NinoVaccarella’s almost God-like status in Sicily stems from his two Targa Florio victories—Vaccarella being the only Sicilian to win the famed road race. Here, Vaccarella is en route to his second victory, in 1971, at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo Tipo 33.
Photo: Ed McDonough Collection
The man at the wheel of the 2.8-liter, six-cylinder, Ford Sierra XR4i may have been a schoolmaster, but he certainly did not drive like one. In fact, beads of sweat were breaking out on my forehead as he stylishly doorhandled the winged Ford along the narrow roads of the Targa Florio at speeds that would never even enter my head.
As you may have guessed, he was a schoolmaster with a difference. Not many of them have won the Targa Florio (twice), the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 1,000 Kilometres of the Nürburgring, and the 12 Hours of Sebring. But this charming, cultured gentleman had done just that and more; his name was Antonino “Nino” Vaccarella. He owned and presided over a school in his hometown of Palermo, Sicily, and won his island’s famous race for Ferrari in 1965 and Alfa Romeo six years later.
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