It is time to evaluate the II Year of the " Historical Commemoration Monte Pellegrino 2014". At the close of the sporting -tourist-cultural event organized by the "Scuderia Montepellegrino" and the “Associazione Siracusana Automotoveicoli Storici” ,we can fondly look back on some highlights that have characterized this event, as Vincent Manzo, president of the "Scuderia Montepellegrino” has repeatedly stressed “Thanks to word of mouth and social networks we were able to assemble the best of classic cars and collectors, who arrived in Palermo from all over Europe and even from America ,on the streets of Palermo and in the "paddock" at the " Fiat Motor Village auto salon" in Via Imperatore Federico".
A second year highlighted by the presence of three Alfa Romeo 33, to the delight of fans and those who love a walk down memory lane ,that made history taking part in the legendary "Targa Florio". Without doubt, the undisputed darling of the "paddock" was the 33/3 after 43 years put at the disposal of Nino Vaccarella, still regarded by many as the “Preside Volante”, by owner Joe Nastasi who brought the "rossa" directly from New York where she had recently been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art. Vaccarella was the winner of the 1971"Targa" in this Sport 3000. The car was brought back to Sicily after 43 years thanks to the “Museo del Motorismo siciliano” and the Targa Florio of Termini Imerese.
Entertainment and excitement was also generated by the other Alfa Romeo 33/2 "Le Mans" version brought over by a German collector and whose chassis is the same as that driven by the Tuscan champion during the 1969 "Targa Florio" , driven, on this occasion by'Nanni' Galli, who won the time trial in Palermo in 1967. To mark the occasion, the organizers presented Galli with a reproduction of his yellow crash helmet during a ceremony that took place at the "Motor Village" just before the drive to Monte Pellegrino for the three scheduled hill climbs.
And finally, another Alfa 33, a two-litre, owned by a Tuscan collector and still in its original state, also with the Targa Florio amongst its prizes and converted in the 1970s to take part in the time trial races . Accompanying the three Milanese sport cars was a Lola T292 from Tuscany and two Fiat Abarth 1000 S both from Cologne. In addition to the highly acclaimed sport cars , there were many cars with racing histories linked to the Mount Pellegrino hillclimb ,the Targa Florio (rally) and the Giro di Sicilia. Amongst these , one car stood out for its beauty and originality and the friendliness of its participants; the 1900 Opel GT gr.4 brought to Palermo on the initiative of a Belgian collector.
We must emphasize once again that the "Monte Pellegrino Historical Commemoration" is not a speed race, but a "Concours of elegance". There are no chronometers and there is no general classification or category. There is no championship. It is not a sporting event, but rather a celebration of racing cars and vintage sports cars linked to a cultural-historical tradition of Monte Pellegrino, the race conceived in 1908 by Vincenzo Florio, which was held along the winding and scenic bends up to the end of the 1980s.
The organizers have given car culture both life and opportunity in the beautiful setting of not only Monte Pellegrino but also the historic circuit within the Real Parco della Favorita which was also the setting for the "Targa Florio" from 1937 to 1940. .
Four days dedicated to car culture but also to tourism in a city like Palermo, which is favourably in the running to win the honour of being the European Capital of Sport 2016 ".
Unfortunately, as a result of the celebrations of Palermo’s return to premier league football, the organizers had to cancel the procession of the 121 participating cars through the streets of Palermo scheduled on May 3 in the afternoon for safety reasons; however, a tribute to Nino Vaccarella was still able to go ahead, and he was cheered on the stage in front of the steps of the Teatro Massimo in "his" Alfa Romeo 33/3 on the Saturday evening.
At the "Concours of elegance" the many people who visited the Fiat Motor Village auto salon were able to admire the Ferrari 126 F1 C2B, winner of the San Marino GP in 1983 driven by the Frenchman Patrick Tambay , brought over specially from the Museo del Motorismo d'Epoca in Syracuse. Also on display were the 1985 Lancia Delta S4 (only 200 produced) and the1956 2500 Aurelia B20 GT , the same car that Nino Vaccarella drove last year through the bends of Monte Pellegrino and it was also a B20 in 1958 in which he took part in his first hillclimb.
Yet another mythical car, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1st edition ,in the 1955 time trial (the legendary name has been revived recently with the latest models); one of the 16 cars fitted out by Vignale bodyshop designed by Giovanni Michelotti on a Fiat 1100chassis, it is an elegant 2 +2 pale green metallic coupe with an exquisite interior with period radio, in its original 1953 factory state, nicknamed "Charmant". Another unique car, autographed by Bertone with a real “spyder” on the chassis is the Fiat X1 / 9 Bertone 1500 GT convertible. Three splendid examples of the famous 508 better known as "Balilla" also proved very popular and included an elegant "Coppa d'Oro" in two-tone bodywork, a 1948 202 cabriolet in its original state and a custom-built car made by Cisitalia with a Fiat 1100 engine. In the part of the Motor Village dedicated to models from the Fiat Professional range, a 1953 Lancia Ardea van stands out in elegant two-tone gray bodywork.
And last but not least, each day the event started with a historic Amat bus, the 1966 Fiat 405 that the transport company had had restored to celebrate its 50th birthday, and which carried the competitors and their families along the city streets and also along the bends of Monte Pellegrino. Together with the City of Palermo and the Fiat Motor Village auto salon, the Public Transport company of Palermo was one of the key contributors to the success of the event, an event ,as the organizers are keen to stress , which was funded without asking for any tax payers contribution, thanks the financial support of the many people who had believed in its success from its conception