: for the Nikon F3 a Kodak Ektachrome 100 ISO (color slide), for the Yashica a Fomapan 100 ISO (black white film).
We start from the assumption that the Nikon F3 is a great machine, designed by the great desisgner Giorgetto Giugiaro, reliable and delicate. The Yashica is a bit more plastic, but with a fabulous optics. Both completely manual, without various automatisms: therefore lens.
You have to stop and think, meditate on the shot, be sure; and only then: shoot.
Indeed, more than a click, it is a kind of powerful clack. Noisy as the ignition of a Ferrari 250 GT SWB.
The pros and cons of shooting in analog are many, shooting on a film gives you unique and incredible emotions; for example: the wait to know if the photos have come out or not, the sadness of when something went wrong, the happiness or wonder of some colors, shadows or lights, unexpected!
Shooting film in 2020 means stopping and thinking without the help of any AF. Savor the scene, feel it yours and only then take. You have only one chance, not hundreds! But do you want to put the adrenaline of waiting then? Do not have everything and immediately;” the expectation of pleasure is itself pleasure “.
Then maybe you find that all the photos you took didn’t come out as you expected, or maybe they came out a thousand times better, or worse. I mean, it’s all a question.
But having doubts is the beauty of life: doubt is the beginning of knowledge! Experiment, learn from your mistakes and start more and more charged and creative: this means shooting film in 2020!
The Arrows A3 was built to compete in the 1980 F1 Championship. 6 chassis were built during the season, and some cars were also used in the 1981 season. It would seem that all the cars still exist: 4 are in “running conditions”, 1 is complete. but to be restored, and the sixth, unfortunately, is dismantled. One of the 4 in “activity” is the A3-4 frame, and belongs to an Italian collector.
Arrows A3-4 began his racing career with Jochen Mass, with the iconic gold livery for the sponsor Warsteiner, at the 1980 Kyalami GP. The car is very fast and allowed the German driver to obtain important results, such as the 4 ° place in Montecarlo and 2nd in Spain. With this car Mass had an accident at the Austrian GP and had to miss some grands prix due to an operation.
The car was used as a spare-car, or entrusted to the substitute driver on duty (Winkelhock or Thackwell), without ever qualifying. Fortunately, the car body has never been replaced and is still original. In 1981 the car was repainted in the white / orange livery of the sponsor Ragno and taken over by the ceramics company as a show car.
Ceramiche Marazzi bought the entire Ceramiche Ragno group including the buildings and the machine was taken to a building belonging to the Giacobazzi family, owner of the company. The car remained there until the current owner found it under some cardboard and blankets in 2017, in a state of neglect. After being checked and certified by the expert Allen Brown, the car was then brought back to its original condition, in the Monaco 1980 configuration.
In Varano for the first time it was driven by the owner after the long period of restoration, despite being exhibited at the Minardi Days in Imola in 2019, where she found Riccardo Patrese, Arrows driver in the 1980 season.
Each car always has 2 stories to tell: one written by the manufacturer with the new technologies put on the market or because it is symbolic for a market segment or written by the official racing team by winning championships and symbolic trophies instead the other is written by the simple owners who, between passion, travel, adventures and nights working on it, create happy memories to tell friends and family.
This lancia fulvia 1300s monte carlo with Teramo license plate is the perfect example because it has 2 unique stories, the first that everyone knows, written by the Lancia HF Squadra Corse team with the Fulvia Coupé HF 1600 which in 71 with Munari and Mannucci won the prestigious Rallye Monte Carlo on a legendary night on the Col de Turini, so for this fantastic victory that Lancia decided to exhibit this special version of the Fulvia called Montecarlo at the Geneva Motor Show, taking up the red and black colors and the chassis of the 1600.
Finally, in the same year, the HF team with the fulvia 1600 won the International Constructors’ Championship against the most acclaimed and powerful rivals Porsche 911 S and Alpine-Renault A110 1800 that raced that year.
Instead the other story was written by Manuel Rocci and his father who ten years ago decided to save this Fulvia Montecarlo from rust, thus starting a very long path of restoration between long days to rebuild together the very particular V4 Stretto, the weekends lost between car fairs around Italy in search of unobtainable pieces, moments of waiting to find out how the car would come out of the coachbuilder to see it again in all its glory and be happy as a small child and then give it personal touches like 2 40mm Weber carburettors, Group 4 manifolds and steel exhaust to create an orchestra on wheels.
After all this comes the even more beautiful part, being able to take it out of the workshop to go around the mountain passes at the automobile events to show the work done together by father and son.
Despite living less than thirty minutes from Hampton Court, this was my first time visiting the Palace gardens for at least 15 years. Namely, because without The Concours of Elegance it wouldn’t have interested me too much, and what a selection of cars is was! From the relatively generic modern Bentleys and Jaguars to multi-million-pound pieces of genuine automotive royalty.
Frequenting these sort of automotive gatherings has become a staple of my weekends in the past few years, but with Coronavirus cancelling most of them this was my first since January. Initially feeling a little rusty with my camera I was unsure how the day would go. Luckily it seems to be like riding a bike, and I soon felt at home again.
Unfortunately, I had Sunday tickets that meant that I had spoiled some of the surprise after seeing numerous photos on Instagram from the previous days.
However, that didn’t take anything away from the first car I saw once inside a Ferrari 250 GTO, setting the bar very high I know. It’s not just any run of the mill GTO either, but the second one ever made, and the first to go racing! *Chassis number 3387GT*. Fresh from a full restoration at Joe Macari even static it was a beauty to behold.
Something as special as that Ferrari is a difficult thing to follow, but if you’re looking for anything to top it a LeMans winner is a good place to start. How about a 1969 Porsche 917k? Yep. That’ll do it. This was my personal favourite from the day and it seems the organisers agreed naming it ‘best in show’. Oh, and it was THE one which earned Porsche their first of many overall wins at LeMans 50 years ago.
Admittedly They were by far and away the stars of the show, but even without those two, there were F1 cars throughout the decades, modern 2000hp electric hypercars and even scale ‘pedal cars’ to enjoy.
It was a great day out and something that I’ll definitely be attending again next year.