Unlike Vintage Racecar’s editors I don’t spend my working life thrashing the pants off other people’s rare and priceless racing cars, mores the pity, so when the offer came to get intimate with two Italian models I jumped at the chance. It was in Sicily during the centenary celebrations for Giro di Sicilia-Targa Florio that these two beauties presented themselves, one from the Ferrari stable the other from Alfa Romeo both with such strong links to the Targa Florio that I couldn’t believe my luck, not only to ride in them, but actually at the home of this great road race as well.
First I have a confession to make, it turns out that Jim Glickenhaus and I have been in love with the same Italian beauty for the last forty years, but while I was loafing around the motor racing circuits of Europe Jim spent his time wisely by working hard and has become a very successful Wall Street investment banker. Not to difficult then to realize who ended up with the girl, and her name you ask? It’s Ferrari P3/4….
James M Glickenhaus has a stable of historic racecars and he uses all of them on a regular basis, not on the track mind you, but driving them on the highway! Jim had brought three of his Ferraris along to grace the Targa Florio centenary celebrations with pride of place going to his P3/4, chassis no 0846. This car started life in 1966 as a P3; at the end of the year it was upgraded to P4 specification and used by Ferrari as their test-bed for the 67 upgrade, it then went on to win that year’s 24-hr race at Daytona piloted by Lorenzo Bandini and Chris Amon. She was next used in the 67 Targa Florio by Nino Vaccarella where, after setting the fastest practice time, he crashed out of the race at Collesano village on the second lap. 0846’s last race was the 1967 Le Mans 24hr this time it was Chris Amon and Nino Vaccarella who shared the drive; unfortunately they had to retire the car when a blown tyre caused it to catch fire. After this 0846 was returned to Modena where the decision was made not to rebuild her and the chassis eventually ended up in a Modena scrap yard.
Thirty three years later Jim bought a P4 from British Ferrari specialist David Piper, he was told that it had been constructed in 1974 using parts obtained from Ferrari with the chassis being fabricated by the original manufacturer using Ferrari’s plans; once this car was in the USA Jim’s team, John Hajduk Jnr and Sal Barone, started a ground up rebuild. Once down to the bare bones, and after careful examination, the chassis revealed some secrets, it had in fact started life as a P3 and had been upgraded to P4 specification later on, also there was clear evidence of repairs to the tubing consistent with Vaccarella’s crash and the Le Mans fire, so, after yet more detective work, Jim has come to the conclusion that from time to time some Italian chassis manufacturers must frequent Modena scrap yards.